clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Converted camper van is a cozy home on wheels

Built for life on the road

Photos by Hannah Hendrickson, courtesy of Freedom Vans

One of the best things about camper vans compared to other RVs is how inventive the interiors can be. On the outside, many of the Mercedes Sprinters or Ford Transits can look similar, but step inside and you’ll find a world of difference. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.

Some camper conversion companies go for the ultra-modern look, with lots of grays, blacks, and stainless steel accents. Other vans, however, opt for a cozier look—like this custom camper van from Washington-based Freedom Vans. Like other camper conversion companies, Freedom Vans builds out Sprinters, Transits, and Promasters to create off-grid, go-anywhere campers perfect for adventure.

Called the Big Gigantic, this 170-inch wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter was built for full-time life on the road—including two cats—for a couple in Oklahoma who were inspired by their thru-hiking adventures on the Appalachian trail.

The interiors look warm and inviting, with white as the dominate color and lots of wood accents. On top of the standard elements like insulation, paneling, and solar power, Freedom Vans used oak countertops and custom cabinetry to make the van feel more like a small farmhouse apartment than a cramped vehicle. A small galley kitchen provides a place to cook with a sink and stove combo and a refrigerator, while interior LED lights keep things bright.

There’s a surprising amount of counter space thanks to the longer Sprinter’s wheelbase, and plentiful storage comes from upper and lower cabinets and shelves. The bench seats transform into a two-person bed at night, and the back doors provide views to the landscape outside. Other amenities include an outdoor shower, an awning, a fresh water system, and a very cool flip-up table off the back for easy picnics.

Someone is bound to ask and no—there is no bathroom in the van. Like other adventurers (including myself), this couple decided to opt for other options while on the road. Want a toilet but don’t want a traditional bathroom? I break down the possibilities, here.

Each van is custom so pricing varies, but Freedom Vans reports that short wheel vans (like the 144 Sprinter) generally range between $25,000 to $60,000 for a full conversion, while the long wheel base vans (170 Sprinter of the Extended Fort Transit) cost about $35,000 to $85,000. If you like their work, head over here to see more project galleries.

The exterior of the Big Gigantic, a custom conversion van from Freedom Vans.
The galley kitchen uses a sink and stovetop combo.
Creative details include this wood support for the shelf.
The bed opens to the back for epic #VanLife views.
An innovative flip-up table on the back makes picnics easy.