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Will Campervan Prices Go Down?

Peek into campervan price predictions & investment cost.

Gain insight into how Roameo predicts campervan prices to determine if now is a good time to buy.

By Annie Aladjova

You’ve waited out the pandemic, knowing you would be overpaying for a campervan if you bought when demand for campers surged. If you’ve dreamt of buying or building a campervan, is now a good time to invest? Or will prices go down further if you wait a little longer? You’ve been patient this long, after all.

A campervan is a big investment, and buying at the right time can save you thousands of dollars. To see how we at Roameo predict prices to react to market conditions, let’s break down the factors that go into determining the final cost of a campervan.


Campervan Cost Factor #1: Chassis 

Prediction: Prices will decline.

Reason: The chassis is the motor vehicle that the campervan conversion is built on, and is typically the largest cost factor. At the start of the pandemic, the auto industry was struggling to keep up with demand, and shortages of semiconductor chips meant long waits for new vehicles. The cargo van market was especially challenging, as Amazon purchased major allocations to expand their delivery fleet. In 2020, this shortage drove prices of used cargo vans up to the point where a used van could cost more than a new one.  

As of the last quarter, we are finally seeing manufacturing begin to catch up with demand, especially in the Sprinter market. Vans that were selling well over MSRP are now coming back down, and we are seeing more vehicles accumulating in lots. Our prediction is that vans will reach MSRP prices by the end of the year, and possibly sooner for Sprinters.


Campervan Cost Factor #2: Labor

Prediction: Prices will increase.

Reason: Skilled labor is needed to complete a high-end, professional campervan conversion. Finding and retaining labor for conversions has followed the trends in the broader labor market. With historically low unemployment rates and rising inflation, wages have been increasing drastically to hire and retain new talent. The growing work-from-home trend puts further pressure on hiring managers to pay more for roles that need to report to a warehouse.  

I predict the demand for these skills will remain high well into the future, and we won’t see stabilization until there has been enough labor trained from other sectors to increase the supply–which may take years.


Campervan Cost Factor #3: Van Build Parts, Appliances, & Other Gear

Prediction: Prices will stay the same or increase. 

Reason: Roughly half the price of a conversion goes into the parts, appliances, and amenities you decide to include in your build. While we are seeing lead times start to stabilize for most components, inflation is still putting upward pressure on prices. The price of wood, for example, had skyrocketed during the pandemic, but is currently back to its pre-COVID levels. As conversions are in direct competition with home builds for wood–and we are still in a massive housing deficit–we don’t predict wood or appliance prices to drop any lower than they are now.


Campervan Cost Factor #4: Interest Rates

Prediction: Prices will increase.

Reason: While not directly a part of a campervan build, interest rates can comprise over 30% of your monthly payments (unless you are purchasing in all cash). We have already seen four rate increases this year, and according to Fed Chair Jerome Powell, we can expect another 1.35% increase by the end of 2023. While it may not seem like much, on a $60,000 seven-year loan, that increase means an extra $3,300 of interest payments.



Cost Trends for Used Campervans

Prediction: Prices will decrease.

Reason: The #VanLife trend has exploded since the pandemic started and the ability to work remotely became the norm, but surely not everyone that bought a campervan is utilizing it as much as they anticipated. In 2021, Outdoorsy boasted over 40,000 rental listings, which leads us to believe some of these owners will decide it is easier to sell than to keep renting. While buying used from an individual rather than a manufacturer or dealer comes with risks, it is certainly one way to save big on cost. This can be especially enticing if you are handy and can troubleshoot issues that come up with the build.


The Verdict

If you are looking for a used vehicle purchased from an individual, you will likely benefit from waiting to get the best price. If you are a cash buyer looking to build on a more expensive new chassis like a Sprinter, you would also likely benefit from waiting until closer to the end of the year. In all other scenarios, we anticipate that waiting will mean a higher overall price tag, so consider making moves to purchase your dream campervan now.

Curious to see how much your dream conversion will cost? Checkout our free Van Build Calculator tool!

Aren’t ready to commit to Van Life? Take some Van Moments in our luxury rentals, now booking in Denver, Las Vegas, and Chicago.