Western ski areas are having one of their best snow seasons of the past few years, and if all that snow has you contemplating a van, we’ve got the one for you. Although most people have traditionally used RVs to chase warm weather, a growing number of adventurers do the opposite—chasing storms, sleeping in vans in parking lots (we’ve got a map!), and waking up to fresh tracks. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.
Of course, this requires a well-insulated van with heaters and the appropriate amount of space to haul all of the gear necessary for skiing. We’ve featured Oregon-based van conversion company Outside Van before (check out this bike-centric van for two or this luxurious off-grid van) and their latest rig is what powder dreams are made of.
Called the Bivy, the van uses a 4x4 Mercedes Sprinter 144 as its base and then transforms it into a sporty ski cabin. The 4x4 Sprinter handles the snow like a beast—I know, because I have a larger 4x4 outfitted by Sportsmobile—and the Bivy adds a plethora of ski racks in order to store all the skis or snowboards you could want.
The interior is adventure-oriented, with racks on either side, storage in large boxes underneath, and overhead cabinets on one side of the van. The main cabin area is kept clear, largely because the Bivy can hold a full-size snowmobile. There’s a ramp that helps you get the snowmobile out, and an electric winch that pulls the snowmobile back in after use.
Worried about getting snow inside the van? An air compressor makes blowing the snow off of your snowmobile and skis a cinch. And when it comes time to sleep, double bunks flip down to sleep two comfortably inside sleeping bags. While the van doesn’t come with a full kitchen, a compact shelf at the front of the van holds a Vita Mix bar to make smoothies. Other perks include a diesel heater, plenty of outlets, rear door stuff sacks, a roof rent, a solar package, and upgraded tires. A video below shows how the whole thing works.
Outside Van converts most any van as long as they are 2007 or newer; you can provide your own van, order a new one, or choose from a chassis that’s in stock. Their builds forego the traditional “RV-look” for a more modern, sleek design. Conversions start at $32,000 and many run well over $100,000—just check out this luxury version that cost $240,000.
For regular RVers, this van likely lacks the basic amenities needed for warm-weather living; there’s no full kitchen, bathroom, or queen size bed. For for anyone who prioritizes powder over all else—and if you have a snowmobile to boot—the Bivy provides a fresh take on what a snow-chasing van might look like.