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Four-wheel-drive camper van is prepped for off-grid adventure

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Designed by Alabama-based Storyteller Overland

A gray Mercedes Sprinter van with a yellow and red stripe sits on the grass. Courtesy of Storyteller Overland

We’re always on the lookout for new camper vans, and the latest to catch our eye is the Mode 4x4 from Alabama-based Storyteller Overland. Over the past year we’ve seen a range of new camper vans custom built for biking, skiing, or even snowmobiling adventures. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.

Unlike custom conversion vans, however, Storyteller Overland is offering a single product that aims to compete with the Winnebago Revel and Airstream Class Bs. And like these larger companies, the Mode 4x4 is offered through a nationwide network of dealers.

To begin, potential buyers need to decide their base van—either a 144-inch Mercedes Sprinter with factory four wheel drive or a 148-inch Ford Transit with an aftermarket Quigley 4x4. On these relatively short wheelbases the Mode 4x4 packs a lot into a small space. The exterior foregoes traditional—and rather boring—RV design for a sleek red and yellow stripe.

Inside, a kitchen block sits inside the sliding door and boasts an electric cooktop, a refrigerator, and a sink. Across from the cooking area sits a dual-seat bench that can work in a seated position for eating before also laying flat for use as a bed. Swivel cab seats and an adjustable table round out the eating area up front, while a rear flip-away bed takes advantage of flared sides in order to sleep widthwise.

In a lot of ways, this is a standard set up for a converted van. But what about a bathroom? That can be hard to fit in a van this size—and is why some people go without them—but Storyteller Overland manages to fit it in with a flexible wet bath located behind the dinette. A bench holds a shower basin with drain while above a privacy curtain and shower head drop down from the storage cabinet. The bench also stores a portable toilet, or you can take the toilet out and use the bench as storage. See how the whole thing works in the video, below.

And because the rear bed isn’t fixed, it can be lifted up to fold against the side walls. This creates a space for bikes and other adventure gear, or it’ll allow you to move furniture. When the bed is in the up position, a table flips open for use as a workbench or an additional cooking space. Other perks in the van include a lithium battery bank, roof-mounted solar, an air conditioner, and a diesel cabin and water heating system for winter.

Whether you opt for the Mercedes or Ford van, the Mode 4x4 will cost around $150,000. That might seem pricey to some consumers, but it’s in line with the Revel and Airstream’s Interstate Nineteen. Even if that’s too expensive for your budget, it’s fun to see a new company build a product to rival industry heavyweights like Winnebago. The Mode 4x4 is also the latest four-wheel-drive van, a growing trend that doesn’t show any signs of slowing.