As camper vans become increasingly popular, new custom conversion companies are popping up throughout North America. Unlike a manufactured van from big-time names like Airstream or Winnebago, a custom van often uses different materials, colors, and patterns, creating the feeling that you’re rolling down the highway in a hip, tiny apartment instead of an RV.
The latest company to catch our eye is Calgary-based Yama Nomad Vans. With a tag line that proclaims, “Not your mom and dad’s RV,” Yama Nomad builds custom vans and also rents vans out to vacationers or anyone looking to try van life.
Called the Christopher, this 2018 four-wheel-drive Mercedes Sprinter van showcases the gorgeous design typical of Yama Nomad in a 170-inch wheelbase. The van features tiled floors and all-white walls, with a sofa that works for daytime lounging or reading. A swivel table and swivel front cabin chairs gives you a spot to eat or work, and overhead cabinets allow for plenty of storage.
Where Yama Nomad sets themselves apart is the home-like design of their kitchen. A white farmhouse sink with a pull down faucet contrasts with teal and gold-accented cabinets. A custom walnut countertop adds warmth to the design, and the kitchen also features a diesel-powered Webasto two-burner cooktop, white-tiled wall, magnetic knife block, 75-liter top-load fridge, and enough drawers to store your utensils and cooking supplies.
Across from the kitchen sits a fully built out shower with composting toilet, black tiles, and a skylight. In fact, skylights throughout the van make for an airy space, and well-placed LED dimmable lights help, too. The Christopher is built to sleep two on a rear bad that goes across the van thanks to flared sides. The bed area also features storage, another skylight, and reading lights, making for a cozy spot to sleep.
Other perks of the van include an internal gear garage that’s accessed from the rear. With room for two bikes, snowboards, and other supplies, it’s prepped for adventure. The Christopher also comes with custom, handmade leather seats, a backup camera, lithium batteries, solar power, and an Aluminess roof rack and side ladder.
Rental rates start at $220 CDN/night between October-May and $330 CDN/night between June-September with unlimited mileage and a one-week minimum. Yama Nomad is also pet friendly and offers a $50 discount for anyone who brings their dog.
Custom builds are priced according to client needs, but start with a foundation package that’s priced at $35,000 CDN. Most builds average $70,000-$100,000 CDN, excluding the cost of the van. Head over here for more.