Are Camper Vans a Good Investment?
When custom-built Sprinter van conversions were first becoming popular, the appeal was all about ‘quality over quantity’. In contrast to the prevailing RV’ers mindset of “how big and how much can we fit into a box on wheels”, the #vanlife movement in its early days was all about maintaining essential comforts without sacrificing build quality, all in a much smaller, more reliable, and more capable vehicle.
As Sprinter van conversions became popular, countless companies looked to capitalize on the hot new market–including not only new camper van conversion companies, but also automakers like that mimicked the Mercedes Sprinter high-top design with vans like the Ford Transit and Ram Promaster.
Today, while some builders stand out for their know-how and commitment to craftsmanship, others have looked to prioritize profit over all else by following the RV model of cheap materials, quick and dirty building practices, and low-quality components. Some others attempt DIY van builds, not understanding that their value will not hold down the line.
If you are in the market for a van conversion, the choice is yours: Go with one of the few builders in the camper van community who can truly offer precision-engineered, hand-crafted quality, or opt for a cookie-cutter, cheaply-built van or Class B motorhome that may come with a lower initial price point.
You’ll also need to choose between the different van platforms, of which the Mercedes Sprinter is the clear-cut top choice for reliability and quality.
If you are looking for a campervan for yourself or your family that will have minimal depreciation over the next several years, you need to understand what factors into how a camper van will hold its value over time. Keep reading to learn what factors into camper van depreciation.
The Van Itself: Mercedes Sprinters Hold Their Value
Today, there are several options for high-roof cargo vans that can be converted into campers. Despite the competition, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter remains the industry standard for these vehicles, setting the bar for reliability, performance, and features.
Unsurprisingly, Sprinters also hold their value extremely well when compared with other vans. Purchasing any new vehicle with excellent resale value is a great security blanket for your investment, should you need or want to sell it in the future.
Vehicle reliability is the driving factor of resale value. The more reliable a car, the longer it will hold its value (see: Toyota Tacoma). With their powerful and efficient diesel engines, Mercedes Sprinter vans are known to go upwards of 500,000 miles on the original engine and transmission! This allows used camper vans built on the Sprinter platform with relatively high miles to be sold for much more than competing vans of the same age and mileage.
Mercedes is also ahead of the curve when it comes to premium safety and comfort features. As these features become standard in more vehicles, future van buyers will be looking for them when purchasing used vehicles. Investing in a Mercedes Sprinter van means you will have a vehicle that will meet industry standards in the coming years, should you want to sell it.
The Van Build: Why Craftsmanship Matters
The type of campervan is an important factor in resale value, but so is the build itself.All Sprinter van build-outs are certainly not created equal.
While a professional conversion is almost certain to add value to your van, you’re also certain to pay more upfront for it; if you are going to make the investment in a professional build-out, you should be sure to choose a company that offers true craftsman quality.
Sprinter vans are a tough environment to build in, not only because of the curvature and irregularities of the van’s interior, but also because the build will be exposed to vibration, rocking, and all the bumps of the road. For a van conversion to maintain its structural integrity and functionality over the years, it is essential that premium materials are used throughout, and that the build team is capable of precision engineering and hand-crafted quality.
Building a quality camper van interior takes a lot of time. Many van conversion companies are looking to cut costs and cut corners in their build process in order to maximize profits.
Particle-board cabinetry, cheap components that are prone to breaking, and poor craftsmanship are commonly found in modern van conversions, even those from many name-brand companies! While the van may, at first, look and function similarly to a premium-quality build, time will always be the true test of a van conversion’s class and value.
If you are looking for a California Sprinter van conversion company that does not compromise on quality, look no further than Muse & Co. Outdoors. Muse & Co. Outdoors is a premium camper van outfitter located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area.
With decades of combined design and build experience, our team is crafting artisan camper vans using superior components and premium environmentally-friendly materials. Our layouts are thoughtful and intuitive, providing ultimate comfort without compromising on aesthetics or quality. Whether you are a first time camper van buyer or someone who lives full-time in your van and is looking for an upgrade, our builds offer the perfect balance between luxury and performance.
With a 15-year background of creating immersive spaces for some of the world’s most notable commercial buildings, the team at Muse & Co. Outdoors brings a unique skillset and experience to the camper van conversion market. Our level of expertise shines through in our van conversions, which are as durable and capable as they are beautiful, and don’t come with the downsides of larger van builders. Investing in a quality off-grid capable rig like those we offer is the best way to ensure that your Sprinter van holds its value for years to come.
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