Ask any follower of the #VanLife philosophy to elaborate on its attributes and you’ll get an earful; living in a van can help you downsize, forego a mortgage, and facilitate adventures in new places. But underneath the evangelizing is a hard reality: Van life is still expensive. Love campers and trailers? Come join our new community group.
Many new camper vans cost upwards of $50,000 just for the base vehicle, and high-end conversions easily run tens of thousands of dollars—custom builds like this one cost well over $200,000. Of course, most van dwellers aren’t spending this much money, instead living out of used vans or doing much of the conversion work themselves. Still, what if you want to buy a (new-to-you) van, have someone else do the conversion work, but not shell out a ton of money. Are there any options?
Maryland-based Off Grid Adventure Vans is building brand-new budget conscious vans on the Ram Promaster chassis for around $60,000 all-in (van+conversion), but the latest company to cross our radar is Boho Camper Vans in Phoenix, Arizona.
Founded as a camper van rental company, Boho is now offering affordable van conversions for sale. The Boho team starts with one-ton commercial passenger vans and outfits them with a streamlined and downright Instagrammable look. Wood finishes on the ceiling, walls, and doors can be done in pine or cedar, and a small kitchenette features a bamboo countertop and sink. A full-size bed provides space to sleep two, LED interior lights dim for reading at night, and vinyl flooring is easy to sweep out and keep clean.
A 25-gallon water tank supplies the sink and outdoor shower, while a 48-inch rear pullout table with bamboo countertop gives you a place to cook or eat outside. Privacy curtains cover the many windows at night, and the whole system is powered by dual solar panels (100 watts each), two 12V batteries, and an inverter with USB and AC outlets.
Boho throws in linens, towels, cooking supplies, a propane grill, and a cooler—all for a total price of $35,000. This includes both the van and the conversion, and Boho does all the legwork of finding a van to get started. Most often, this means a completely vetted van with fewer than 100,000 miles and one that’s newer than 2001, although customers can also choose to convert a brand new van (at higher prices).
We know that $30,000 is still a lot of money, but it’s much less expensive than other options. You can also rent one of their vans first to help make the final decision about whether you’re ready to buy.
Another perk of buying with Boho: Their current start to finish time is a mere four weeks. That’s lightyears faster than many other camper conversion companies and means that you could have a van in time to see the fall colors in the Northeast. Interested in seeing more? Head over here.