Renault Trafic For Vanlife: 11 Reasons Why It’s the Best

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Considering the Renault Trafic for Vanlife?

With good fuel economy, reliability, & more interior room than most small vans, the Renault Trafic van is a good option.

But how does it stack up against other popular models like the ProMaster City, Transit Connect, VW California, Mercedes Metris, & Nissan NV200?

In this post, we’ll find out.

Here’s everything you’ll learn:

11 Reasons Why Vanlifers Like the Renault Trafic

The Renault Trafic is quiet, safe, & comfortable – but is it the best option for vanlife?

Here are 11 reasons why vanlifers like the Renault Trafic:

  1. Reliable: Owners of the Renault Trafic say that it’s very reliable overall and is easy to maintenance.
  2. Comes in Many Different Wheelbase and Height Options: Renault offers different height and wheelbase options for the Trafic depending on how much room you need to convert your van.
  3. Diesel Engines Last a Long Time: The Renault Trafic is made with a diesel engine. Diesel cars are known to be more reliable and longer-lasting than those that run on gasoline.
  4. Good Fuel Economy: The Renault Trafic gets a combined gas mileage of 29 MPG, which is excellent considering the size of the vehicle.
  5. More Interior Room Than Most Small Vans: The Trafic is slightly larger than the Promaster City and the Transit Connect, so it offers more room for a build-out.
  6. Comfortable to Drive: Owners say the Renault Trafic is comfortable to drive, making it perfect for long road trips.
  7. Boxy Shape Makes Build-Outs Easier: The Renault Trafic has a fairly boxy shape, which means more right angles and easier DIY conversions.
  8. Quiet When Running: Compared to most diesel cars, the Trafic is pretty quiet while running, and at speed on the highway.
  9. Good Stereo System: Owners say the Trafic has an impressive-sounding stereo system.
  10. Newer Models Have Great Safety Features: The newer models have excellent safety and security features that can help you feel safer when driving, and when you’re parked for the night.
  11. Fits in a Standard Parking Space: The Renault Trafic will fit in a regular parking spot, so you don’t have to worry about finding parking everywhere you go.

6 Reasons Why Vanlifers Dislike the Renault Trafic

As with every vehicle, there are downsides to the Renault Trafic.

Here are 6 reasons why vanlifers dislike the Trafic:

  1. Fewer Conversion Companies Will Work on Them: The Trafic is not a very common van, so fewer conversion companies are familiar with them.
  2. Not Tall Enough to Stand up in: The tallest Renault Trafic is still not tall enough to stand up in. You’ll have to extend the roof or install a pop-up to be able to stand up in one.
  3. Sliding Door Issues: Trafics are known to have issues with the rear sliding door falling off.
  4. Turbo Failure is Common: Some long-term Trafic owners mention that the Turbo on their vehicles has failed.
  5. Not Sold in the U.S.: The Renault Trafic is not sold in the U.S.. It’s only an option for European vanlifers.
  6. Fewer Online Resources for DIY Conversion: Because the Trafic is not a very popular van, there are fewer online resources for DIY conversion compared to a more common van like the Ford Transit Connect.

 

11 Amazing Renault Trafic Van Builds

With a several wheelbase options, lots of interior room, & a boxy shape, the Renault Trafic provides a good platform for designing a layout… but which is the best?

Here are 11 of the coolest Renault Trafic’s ever:

Build #11: Super High Roof Trafic with a Shower

  • Highlights: This ultra high roof Trafic has enough head room to stand up inside while cooking at the kitchenette, or taking a shower. The rear has a convertible bed that serves as a dinette during the day with a swing-out table.
  • Van: 2013 High Roof Renault Trafic
  • Owner: @_cactuscampers

 

Build #10: Trafic with a Small Bed and Indoor Kitchen

  • Highlights: This cozy DIY build has a small sideways facing bed. In the front is a kitchen with a fold-out table with room for a stove out of the side door. The unique sink set up is a large mason jar faucet and a DIY bowl sink.
  • Van: Renault Trafic
  • Owner: @en_route_avec_rene

 

Build #9: Small Trafic with Large Bed and Outdoor Kitchen

  • Highlights: This Renault Trafic has a fixed bed that takes up the whole back side of the van. The owner has installed two large under-bed slide-outs for storage and cookspace.
  • Van: Renault Trafic
  • Owner: @man_and_his_campervan

 

Build #8: High Roof Trafic with L-Shaped Convertible Couch and Lots of Storage

  • Highlights: This gorgeous Trafic build has a cozy L-shaped couch that converts into a bed. The front and one side of the van have tons of cabinetry that form a large counter space for working, food prep, and cooking.
  • Van: Renault Trafic L1H2
  • Owner: @vandamn.official

 

Build #7: Renault Trafic with Convertible Bed and Pull-Down Table

  • Highlights: This simple but functional Trafic build has a slide out bed system with storage compartments underneath. The bench faces a pull-down table for food prep, or to use as a desk space. The front of the build has a small kitchen unit with two gas burners and a small sink.
  • Van: Renault Trafic
  • Owner: @geraldenethecamper

 

Build #6: Trafic Build with Slide-Out Bed and Huge Tent Awning

  • Highlights: This Trafic conversion has a slide out bed with tons of storage underneath. Across from the bed is a small shelf for cooking or making coffee. This van owner has installed a huge Sheltapod awning which makes for a cozy outdoor living space.
  • Van: Renault Trafic L1H1
  • Owner: @renaulttraficcamperconversion

 

Build #5: Simple DIY Trafic with Convertible Bed and Porthole Window

  • Highlights: This DIY Trafic build has a bench seat that pulls out into a comfortable bed. In the front is a small kitchen area with a sink, and on the side wall is storage for a fridge. 
  • Van: Renault Trafic L1H1
  • Owner: @la_socia_van

 

Build #4: Trafic with Convertible Bench and Front Kitchenette

  • Highlights: This beautiful all-wood Trafic build has a convertible bench seat that slides out to a bed at night. The side wall of the van is built out with plenty of cabinets and drawers for storage. In the front of the van is a small kitchen with a sink and room for a camping stove.
  • Van: Renault Trafic L1H1
  • Owner: @kktee

 

Build #3: Professional Trafic Conversion that Seats Four

  • Highlights: This Renault Trafic by Roaming Homes Ltd. has a gorgeous interior with a one-wall kitchenette that includes a two burner induction stove and refrigerator. The “rock ‘n’ roll” bed system allows this van to seat four people. 
  • Van: Renault Trafic
  • Owner: @roaminghomesltd

 

Build #2: Low Roof Trafic with Slide-Out Bed and Pop-Up Table

  • Highlights: This beautiful DIY build has a sliding bed that retracts during the day to a small couch area. In the front are booth seats for a pop-up table. Under the bed, these van owners have installed a slide-out kitchen for outdoor cooking.
  • Van: 2016 Renault Trafic H1L1
  • Owner: @cap.au.nord

 

Build #1: Simple Interior Trafic with Awning and Privacy Scree

  • Highlights: This simple but stylish Trafic build has just a large bed with some storage underneath, plus a refrigerator. These van-lifers have made room for lots of outdoor living space with an awning and large wrap-around screen.
  • Van: 2022 Renault Trafic Sport
  • Owner: @project.van_life

 

Cost, Dimensions, & Fuel Economy

Now that you know a little more about the Renault Trafic, let’s see how it stacks up against the ProMaster City, Transit Connect, VW California, Mercedes Metris, & NV200.

 

Renault Trafic Cost

Cost: Renault Trafic vs Ram ProMaster City vs Ford Transit Connect vs Nissan NV200 vs Mercedes Metris vs VW California

ModelNewUsedPrice
Renault Trafic$51,952$28,594Check Price
Ram ProMaster City$30,475$27,950Check Price
Ford Transit Connect$29,365$17,995Check Price
Nissan NV200$23,500$13,985Check Price
Mercedes Metris$34,900$27,954Check Price
VW California$73,385N/ACheck Price

 

Renault Trafic Dimensions

Dimensions: Renault Trafic vs Ram ProMaster City vs Ford Transit Connect vs Nissan NV200 vs Mercedes Metris vs VW California

Model

Interior HeightInterior Length (cargo)Interior Width

Ext Length

Renault Trafic

54.6 inches99.9 inches65.4 inches

196.8 inches

Ram ProMaster City

51.8 inches87.2 inches60.4 inches

187.5 inches

Ford Transit Connect

49.5 inches117.5 inches48.7 inches

190 inches

Nissan NV20053.5 inches80.3 inches59.1 inches173.2 inches
Mercedes Metris55 inches105.4 inches66.3 inches202.4 inches
VW California55.5 inches101.3 inches66.9 inches193.1 inches

 

Renault Trafic Fuel Economy

Fuel Economy: Renault Trafic vs Ram ProMaster City vs Ford Transit Connect vs Nissan NV200 vs Mercedes Metris vs VW California

ModelCityHighwayCombined
Renault Trafic24 MPG34 MPG29 MPG
Ram ProMaster City21 MPG28 MPG24.5 MPG
Ford Transit Connect24 MPG27 MPG25.5 MPG
Nissan NV20024 MPG26 MPG25 MPG
Mercedes Metris19 MPG23 MPG21 MPG
VW California36.2 MPG42.2 MPG39.2 MPG

 

Conclusion: Is the Renault Trafic Right for you?

There are a lot of reasons to like the Renault Trafic: It’s reliable, spacious, & easy to drive  – but it may not be for you.

Biggest factors:

  • Reliability
  • Good fuel economy
  • Multiple wheelbase and height options
  • More interior room than other small vans
  • Not as many builders/resources available

So should you get one?

Maybe! We’d recommend the Renault Trafic over the Mercedes Metris for Europeans who prefer the Renault brand over Mercedes or Ford and have a higher budget.

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