17.4 C
New York
Sunday, June 16, 2024

Best Overlanding Vans of 2023

I’ve been camping and overlanding for the majority of my life…

When I was a kid, we camped in fairly ratty, old tents in the woods near my childhood home in upstate New York. As an adult, I’ve done my fair share of car and truck camping. In recent years, I’ve explored the world of overlanding with my 2020 Jeep Gladiator and my Turtleback Expedition Trailer. So, it’s been a mixed bag of overlanding experiences as time has gone by.

One thing I haven’t done much of is overlanding in a campervan – and that’s something I’ve grown to regret.

Campervans are fantastic overlanding vehicles because you get the benefit of having space for all your gear in a vehicle that can handle all sorts of rough-and-tumble terrain. Of course, not having a trailer behind it makes a campervan setup much more streamlined and economical than having a truck and trailer setup like I do.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to scope out some campervans up close and personal, and it was that experience that really got me thinking about the many benefits of overlanding in a van. Of course, not all vans are made alike, so highlighting a few top choices to consider for your overlanding adventures seems like a good idea.

So, with that said, let’s dive into my list of some of the best overlanding vans of 2023!

Table of Contents

Best Overlanding Vans 2023: Chevy Express 3500 With Pop-Top Conversion

chevy express exterior

In the world of overlanding, the search for the perfect adventure vehicle is a constant quest for enthusiasts seeking the ideal blend of rugged capability, versatility, and comfort…

This Chevy Express 3500 campervan, professionally converted by Colorado Camper Van and available for purchase from BTR Outfitters, stands as a shining example of what an overlanding vehicle should be. With its numerous modifications and carefully designed interior, it rightfully claims the top spot on my list of the best overlanding vans for 2023.

Let’s begin examining this bad boy by discussing its off-road capabilities.

chevy express exterior rear

This Chevy Express 3500 campervan doesn’t just look the part; it’s equipped to tackle the toughest terrain. The Quigley 4X4 conversion with a 3-inch lift provides the necessary ground clearance to venture off the beaten path and discover secluded camping spots. Combined with a locking rear differential, a 3.42 rear axle ratio, and a robust 6.6-liter V8 engine under the hood, this van is a true off-road beast.

Convenience features are also abundant, including remote start for those chilly mornings, rear park assist for maneuvering in tight camping spots, and a 220-amp alternator. You can further enhance your driving experience with options like Bluetooth, cruise control, and a heavy-duty tow package.

chevy express exterior front

The van’s exterior upgrades continue the theme of “overlanding beast.” Beyond the 4×4 conversion and lift, it features front and rear Fox shocks, an aftermarket progressive rear leaf spring, and 33″ BF Goodrich K02 tires wrapped around matte black Method race wheels.

The van’s front sports a WeldTec tube winch stealth bumper, and the rear boasts a WeldTec tube bumper with dual swing outs, a spare tire mount, and an Aluminess box. Nice! These enhancements combine to create a highly capable off-roader that’s equally comfortable on and off the road, making it suitable for various adventures, from weekend getaways to deep wilderness exploration.

chevy express upper bunk

But how about the inside of this titan among the best overlanding vans of 2023?

Well, I’m glad you asked, because the interior of this van is next-level good! The entire roof lifts to create a spacious cabin that allows you to stand up straight. This unique feature offers additional sleeping space for kids in the forward part of the van, with a rear bed ideal for two adults and two more sleeping spots in the upper bed at the rear. All told, this van comfortably sleeps 4-6 people.

chevy express kitchen

A Dometic TRX 1000 12V rooftop A/C, diesel heater, and hot water system keep the interior comfortable. The van comes equipped with onboard fresh water and gray water tanks, a shore power hookup, and a Maxxair fan for ventilation, too.

For power, a robust system includes a 540 ah lithium battery with a 2,000-watt Xantrex inverter, a 200-watt solar panel with a 20-amp controller, and a REDARC battery management system. The campervan also features a complete kitchen setup with a sink, fridge, and induction cooktop. Like I said earlier, this van has it all!

chevy express storage

The cabinetry in this van is both functional and beautifully designed. The same applies to the countertop in the galley, and wood-paneled exterior walls create a cozy cabin-like ambiance. LED lighting throughout provides ample illumination, while built-in shades on the windows ensure privacy and a peaceful night’s sleep.

The van boasts ample storage space, with drawers, cabinets, and cubbies throughout the cabin. Even with a family of four, you’ll have no trouble keeping everything organized and out of the way.

All these elements combine to create a sense of luxury within the van. It’s not a bare-bones off-roader but a comfortable home on wheels that you can take just about anywhere. It’s like a luxury hotel on wheels!

chevy express rear seats

Apart from all the goodies, gadgets, and features in this van, you get the backing of BTR Outfitters with your purchase. You can buy your van with confidence, knowing you have one of the best teams in the business to support you before, during, and after the sale. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the BTR Outfitters team over the course of the last year or so, and a better group of folks you will not find!

So, to sum up, this is a fantastic van with a killer conversion, loads of off-road prowess, and space for the whole family. You get practical features and luxury touches all wrapped in an all-in-one, go-anywhere vehicle. What’s not to like?!

Learn more about the Chevy Express 3500 With Pop-Top Conversion

Best Overlanding Vans 2023: Ford Transit MR Campervan 

ford transit mr front

Another fine option for your overland van needs is the Ford Transit MR Campervan. This particular model has been professionally converted for overlanding and is available for purchase from BTR Outfitters, one of the best teams in the business.

After spending some time with the BTR Outfitters folks and this van out in the wild, I can confidently say this van is a true adventurer’s dream on wheels. This well-equipped van boasts a plethora of features that make it an ideal choice for those who love overlanding and seek the perfect balance of comfort and rugged capability.

ford transit mr bunk

With the ability to comfortably sleep up to 6 people, this campervan is designed for group adventures. The inclusion of an outside shower ensures you can freshen up after a day of exploration, while the 200W Solar Panel keeps the van powered up even in remote locations, allowing you to stay off the grid for longer.

ford transit mr rear

The WeldTec lift kit takes the Transit MR Campervan off the beaten path, opening up a world of possibilities for off-road exploration. Paired with Method 701 Bead Grip race wheels, the van is ready to tackle diverse terrain with confidence – just what you want in one of the options for the best overlanding vans!

ford transit mr galley

Inside, the campervan is a haven of convenience. The Ruvati 15X15 Sink and Induction Cooktop make meal preparation a breeze, while the Isotherm Cruise 130W keeps your perishable food nice and cool. The Aqua-Hot hot water/heating system ensures you have hot water to clean up and plenty of heat to stay cozy, even in chilly weather. The Dometic RTX 1000 12V Roof Top A/C adds a touch of luxury, keeping the interior cool during warmer days.

The dinette-to-bed combo and front passenger swivel seats provide versatile seating and sleeping options, optimizing space within the van. Another top feature is the hidden flip-up storage box for a Porta Potty, which ensures that essential facilities are available for those remote camping spots.

ford transit mr table

Outside, the Fiamma 3 Meter Freedom Awning creates a shaded outdoor space, perfect for enjoying the surroundings. The Aluminess Front Bumper with Bull Bar adds a rugged look and provides extra protection for your adventures.

Meanwhile, the Aluminess Ladder + Tire/box Rack Combo and Rear Door Base Unit + Horizontal Bike Rack Kit Combo enhance the van’s storage capabilities, allowing you to bring along all your gear.

ford transit mr cab

Under the hood, the 3.5L Ecoboost V6 engine, combined with the 3.73 Limited Slip Axle, delivers the power and performance needed for challenging trails. The 360-degree Camera ensures you have a clear view of your surroundings, too, enhancing safety during off-road maneuvers.

The inclusion of advanced features such as the Xantrex 807-2055 Freedom HFS True Sine Wave inverter, Redarc Battery Management System, and the Lithium w/ DC to DC charger/isolator, along with the impressive 600 amp hours from the three 200 amp hour SOK batteries, ensures that you have reliable power management for extended adventures.

ford transit mr rear doors

In other words, the Ford Transit MR Campervan available for purchase from BTR Outfitters is a top choice for overlanding enthusiasts who demand both comfort and capability. With its rugged exterior, well-thought-out interior features, and advanced technical specifications, this campervan is ready to take you on the ultimate off-road adventure. Let the journey begin!

Learn more about the Ford Transit MR Campervan

Best Overlanding Vans 2023: Camplife Customs

camplife customs snow exterior 2

Camplife Customs is a family-owned, California-based company that builds some of the best vans in the state. But what makes me say that?

Well, it’s simple, really!

For starters, Adam and Bobby, the founders of Camplife Customs, have a long background in welding, fabrication, and building trades alike. They’ve translated that experience into building high-end custom vans with unparalleled strength, materials, and finishes that are second to none.

Let’s examine this overlanding van a little further, though…

camplife customs interior 4

It’s one thing to say that you build strong vans, but it’s another to actually do it. With Camplife Customs, the proof is in the pudding. These vans have steel-fabricated frameworks that give the vehicle unparalleled strength, long-term durability, and an extremely high level of quality.

Additionally, Camplife Customs uses the best electronic components available. You’ll find marine-grade substrates throughout the van, too, and, of course, the steel framework I just mentioned as well. All of that comes together as one of the best conversion vans money can buy.

camplife customs interior 2

In other words, Adam and Bobby have found a way to push their way to the tip of the spear in this industry, innovating along the way to produce vans that aren’t just comfortable and luxurious but also cutting-edge.

Now, let’s talk some specifics about one of Campline Customs’ vans – the Apres 144 Snow.

The exterior of this overlanding van has all the goodies you could hope for, like a 360-degree camera, parking sensors, and Black Rhino rims with Goodyear Duratrac Tires. The Apres 144 Snow also features a Vancompass Stage 3 lift kit, Optirate rear leaf springs, and a Baja front bumper.

A rear spare tire carrier is in the back, and on the driver’s side is a Mule ladder that gives you access to a Low Pro Areo Roof Rack. Add in 200 watts of solar power, an Auxbeam upper light bar, and a Baja Designs lower light assembly to the mix, too!

But as impressive as the exterior of this van is, the interior takes it to a whole other level…

camplife customs snow sliding door

Pop open the sliding passenger-side door, and you’re welcomed by a cabin that has an Espar diesel heater with a high elevation kit to keep you warm. On top of that, you’ll enjoy heated floors to warm your feet after a long day of hitting the slopes! The four-season insulation in the van extends its ability to keep you toasty warm on your wintertime adventures. A great feature for a van that’s among the best overlanding vans of the year!

camplife customs snow garage

The interior space is appointed with many other features that set this van apart from the competition. You’ll find heated seats, a ski boot warmer, and a large garage in the rear with a ski and snowboard passthrough. You can answer Mother Nature’s call with the Laveo Dryflush Toilet, top off your water bottle with the Waterdrop filtration system, and wash up using hot water from the Fugatti on-demand water heater. The van has a 22-gallon freshwater tank (with a tank heater) and a 22-gallon heated greywater tank as well.

What about electronics? Well, Camplife Customs has you covered there, too.

The 200-watt solar panels feed 800ah Campluxe off-grid batteries. You can charge the batteries as you drive using alternator charging, and the power from the batteries is delivered via a 2200-watt pure sine inverter. It’s the ideal setup for off-grid camping!

camplife customs interior 3

But the comforts of home will be right there in the van with you!

You can stock the oversized Dometic refrigerator with your favorite food and drinks, and create awesome meals using the Dometic two-burner cooktop. You can eat dinner at the built-in table for two, which sets up with the push of a button. When you’re ready to hit the sack, just press another button, and the automatic king-sized bed will be ready for you to crawl right in!

camplife customs snow best conversion vans 2023

If you aren’t impressed by Camplife Customs yet, consider this…

These folks have multiple models to choose from, including the Apres 170 Snow Deluxe (which has even more features than the Apres 144 Snow, if you can believe it), the Apres 144 Surf, the Apres 170 Surf Deluxe, the Apres 144 Desert, and Apres 170 Desert Deluxe. In each case, you’ll find a van that is packed full of incredible features that fit your particular adventure style.

At the end of the day, a conversion van is a significant investment. But, when you partner with an outfit like Camplife Customs, you invest in something high-end, customized to your needs, and built to last. What more could you want?!

Learn more about Camplife Customs

Best Overlanding Vans 2023: Ford Transit Trail Ready Camper Conversion Van by Gone Mobile Vans

gone mobile vans best overland vans 2023

The whole point of getting a van for overlanding is having a base camp for outdoor adventures. That’s exactly what you get from Gone Mobile Vans.

With a wide selection of vans to purchase and the ability to find the ideal van chassis for your needs, Gone Mobile Vans can give you exactly what you need for your home away from home in a neat, tidy, and capable package.

But for our purposes here, I want to highlight just one of Gone Mobile Vans’ builds for consideration among the best overlanding vans of 2023…

gone mobile vans awning

The 2023 Ford Transit Trail Ready Camper Conversion Van has everything you need for a comfortable trip, be it a quick weekend camping excursion, a months-long overlanding trip, or something in between.

Let’s review the exterior features of this van first…

gone mobile vans flaresides

This 2023 Ford Transit is a high-roof van with Flarespace Flares on both rear sides of the van. These upgrades make the interior of the van all the more roomy, including 80 inches of sleeping space in the rear, thanks to the flares.

Under the hood is an EcoBoost engine paired with a 10-speed transmission. You get more than 300 horsepower and over 400 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough power to get you up and over steep mountain passes, tow trailers, and so forth. The all-wheel-drive system is a handy addition for those occasions when the roads are less than awesome, too!

The van is equipped with a 360-degree camera system, including a front-facing camera that peeks out from behind the upgraded Ford Raptor grille. Also up front is a skid plate that protects the front of the van (including the intercooler), so you can head off-road with less concern about causing damage to the underside of the van.

gone mobile vans offroad

The off-road prowess of this van is enhanced by a Transit Off-Road two-inch lift kit with adjustable control arms. And in the back are Van Compass Falcon 3.3 adjustable shocks that offer an easy adjustment for stiff to soft ride quality, further enhancing the van’s ability to give you a comfortable ride whether you’re on-road or off.

Gone Mobile Vans has equipped this van with 16-inch Method 703 wheels. The wheels are wrapped with Falken Wildpeak AT3 tires that are quiet and comfortable on-road and offer enhanced off-road capabilities at the same time.

gone mobile vans rear

The back of the van has two must-have upgrades. On the driver’s side rear door is a Flatline Van Company tire carrier for the full-size spare tire. The passenger’s side rear door has a Flatline rear door gear carrier that’s perfect for storing everything from recovery gear to Rotopax to your bikes, snowboards, or skis.

gone mobile vans solar

On the roof of this overlanding van is a Flatline roof rack with L-track cutouts that allow you to safely and securely strap gear down. You’ll find two 100-watt solar panels and a flat-mount system for Starlink internet on the roof, too. You can access all this quickly and easily via the Flatline low-profile side ladder.

Rounding out the exterior amenities is a Fiamma F45S awning. When you get to where you’re going, you can quickly deploy the awning and enjoy some shade as you sit back, relax, and enjoy a beverage after a long day of adventuring!

gone mobile vans cab

Inside, you’ll find a well-appointed space with all the features and amenities you need for a comfortable time on the road.

Up front is a 12-inch Sync 4 display that offers touchscreen controls for most of the van’s features. Directly behind the driver’s seat is an integrated electric toilet (shown below) that automatically seals off the waste bag for a super clean (and smell-free!) experience. The bag system gives you about 50 uses, so you can be on the road for a LONG time before having to get another set of bags.

gone mobile vans table

The bench seat in this overlanding van offers custom cushions on top covered in an outdoor umbrella fabric that makes them super durable. You can choose from a variety of fabric colors, and you can select different cushion thicknesses ranging from two to four inches.

The bench seat also has a Lagun table that’s ideal for eating solo dinners, sharing a meal with your travel buddy, or getting some work done. The table in this van is a single setup, but other options, including a tri-fold table, are available.

gone mobile vans sink

Across from the bench seat is a 36-inch Lost Highway doorway galley. The galley offers ample workspace, a deep stainless sink, and room for an IsoTherm DR85 drawer-style refrigerator. The galley also features 12-volt and USB ports for charging devices and a residential-style plug, too.

Underneath the galley is lots of storage, including a sliding drawer for utensils and a cabinet for larger items. This unit is made from aluminum, so it’s lightweight, but more importantly, it’s incredibly durable for standing up to the rigors of use and abuse over many years.

gone mobile vans ceiling

Along the top of the overlanding van are more Lost Highway cabinets that provide plenty of space for clothing, gear, and other essentials. Above the cabinets is a truly incredible ceiling that features a fun topographic design and integrated puck lights. The material is soft, so you don’t have to worry about bumping your head, and it offers insulative properties against outside temperature and noise, too.

gone mobile vans bed and storage

In the back is a bed system built on top of Lost Highway Fender boxes. The boxes are 32 inches tall and 60 inches wide. When the boxes are connected with the bed panels, you get a sleeping platform that’s perfectly sized for a full 80-inch-long queen-sized bed. You can choose a single or a trifold mattress to suit your needs.

gone mobile vans interior shower

Under the bed is one of this overlanding van’s best features – a Tetravan interior shower. The shower pan folds down and reveals a shower head with a hose with hot and cold water. Simply attach the shower curtain to the ceiling of the van, turn on the water, and you’re ready to shower with 24 gallons of onboard water! Then, when you’re done, fold it all up, and it’s out of the way. You can also use a rear shower with hot and cold water for hosing off outside before coming into the van.

gone mobile vans bed

The rear of the van houses the EcoFlow power kit, too. The kit has a 5kw battery, an inverter and charge controller, and a DC/AC fuse panel. An integrated touchscreen controller makes checking on the system an easy and intuitive process. An available smartphone app enhances its ease of use. Better still, you can charge the system using shore power, solar, the van’s alternator, or an EcoFlow generator.

This van also features a Webasto STC2000 heater to keep you cozy for those chilly nights in the mountains. With onboard control and a companion smartphone app, you can keep the van at just the right temperature with the tap of your phone’s screen.

In other words, the Gone Mobile Vans team has outfitted this bad boy with everything you need to hit the road and not look back. This van is high-tech, comfortable, off-road capable, and offers numerous customizations so you can truly get the van you want and need!

Learn more about Gone Mobile Vans

Best Overlanding Vans 2023: Mammoth Vans

mammoth vans exterior blue

A conversion van enables you to roam the earth in comfort and style. It’s a place to eat, sleep, and hang out. It’s shelter from the storm, your passport from Point A to Point B, and your adventure buddy for whatever lies down the road.

mammoth vans interior with bike

That adventurous spirit is encapsulated in every project Mammoth Vans delivers. After all, the company’s name is inspired by the fossils of those ancient nomadic mammals discovered out on the Olympic Peninsula, where they once roamed the Pacific Northwest long ago – the very same place Mammoth Vans headquarters calls home.

mammoth vans custom interior

Just like the mammoths, the adventure vehicles created by Mammoth Vans are purpose-built for big adventures. Whether it’s starting with an Adventure Wagon interior and an individually tailored Victron electrical system, an Espar heater and water system to rinse off and rehydrate, or dressing up with a full exterior rack and accessory package with an upgraded suspension, you’ll find that your van is more capable of memorably epic journeys for your whole crew. What’s not to like about that?!

mammoth vans team

Mammoth Vans was founded six years ago by two gentlemen with a shared passion for exploring the great outdoors. After gaining some shared experience building vans for another shop, they teamed up to start their own business, focusing on creating chameleon-like builds capable of being molded to every flavor of adventure you’re ready to throw at them. The best do-it-all van conversions in the business!

One of Mammoth Vans’ hallmarks is its streamlined approach to meeting clients’ needs and wants. By making the process as simple and straightforward as possible, the Mammoth team is able to provide fast build times so you can hit the road and begin your adventures sooner.

mammoth vans custom interior 4

But don’t think because Mammoth Vans offers quicker turnaround times than you’re likely to find elsewhere that the quality of the work suffers – nothing could be further from the truth!

The team’s extensive experience in this industry and laser focus on the products and solutions they offer allows them to source quality materials, fabricate functional interior spaces, and make exterior upgrades in a timely fashion. Just look at the example images above and below for evidence of the quality of these rigs.

mammoth vans custom interior 2

Mammoth Vans specializes primarily in customizing the Mercedes Sprinter platform while also leaving the door open for Transit and Promaster conversion work. Mammoth Vans can accommodate a big, cozy bed, an outdoor shower, or an auxiliary fuel tank. Of course, many other options are available, too. Here’s a short list of some of their most popular options:

  • Adventure Wagon RUV Interior Kits
  • Smartfloor tracks for ultra-convenient and configurable seating and cargo restraint
  • Flarespace bump outs for alternative sleeping considerations
  • Overhead storage for all your gear
  • Numerous heating and cooling options like Espar and Nomadic
  • Custom electrical systems (Lithium, solar, and more)
  • Suspension upgrades from the likes of Agile Offroad and Van Compass
  • Roof racks, side steps, ladders, and rear door racks
  • Off-road lights and exterior scene lighting
  • Rooftop tents and pop-tops like SCA and PopRak

mammoth vans tent 1

That’s just a taste of what’s possible with Mammoth Vans, though. Whether you’re a DIY’er looking for help with individual projects or you’re on the hunt for a turnkey one-stop-shop, reach out to Mammoth Vans for a consultation regarding the features and amenities you want. They’ll work with you to make your overlanding dreams a reality!

Learn more about Mammoth Vans

Best Overlanding Vans 2023: Live a Little Vans

live a little vans nicholas 1

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking at conversion vans, you’ve probably noticed a theme – many vans follow similar footprints, the same old thing, if you will. On the one hand, this makes perfect sense. By sticking with the safe bet, conversion van companies can streamline the process, reduce expenses, and maximize profits.

On the other hand, doing the same thing that everyone else is doing can result in some boring conversion van builds. And I don’t know about you, but when I spend a lot of time on the road in a van, I want it to be specifically designed for me.

So, how do you get a “you” van for yourself? You partner with Live a Little Vans – a small family-owned company that’s clearly not afraid to color outside the lines.

Let’s look at a few examples so I can show you what I mean…

live a little vans nicholas 2

Pictured above and below is a 2021 RAM Promaster 2500 with a 159-inch wheelbase that Live a Little Vans customized for their client Nicholas.

When I saw this particular build, the first thing that stood out to me was the positioning of the sink. Notice how it’s not along one of the walls like you see in the vast majority of conversion vans. Instead, this layout maintains a run of countertops along the right side to maximize counter space. This layout also helps divide the galley area from the rear sleeping area. Nice!

This van has another interesting trick up its sleeve. Notice the chaise lounge on the left in the image above. This isn’t just any chaise lounge – as you can see below, it hides a 32×24″ shower and a Laveo Dry-Flush toilet beneath. 

live a little vans nicholas 3

This setup allows you to attach a bidet sprayer shower head to the sink, so there’s no need to run additional plumbing to the shower/toilet area. What’s more, there’s an 18-gallon undermount gray tank for the shower drain with an electric ball valve to dump the water quickly and easily.

Of course, these are just two of many features in this van that highlight what Live a Little Vans can do. If we look at another build – a 2018 Ford Transit with a 148-inch wheelbase for a client named Casey, we can see even more examples of innovative designs and layouts.

live a little vans casey 4

What makes this van unique is the bulkhead separating the living area from the cab. The sliding barn door to access the cab is something I’ve never seen in a van before. But it isn’t just a touch of farmhouse decor and functionality that this bulkhead offers – it also provides an overhead storage shelf that allows Casey to keep his gear neatly organized and out of the way. 

live a little vans casey 5

At just 148 inches, this van isn’t the biggest in the world, but Live a Little Vans proves its ability to maximize every square inch of space. From the collapsable full-sized bed platform to the 24” x 24” shower hidden in a base cabinet to the abundance of overhead storage, this van feels like a much larger rig thanks to the efficient use of space.

live a little vans margaret 6

When clients Margaret and Andy came calling, Live a Little Vans accommodated their need for a versatile van by building their 2022 Sprinter 4×4 2500 in a way that it can seat and sleep up to four people but also convert into a more comfortable space for two for longer trips.

As you can see above, the two rear seats attach to a SmartFloor system that provides a safe riding experience and allows for quick removal when the seats aren’t needed. When it’s just you and one traveling companion, the seats can come out and be replaced with a storage bench with a Lagun table that attaches to the same L-tracks in the floor. Just put the cabinet in place, pop the lid open, secure two knobs to the L-track, and it’s good to go!

live a little vans niki dan 7

One last example of how Live a Little Vans does all it can to meet customers’ needs is the 2022 Sprinter 4×4 2500 conversion they did for Niki and Dan, which you can see above and below. 

Niki and Dan are avid skiers and wanted a true four-season van. On the one hand, the van rides on a Van Compass 4.3 suspension, Owl Vans Talon wheels, and BF Goodrich 275/75 KO2 tires to get around in the snow and muck.

live a little vans niki dan 8

On the other hand, the van sports radiant floor heating, a 540ah lithium electrical system with solar and shore power charging, and an on-board air compressor. With additional options like a winch, an adjustable suspension, a safari roof rack, and a full wet bath shower with a Laveo Dry-Flush toilet, this van is ready to rock for all sorts of adventures. Heck, there’s even a ski locker on the back of the van!

live a little vans niki dan 9

I could go on and on about these vans, but I think you get the point here…

Live a Little Vans takes a road less traveled approach to their builds that result in some of the most unique designs you’ll find in the conversion van market.

Moreover, as you can see from the images, the finishes are absolutely astounding. From the build quality to the materials to how the space inside these vans is utilized, Live a Little Vans proves repeatedly that they deserve to be part of our list of the best overlanding vans 2023!

Learn more about Live a Little Vans

Best Overlanding Vans 2023: Bossi Vans

bossi vans front

When you’re looking for a company to do a van conversion, you want a team with tons of experience. That’s exactly what you get with Bossi Vans.

This family-owned Southern California-based company includes experts in all facets of van conversions, from building to fabrication to electrical. But the Bossi Vans team doesn’t just have the requisite expertise; they also have a strong passion for van life.

bossi vans galley

This combination of passion and experience results in van conversions that are among the best in California. Better still, you can choose between a semi-custom or full van conversion. A semi-custom conversion uses both pre-designed and custom components. The result is a van that fits your needs at a lower budget and with a faster turnaround time.

But if you want a truly custom van, the full conversion option directly involves you in the design of your van. Plus, you get to decide if you want an interior conversion, an exterior conversion, or both. So, what does a completed Bossi Vans conversion look like?

Well…beautiful comes to mind!

bossi vans right profile

Pictured above and below is a recent Bossi Vans conversion of a 2020 Mercedes 170 Sprinter van. As you can see, the van, which is called the Baja, has an Aluminess rack and ladder for easy access to the roof. Speaking of the roof, it houses dual 175-watt Renogy solar panels and a Fiamma f45 Eagle electric awning. 

Other exterior upgrades include an LED light bar, Diode Dynamics flood lights in the rear, Rigid Industries exterior lights on the passenger side, and Vanspeed side steps to help you get in and out of the van with ease. This build also includes an Owl Vans Expedition tire carrier for the spare tire.

bossi vans rear

The aforementioned solar panels feed four lithium-ion batteries with 912ah of total power. The van has a Victron 3000-watt inverter charger, a Victron 30-amp MPPT solar charge controller, and two Victron 30-amp DC-DC chargers. The Bossi Vans folks added a Victron Lynx distributor, a Victron Cerbo GX, and a 30-amp shore power connection, too.

In other words, this van can go off-grid for a long time, and the owner won’t have to worry about having enough power to do so!

bossi vans shower

But if you go off-grid, you need water, right? This conversion van has a 30-gallon fresh water tank and a 28-gallon Agile Offroad gray water tank. The Seaflo 42-Series water pump sends water to the water heater, the galley sink, and the interior hot/cold shower.

So, this van ticks the boxes for water and power, but what about cooking, sleeping, and comfort? Well, you guessed it – Bossi Vans has those elements covered as well!

bossi vans interior

This particular build has a gorgeous interior with custom wall panels, Lonseal Lonridge flooring in a beautiful smokey black color, and a galley with custom butcher block countertops. The van has plenty of storage in the custom cabinets, lots of space to wash dishes in the stainless sink, and there’s a place to eat at the elevated bench dinette (which converts into a bed).

bossi vans galley 2

This van allows its owner to cook up some great meals on the road, too, with an Empava induction stove top. Or, if time is of the essence, the Highpointe microwave and convection oven can get a hot meal ready in no time. There’s also space for leftovers in the Isotherm Cruise 200 fridge and freezer, and the cooking smell can be pulled out of the van with the Maxxair fan.

Add in a Dometic TRX 2000 air conditioner and a diesel heater (which doubles as the water heater), and you have everything you need to cook, eat, sleep, and be comfortable.

bossi vans dinette

But anyone can throw features and amenities in a van. So what sets a Bossi van conversion apart?

Well, as you can see in the images above and below, the Bossi Vans team has an extreme attention to detail. And I’m not just talking about the quality of the materials here – this van (like other Bossi Vans) has been painstakingly designed to ensure the utmost comfort, functionality and convenience.

bossi vans recovery boards

From the Vanspeed side capsules that maximize sleeping space to the inclusion of Starlink for off-grid internet needs to a beefy front bumper with shackles in case the van gets stuck in the sand, this van has virtually every amenity you could hope for.

And boy, do you ever get all those things in a pretty package?! I’m particularly fond of the interior of this build with its abundance of light-toned wood and sleek cabinets. The layout of the interior is fantastic as well – it maximizes storage space while also accommodating areas for cooking, dining, and sleeping. 

bossi vans galley 3

Remember, too, that this is just one example of a Bossi Vans build…

This level of craftsmanship is evident in every van the Bossi team makes, whether it’s a semi-custom or a fully custom conversion. If you’re looking for one of the best overlanding van companies of 2023, you’ve certainly found it in Bossi Vans! But don’t take my word for it – check out Bossi Vans on YouTube to see their other recent builds.

Learn more about Bossi Vans

A quick heads-up: If you snag something through our affiliate links or check out our sponsored content, we might earn a commission at no extra cost to you. But fear not, we’re all about recommending stuff we’re truly stoked about!

Learn More:

Related Articles

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -