Are you planning to stay only in one destination or travel around??
Consider that the distances in Brazil is extremely big and the roads are not that great
The main part would be to know where are you to going and where you are planning to leave the car.
It is much easier to get a hotel and enjoy the vacation, saving all those problems that you might have about 5 years ago
It is difficult to answer.
Of course you have more flexibility with a van, but indeed, there are many places that you would better avoid.
I would not enter big cities like Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo with a van, and especially avoid the huge slum areas (favelas) around any larger city.
The only possible places I could think of are the smaller towns, especially close to beaches between the states of São Paulo and Bahia or even more up north. Paraty at the coast between Rio and São Paulo is particularly nice, and possibly doable with a van. Travelling from there to other major cities, however, is a lot of driving (Brasilia 1300km, Salvador da Bahia 1900km), and indeed, the roads are not great, and you will have to choose carefully where to stay over night.
If you never visited Brazil and do not have a local with you, I would definitievely not do that. I have lived more than 10 years in Brazil and have a good feeling for where it could be dangerous, and where not, and I still would not do a trip with a van, because I would always have a problem where to park it, especially over night. about 5 years ago
Brazil is wonderful. Anywhere is dangerous just have common sense and not go places alone at night time. Stay in Sao Paulo you have many hotel options and has flights to everywhere in Brazil, besides having too many things to do. With Van you will only be able to go to Rio de Janeiro-RJ and Belo Horizonte-MG and still is very far. Is better to go with the same plane. The larger cities are very far from each other. about 5 years ago
We intend attending just 3 World Cup events: the concert the night before the opening ceremony, the opening ceremony and game and just 1 other game, the rest of the time we intend touring the country and do not intentd staying in any one place for more than 2 days. about 5 years ago