How to Build a Badass DIY Camper Van

Big Sur Sprinter Van

If you have enough money, it’s easy to buy an incredible adventure rig. Building a camper van, on the other hand, is trickier but a helluva lot more affordable.

You can either go the cheap, bare-bones route or opt for the nicest amenities around, but I prefer an approach that strikes a balance between the two.

I spent less than $15,000 (plus the vehicle) retrofitting my Sprinter cargo van, including items like a stainless-steel fridge and a full electrical system with solar. Some people fully devote six months to a build-out, but mine took about four months of part-time effort. (I’d rather mountain bike than build stuff.)

Whether you’re retrofitting a used Ford Econoline or a new Mercedes Sprinter 4×4, here’s a framework to guide your decisions…

Read the full article at Outside Magazine.

8 replies
    • Dakota
      Dakota says:

      Thanks, Megan! Hopefully not the first AND last. I’ve already got a few other ideas I’m working on for future article pitches.

    • Dakota
      Dakota says:

      It’s prettttty fun, gotta say. I track all our mileage and so far we’re right at 20.5 mpg. Not bad for a little house with all our possessions, if you ask me. I don’t think mileage is a huge deal unless you’re driving a ton, actually. Power and longevity of the engine is a big factor too. The Ford Transit is a new rig in the last couple years that is great too!

  1. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Congrats Dakota on the Outside article! Thanks for sharing the world with your readers via all these thoughtful and photographic posts!

  2. Benen
    Benen says:

    I have just sold my VW California size van and I like your van so much Im going to use it as a basis for my next conversion. Thanks for the blog. Go neiri an bothar leat (may the road always rise to meet you).


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