34.3 C
New York
Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Looking for Custom Van Builders

A Mercedes Sprinter 170 4×4 Extended conversion by Camplife Customs for their client, Alex.

So, you have a van, but it doesn’t exactly fit your needs. What do you do? You hire custom van builders to turn it into your dream machine!

The problem is that there are a lot of conversion van companies out there, and not all of them provide the same level of quality. I’ve met with my fair share of custom van builders over the years, and the simple fact is that most are completely fine, some are really terrible, and a select few rise to the top of the pack. I want you to be equipped to choose one of the very best companies available.

With that said, I’ve put together a quick list of five critical questions to consider when shopping around for custom van builders. I’ll use one of the best companies in the business – Camplife Customs – as an example to illustrate each point. I mean, if it’s the best you want, we might as well shout out the cream of the crop!

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

How Much Experience Do They Have as Custom Van Builders?

Camplife Customs team

The Camplife Customs team.

I don’t want to knock go-getters who’ve just started their company, but when it comes down to it, I want a team with experience to handle building my van.

With experience comes expertise, and with expertise comes an ability to solve problems, utilize space in unique ways, and create finishes that exude craftsmanship. Additionally, experience allows custom van builders to produce a final product that is durable, reliable, and beautiful all at the same time.

Take Camplife Customs as a great example of this concept. Co-founders Bobby and Adam have more than 40 years of experience in manufacturing and fabrication that allow them to create bespoke vans that meet the precise needs of their clients.

Of course, all that experience is nothing without a commitment to collaboration with their clients. Some custom van builders spend too much time on their high horse telling their clients what they should and shouldn’t do. But the Camplife Customs crew strives to listen to your needs and wants and make them a reality. The end result? Everyone is happy!

What Kinds of Vans Do They Customize?

camplife customs promaster bryce

Camplife Customs’ conversion of a Ram Promaster for their client Bryce.

I’ve toured plenty of custom van builders facilities and found that a lot of builders specialize in working with a particular type of van. In business, it can be beneficial to specialize so you can carve out a niche without trying to be a jack of all trades.

But in the custom van business, I’d argue that it’s more beneficial to you as a customer when a conversion van company has the expertise and confidence to work on a variety of platforms. Besides, there is more than one kind of popular conversion van, so why not expand the possibilities for conversion by working with a team that can customize just about anything?

camplife customs apres snow

Camplife Customs conversion of a 2023 Mercedes Sprinter 144 4×4 with a high roof called “Apres Snow.”

Throughout this article, you can see examples of vans the Camplife Customs team has completed. Notice how it’s a lot of different vans…Mercedes Sprinters, RAM Promasters, Ford Transits, and even some Ford Econolines and Chevy Express conversions for good measure.

And I know what you’re thinking…

camplife customs mercedes conversion luis

Interior view of a Camplife Customs conversion of a Mercedes Sprinter 170 4×4 high roof for their clients, Luis and Barbara.

Isn’t a jack of all trades a master of none? Well, sometimes, yes! But in this case, the sheer level of experience and skill of the Camplife Customs crew means they can tackle many different types of conversions on many different platforms – and do so with the utmost confidence in premium results.

What Level of Customization Do Custom Van Builders Offer?

camplife customs nautilus interior

A Camplife Customs conversion of a Mercedes Sprinter 170 4×4 extended high roof called “The Nautilus” for their client, Alex.

Another key component of your search for the ideal custom van is to consider the level of customization a builder offers…

In some cases, you’ll come upon builders that only do complete conversions. In others, it’s more of an a-la-carte situation. But companies like Camplife Customs do all of the above! 

camplife customs sprinter 148 for roger

A 2022 Mercedes Sprinter 148 4×4 high roof conversion by Camplife Customs for their client, Roger.

Whether you need a few things here and there in a van that already does most of what you want or you need a full interior strip-down and rebuild with custom touches everywhere you look, these guys can accommodate.

On top of that, Camplife Customs will work with you to find a van if you don’t already have one. Talk about a full-service shop!

How Much are Custom Van Builders’ Services, and is Financing Available?

camplife customs apres snow interior

Camplife Customs conversion of a 2023 Mercedes Sprinter 144 4×4 with a high roof called “Apres Snow.”

Choosing the right custom van company goes well beyond their level of expertise and the types of customizations available. You also need to inquire about the types of budgets the company works with.

Again, where some companies focus only on massive projects with huge budgets, others, like Camplife Customs, offer a-la-carte services for folks who need just a few things tweaked or people with smaller budgets. Big, small, or otherwise, the Camplife Customs team will work with you to stretch your budget as far as it can go so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Of course, pricing depends on all sorts of factors, like the types of products and upgrades you want, whether there is interior or exterior work (or both), the aesthetic vibe, and more. As a collaborative process, though, you’ll have a front-row seat to make decisions about how your money is spent – including whether you need financing and the type of financing you choose!

How Long Do I Have to Wait for My Custom Van?

camplife customs mercedes conversion for luis and barbara

Interior view of a Camplife Customs conversion of a Mercedes Sprinter 170 4×4 high roof for their clients, Luis and Barbara.

It’s hard to sit idly by while you wait for something as fun as your very own conversion van. Yet, perfection takes time! When choosing between custom van builders, ask about the turnaround time, bearing in mind that promises of a definitive delivery date should be taken with a grain of salt.

In fact, one of the things I like most about Camplife Customs is that they don’t offer a promised date of completion. Rushing to meet a deadline doesn’t do anyone any favors – the work suffers on the builder’s end, and your satisfaction with the product is diminished, too. So, expect your build to take anywhere from three to six months, depending on the specifics of the situation.

camplife customs promaster conversion interior ROGER

A Camplife Customs interior conversion of Roger’s Mercedes 148.

Ultimately, the most important thing about the waiting period is that the custom van builder you choose is communicative with you. If you’re kept in the loop, the long wait doesn’t seem quite as long and the chances of mistakes being made is minimized. 

So, there you have it…a few essential questions to ask when looking for custom van builders to meet your vanlife goals. Before diving in and hiring someone, do your due diligence to ensure the company you choose is best for your needs. The more time and effort you put into the vetting process, the better the outcome will be!

Disclaimer: Just so you know, some of the cool stuff we mention comes with affiliate links, meaning we earn a commission if you buy (no extra charge to you!). Plus, we occasionally feature sponsored content, but rest assured, we only shout out products we genuinely stand behind.

Learn More:

Related Articles

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -