What is the best type of car/truck/SUV to live in?

When it comes to mobile living, everyone has the same question: “What is the greatest vehicle to live in?” There are several vehicle alternatives available, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to selecting your rig. Your experience and lifestyle will be distinct from others, as will your car.

We’ve compiled a list of the benefits and drawbacks of automobiles that can be converted into your new house on wheels.

When deciding which vehicle is ideal for you to live in, you may want to look at the

8 Things You Must Consider Before Buying A Van 

OK, now we can begin…

Let’s start with…

The Van

popular van life vehicle

This classic Van Life van is popular among Instagrammers who live a nomadic lifestyle. Vans vary from six-figure adventure setups to entry-level beaters, so there’s enough to pick from. It is often the most economical choice, making it ideal for those just starting out. There are so many different vans available that finding the correct one for you may be as difficult as it is enjoyable!

Panel Van/Cargo Van

If you want to create your own Van, a full-sized van provides you a lot more space to build your dream house. There are several options available, each with unique characteristics. Some, like the Mercedes sprinters, have a raised roof that allows you to stand up without crouching and feeling like the hunchback of Notre dame whilst others have a long narrow yet spacious interior.


  • They are ideal for transforming into a custom-built camper van.
  • Cargo vans are ubiquitous since they are utilized by courier services and businesses all over the globe.
  • Owing to their popularity, they are frequently sold for a decent price and components are easily accessible and simple to obtain
  • Usually simple to work on, particularly older ones without sophisticated electronics.
  • Higher security due to fewer windows
  • It is possible to camp in stealth (depending on external setup and decals)


  • Limited light due to limited windows
  • All panel van camping interiors must be constructed to order.
  • Used automobiles, particularly those used in the trade, may be heavily damaged and have a high mileage.
  • Not a lot of character
  • Oh and don’t forget that you will need to build a complete Campervan Water system, propane System, and a kick-ass Off-Grid Electrical System too… But don’t worry, we can assist you with it.

Camper Van

what is the best vehicle to live in

Don’t want to go through the hassle of constructing your own van? You’ve come to the right place. There are tons of pre-built campers that will only require a bit of personal touch. See what our friends did when they converted a $6000 Syncro to be the ultimate long-range – grid camper


  • Everything is included, even the kitchen sink! Ok, maybe not all have EVERYTHING but enough to make you self-sufficient on the road without having to build anything yourself.
  • Some camper vans have a pop top for more space and standing space.


  • While it may be more costly, you will avoid the expense and effort of converting another vehicle.
  • When purchasing a camper van, keep in mind that it was previously someone else’s home, thus it may have a lot of miles and may need some care.


AKA Hippie Van

list of best vehicles to live in

If you want to see what life is like in a Kombi, check out the Hasta Alaska Trip Series, where we spent 5 years filming life as we drove from Chile to Alaska.


  • Solid Community (new friends, shows & events, advice, support, documentation)
  • Already set for living in
  • Iconic vehicle
  • Easy to work on
  • Remarkably excellent off-road performance with rear-wheel drive and engine weight distributed over the rear wheels.


  • Maintenance – Because of the outdated design and components, prepare to get your hands filthy often if you want to keep your car working properly. It’s not just that old parts will break (and believe us, they will) it’s that these older designs require maintenance more frequently than modern vans
  • Parts availability – with such a large following, parts for everything you may want are easily accessible, but don’t expect main street retailers to offer the components you require.


The reliable automobile that takes you from point A to point B is not the best option if you want to live on the road for an extended period of time. That said, if you like to dabble in the van life on the weekends without buying another vehicle then you can make it work, particularly if you have a station wagon.

It’s simple to create a bed in the rear of the vehicle and have storage below, but the limitation of room will become bothersome.


  • Low gas mileage
  • Low profile – Great for stealth camping
  • Mobility – you must be able to maneuver through narrow areas that larger campers cannot.
  • Cost – Cars are often less expensive to purchase and maintain than the other alternatives discussed below.


  • Space! – Packing your vehicle with the necessities for a weekend vacation is OK, but anything longer may be unpleasant.
  • You will constantly be moving things around from back to front to under the seat to on the dashboard… This will quickly become exhausting!
  • Off-road driving and isolated camping access may be restricted due to ground clearance.
  • Sleeping – If you are alone, this may not be a problem, but if you have a dog or a companion, it may get a bit too comfortable.
  • Lack of privacy – Have you ever had to change in a car? It’s not ideal.
  • Passengers have limited space – this is particularly true if you have a bed in the rear that cannot fold back, rendering your chairs unusable.


What is the best type of car/truck/SUV to live in?

Similarly to the automobile choice As previously said, converting your Vehicle into a camper is simple. The main difference is that it is somewhat larger and better suited for outdoor activities.


  • Great for Overlanding
  • Can blend in, making covert camping much simpler.
  • Great mobility
  • Usually less expensive to purchase than a camper van and typically simpler to maintain
  • Better mileage
  • It’s adaptable enough to be a family runner, an adventure vehicle, and a workhorse.


  • Space – As with the car space is limited
  • You can’t use your backseats – You’ll probably have to remove the rear seats to make room for your bed, or if you can lay the seats down flat, you won’t be removing the bed to use the seats, so no hitchhikers.
  • You’ll be continuously shifting items from rear to front, beneath the seat, and onto the dashboard… This will quickly become exhausting!
  • Sleeping – it’s feasible, but it won’t be the most comfortable night’s sleep, particularly if you don’t have curtains.
  • Lack of privacy – Have you ever had to change your clothes in the car? Yeah it’s not fun

Pickup Truck Camper/Trailer

What is the best type of car/truck/SUV to live in?

The pickup truck camper combines a standard pickup truck/Ute chassis with an add-on camping unit. There is an option to have a pop-up camper which allows the roof to collapse when driving and gives you that extra room when camping.


If you already own a pickup vehicle, this is one of the less expensive RV alternatives since the camper can be moved on and off the truck as required.

You do not need to pay additional insurance or yearly licensing costs for another car.

The truck camper may be removed and left jacked up at home or a campsite, allowing you to use your truck as an everyday vehicle.

It’s compact and has great maneuverability

Better fuel economy than a larger RV

Excellent for off-roading and getting to those rare off-the-beaten-path areas, particularly if you select a 4×4 pickup truck.

It is possible to have a pop-up trailer for additional room.


The Camper and pickup truck are detached therefore you can’t just go from the driver’s seat to your home without stepping outside. That’s fine until it begins pouring or you have an emergency and need to start the vehicle.

The living space is smaller than other RV options

Most designs place the sleeping area above the cab, which might be a tight fit unless you have a pop-up trailer.

There isn’t much place to build a shower, toilet, or holding tanks.


The Unimog

What is the best type of car/truck/SUV to live in?

What on earth is a Unimog?! That’s exactly what we thought when we stumbled upon these monsters while traveling. Originally these machines were designed to use in the military, mining, or as agriculture equipment but you can now see them being used as an off-road camper.


Exceptional off-road capability – with a Unimog, you don’t follow the route; you create it.

Built to operate in harsh conditions

You may assist in moving rocks from one mountain to another.

It can get you out of almost any scenario, or so you hope, since good luck finding someone with enough horsepower to pull you out of that swamp you attempted to cross!


Expensive! These vehicles can vary in price depending on mileage and condition but generally, they are quite pricey compared to other off-road vehicles.

You may need a commercial license to drive one

If the car is expensive, it is likely that the components are as well.

Because of the size, international shipping will be costly and complicated.

Unless you intend on driving across the Himalayas on your way to boulder down China’s Great Wall, this is a tad excessive.

Unimogs are a little more difficult to work on than other trucks. Mechanically, these vehicles are a bit of a specialist due to their unusual design and characteristics. If you’re lucky you may find a tractor mechanic down the road from where you break down but you have to be pretty lucky for that.

It will take some additional work to change a tire – have you seen the size of those things?!

A Unimog makes our Kombi feel like we’re driving a Ferrari.

We regret if it seems that we are not taking the Unimog seriously; we are aware that some individuals do. But honestly, we personally don’t think they are viable options for most people.

The School Bus

popular vehicle to live in

The vintage converted school bus is a wonderful alternative if you want more room and a more permanent residence. They are great for traveling when your excursions are brief and you stick to simple paths. This contraption isn’t going to take you off the main road, but it’s a robust vehicle and an intriguing alternative for building your new house.


Space! So much room! If you really wanted to, you could have a full-size bowling alley in your house. The options are endless!

When driving, you will hear ‘Hail to the bus driver’ sung to you.

Cheaper than most similar-sized mobile homes and RVs

You may bring your whole family. Perfect if you fancy having 8 kids and still want to live life on the road

Bus or coach mechanics are accessible in most regions of the globe, and your components are likely to be as well.

It looks cool and has character!

Buses are strong and built to last.


Gasoline may be expensive, and depending on the model, it may be more difficult to work on and acquire components.

Components are often larger and heavier to store and transport.

Because of the size, international shipping will be costly and complicated.

Stealth camping is impossible unless you park near a school, which is frightening and strange.

Children may wave you down, expecting you to transport them to school.

You will have difficulty driving long distances in severe terrain. If you’re thinking of doing a trip from Chile to Alaska this may not be the best choice in the vehicle (But it sure would be the coolest!)

Parking will be a pain in the butt

You’re limited to where you can drive – you can’t go to those isolated beaches with one of them.

You’ll never get that ‘Hail to the Bus Driver’ tune out of your brain!

Some RV parks may not let you camp there

Do you want to know how to build an off-grid electrical system for your van or overlanding trip?

The RV

RVs (AKA motorhomes in some parts) come in all sizes, shapes, and designs so we’re going to break them down into Class A, B, and C RV’S. Each kind of RV is intended to meet various purposes, so the one you choose is based on your own preferences.

Class A

What is the best type of car/truck/SUV to live in?

These are the RVs that look like buses and are the pinnacle of mobile luxury living. They are generally bigger than the average school bus so it’s literally like having a small house on wheels.


We’ve seen flats that were smaller than this!

They come with EVERYTHING, including a washer and dryer! Imagine that, no more outings to laundromats

Nothing has to be built or installed. Everything in this RV is purposefully built for on-road living

Some have several slide-outs that may increase the width of your house by 14 feet – what the?!


The price – They can almost cost you the same as a small Some items can even reach into the millions!

The length of these monsters may reach up to 45 feet – good luck parking that.

If you intend on doing extended excursions in this monster, the fuel prices alone might shatter your budget.

RV parks may get costly after a time, and there aren’t as many possibilities for free camping in these places.

You’re pretty much trapped until you get someplace, unless you have a vehicle pulled behind your Class A RV, in which case you’re OK (Yes people do this)

Requires a special license to drive in some places

Class B

What is the best type of car/truck/SUV to live in?

We don’t know why but a Class B RV is the smallest of the three classes and is a mix between the Class A and Class C RV’S and is usually built on a truck or van chassis. They resemble gigantic cargo vans, but these RVs are specifically designed for living.


They are often the most affordable of the three.

Purposefully built interior

More economical than class A and C

Its maneuverability is superior than that of its RV brethren in classes A and C.

And better mileage too


Less space than the other two types

Not as luxurious as the others

Doesn’t expand

Certain larger-sized Class B automobiles will be costly and difficult to move internationally.

Class C

best vehicle to live in option

These motorhomes are a mix of Class A and B and sit on a truck chassis. The camper portion of the RV is distinct from the others in that it extends over the top of the front of the vehicle.


Greater maneuverability than Class A, despite the fact that some Class Cs may be as large as a Class A.

Smaller versions have the benefit of being more spacious inside while still being able to park in campgrounds.

Has the power to tow your vehicle unlike Class B


Amenities are not as luxurious as Class A

Certain Class C vehicles may be as large as a Class A, making them difficult to park and drive in some areas.

Because of the size, international shipping will be costly and complicated.

There are so many vehicles out there to suit EVERYONE and what may be the perfect rig for you may not be for someone else. Choosing the right vehicle to live and travel in is one of the most important steps to creating the comfortable lifestyle that YOU want. We hope that these advantages and disadvantages have helped you narrow down your options. Please tell us about your dream live-in car in the comments section below!

Related Questions

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    Honda Element – Best SUV to Live In
    Our top selection for the greatest SUV to live in is the spacious Honda Element. These vehicles are a cult classic among people living in cars, even though they are no longer manufactured.

  • What type of vehicle is best to live in?

    Let’s get started comparing the greatest sorts of automobiles to live in!

    1. Best Small Car to Live In: Toyota Prius. …
    2. Best Mid-Sized Car to Live In: Hatchback. …
    3. Best Off-Road Car to Live In: Jeep. …
    4. Best Family Car to Live In: Minivan. …
    5. Best Versatile Car to Live In: 4WD SUV. …
    6. Best Camping Car to Live In: Pop-up Camper Van.
  • Which SUV is best to sleep in?

    List of Best cars to sleep in:

    1. Honda CR-V.
    2. Jeep Cherokee.
    3. Volvo XC90.
    4. Chevrolet Equinox: Best crossover car to sleep in.
    5. Kia Carnival.
    6. Subaru Forester.
    7. Chevrolet Suburban.
    8. Honda Jazz.
  • What is best truck to live in?

    The best trucks for everyday living.

    1. Ford F-250.
    2. RAM 2500.
    3. Nissan Frontier.
    4. Chevrolet Colorado.
    5. Toyota Tundra.
    6. GMC Sierra 1500.
    7. Chevrolet Silverado 1500.
    8. Toyota Tacoma.

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