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In the event you’ve observed recently, the vanlife motion has actually taken off. That is partly to the #vanlife hashtag on Instagram and different social media platforms which have introduced this life-style so well-liked. Couple that with the present standing of the world and extra individuals are selecting to reside and journey in vans full time. No matter your purpose could also be, there isn’t a doubt that getting right into a van and seeing the world is a good determination.

So, you’ve acquired your mindset on vanlife however don’t know which one to decide on. In case you are studying this, chances are high that you’re a JDM fan, identical to us. We’re going to give you an in depth listing that outlines their options on this article to hopefully make your determination that a lot simpler. Take into account that that is solely an inventory of the most effective vans to transform, however they’re the one ones.

Personally, I took a Nissan Commerce field truck and transformed it myself over the course of three months. You may create a tiny home on wheels from just about any automobile ranging from a small station wagon and going all the way in which as much as a 50-foot trailer; all of it relies on your price range and what you want to do with your own home.

Mitsubishi Delica

by way of curbed

Arguably the most well-liked JDM van on the subject of camper conversions is the one and solely Mitsubishi Delica. The mighty Delica has been in manufacturing since 1963 and continues to be going robust to today.

They got here in a number of trim ranges starting from a bare-bones mannequin and going all the way in which as much as options corresponding to captain chairs within the again, window shades, added insulation, and even a “crystallite” roof which affords you entry to the night time sky so you possibly can stargaze!

What these little vans lack in measurement they make up for inaccessibility. Delica’s had been bought in FWD, RWD, and 4X4 configurations, however in fact, probably the most sought-after ones are 2nd and threerd gen 4X4 variations. That is primarily as a result of they’re accessible for import and the web has made them extraordinarily well-liked with movies of them going just about in every single place.

Due to their reputation, spare components are simpler to return by than different comparable fashions. That being mentioned, in addition they don’t come low-cost, however in case you are into boondocking/off-grid tenting, the Mitsubishi Delica ought to positively be in your shortlist.

Listed here are a number of the finest examples at present accessible on JDMbuysell.com:

View all Mitsubishi Delica listings for sale.

Read our Delica Buying Guide.

Toyota HiAce

by way of micro medium

Toyota premiered the HiAce in 1967 and has been in manufacturing ever since. A complete of seven generations have been produced since its inception together with a number of trim ranges and physique types. The Japanese automaker even made campers primarily based on the HiAce platform.

The 4th technology (H100) is the one we can be specializing in for this text. It was on sale from 1989-2004 and got here with a number of engine selections in each gasoline and diesel variants. On prime of that, a 4×4 and high-roof possibility had been accessible, making it ultimate for a camper conversion.

If you already know something about Toyota, it’s that they’re well-known for his or her reliability. In case you are in search of one thing to offer you a lot trouble-free miles and a limiteless quantity of reminiscences, we recommend placing the HiAce in your listing.

Right here is are a number of the Toyota HiAce’s at present accessible on JDMbuysell.com:

View all Toyota Hiace listings for sale.

Subaru Sambar

by way of carandclassic

In case you are in search of one thing compact that sips gas and may be simply parked anyplace, then look no additional. The Subaru Sambar is classed as a Kei truck, that means that it should meet the strict Kei automotive tips. They had been in manufacturing 1961-2012 and are nonetheless produced to today below the Daihatsu badge.

5th and 6th technology Sambar’s are those most utilized by vanlifers, so we can be specializing in these particular generations. Subaru provided the Sambar in both a rear-engine 4WD or rear engine RWD configurations. Sadly, the sixth gen was solely accessible in RWD configurations. One benefit of Kei automobiles is that they’re very fuel-efficient thanks partly to their engine restrictions. For instance, the fifth gen got here with a small 1,200 c.c. the engine that put our roughly 50 horsepower.

The majority of the Sambar’s got here in pickup truck configurations, however vans had been provided as nicely. After we say this van is small, we actually imply it. It’s barely large enough to suit a full sheet of drywall inside. So, in case you are a minimalist or have been backpacking and now need a bit extra room, we recommend making an attempt out the Sambar.

JDMbuysell.com has good choice of Sambar’s on sale, however most of them are within the pickup configuration.

View all Subaru Sambar listings for sale.

Read our Sambar Buying Guide before you buy.

Honda Acty

In North America, everyone knows and love the Honda model. However do you know that they made an excellent contender for the vanlife lineup? That’s proper, from 1977-present Honda made this little Kei automotive in a number of configurations, out of which the pickup truck model was the most typical.

Along with the van, some Acty’s had been despatched out to sure factories to be outfitted as campers. You’d be stunned how roomy a high-roof Acty may be. And due to its smaller measurement, you received’t be spending an arm and a leg changing it.

In case you are after one thing small and fuel-efficient from one of the vital outstanding JDM auto producers, it is best to look right into a Honda Acty. Moreover, in case you are fortunate to search out the “Road” model that got here with a excessive roof, 4WD, and 5-speed transmission, it is best to bounce on it instantly.

As of this minute, listed here are a number of the Honda Acty automobiles (truck, van, and many others.) accessible:

View all Honda Acty listings for sale.

Check out our Buying Guide: Honda Acty

Nissan Caravan

by way of caravansa

If the identify doesn’t scream out camper conversion, we don’t know what’s going to. The mighty Nissan Caravan has been in manufacturing since 1973 and continues to be going robust as we speak. It was provided in lots of engine variations through the years, in each fuel and diesel configurations.

One factor that makes the Caravan a chief contender for vanlife is that it’s fairly a bit longer than the competitors, including as much as extra room. And after we speak about tiny residing, each further little bit of room is very coveted. As well as, in addition they got here in a high-roof model and with a number of physique types. It will turn out to be useful as not everybody needs a van stuffed with home windows. They have a tendency to lose quite a lot of warmth and don’t present a lot privateness. In case you are planning to journey in colder climates, a panel van is good.

Though not many have been transformed, a Nissan Caravan can be ultimate for somebody trying to get probably the most quantity of house from a JDM van. While you couple that with an unbelievably dependable diesel engine, you have got an journey cell that’s simply ready to make reminiscences with you!

Listed here are a few examples at present up on the market at JDMbuysell.com:

View all JDM Nissan Caravan listings for sale.

Mazda Bongo

by way of dvleisure

Similar to the opposite producers, Mazda has created the Bongo in a single trim or one other because the mid-’60s. These minivans had been constructed with entrance, mid, and rear engine configurations and accessible in a wide range of engine selections. Furthermore, there’s a 4WD drive model that will make it ultimate for anybody trying to go off the overwhelmed path.

By the 5th technology, Mazda launched a particular version Bongo known as the “Friendee”. This was specifically geared in the direction of the outside fanatics because it got here from a manufacturing unit with a pop-top roof tent that sleeps two. What’s even higher is that the bench seat within the again may also be folded flat for an additional sleeping house. The addition of the pop-top permits additionally makes the primary cabin extra spacious. Having separate sleeping quarters will provide you with a lot extra room to increase a kitchen, entertain, or no matter you select to do with the extra actual property.

In the event you can handle to discover a diesel pop-top Bongo, we recommend shopping for it instantly as they’re changing into increasingly more wanted daily. Despite the fact that that is an prolonged roof model, it’ll do nothing for headroom as the additional house up there may be take-up by the mattress.

Mazda Bongo’s accessible proper now:

Browse Mazda Bongo listings for sale.

Honda Stepwgn

by way of fantasticcampervans

In contrast to the opposite opponents on this listing, the Honda Stepwgn (that’s really how it’s spelled) is pretty new. It made its debut in 1996 and it’s nonetheless going robust to today. It might appear to be the Odyssey, however it’s taller and seats extra individuals.

This bump in house makes it ultimate for van lifers that need to convert a Honda. One other factor that’s distinctive in regards to the Stepwgn is the engine place. Most of its opponents did a mid-engine design, however that took up helpful room. We perceive {that a} mid-engine design is best for dealing with and weight distribution, nonetheless, this can be a minivan and never a supercar.

Honda thought in regards to the adventurous crowd method again in 1998 after they launched a particular trim degree known as the “Stepwgn Discipline Deck”. The Discipline Deck had a pop-up remark deck constructed from fiber-reinforced plastic. That will not sound like a lot, however with the ability to arise in your house on wheels is one thing that few vans provide.

So, in case you are a Honda fanatic and need to get into van life however don’t need one thing as small as an Acty, then the Stepwgn is ideal for you. Under are a few examples at present accessible on JDMbuysell.com with the coveted pop-top function.

See all Honda Stepwgn / Stepwagon listings for sale.

Vanlife Northwest is a licensed supplier and importer proudly positioned in Portland, Oregon USA who specialize within the importation, customization, restore, service, and sale of Japanese 4WD vans.

So, there you have got it, a number of the finest JDM vans for conversions. Everybody has a distinct purpose for why they need to be a part of the #vanlife motion, however one factor is for positive, there isn’t a higher method to journey than in a camper. One of the best half is that when constructing one from scratch, you get the liberty to decide on your individual format and have it suit your wants.

Earlier than you begin occupied with the format, it’s important to get your clean canvas. On this case, that canvas is the van. We hope that the vans we showcased will show you how to determine which one is finest in your wants. Simply bear in mind, there are not any proper or unsuitable selections. What’s best for you, won’t be proper for another person.

Personally, I’ve been residing in a transformed Nissan Commerce for the final 6 months touring round Europe and I’m so glad I did it. Some individuals, together with my household, thought I used to be nuts, however some individuals actually acquired it. I’ve seen a lot, been to so many locations, and acquired to go to nations I’ve at all times dreamed about. I extremely suggest this to anybody that has been on the fence about getting a van and touring the world.

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