RVs vs. Sprinters: What’s the Difference?

RVs vs. Sprinters: What’s the Difference?

Thoroughly understanding your options before making a purchase is important if you’re in the market for a home on wheels. With so many similarities and differences between sprinter vans (or campervans or conversion vans) and traditional RVs, how do you know which choice is right for you?

Both options are an excellent way to travel the country and experience new sights, sounds, and cultures, but they do serve slightly different purposes. Before committing to life on the road in one of these vehicles, let’s explore the difference between RVs vs. Sprinters to help you discover the option that best suits your specific needs and lifestyle preferences.

Vehicle Size

Size is perhaps the most noticeable difference between RVs and campervans. RVs, particularly Class A or Class C motorhomes, are generally much larger than Sprinter vans. Since RVs typically offer more conveniences, amenities, and slide-outs, the vehicle structure must be larger.

RVs can be somewhat difficult to drive and accessing certain locations can be challenging due to their size. Plus, it takes some practice to feel fully comfortable maneuvering in tight spaces if you’ve never driven such a large vehicle. Sprinter vans feature a lower profile, so a campervan is ideal if ease of driving and accessibility are important factors in your decision-making process. Driving a conversion van also requires less of a learning curve. Although they’re slightly larger than a typical passenger vehicle, the size is not markedly different.

The Sprinter van provides you with the freedom and flexibility to truly get off the beaten path and explore off-the-grid destinations. Your Sprinter van can go wherever you decide to drive it (within reason). Additionally, a Sprinter van can be easier to handle in adverse conditions if you often find yourself driving along somewhat narrow roads or in treacherous weather.

You can even use a campervan as a daily vehicle if you have the proper wheelbase due to their smaller size. In contrast, RVs are not suitable for everyday use as manufacturers designed them for more special use.

Party Size

The number of people the vehicle can comfortably accommodate is another difference between RVs and Sprinters. As previously mentioned, RVs are generally much larger than conversion vans, so you can easily fit more people inside. An RV is the smart choice if you have a large family, and you want everyone to be able to fit in one vehicle.

You can typically fit between five to eight people in a recreational vehicle, depending on its class size. Sprinter vans are much smaller, so they can only comfortably sleep two adults and possibly two children, depending on the set-up. An RV provides the space and amenities you need to fully enjoy the open road if your goal is to enjoy the country as one big happy family.

Keep in mind that RVs are larger and can accommodate your travel party, but they’re also less fuel-efficient. A Sprinter van is much more fuel-efficient, allowing you to spend the least amount of money on a long road trip.

Storage Space

Having ample storage space in your vehicle is important, whether you’re embarking on a day trip or setting off on a multi-week adventure. RVs are generally larger and able to accommodate more gear. Some RVs are so big you can essentially pack your entire house with you! An RV allows you to have those creature comforts, no matter where you park, if you like traveling with everything and the kitchen sink.

In contrast, a campervan typically does not offer as much storage space. You can customize your van to prioritize storage, but it may be at the expense of other features or amenities. An RV can easily provide the storage space you desire if you prefer staying at campgrounds with full hookups and want to bring as much stuff as possible when you’re on the road.


Customization is another important factor when deciding between an RV and a conversion van. RV customization is like purchasing a regular passenger vehicle in terms of choosing between a few different trims and models. Tack on as many upgrades as you’d like, for an additional cost, after selecting your floor plan. The specific models available will generally determine your RV’s layout, functionality, and setup.

Conversely, you can fully customize your Sprinter van because it essentially starts as a blank slate. You can have a lot of fun making your campervan a true reflection of your needs, lifestyle, and personality. You can build everything from the floor plan to the appliances to your exact specifications. A van conversion expert can help you during the build-out process to ensure everything is to your liking. Purchase a bare-bones Sprinter van and turn it into your dream vehicle if you want complete creative control.


Where you’ll park your vehicle when you’re at home and on a trip is another consideration when deciding between an RV and a conversion van. Since an RV is significantly larger than a van, you’ll need enough outdoor or garage space at your home to park your vehicle. You may need to pay to store your RV at an offsite facility if you have limited space. Plus, your neighborhood’s HOA may prohibit RV parking on your property.

The camper van’s compact size means you can easily park it on your driveway or in your garage. Your van’s wheelbase size could be equivalent in length to a normal-sized truck or SUV. A larger wheelbase size will most likely not fit in your garage if you opt for one, but you can still store it on your property even with limited space.

It’s also important to think about parking your vehicle when you’re on the road. A sprinter van can fit in a standard-size parking spot, so you can stop just about anywhere. It’s no different than driving a normal-sized vehicle if you need to pull into a gas station or grocery store while on the road. However, finding a parking spot that accommodates large RVs can be tricky when you pull off the road. Since your vehicle won’t fit in a normal parking space, you’ll have to get creative in terms of where you stop on your journey.

Do yourself a favor and add a Sprinter van mosquito net for added comfort if you decide a campervan is the right choice for your transportation needs. At The Bug Wall, we provide high-quality screens designed to keep bugs and insects out of your van so you can enjoy the outdoors with your vehicle door open. Browse our selection and add a special layer of protection to your conversion van today.

RVs vs. Sprinters: What’s the Difference?

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