Featured Van Upfitter :: Vanlife Customs

Are you looking for a one-of-a-kind van so you can hit the road for an off-grid adventure? The good news is, you’re not alone, and there are lots of companies out that are eager to work with you to build that perfect getaway vehicle. But while most upfitters are working toward standardized models to streamline their build processes, Vanlife Customs, in Denver, Colorado is sticking to their forte: creating unique rigs that are purpose-built for their client’s specific needs.

 

Vanlife Customs Roots

Founder Dave Walsh is a veteran and former IT professional who took a year to explore the country in his converted van named Betty White. He found that by downsizing his life into a camper van and becoming more mobile, he was able to adopt a lifestyle that prioritized fun and adventure while still making ends meet. While traveling, he performed handyman work, and eventually, his skills were recognized by others who wanted help building out their campervans. Initially, Dave worked on-location in people’s backyards, upfitting their vehicles, but demand eventually dictated the need for a dedicated workshop, and he settled on Denver, Colorado, for a location.

 

Now, Dave has a team of six employees, including an architect, mechanical engineer, fellow veteran, and a few other vanlifers who have lived in vans and understand what it takes to create a purpose-built vehicle for an adventurous lifestyle (even if just on the weekends). For anyone interested in the build quality of these vehicles, you can schedule a visit to their shop in Denver to check out their latest projects. Another option: Vanlife Customs is partnered with Native Campervans (Denver, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas), should you want to try out a rental and experience their vehicles for yourself.

 

The Process

If you’ve ever dreamed of creating a campervan, chances are you’ve at least jotted down some notes, made some sketches, or created a Pinterest board with some thoughts of what you want. At Vanlife Customs, Dave and the team begin with a consultation to go over your ideas and come up with a building plan. Using the Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, or Dodge Promaster platform, they generally can begin your project within six months and, once started, finish most projects within 8-12 weeks.

 

All of Vanlife Customs’ work is warranted for three years or 36,000 miles, and any appliances carry their original manufacturer’s warranty.

 

Looking for the DIY Experience with a Little Help?

Having upfitted his own home on wheels, Dave understands the desire to make your campervan project your own. And the truth is that most people who are handy with some tools likely have what it takes to create an adventure vehicle. But one thing that everyone likes to avoid is the trial and error that often takes place with these kinds of projects.

 

To make your DIY ambitions that much easier, Vanlife Customs offers consultations that, “support and educate you on the best processes and parts to make your conversion a success.” They also source popular building components from many manufacturers; see their FAQ page for a list of their offerings.

 

 

To learn more, visit the Vanlife Customs website – vanlifecustoms.com.


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Matthew Swartz is originally from Connecticut and currently lives in Denver, Colorado where he passionately pursues rock climbing, trail running, and skiing. Matt’s love of travel has inspired him to through-hike the JMT and part of the PCT, bike across the United States, and explore the West coast of South America from Ecuador to Patagonia. Matt and his partner Amanda have also travelled across much of the Western US in their 1964 Clark Cortez RV, which they lived in, on the road for the better part of three years. Matt has worked for the USFS as an Interpretive Ranger and Wildland Firefighter and Matt's photography and writing has been published in Rova Magazine, the Leatherman blog, 'Hit The Road' by Gestalten Publishing, and Forbes.