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Modular kits let you DIY your own camper van

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A cheaper entry into #VanLife

The rear view of a Mercedes Sprinter van outfitted with a modular camper kit from Adventure Wagon.
All photos courtesy of Adventure Wagon

The recent popularity of adventure vans has inspired veteran RV companies to dive into the world of Class B vans and campers. But it’s also given rise to a new, DIY phenomenon that has more people than ever building and renovating their own vans.

Some people want to convert a Mercedes Sprinter or a Ford Transit from an empty cargo van into a mobile living space because they like working with their hands or they like having a creative outlet. But for the vast majority of #VanLifers doing it themselves, it’s because of cost. Custom outfitters like Outside Van or Sportsmobile often charge over $100,000 for conversions. Do most of the work yourself and you can have a sweet van at a fraction of the price.

But what happens if your DIY goals are thwarted by your real-life skill sets? Portland-based Adventure Wagon has a solution with affordable off-the-shelf van conversion sets for the Mercedes Sprinter.

Think of it like an adventure van in a box. Adventure Wagon’s kits include the most important elements to convert your 144-inch or 170-inch wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter into a camper. The design is similar to a lot of Class B gear and people haulers, with a bed platform perched above a gear garage in the rear of the van.

The interior of a van. There are black storage bags that are attached to the roof of the van. There is a storage container on the floor. The seats of the van are white.
The MOAB bed is featured along with Adventure Wagon’s storage bags.
All photos courtesy of Adventure Wagon

Each DIY kits costs between $13,800 and $14,800 (depending on the length of your Sprinter) and features thermal insulation, fabric wall paneling, marine-grade ceiling LED lights, two remote-controlled ceiling fans, and an electrical harness fuse box and wiring kit.

The kits also include Adventure Wagon’s signature lightweight MOAB bed—shorthand for “Mother Of All Beds”—which is made from bamboo plywood and aluminum. In order to maximize storage space in the rear gear garage, the MOAB bed is an elevated three-panel folding bed that secures to supports on the interior van walls. L-track strips on the wall make it so you can reposition the bed at different heights, or even remove it altogether.

Another view of the bamboo and aluminum MOAB bed platform.
All photos courtesy of Adventure Wagon

The RUV DIY kits also come with two overhead storage lockers but it doesn’t include Adventure Wagon’s floor kits, which cost around $2,700. If van lovers aren’t looking for a full kit, you can also buy many of the company’s pieces—like the MOAB bed and 3M Thinsulate insulation—separately.

Adventure Wagon currently only provides kits and pieces for the Mercedes Sprinter, but a MOAB installation kit for the Ford Transit and other vehicles are coming soon. Head over here for more.