Last Updated on 05/04/2024 by Glynn Willard

What Is The Best Campervan For Boondocking?

So far for 2024, I genuinely believe the best campervan for boondocking (dry camping) is any version of a Storyteller Overland van.

There are several reasons why I established the Storyteller amongst the best class B RVs for boondocking on public lands, which we’ll cover.

And there are some campervans I consider superior and in a close second to Storyteller.

Let’s explore some of my reasoning as well as consider some of the other options for the best boondocking RV.

We will not consider the high price tag on most campervans. I like to think of it as twice the price for half the space!


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Criteria Considered For Best Boondocking Class B Van

If you have the money, you can modify any van chassis (Ram Promaster, Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, etc.) as the perfect boondocking van.

And yes, any RV owner can boondock in rest areas, parking lots, driveways, or campgrounds without hookups.

But for this article, we’re more interested in a “turnkey” van with the right standard features for boondocking in remote areas.

We’re not concerned with floor plans, just the best RVs (class B) for dispersed camping.

There will be trade offs with some of the criteria below and there are a lot more van builders on the market than listed, but not easily attainable.

Let’s break it down!

  • High Ground Clearance

    Many of the best remote areas where we boondock in national forests and Bureau of Land Management land are on rough dirt roads.

    Sure, a campervan with low ground clearance can conquer a good gravel road and enjoy a small taste of the best locations that are closer to the pavement.

    But, if your priority is borderline “overlanding,” then a campervan with high-ground clearance needs to be at the top of your list.

    Most campervans are built for and marketed to a demographic looking for luxury and comfort to stay in a developed campground.

    Even entry-level campervans built by Thor and Winnebago have both low ground clearance as well as a generator or batteries that reside at axle level on the underside.

    Rough terrain could destroy your power management system or plumbing systems. Not good!


  • Four-Wheel Drive

    Four-wheel drive isn’t essential, but it is helpful. I can count on two hands the number of times we had to rely on the four-wheel drive on our tow vehicle.

    Albeit, it adds a lot to the price tag, but when you’re stuck, do you really care about the amount you spent?

    On many occasions, we found great dispersed sites that were attainable with two-wheel drive, but then it would rain.

    You bet we needed to engage four-wheel drive to get out of some of those locations.

    If you think there’s even a remote chance you’ll encounter challenging terrain, a 4×4 is great to have at your disposal.


  • Well-Insulated

    I wrote an article about this topic because I believe it’s not prioritized enough in the RV industry.

    But you don’t plan on winter camping! Why worry about insulation?

    Insulation serves two purposes in a van.

    1. It dampens the road noise while driving.

    3. And it allows you to use less battery reserve, propane, diesel, or gasoline to maintain a comfortable temperature in the van in all elements.

    Many mainstream RV manufacturers use very little insulation in their van builds. It’s disappointing!


  • Moderate To Large Freshwater Tank

    I’ve said in all our videos and articles, “When the water runs out, the party’s over!”

    Finding fresh water and dump stations every few days gets old fast!

    To spend longer periods in your favorite locations, you need large tanks for freshwater and wastewater.

    I realize this is a tall order for a campervan, but moderate sizes are possible.

    Yes, the agility of a van allows easy navigation to water and dump sources, but again, frequent trips get old quickly.

    I will not specify the best sizes because you need to consider how many people will be in your van and how long you want to boondock.

    Those variables will affect your search the most.


  • A Robust Bank Of Lithium-Ion Batteries And Solar Panels

    In the past, I poo-pood all over the expense of a lithium battery bank and solar panels, but that has changed.


    The price has come down and the limited space in a van justifies not transporting an inverter generator.

    Also, stealth camping in a van is desirable and achievable with a self-sustained quiet power source.

    Fair enough?


  • An Efficient Air Conditioner

    Yes, I know the idea is to avoid RV parks and embrace the elements.

    But in our experience, we like to be able to filter out allergens and dust while sleeping in remote areas.

    Good insulation and an efficient air conditioner will help preserve your solar power system and batteries.

    Besides, one does not argue with their wife over this matter.


  • Comfortable Sleeping Arrangements


    Comfortable campervan sleeping

    The sleeping conditions need to accommodate everyone in the van comfortably.

    Seriously, if the bed or beds in a van are not comfortable, what’s the point?

    When we were shopping for a van, we set up the bed in every brand we looked at, laid down, and judged accordingly.

    We had a great mattress in our ORV travel trailer and slept wonderfully.

    The same standards apply to a campervan.

    That said, all but one campervan would require either a mattress cover or a new mattress, except one.

    Storyteller’s mattress is surprisingly comfortable.


  • One Fuel System To Power The Engine, Heater & Water Heater

    This is more common on a diesel chassis and becoming more pervasive on van builds.

    Thinking about finding propane is just another obstacle that is nice to avoid when possible.


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Best Campervans For Your Remote Boondocking Adventures

Again, this list is for those searching for the best camper vans that you will use to access remote dispersed camping sites.

I suggest you start your search by looking at, driving and “playing house” in each of the vans listed below.

  • Storyteller Overland


    Storyteller Overland

    We really wanted this van to suit the four of us!

    We so wanted the Storyteller Stealth Mode we looked at to work for us!

    Since there are four of us, we felt that the small space and lack of a black tank were deal-breakers (sadly).

    But for those of you traveling with two or fewer, this company builds a great “turnkey” van that’s easy to come by!

    It checks off a lot of boxes:

    1. High ground clearance

    3. Four-by four

    5. They’re well insulated.

    7. An extremely robust lithium power system.

    9. Efficient air conditioner, refrigerator, and heating systems.

    11. One fuel system for the engine, water heater, and heater.

    13. A comfortable mattress for two people.

      Storyteller Interior

      The OEM mattress in the Storyteller is surprisingly comfortable.


  • ModVans


    Photo credit:

    I have a feeling this campervan company will go far and it would have been our first choice.

    But the lack of ModVans on the East Coast and build time eliminated this from our list.

    We corresponded with the CEO and found his vision and company ethics to be outstanding.

    If you reside in the West, give this company a chance.

    Their vans check a lot of boxes as well.

    1. High ground clearance

    3. Four-by-four

    5. Great insulation.

    7. A very robust (and creative) lithium power system and solar package.

    9. Efficient all-electric heating and cooling systems.

    11. Creative sleeping arrangements.

    13. Comfortable (and safe) seating for more than two people.

  • Winnebago Revel


    We looked at this briefly, but the rear seats were unsafe for the boys.

    Because there are four of us and the rear passenger seating in the Revel should not be considered safe seating, we avoided this van.

    But, if there are only two of you, it might be suitable if the others on the list are unattainable.

    The Revel checks enough boxes to make it an option for remote-dispersed camping.

    1. High ground clearance

    3. Four-by-four

    5. Moderate insulation

    7. Efficient heating and cooling systems.

    9. Moderately robust lithium power system.

    11. One fuel system for engine and heating.

    13. 2024 models now offer real back seats.

  • Tiffin GH1

    If it’s close to 2025 when you’re reading this, it might be worth looking at the Tiffin GH1 campervan.

    Tiffin makes a solid motorhome, so I expect decent quality in their campervan.

    I cannot comment on the attributes since it’s not yet on sales lots. But it might be worth your consideration.


Popular choice Vans That Are Great For Urban Areas

For those of you less concerned with remote boondocking, but want a solid van that boondocks well in urban environments, this list may be better suited for you.

Just a heads up, several of the companies below are now offering adventure-based vans that might be suitable for you to disperse camp remotely.

  • Roadtrek


    Not great for off-roading, but acceptable for this RVing chapter.

    We ultimately decided to purchase a Roadtrek Zion Slumber because it sits four comfortably and the sleeping area suits us well.

    It has a robust lithium power system and has the largest freshwater tank that we could find in a campervan.

    Overall, we think it could have better insulation and ground clearance, but it serves us well.


  • Pleasure-Way Campervans

    We found the overall quality of Pleasure-Way to be decent enough to consider as an option, but the sleeping arrangements for four was a deal-breaker for us.

    Maybe not for you, so add them to your list to tour.


  • Airstream Campervans

    Airstream has a longtime reputation for quality, but I’m not sure what direction that will take based on the new owners.

    Regardless, their quality and features are all on par with the others in this list, so worth a tour and consideration.



Basics Of Boondocking

We spent two years as full-time boondockers in a travel trailer and have now transitioned to van life.

We’re not full time anymore, but we are part-time and we travel in a Roadtrek Zion campervan.

Unfortunately, it’s not the best solution for the criteria listed for getting to great camp sites over rough terrain.

But, it suits us well for this chapter in our life of boondocking in urban areas on the east side of North America.

I digress…

Rather than supply you with a list of boondocking basics, I’ll refer you to several articles that will help you get started boondocking.

RV Boondocking For Beginners (Guide & Tips To Free Camping)

Our whole collection of boondocking articles.

Alternative Boondocking RVs For Off-Grid Camping


Since we’re on the subject of boondocking in an RV, we might as well consider the type of RV for dispersed camping.

Spend some time doing your research on campervans and consider looking at a truck camper as an alternative option.

They’re agile, customizable (pairing of camper and truck), and might just be better suited for you at the same price point overall.

It might also be worth looking at the Winnebago Ekko if there are only two of you.

I consider it more in the category of class C motorhomes. We’ve encountered a few happy owners in our travels.

If there are three or more of you and you want to go full-time, seriously consider the best boondocking travel trailers as an option.

There’s a lot to be said about the versatility of a well-built medium-sized trailer and tow vehicle when it comes to boondocking full-time.

Wrapping Up The Best Campervan For Boondocking

Camper van door open
There are several points I’m trying to make about the best campervans for boondocking.

  • Start sorting the list first, by your personal preferences for the type of camping you will be doing, and second, by the features in a van that support that type of camping.

  • There are a lot of vans on the market, so touring, driving and playing house in each is imperative before dropping a lot of dough.

The more quality research you do, the less likely you are to make a mistake, have buyer’s remorse, and lose a lot of money.
If you have a family of four and are on the hunt for a campervan, this article may help you.
What’s your favorite campervan for boondocking?
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