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MINI Campers (What Are the Best?) Models and Much More

MINI Campers (What Are the Best?) Models and Much More

On this occasion, we are going to talk about the smaller siblings of camper vans, the small camper vans, or mini campers.

There is no doubt that this camper version is also in high demand and may have some significant advantages over its larger counterparts. However, as we want to expand features, we will realize that mini camper versions cannot (in any way) have the equipment of the larger ones.

In my early days in the world of camper vans, almost any car or van would do. It was important to consider that when folding the rear seats forward, there should not be a very large step with respect to the trunk.

If the step was small or nonexistent, there would be no problem inflating an inflatable mattress without major discomfort during sleep.

But enough of anecdotes; let’s move on from the least to the most with our proposals for small camper vans or mini campers.

Here’s a brief summary of what you’ll find in this article:

  • Small camper with a roof tent
  • Small camper vans
  • Best mini camper vans
  • Modules for campers
  • Roof tent

Small camper with roof tent
But what is this about a roof tent? Well, it’s actually a fantastic invention that unfortunately is not seen much in our country. Without a doubt, regulations prevent roof tents from being seen frequently. If one pays attention on the road, they may see one, but as I said, it is not very common.

Roof tent – Also called rooftop tents
Although the car in the image is a Patrol (or similar), I must say that such a car is not necessary for the roof tent. We have seen roof tents on cars like the Opel Corsa. The important thing is to prepare the interior to access everything you need comfortably.

For this, you can prepare boxes with compartments that allow you to access everything comfortably from the trunk.

In addition to the mentioned roof tent, other things that improve the camper life in a small camper van would be: the inflatable mattress for the bed (or similar), the portable potty, gas stove, and a water canister with a tap at the bottom.

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With this, you can already go far. Of course, many things can be improved from here, buying other accessories to enhance the experience, but all this can come with time. The basics are these.

Limitations of roof tents
Unfortunately, in our country, there is not a very extensive culture about the camper and motorhome world.

We are barely getting there, and we are still far from neighboring countries like France. Needless to say, we are light-years away from countries like New Zealand or Australia, where motorhomes take on greater prominence than a second home. There, it is common to see tents on top of all kinds of cars, whether small or large.

Our beginnings: Inflatable mattress and a few more things
Sometimes we have even seen two roof tents on the same vehicle, where up to four people could sleep quite comfortably.

For this, it will be necessary for the roof of the car we choose to have a large surface. It will be normal to see them on pick-ups with the trunk prepared. But let’s focus, in our country, roof tents can only be used in areas where camping is allowed.

This is in campsites and designated areas. One of the indispensable conditions (just to mention one) of Instruction 08/V-74 of the DGT is that for it not to be considered camping, no element of the vehicle must protrude from the perimeter. Therefore, not much more to say around here.

Before even finding the camper car formula
Experiments aside, let’s go next with the small camper vans that we can acquire today and that we consider a good alternative.

Small camper vans
Now, let’s get to it. The first thing we must do is define the measurements of what we consider small or mini campers. As a general rule, their starting length will be 4.30-4.40m, reaching 4.80-4.90m according to different versions and models.

Regarding the width, we will find ranges from approximately 1.75-1.85m.

Why choose a small one?
The reasons for choosing a mini camper can be very varied.

It is worth noting that these types of vehicles can serve perfectly as a single vehicle for conventional use during the week and as a camper on weekends or short getaways.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of choosing a small camper van.


  • They move very well in urban areas.
  • Their consumption is quite low compared to larger models.
  • They can serve as a single vehicle.
  • They can park in covered parking lots.
  • They go unnoticed.
  • The price would be the lowest in the camper family.
  • Having fewer accessories, maintenance is lower.


  • Space for equipment is smaller, therefore, it may be insufficient.
  • We cannot stand inside unless a pop-up roof is installed (and opened).
  • Due to their smaller size, the tanks are quite limited.
  • Interior shower must be omitted.
  • The toilet has to be portable (potty).
  • With little space, spaces must be set up and dismantled according to use.

How many people travel and sleep?
It will always depend on the type of van and the interior configuration.

Some models do without approved rear seats, so only two can travel. In other models, up to five people can travel without a problem. When it comes to sleeping, things change.

Generally, inside the vehicle, a maximum of two people can sleep. For example, in a camperized Volkswagen Caddy, a bed width of 120cm could easily be achieved.

If in this type of vehicle, we want to get more sleeping spaces, we must install a pop-up roof that allows us to expand two more bed spaces. For this reason, it is important to inquire about the possibility of installing a pop-up roof on the model we are interested in.

Not all models have the possibility of installing a pop-up roof, although it is true that more and more brands are interested in this size and are opting for the manufacture of more accessories.

So, are small camper vans for long trips?
From my personal point of view, I would say no; these types of vehicles are comfortable for a maximum of two people and short trips. We would be talking about weekend getaways or a few more days. We cannot lose sight that we will have to locate campsites or places designated for showering.

In any case, this is a personal opinion, as mentioned earlier. In our early days, we traveled for months in the trunk of a car, so it is not impossible.

Also, there are many other people on the web who show us that the small camper van or mini campers are vehicles for everything. For example, a few months ago


Best mini camper vans
Next, we review the best models of vans to use as mini campers.

Dacia Dokker
First of all, I must say that at the time of writing this article, the Dokker model was not on the Dacia website.

Some websites related to the automotive world indicate that the brand has stopped manufacturing them. Others, however, indicate that they are preparing to make a good improvement to the model and that the new Dokker will be launched on the market in the coming months.

The Dacia Dokker had sliding rear doors, which increases comfort for this type of vehicle by expanding the side opening space.

The company Camperiz does camperizations of the Dokker, achieving very professional finishes. Surely we will be talking about the professional camperization of the lowest range, with more adjusted prices, ranging from €20,000, depending on the equipment. Without a doubt, a very good choice as a single car and to enjoy getaways for outdoor enthusiasts.

Measurements of the Dacia Dokker:

  • Length: 4.363m
  • Width: 1.751m
  • Height: 1.814m

In addition, we can add stationary heating or water tanks. If we also want the pop-up roof in this model, we will have to opt for the roof tent (+€2,395), as there is still no brand that manufactures them.

Undoubtedly, a good choice as a small camper van, at a very reasonable price. We will be attentive to see what happens with the model in the coming months.

Nissan NV200
Another chosen one is the Nissan NV200. In this case, the brand has seen from the beginning the possibility of exploiting it as a camper van.

This model can be equipped with a pop-up roof. The Bram brand performs these types of installations and has other customizations that can make this model a good investment.

Measurements of the Nissan NV200:

  • Length: 4.40m
  • Width: 1.695m
  • Height: 1.80m

The NV200 (or NV250) has accessories such as awnings or bike racks. In addition, there is the possibility of acquiring it completely electric (E-NV200 Evalia), capable of covering between 200 and 300 kilometers (combined and urban cycle, according to Nissan).

Some configurations of the NV200 are unbeatable: refrigerator, kitchen, outdoor shower, heating, awning, pop-up roof, etc. It is surprising how much equipment they have packed into such a small space. Prices for this model range between €36,000-€39,000.

Although we mention some brands that carry out camperizations of the models, the truth is that any professional camperizer is qualified for such adaptations. It is best to consult with them to inform you about the transformations you want to carry out.

Citroën Berlingo
The Citroën Berlingo is a van that I love; I see it as very convenient to use as a mini camper.

Measurements of the Citroën Berlingo:

  • Length: 4.40 and 4.753m
  • Width: 1.848m
  • Height: 1.80-1.843m

The company Tinkervan has agreements with Citroën, so if you ask at a dealership, they will probably refer you to the company to be able to computerize it.

Another similar alternative, also from the PSA brand, would be the Peugeot Rifter.

Volkswagen Caddy
And we end with the latest model, the aforementioned Volkswagen Caddy, the smaller sister of the well-known California.

Volkswagen needs no introduction in the camper world, so it will always be a safe bet. If you want to learn more about how to camperize a Caddy, you know, we recommend the Van De Viaje YouTube channel.

Although there are several versions of the Caddy, fundamentally, we need to know that there are two sizes, the Maxi and the regular.

Measurements Volkswagen Caddy:

  • Length: 4.50-4.853m
  • Width: 1.855m
  • Height: 1.798-1.836m

In any of the mentioned cases, it is advisable to equip the vehicle with an auxiliary battery, which works independently of the vehicle’s own battery. We don’t want the disappointment of running out of battery in the middle of a trip…

And so far the best small camper vans or mini campers. If you have any comments on this or would like to add something, feel free to leave your comment to include it in future expansions.

Modules for mini campers
If what you want is to comprise a small camper van quickly, we recommend that you check on the internet the multitude of camper modules that already exist designed for each model.

This can save you a lot of headaches, in many cases, at a fairly reasonable price. Besides, they can help you design the distribution and know where to start.

Note: ByCamper is not a camperizer. Therefore, we recommend that before carrying out any project, you verify all the data in this article with the vehicle’s brand and with different camperizers. On the internet, there are countless tutorials and information where you can find ideas for your camperization. In any case, we recommend that you consult with professionals to homologate everything correctly and thus avoid future problems (in addition, of course, to travel more safely).


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