You may have heard the term “conversion van” floating around your head. It’s important to know the differences between the several types of vans out there. It will help you to determine which of van is perfect for you and your needs. So just what is a conversion van?
Basically, it is a full-size cargo van that has gone through different modifications to create a more functional van. Modifications are completed on the vans to maximize their functionality and produce more favorable conditions for customers. These conversions are generally done by third-parties, rather than the original manufacturer of the van.
History of the Conversion Van
The first vans of this type were first seen in the 70s and 80s. These early vehicles generally just had a few seats installed into the cargo area, often had custom artwork painted on the sides, and were popular with rock bands. Their ability to carry multiple passengers at the same time brought a great amount of appeal to the vans.
After the mid to late 80s, these vans started featuring more luxurious features such as padded seats, custom lighting, and wood trim. The features enhanced the driving experience for many of the owners and produced a more comfortable atmosphere in the interiors. In addition, families and older folks started using them as the ultimate camping and road trip autos.
These vans also started to see features such as sleeping quarters, cooking appliances, as well as televisions and DVD units.
These vans start as a full size, windowless ½- or ¾-ton cargo vans. For instance, GMC conversion vans may start with the GMC Savana or other such vehicle. Upgrades are added to these base models to “convert” them to a vehicle that will do more than just haul stuff around.
Four Types of Conversion Vans
Currently there are mainly four types of conversion vans:
Motorhomes that begin with a full-size cargo van that is then increased in length by a few feet. These vehicles feature camping and road trip friendly features such as, microwave, refrigerators, and toilets. These are very family friendly for long road trips. These are also still very popular with rock bands on tour
Disability vans have modifications that allow it to be wheelchair accessible, including a higher door clearance and roof height. Often these vans feature hydraulic lifts.
Office vans function as traveling offices complete with a desk and chair fastened to the floor. These types of vans are particularly popular among traveling salespeople.
Travel vans are perhaps the most popular today. They feature many of the comforts that make traveling pleasurable including beds, kitchen and cooking appliances, and storage cabinets. These vans also have equipment such as TVs and DVD players, as well as sound systems.
As you can see, there’s a conversion van for almost any need. If you are looking for such a van, you can find several companies that can help you.