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The 3 Best Adventure Vans for Going Off the Grid

Expensive vans built for exploring

Courtesy of Sportsmobile

The tiny home movement may be all the rage lately, but close behind is a captivation with conversion vans built to take adventurers into the wild. There are plenty of DIY examples, but if you don’t have weeks of uninterrupted build time, you might opt for these luxury, off-the-shelf solutions. While expensive, adventure vans offer a whole lot more (or less, depending on your perspective) than a regular RV; an emphasis is placed on being able to drive over rugged terrain, carry all the gear you need for the outdoors, survive in cold conditions, and the vans are able to survive for long periods of time away from civilization (read=without hookups).

The #VanLife phenomenon can be gorgeous (just check out some of these Instagram shots), but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Mobile living requires a lot of flexibility. For adventurers looking to live off grid and get away from it all, however, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Sportsmobile

Sportsmobile has been on the forefront of the van craze since they started customizing vehicles in 1961. They offer a number of different van types but are best known for the iconic Sportsmobile 4x4. Originally a Ford E350, this burly van has an upgraded drivetrain and everything on this van has been "beefed up." Although custom rigs can run upwards of $100,000, it’s actually one of the more budget-friendly adventure vans on the market. Is your wandering heart not ready for the commitment of your own Sportsmobile? Rent one.

Outside Van

If Sprinters are more your style (and who doesn’t love the higher head clearance?), try Outside Van. Although the Mercedes van and luxury customization doesn’t come cheap (over $200,000 for some set ups), these vans are great for holding your mountain bikes, full quiver of skis, SUPs, and even snowmobiles. You can also expect mini-kitchens with custom cabinets, high-end upholstery, and top-of-the-line mattresses. Pictured above, the Space Mountain van is a converted Mercedes Sprinter 170", with a fridge, sink, eating area, table, and a soft garage wall to separate the cabin from the cargo area. The dinette benches pull out to form a 74-inch bed and the captain's chairs swivel to create more seating.

Unicat

The mother of all vehicles that stray from the road is the Unimog, so the ultimate luxury mobile home would be its sister van, the Unicat. Unicat's TerraCross line of campers has six different options for couples, groups or families all built on the burliest of frames and to the highest of technical standards. These vehicles are built for trips that span continents and years. If the only thing stopping you from circumnavigating the globe was your crippling seasickness, here's your solution. Just come up with half a million dollars, on the conservative side. Tagline: "Going there is half the fun."