Advice on van length - Australia

We are a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children 11&13). There are so many great short and medium length van layouts for 2 people but struggling to find good ones that fit in seats and beds for 4! We would like to be able to visit towns and cities and park easily so I am worried about going for a long wheel base van. Looking for advice from people who have a long wheel base van on whether it is convenient or a bit of a pain. ( We have had a 7m motorhome before and we found it really inconvenient) Thanks!!!


4 people in a van is never going to be comfortable. I would stick with a motorhome, and remember that floor plans mean everything.


"If you prepare for the worst, every thing else is easier." ~ Off Grid

How long trips are you thinking? Because that matters a lot.

You could probably rent one of these for a week/weekend. 4.9m length, so it’s actually short wb. Not much longer than a modern sedan.

Mercedes has Marco Polo which has similar concept on their small van.

These Canadians have some great ideas:
The bed platforms on rails idea can be adapted to smaller vans of course.

My lwb transporter is 5.3m long and it has factory rear seats for 3. Behind those seats is 2 meters of cargo space, so technically it would be possible to fit two double beds for 4 people inside. Not for people with claustrofobia tho. Now that I think of it, a double with one bunk bed above and then convert one bed from the seating area.

Let’s say that is doable but it won’t be fun for anyone inside. Its like going camping in a too small tent. No beans for dinner either.

Thanks for the advice. We will be going for a couple of months at a time. We usually have a station wagon and a small tent for the 4 of us so this will be an upgrade!!

My biggest concern is giving up the convenience of driving a regular size car and being able to park anywhere we want.

Compared to a station wagon everything is an upgrade… :slight_smile: Except sedans.

Before I bought the van I now have, I drove 2007 Audi A6 which was as long as the VW in that video (4.9m). Since my work requires me to drive to customers and carry sometimes large amounts of gear, it did not make sense to buy a van that won’t fit into car parks or underground parking near the service entrances. So I really know what you mean :slight_smile:

I don’t know what kind of market there is in Australia. In last few years here in Eu van sized factory campers have become very popular, especially those made by traditional RV manufacturers. Size is the main selling point, they are better to navigate in cities and suit as daily driver vehicles too. On top of my head I’d say they are about 6.5m range, usually built in Fiat chassis under several names.


In the USA, about the only minivan camper available with a pop-up top is a VW, and they’re not known for reliability and they’re extremely overpriced.

Another option is to buy or build a rooftop tent, to add that second bed.

I have one of the longest & tallest camper vans available. It will fit in a normal parking space, but no drive-thru’s, car washes, or parking garages. Mine is ideal for just me, crowded with two, and a tent is a much better choice for more than two.

Sooner or later everybody gets stuck inside because of the weather, so you need comfortable seating for everyone, preferably with a table. The ability to also have your kitchen inside is good, and a bathroom even better.

There’s nothing wrong with tent camping as long as you enough room inside. Perhaps just a bigger tent would be your best choice. Double bed on one side, two twins on the other, or bunks, table & chairs in the middle, and kitchen across the back. If you want privacy, they have 3 room tents with dividers. Standing height of course. They also have pop-up shower/toilet tents too.


With the right tent, tent camping can be quite enjoyable…


"If you prepare for the worst, every thing else is easier." ~ Off Grid

Normal parking square in city is 5x2.5m. Everything is bigger in America :wink:


It is possible to create a full featured living space for 2 within a 4 foot x 6.5 foot area. If necessary you can also incorporate the front seating area to accomplish this. A little extra length of course will give you more options. We try to find minivans with at least 8 feet behind the front seats, so we can add an indoor/outdoor kitchen in the back, to preserve the full width for a 2 person bed, but if necessary, kitchens and bathrooms can slide out from under the bed as well, or a seat/bed cushion can be lifted up to access them.


"If you prepare for the worst, every thing else is easier." ~ Off Grid