It really is cool to have a proper place to cook, keep books, keep bikes and other gear, cover huge distances and stay in at sub zero temperatures and horrific storms. Plus, the lifestyle adaption that comes is pretty good, you get so sick of the van that you constantly go outside and go to the gym or climbing, and if you work at home, you tend to go out and work in the outdoors on a bench, or go to a coffee shop or bar to do your work (I drawfag for a living), which is much better than rotting in your mom's basement. Another lifestyle adaption is that vans fucking stink if you're not careful, so you get used to doing your washing up straight away, cleaning up regularly, keeping things tidy, giving away any superfluous junk, and practising good hygeine. I was a NEET before I moved into my sprinter and now I feel like I have my shit together far more than when I actually had a NEET attic room at home, despite the fact that I am technically homeless. Just driving out to nature when I feel the depression coming on, and actually having a routine, unoptional access to the wider world and basic necessary maintenance really improved me as a person.
I agree, those camper vans look like dogshit and are always a nightmare, but there are enough hipster fucks instagramming their #vanlife that you can find a better setup that looks nicer and does everything you want (or don't want) for a fraction
Vanlife is bretty good while you're young, don't do it if you're going to have a serious relationship and then kids soon, I couldn't imagine sharing a tiny box with a woman for longer than a few days, let alone a baby (but then again most instagram hipster vanlifers are antinatal hedonistic fucks who probably have an open relationship or think it's misogynistic to tell their woman to back off and get your own space for a while or something)