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Camper Van Insurance: What You Need to Know

A camper van is a fantastic investment. It offers you a completely unique kind of vacation experience. It basically allows you to go on a genuine camping trip while also having a comfortable place to sleep.

When you go on a vacation in a camper van, you can easily get from place to place and then park the van up so you can get out to enjoy the wilderness. When night falls, you can of course camp outside if you feel like it, but if the weather isn’t great, you’ve got a bed inside too.

It’s kind of like having a hotel room that you are able to take around with you. It saves money on actual accommodation as well as on transportation and you will have the van for years and years to come so you can use it for many vacations in the future.

If you want to get as much long-term value as possible, it will probably cost you a lot at the start, but will of course end up saving you quite a bit on your vacations down the line. All that being said, it is still another vehicle.

And if you’re going to take it on the road, you are going to need to make sure that you have it fully insured. It’s important to think hard about camper van insurance and there are a few things which it’s important for you to know.

First of all, you should be aware of the fact that it will be significantly more difficult for you to get your camper van insured if it’s a DIY job. If you bought one that was professionally built there will be a lot less hassle, but insuring a van you personally converted is a nightmare.

This is a bit of a shame, because modifying a van, or even a truck, into a moveable living space is arguably the cheapest method out there and can be a fun and rewarding project for someone who wants to try their hand at DIY.

The trouble is that most insurance companies will be hesitant due to the fact that they can’t really be sure you took weight distribution and various other safety features into account when modifying the vehicle.

And if you did build a very high-quality vehicle, which you took great measures to ensure was very safe for both those in the van and others on the road, you will be expected to prove it, probably with documentation and photographs. 

Even with all that, many insurance companies will view it as not being worth the risk, and you’ll probably spend weeks and weeks contacting different providers to find one that will actually agree to work with you.

So assuming for a moment that your camper van is not a conversion, there are a few different kinds of insurance to think about.

RV Insurance

You might be tempted to just go for very standard auto insurance, especially if you have a van that’s on the smaller end of the spectrum, but this won’t really cover you in the way that you need to be covered.

There is a specific kind of insurance for RVs, and although that is a classification which is usually reserved for much larger vehicles, if you can get RV insurance for your camper van then a lot of different issues are covered.

To qualify for RV insurance, your vehicle needs to have plumbing, heating, a place to sleep and a place to store food. Any issues you might face such as leaks, dysfunctional heaters or even fires stemming from the kitchen will fall under RV insurance.

So if you just have auto insurance this stuff will be so much harder to deal with. No matter what make or model your camper van or how big it is, you should definitely go down to the DMV and try to get it registered as an RV.

You should also make a point of installing anything that you think could add to your chances of getting it recognized as such. Have a toilet, a shower, a small cooker and a refrigerator for sure and of course you need at least one bed.

Personal Articles Insurance

This is something that you usually wouldn’t have to consider if you were just insuring a car or a regular van or truck. When travelling in your camper van, you are going to be bringing a lot of stuff with you and leaving it in the van when you’re out camping or wandering around.

Primarily we’re thinking about your electronics. Like if you are bringing a laptop with you, you’re going to leave that in the van when you get out to do some hillwalking and you’re also probably going to have a few different kitchen appliances.

The likelihood of it being stolen is unfortunately a lot higher in a camper van than in a hotel room, and also if you get into an accident, anything that is not a part of the actual vehicle will not be covered by your regular insurance. 

This is a little bit of an extra cost, and hopefully you won’t actually end up needing it, but if something does get either stolen or destroyed in an accident you will regret not opting for personal articles insurance.

So these are the two kinds of insurance that you will absolutely need if you are looking to partake in some trips in a camper van. And remember, it’s not impossible to get a DIY van insured, but it’s a lot more difficult and it’s probably more worth it to just buy a professionally made vehicle.