As the Covid-19 pandemic wears on, camper van rentals can hardly keep up with demand and RV sales have skyrocketed. For many, though, buying a new RV or renting is simply not affordable, which leads them to turn to the second-hand market in search of a used camper.
With that said, if you’re in the market for buying or selling a used camper van in the USA, your options are typically limited to scrolling through classifieds on Craigslist, sifting through posts in forums or Facebook community groups, or paying to list on a few niche paid sites catering to the Class B community. Whilst the Class A/C scene gets a lot of attention on sites such as RVTrader.com, until now there’s been no free solution catering to the Class B camper van community (in fact, no free solution at all, if you’re talking about a dedicated app).
A new app, simply named Vancamper, has quietly emerged during the pandemic which aims to change this. The app provides free, classified-style listings for people to buy and sell used camper vans and conversion vehicles, with advanced search features, user messaging and other tools commonly found in paid alternatives.
The app is well thought out and simple to use — sitting somewhere in-between the utilitarian design of Craigslist and modern, mobile-first platforms such as Outdoorsy or Hipcamp. Sellers list their camper for sale and are encouraged to tick a few boxes for what kind of RV-style amenities their camper has (e.g. fridge, stove, solar panels, roof type etc). This allows potential buyers to quickly find campers based upon their preferences — “matchmaking” buyers/sellers as quickly as possible.
Unlike Craigslist, the app supports nationwide listings — a real bonus for shoppers who live in states such as California where buyers often complain of inflated prices, and sometimes seek to travel further to snag up better deals. And compared to Facebook groups and forums, the listings on the app are fully searchable based upon camping preferences, budget and location. A real time saver if - like most of us - you are searching for something quite specific.
It’s worth noting that although Vancamper appeals more to the camper van community, the makers of the app (Yaxo) — a multimedia company based in California, state that they accept all RV types:
We accept all RV types, though as the name suggests, we cater more to class B campervans and custom conversions (skoolies, buses, ambulances and so forth).
Cargo/conversion vans with no RV style amenities are not accepted. Exceptions to this include vehicles which make excellent conversion candidates and have had some build work done (e.g. gutting, insulation, flooring, etc).
Vancamper looks promising but like all new marketplaces its appeal will be limited until the number of listings increases. That’s a tall order when it’s operating in a space dominated by Internet Goliaths like Craigslist and Facebook. But there’s something to be said for a tool which is made for the job — and where Van Camper really shines is a feature set and UX which is heavily geared towards the outdoor community, resulting in significantly less time searching for the perfect camper. That and it’s free, which is always nice.
Vancamper is available on the web and in the Google Play Store as a free download. There’s no word of an iOS version yet, though the online version in our testing seems to works on all devices, Appley ones included.