Camper vans are so popular right now that every week we discover a new van conversion company working to transform cargo haulers into mobile adventure homes. The best part about all of this van eye candy? Watching fellow camper addicts innovate in unexpected ways. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.
That’s the case with Seattle-based Ryan Wells of Rydawell Woodworks. As a design/build shop, Rydawell Woodworks uses their impressive carpentry skills to create custom vans, furniture, built-ins, and fine cabinetry. Forget that fake faux-wood looking linoleum you see in lots of RVs; a Rydawell rig—like this van that we featured before—is a handcrafted wooden masterpiece.
For Rydawell Woodworks’ latest creation, the Honey Van, the team started with a 2017 4x4 Mercedes Sprinter 170, so there was plenty of space with which to work. But instead of designing the space with the living room towards the front of the van, Rydawell Woodworks chose to mix things up a bit. When you open the sliding side door, you first see two Japanese-inspired Shoji screen doors that hide a composting toilet. Turning towards the rear of the van, red dual benches convert to a queen size bed that is large enough to sleep two.
Red oak hardwood floors add warmth, and one of our favorite elements of the van is the rear facing kitchen. Most van kitchens are rather cramped and usually set in the center of the vehicle. Not so with the Honey van. U-shaped bamboo counters provide loads of cooking and prep space, while a centered sink allows for a nice view when the rear doors are open. Maple cabinetry with soft close hinges and a 75-liter fridge store all the essentials, as do upper cabinets throughout the van.
Outside, a custom Aluminess roof rack and ladder allow access to a high-end solar package, a fold-out awning keeps things shady, and a rack-mounted road shower offers a way to have pressurized water on-the-go. In all, woodworker Ryan Wells says it took about five months to complete the Honey van, and the van uses some of the most unique woodwork they’ve done to date.