Custom van builds can pack a lot into a small amount of space, from camper vans that sleep a family of six to luxury builds full of over-the-top amenities. Many of these larger builds, however, use the longer Mercedes Sprinters or Ram Promasters as their base. For some aspirational van owners out there, these larger vans are just a bit too big. Love campers and trailers? Come join our new community group.
One custom build that recently caught our eye is the “Shorty” van from Sync Vans. We first came across Idaho-based Sync Vans in Arizona at the Overland Expo West, where we were able to tour their vans in person. Sleek finishes and innovative storage ideas made a good first impression, and we love that Sync has a much shorter build time—less than four months—than many of their competitors.
The Shorty van is an adventurer’s rig, all based on a 2017 Mercedes Sprinter. It uses the 144” wheelbase and a standard roof, so this is a van that can go anywhere and function as a perfect stealth camper. The grey and black color scheme features an orange accent color, and Sync Vans added an AMF Bruns removable jump seat for an extra passenger. The side door opens into the living room and sleeping area, with a 75 inch sofa bed that folds out to sleep two people.
The van boasts sheet vinyl flooring and dimmable LED interior lighting, but the most impressive feature is how much storage is packed into the compact space. Slide out storage under the bed provides smart solutions for clothing, while a full height drawer system in the rear of the van gives you access to all of your other gear. A Dometic CFX 28 fridge helps you keep the essential foodstuffs chilled, and a roof vent and t-vent windows aid circulation.
Sync Vans proves that they know how to maximize space for adventurers; a 1Up bike mount tray and side racks provide space for bikes and ski gear. While many builds opt for a gear garage and bed platform, this design keeps the van open and airy, as well as allowing for plenty of space to haul other items in the center aisle when you’re not camping. Another thoughtful addition is the bright orange gear hooks and paper towel roll, since there’s nothing worse than having nowhere to hang wet items after an outing.
A slew of other amenities round out the build, like a Webasto heating package with insulation, a road shower, a Goal Zero lithium battery, and an entertainment system with an upgraded stereo. An on-board air compressor lets you air up tires in a hurry, and an Aluminess front bumper bar and roof rack keeps the Shorty van Instagram-ready.
We like the space-saving design elements of the Shorty and its sporty appearance. Sync Vans also offers other builds—including one with a raised bed—or they can create a completely custom design. Custom conversions start at $32,000 (plus the price of the van), and you can head over here for more.