Instead of an Average New Car, Why Not Buy This 5-Person Camper Van?

You could spend $39,000 on a new car. Or, you could buy this camper van (and have thousands left over).

Amazing as it might be to believe, the average price of a new car in America these days is nudging close to $39,000. Now, you can buy a ton of fun new cars for far less than that — Wranglers, Tacomas, Velosters N and Civics Si and more. But entertaining as all those cars are, they all primarily provide fun from behind the wheel. Once they’re parked, there’s not much to do but stare at them.

So alternately, for a whole different type of vehicular joy, why not scoop up this camper van that can both seat and sleep up to five people for the same amount of money?

As discovered by New Atlas, the Contravans-modified Ford Transit Connect camper van known as “The Starting Five” has a little more than 62,000 miles on the clock, but that’s just the drivetrain; the interior is fresh as a daisy, beneficiary of a very recent conversion by the Denver-based company. Bucket seats up front and a second-row bench provide room for five adults to sit while driving; once parked, though, the rear seats fold down and a memory foam mattress extends out over them to provide sleeping space for two. A quick minute of work is all it takes to deploy the Condor Roof Top tent, which folds out to the size of a king-size bed and serves up nighttime accommodations for three more.

No camper van would be complete without at least some rudimentary meal prep features, and the Contravans team made sure to outfit their five-person sleeper with items to keep those occupants sated. A dual-burner, dual-fuel stove is there to heat stuff up, while a 9.5-gallon Isotherm fridge keeps things cold; a 4-gallon HydroBlu pressurized virus filtering jerry can makes getting fresh water easy as finding a stream.

The Starting Five has also been upgraded mechanically here and there to better handle the demands of #vanlife. The suspension is beefed up to handle the added weight, a hitch has been added out back in case you feel like towing some additional camping gear, and tinted windows provide extra privacy when your campsite isn’t quite as remote as you’d like. LED headlights throw extra candlepower down the road, while a 50-aH lithium battery, 1000-watt inverter and 50-watt solar panel provide extra juice for when you’re parked and camping.

All this can be yours for just $34,988, according to New Atlas. Or, if you’d rather have one with zero miles on the clock, you can recreate the build with a brand-new Transit Connect XLT — but that sum total will run you close to $50,000, and you’ll have to wait for the build to be completed, so we’d say save yourself some time and money and snap this bad boy up.

Oh, and if the orange-and-gray livery seen here is throwing you off…rest assured, it’s a removable wrap.

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