RV design can often be summarized in one word: boring. We’re no fans of the ubiquitous swoopy exterior graphics on most travel trailers and Class As, and the interiors of RVs are awash in cliched, uninspired neutrals. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.
In the camper van world, however, a slew of custom conversion companies are offering fresh takes on mobile living. We’ve seen tiny-home inspired concept campers, cozy vans that look like roving apartments, and bold takes on color and patterns.
One of the most refreshing companies currently converting vans is Nomad Vanz. Based in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Nomad Vanz builds custom vans for weekend adventurers or for full-time van lifers. Most builds use the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter high or low roof vehicles, although Nomad Vanz has done partial conversions for customers who own Ford Transits, Dodge ProMasters, and the Mercedes-Benz Metris.
We first met the Nomad Vanz crew at Overland Expo in 2018 where we ogled their showcase van Out of the Blue. Today we’re checking out their latest build, Jupiter, which transformed a bright red Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4 Cargo Van into a home-on-the-go. The high-roof van features the shortest wheelbase (144 inches) offered by Mercedes, but Nomad Vanz still manages to fit in all the essentials, and more.
Step into the sliding side door and you’re struck by the van’s bright colors. A yellow floor is both durable and cheery, and red kitchen cabinets match the van’s exterior. A feature Chilewich wall adds texture to compliment the other colors, while gray storage upper and central cabinets balance out the design.
An oversized window adds an airy feeling above the small cube seating area, and a moveable teak tabletop works for work or eating. The surprisingly large kitchen packs a punch, featuring a ceramic diesel stove, a Vitrifrigo fridge and freezer that’s conveniently placed at shoulder height, and a microwave.
While Nomad Vanz has built other campers that sleep a family, the Jupiter van is made to sleep two crosswise in a rear bed that benefits from flared sides. The bed is also a drawbridge style, made to hideaway and give maximum flexibility. When in the up position, campers have access to extra counter space in the kitchen and they can walk-through to the rear of the van.
Other perks in the van include a Webasto air and hot water heater, a water purifier, a portable toilet, and extensive lighting. The rear of the van features an air compressor for pumping up tires or SUPs and plenty of storage in side pockets. The side of the van also boasts a rain closet—Nomad Vanz’s signature indoor-outdoor shower system with on-demand hot and cold water and a flush mounted shower pan. Throw in the van’s awning, custom racks, and burly bumpers and you have an adventure-minded van ready for fun.
Each Nomad Vanz build is custom, and the company works with each client to build what they need, so prices can vary. Beyond the innovative shower and bed systems, we love that Nomad Vanz offers a bright, cheery color combinations and sleek, modern styling. Even if you’re going the DIY route, the Jupiter van offers plenty of inspiration.