If you’ve ever spent any time on the trail with a group of off-roaders, you know that overlanders and adventurers have a knack for modifying their rigs for every occasion and need. For some, this looks like converting the bed of their truck into a more functional space for gear, while for others, it means using the rear of the SUV as a bedroom. What, then, does any of this have to do with the 2022 Chevy Express Van?
While Chevy’s Express Van is often designated for commercial use, that’s not its only calling. While it may not be the first rig you think of when it comes to blazing new trails or tackling technical terrain, it is designed for adventure. That adventure has less to do with getting a little mud on the tires and more to do with traveling the country. That starts by converting models like the 2022 Express into a tiny home on wheels that will take you wherever your heart desires.
Van Life 101
Turning the 2022 Chevy Express into a livable van means different things for different people. It might mean equipping the van with the basics like a bed, lounging area, and kitchen that will satisfy your basic needs during your weekend adventures. For others, it might mean transforming the van into a home complete with a bathroom and additional storage to accommodate daily life in the van year-round.
Regardless of how you use or equip the van, you’ll discover many benefits to van life, especially when it comes to the money you’ll save and the flexibility you have when you travel. You’re no longer tied down to a place or time and, instead, can explore the country at your own pace without the overhead of lodging and other expenses. Most people who adopt this lifestyle also find that they spend more time outdoors and less time connected to the digital world, which reduces stress and increases overall happiness and contentment.
There are a few disadvantages to living in a rig like the 2022 Express beyond the obvious–it can be cramped. Depending on how you design the Express, this might mean taking less frequent showers and relying on public restrooms. Since space is cramped, vans tend to get messy very quickly, and that means being more mindful of your trash and how you keep the space organized. It’s also important to plan for the unexpected; since your van is your home, unforeseen car trouble can truly dampen your plans.
Why the 2022 Chevy Express?
Chevy has a reputation for delivering reliable vehicles at affordable prices, and that’s no different for the 2022 Express Van. Although it’s designed for commercial use, the Express Van makes an ideal home on wheels because of its long list of amenities, functional features, and versatile design. Available in either a 12 or 15-passenger layout, the Express measures between 224.1 and 244.1 inches long and 84.1 to 84.6 inches tall. This is responsible for the cabin’s spaciousness that gives you plenty of room to work with as you design the best layout for your home on wheels.
Amenities and Features
The Express is essentially a blank canvas that you can customize to fit all your needs. Amenities like rear air conditioning, modern technology like the available WiFi hotspot and Chevy’s Connected Services, and upgrades like the sliding cargo door make that canvas even more attractive. The same is said for the Express’ vast suite of safety and driver-assist features that work behind the scenes to keep you and your home safe on the road. These features include a standard rear vision camera and tire monitoring system as well as options like Rear Park Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Forward Collision Alert.
Power and Capability
Chevy’s remarkable powertrain lineup ensures the Express can match your sense of adventure. Chevy’s 4.3-liter V6 engine comes standard on the Express and delivers 276 horsepower and 298 lb-ft of torque for easy handling and smooth acceleration. Depending on your needs, you can take this power to the next level by opting for Chevy’s 6.6-liter V8 engine.
The 6.6-liter is mated to a 6-speed heavy-duty automatic transmission and, together, churns out 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque with a maximum trailering weight of 10,000 pounds. This transforms the Express Van into a rig capable of towing a small trailer. Whether that trailer is loaded with kayaks, jet skis, mountain bikes, or something else is entirely up to you.
Chevy’s 2.8-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel makes the Express even more efficient, which is attractive for cross-country adventurers. Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the Duramax delivers 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Its maximum trailering capacity is slightly less than the 6.6-liter V8 at 7,000 pounds.
Life in the Express Lane: Things to Consider
Shopping for a 2022 Chevy Express Van is a simple task but transforming it into a home on wheels requires taking valuable time to consider a few other factors, outline your priorities, and conduct plenty of research. At the top of your list is asking yourself if you plan on living in the van or solely using it for travel in your free time. How you answer this impacts the van’s layout and your experience on the road.
Important questions to ask yourself:
- Traveling Companions: Are you traveling alone or with someone else like your partner, family, or pet? This helps you determine the necessary sleeping accommodations.
- Meals: How do you plan to prepare your food? Do you need a kitchen or do you prefer to cook outdoors? A kitchen is convenient, especially when it’s raining outside but cooking outdoors frees up vital space inside the cabin.
- Bathroom: Is having a bathroom a necessity and, if so, do you need only a toilet or do you want a toilet-shower combination? Without a bathroom, you rely more on public restrooms, while having a bathroom on board means keeping up with your waste and properly disposing of it.
- Sleeping: Do you want to maximize the space and use a convertible bed, or will you rely on a fixed bed?
- Power: How will you source power–by running electricity or adding solar panels to run small appliances, charge your devices, etc.?
Transforming the Express: Your Ticket to Adventure
When it comes to transforming a van like the 2022 Chevy Express, there is no shortage of options or resources. Depending on your skill level and confidence, you can do the transformation yourself or rely on a host of experts to design the rig exactly to your needs. In either case, you’ll want to set your budget and do plenty of research, learning from others who have already adopted the van lifestyle.
Once the 2022 Express is converted, there’s nothing stopping you. You’ll find that the open road offers more freedom than you ever imagined as you’re no longer constrained by time or money and, instead, solely rely on your sense of wanderlust to guide your compass. This is why thousands of people across the country are happy to let you in on their secret–that life truly is better with less, especially when it means living at your own pace and exploring the world right in front of you.