Not too long ago, extra van consumers, particularly these concerned with tenting and van lovers, have embraced JDM Vans in the USA and Canada. They’re cheaper to import, dependable, versatile, and arduous sufficient to deal with mild forest trails and journey tenting journeys. The Toyota HiAce dominates the JDM van scene, however there’s a less expensive and comparatively dependable choice you’ll be able to go for, the Nissan Caravan, initially referred to as the Nissan Homy.

Within the Sixties, there was a excessive demand for transportation providers in Japan; thus, producers started manufacturing of passenger and cargo vans/wagons. Prince motors launched the Prince Homy to the Japanese market in 1965, however in contrast to most of its opponents, it was bigger; thus, it was categorized as a light-duty truck below Japanese highway rules. Nissan didn’t personal manufacturing rights to the Nissan Homy till 1966 once they merged with Prince Motors and bought the Homy because the Nissan Homy and Datsun Urvan. It wasn’t till 1973 that the Caravan title was adopted.

The Nissan Caravan has lived within the Toyota HiAce’s shadow because it was first produced, however is it a van you need to take into account, particularly with the ever-increasing HiAce costs? However even with out contemplating JDM vans, the Nissan Caravan nonetheless faces important competitors from vans made by different producers, whether or not outdated or new such because the GMC Savana and Ford E-series vans. If you’re nonetheless targeted on shopping for a Nissan Caravan, or it’s in your listing of vans to contemplate, we’ve compiled a information to assist decide whether or not you can purchase one.

Execs and Cons


Cheaper Than The Competitors

For round $15,000, you will get a Nissan Caravan high-roof camper van which is roughly $5,000 cheaper than a Toyota HiAce camper van. Different camper vans promote for twice the worth of a Nissan Caravan. Normal Nissan Caravan passenger and cargo van retail for roughly $10,000, with costs growing or lowering relying on the 12 months of manufacture, engine, and if the van is 4×4 geared up.

When requested, many automobile consumers will keep away from the cheaper choice, saying that higher-priced automobiles are extra sturdy and dependable. That is one motive the Toyota HiAce has dominated the JDM van scene regardless of being costly. Nevertheless, reliability and sturdiness are primarily owner-dependent. With these two out of the equation, there are some points through which the Nissan Caravan outshines its opponents, thus providing worth for cash.

For starters, the Nissan Caravan has higher engine choices than the Toyota HiAce in each era, giving consumers a variety of choices based mostly on proprietor critiques and style. The Caravan high-roof camper van can be roomier than the HiAce camper van, and the tremendous lengthy Caravan has a bigger passenger and cargo capability.

Simple To Personal and Keep

There are sports activities and enjoyable Kei automobiles that one should purchase for the worth of a Nissan Caravan, however for automobile consumers concerned with JDM vans, the Nissan Caravan ought to be on the listing of potential vans to purchase. Most first-time automobile consumers would juggle with the thought of shopping for a van as their first automobile, and also you undoubtedly shouldn’t get a Nissan Caravan in your teenager’s 16th birthday except they requested for one. Nonetheless, it makes an excellent newbie automobile because it ticks all the necessities.

Reliability is common, with most issues revolving round diesel engines. However other than that, the Nissan Caravan is simply as dependable as some other JDM automobile, so upkeep ought to be a non-issue. There’s nothing too tough when engaged on a Nissan Caravan, solely that the entrance seats must be eliminated to entry the engine, and it takes some getting used to.

For a van, the Nissan Caravan is snug to drive; even the lifted 4×4 and excessive roof variants. Throttle response is gradual, and a Suzuki Cappuccino proprietor may mock you even with a 660cc engine. But the Nissan Caravan stays steady at freeway speeds and when below a load with minimal physique actions due to its low journey peak and physique peak which decrease the middle of gravity.


One of many essential causes you’d purchase a van over an SUV or MPV is the additional area, which the Nissan Caravan has loads of throughout all trim ranges. The E24 Caravan (fourth era manufactured from 1986 to 2001), which is the commonest, has a 2375mm wheelbase, and the Tremendous Lengthy has an prolonged wheelbase at 2645mm. Like Toyota, Nissan made a camper model of the Nissan Caravan in two variants, a excessive roof, and a flat roof, all bought via Nissan Dealerships. However you’ll be able to nonetheless discover one customized transformed, due to the big cargo space and excessive load capability.

So other than utilizing the Nissan Caravan as a cargo, passenger, or camper van, what extra are you able to do with it? Like some other van, you aren’t restricted to any upgrades or modifications that you are able to do. Present van builds usually are not frequent in the USA, in contrast to in Japan and different Asian Nations, however turning a Nissan Caravan right into a show-stealer shouldn’t be troublesome. No person will know what it’s while you pull up at a automobile meet till you inform them what automobile it’s, particularly if it’s de-badged.

Like some other Van, the Nissan Caravan was constructed to be a workhorse. Thus, it may possibly stand up to heavy hundreds and long-distance driving. This makes it the proper enterprise van for a supply or service enterprise that requires fixed shifting round with heavy hundreds. Nevertheless, mechanical inspections and replacements are crucial for a Nissan Caravan to face up to such due put on and tear attributable to outdated age and fixed use. The Nissan Caravan will also be custom-made for private use, equivalent to changing it into a motorbike service or tire van for monitor days. In case you have one other Nissan, it can make the proper storage addition.


Nissan Caravan

Poor Construct High quality

The inside wears out, and the physique panels begin rattling after hitting rubble strips and potholes; it gained’t be lengthy earlier than one thing falls off. Such points are unavoidable with outdated JDM automobiles, particularly vans, wagons, and vehicles, and the Nissan Caravan isn’t any exception. The Nissan Caravan’s poor construct high quality makes it prone to rust. Widespread rust spots are beneath the automobile, behind the entrance and rear bumper, and on the engine cowl. Additionally, cracking and chipping paint promotes rusting on the physique panels. Shopping for one in mint situation doesn’t assure that such points is not going to come up quickly, but it surely ensures years of service if maintained and pushed nicely.

Low Resale Worth

The Nissan Caravan is the kind of automobile you purchase to take pleasure in with out contemplating whether or not it can maintain its worth or not. Even with upgraded components, one hardly ever sells for a similar value because it was first purchased. That is the case with most JDM vans and vehicles as they continue to be unaffected by ever-increasing JDM automobile costs. On the upside, the Nissan Caravan’s low resale worth performs to the benefit of new consumers and repeat consumers who can’t get sufficient of probably the greatest JDM vans. It’s additionally advantageous to anybody sourcing components since aftermarket help for the Nissan Caravan isn’t that nice, and it takes ages to ship components from Japan.

Vibrations From The Engine

As a result of timing gear drive, the diesel engines used within the Nissan Caravan are very noisy and liable to vibrations. Most drivers diagnose this as a fault, but it surely’s not till the vibrations exceed and could be felt when the automobile is idling and driving at low speeds. The vibrations could be decreased by often changing the timing belt and tightening the tensioner pulley. Additionally, utilizing the inaccurate timing belt will increase vibrations, so guarantee it’s changed with the right one.

Widespread Points

Nissan Caravan

Overheating In Diesel Engine Fashions

Overheating points are frequent in Nissan Caravans with diesel engines attributable to a few faults starting from a blown head gasket to a defective thermostat and leaking coolant pipes. Diesel engines generate extra warmth as they’ve the next compression ratio and thus require extra cooling than petrol engines. Subsequently, the coolant pipes and the thermostat must be checked usually as they’re subjected to excessive warmth, which degrades them over time. The identical applies to the top gasket and water pump seal.

If the top gasket is blown, the engine is disadvantaged of oil and overheats as a consequence of friction between shifting internals. Coolant may leak, and the engine additionally loses compression relying on the extent of the injury. It’s beneficial to exchange the top gasket instantly if there’s a leak earlier than the piston rings soften because of the excessive warmth.

Turbodiesel Engines Are At Danger of Turbo Failure

The turbocharged TD engine utilized in most Nissan SUVs, crossovers, and vans, such because the Nissan Caravan, is liable to turbo failure primarily as a consequence of oil hunger attributable to a leaking head gasket or turbocharger oil line. It additionally accumulates carbon buildup on the turbocharger’s wastegate and the EGR valve (The EGR valve is fitted to fulfill emission necessities). As soon as the carbon buildup heats up, it causes injury to the turbocharger housing, impeller shaft bearing, and seal.

Earlier than changing the turbocharger, examine the intercooler’s situation and if there may be any carbon buildup. Most homeowners advocate changing the turbocharger and intercooler, particularly on high-mileage items, since one determines how the opposite performs.

Gasoline Injector Failure on V6 Engine Fashions

The gas injectors within the Nissan Caravan 300GT are identified to fail as a consequence of carbon buildup within the engine. They gained’t minimize out instantly, however when you discover engine misfires, lack of energy, and tough idling, you could examine all the gas system, together with the gas pump. If the injectors are massively clogged, the engine gained’t begin as a consequence of inadequate gas to combine with air for combustion. It could additionally lead to a pressurized gas system, thus inflicting injury to the gas pump.

Gasoline injector failure is frequent in most Nissans utilizing the VG30E V6 engine, and the commonest repair is cleansing to take away the carbon buildup. Cleansing the gas injectors is simple, even for newbies. The one downside is eradicating them because of the engine’s place. You’ll be able to take away them from the engine and clear them utilizing carburetor cleaner and a smooth brush. An proprietor’s restore guide is required for this.

If eradicating the gas injectors is simply too troublesome, you’ll be able to clear them with out eradicating them from the engine. Find the gas injectors, hint the traces to the place they hook up with the gas pump, and disconnect the joint and the stress regulator. Then connect the cleansing package to the gas port and take away the gas tank cap to launch further stress. All it’s a must to do now could be activate the automobile and switch it off after you’re happy the injectors are clear. Reconnect all ports and begin the engine to examine for leaks and noises.

Common Costs

In comparison with its opponents, the Nissan Caravan is the most affordable choice, with retail costs averaging $11,000, and discovering one for much less or greater than that’s potential relying on the 12 months of manufacture and trim stage. For instance, a normal Nissan Caravan E24 prices as half as a lot as a Nissan Caravan 300GT or a Nissan Caravan E24 Tremendous Lengthy Camper Van, which hardly ever sells for something under $15,000.

Nissan Caravan For Sale

View Nissan Caravan Ads for sale

What To Look For When Shopping for a Nissan Caravan

Apart from the listed cons and points, examine for lacking components because it’s arduous to return throughout Nissan Caravan components. When you resolve which Nissan Caravan variant you want, examine for faults related to that sort of van. If a Caravan camper van sparks your curiosity, guarantee all electricals, such because the sliding automated doorways and roof lifting motor, are working.

The suspension, brakes, bodywork, and beneath should be inspected no matter whether or not it’s a camper van or a cargo van. You by no means know the way the van was utilized in its earlier life. Lastly, all paperwork ought to be current and verified earlier than closing the acquisition deal.

Comparable Options

Fashions and Specs

1965-1973 Nissan Homer/Nissan Caravan (B640)

1965-1973 Nissan Homer/Nissan Caravan (B640)

In 1965 Prince Motors made a minibus model of Prince Homer to cater to passenger and cargo van market calls for. After they merged with Nissan in 1966, it was produced because the Nissan Homer, changing the Nissan Caball. Prince Motors nonetheless produced vans below the Prince Homer title, but it surely was discontinued when Nissan made the Prince title a automobile dealership model in 1970 and adopted the Caravan title in 1973. The Homer and Homy names have been discontinued in 1982 and 2001.

Discovering traditional vans just like the first-generation Nissan Caravan right now is perhaps troublesome since most are already rotting away, and homeowners are reluctant to promote. All items have been manufactured with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine which made 81 horsepower throughout manufacturing, rather a lot for 1965. The one transmission choice for the first-gen Nissan Caravan was a 4-speed guide.

1973-1980 Nissan Caravan (E20, E21, E22)

1973-1980 Nissan Caravan (E20, E21, E22)

Nissan Launched the second-generation Nissan Caravan in 1973 with an extended body-on-frame chassis than the first-gen and new engine choices as a consequence of new stringent emission legal guidelines. It was out there with 1.5-liter and a pair of.0-liter petrol engines mated to a 3-speed automated or 4-speed guide transmission. Nevertheless, in 1977, the 1.5-liter petrol engine was discontinued because it couldn’t move emission assessments, and it was changed with a 2.2-liter diesel engine in 1978. One other important change Nissan carried out is decreasing the utmost seating capability within the second-gen Caravan to 10 from 15 within the first-generation.

1980-1986 Nissan Caravan (E23)

1980-1986 Nissan Caravan (E23)

The third-generation Nissan Caravan options sharper physique traces and a special entrance facia with a much bigger grill and smaller flip indicators. Nissan added new 1.6-liter and 1.8-liter petrol engines to enhance the two.0-liter petrol engine carried over from the second era. The two.2-liter diesel engine launched in 1978 was additionally used within the third-generation Nissan Caravan along with a 2.3-liter and a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine.

A 5-speed guide transmission was additionally made out there, but it surely was solely commonplace for petrol engines, whereas diesel engine variants have been bought with a 4-speed or 3-speed automated transmission. In 1983 the Nissan Caravan underwent a facelift taking out the round headlights, which have been changed with sq. mono headlights on both sides, and a pre-heating ignition system was put in on diesel engines.

1986-2001 Nissan Caravan (E24)

1986-2001 Nissan Caravan (E24)

Nissan Unveiled the fourth-gen Nissan Caravan with thrilling new options equivalent to a four-wheel-drive system and an electronically lifting roof in flat-top camper vans for consumers who didn’t need the excessive roof. Additionally, consumers may go for a lifted 4×4 variant with a 2.0-liter or 2.7-liter turbodiesel engine good for Overlanding, a luxurious variant badged because the Caravan Limousine, and a cargo van bought with out rear home windows.

The fourth-gen Nissan Caravan can be out there with a 2.3-liter, 2.5-liter, 2.7-liter, and three.2-liter diesel engine. All are naturally aspirated, like the two.0-liter, 2.4-liter, and three.0-liter petrol engines. Transmission choices stay just like those used within the third-gen Caravan, however the 3-speed automated was changed with a 4-speed.

2001-2012 Nissan Caravan (E25)

2001-2012 Nissan Caravan (E25)

2001 noticed important reworks to the Nissan Caravan because it doesn’t carefully resemble its predecessors. It has a sharper entrance finish protruding from the underside of the windshield downwards and bigger headlights that home the flip indicators. The aspect mirrors are mounted on the panel separating the windscreen and the grill.

However the look wasn’t the one factor that Nissan modified within the E24 Caravan. From all of the engines used within the earlier era, solely the two.0-litre and a pair of.4-liter KA-series petrol engines have been retained and have been used alongside the two.0-liter and a pair of.5-liter QR sequence petrol engines. The variety of diesel engines was decreased to 2, each being 3.0-liter turbodiesel engines.

2012-Current Nissan Caravan (E26)

2012-Present Nissan Caravan (E26)

Rising gross sales and optimistic market suggestions enabled Nissan to maintain the Nissan Caravan in manufacturing. Immediately you will get a brand new one with a 2.0-liter and a pair of.5-liter petrol engine or a 2.4-liter and a pair of.5-liter turbodiesel engine. Being a industrial van, the Nissan Caravan isn’t bought with a CVT transmission because it’s unsuitable and could be problematic in such automobiles. As a substitute, it makes use of a 7-speed hybrid automated, 5-speed automated, or 5-speed guide transmission.


Which Is Higher, The Nissan Caravan Or Toyota HiAce?

Each vans serve the identical objective and are dependable in equal measure. All of it comes right down to how the client will use the van and the way lengthy they’ll use it. The Nissan Caravan is a cost-efficient choice, but it surely doesn’t stand up to longer utilization intervals than the Toyota HiAce, which is higher-priced. On the upside, the Nissan Caravan has a barely greater most load capability, and the camper van variant is best geared up and extra snug.

Can I Import A Nissan Caravan To The US?

Sure, you’ll be able to import any Nissan Caravan mannequin 12 months to the USA, offered it’s over 25 years outdated from the date of manufacture.

Are Nissan Caravans Dependable?

The Nissan Caravan has a median reliability score, with most homeowners solely complaining of construct high quality and diesel engine issues which ought to be anticipated when shopping for a 30-year-old cargo or camper van.

How A lot Is A Nissan Caravan?

Costs for the Nissan Caravan begin round $7,000 and possibly much less for those who purchase a domestically used unit. Camper vans and luxurious trim ranges such because the GL and Limousine are the most costly, with retail costs averaging $15,000.

What Is The Nissan Caravan’s Towing Capability?

The Nissan Caravan can tow a most of 0.25 to 1.5 tons relying on the 12 months of manufacture, with older mannequin years having the least most towing capability.

Is the Nissan Caravan The Similar As The Nissan Homy And Urvan?

Sure, all names have been used all through the Nissan Caravan’s manufacturing throughout completely different generations and markets through which it was bought.

How To Import A Nissan Caravan

Learn our Final Information on How to Import a Car from Japan.

Christopher Weydert
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