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Vanspeed Unveils the Sprinter-Based California Coast Van

The only thing standing between vanlifers and a lifestyle upgrade to the realm of “overlander” is where they are willing to drive their vans. Vanlife is Nickleback, overlanding is Hendrix; just sayin’. A well-equipped, well-driven van can take you around the world, and what better foundation for an overland van than a 144-inch wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter van? Orange County-based Vanspeed recently unveiled its latest innovation tailored for those seeking endless summer adventures along the California coast or perhaps Baja or Lake Atitlan. Engineered as a “professional-grade excursion rig,” the new California Coast is built to cater to weekend getaways and extended explorations alike.

Founder of Vanspeed, Duran Morley, shares insights into the inspiration behind the California Coast’s development, stating,

“The new Vanspeed California Coast layout was designed specifically with adventure and coastal exploration in mind. Personally, I’m an action sports enthusiast. A lot of our clients share that same passion for adventuring and being active in the outdoors. Obviously, the beach is a big point of interest for our clients, so designing a van made for the surf and sand that can be used hard and easily cleaned out is key. Vanspeed’s commitment to helping clients pursue their passion for travel and outdoor activities is what really drives us to make new designs like the California Coast.”

The California Coast is engineered to offer a versatile living experience, accommodating two adults comfortably. Its adaptable layout seamlessly transitions from a snug sleeping area to a functional dining space, ensuring optimal space utilization throughout the day. Equipped with a 25-gallon freshwater tank, this van provides ample water supply for extended adventures a cassette toilet that can be added underneath the kitchen sink inside the cabinet. Furthermore, features like the two-burner induction cooktop, Isotherm refrigerator and freezer, and a well-appointed kitchen cabinet with a four-drawer setup cater to all culinary needs, ensuring travelers can enjoy home-cooked meals on the go.

Storage solutions for outdoor equipment are integrated into the California Coast’s design, allowing adventurers to stow larger gear such as surfboards, kayaks, bikes, and more with ease. Additionally, the inclusion of under-bed storage and an exclusive gear garage maximizes storage capacity without compromising space.

The California Coast boasts practical amenities such as an outdoor quick-connect shower for post-surf cleanup and an HVAC system by Maxxair RV ventilation for climate control. Thinsulate insulation and sound dampening from 3M ensure a quieter, more comfortable cabin experience, while a 200-watt solar panel provides off-grid power capabilities, enabling adventurers to explore remote locations.

Vanspeed’s California Coast is one of four distinctive layouts available for the 144-inch Sprinter Van. By leveraging predefined configurations, Vanspeed optimizes its production process, delivering adventure vans with a quick turnaround time; the company prides itself on a turnaround time of less than three months. Clients can also make customization requests within the framework of existing design parameters, ensuring tailored solutions that meet individual needs. We would ask for a wetsuit cupboard with built-in drainage and heating; nobody enjoys pulling on a cold, damp wetsuit!

Vanspeed’s 144-inch conversions start at $65,000, excluding the price of the Sprinter van. We visited the Mercedes Benz website to build a suitable basevehicle. We opted for a 3500XD 2024 Sprinter Cargo Van with a 144-inch wheelbase, high roof, four-cylinder diesel engine, AWD, 5,353-pound payload, swiveling seats, and a few other practical upgrades, which brought us to an on-site total of $75,000. Yes, $140,000 is an investment, but the longer you own the vehicle and the further you explore overland, the more the investment is justified.


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Graeme Bell is an author and explorer who has dedicated his life to traveling the planet by land, seeking adventure and unique experiences. Together with his wife and two children, Graeme has spent the last decade living permanently on the road in a self-built Land Rover based camper. They have explored 27 African countries (including West Africa), circumnavigated South America, and driven from Argentina to Alaska, which was followed by an exploration of Europe and Western Asia before returning to explore the Americas. Graeme is the Senior Editor 4WD for Expedition Portal, a member of the Explorers Club, the author of six books, and an Overland Journal contributor since 2015. You can follow Graeme's adventures across the globe on Instagram at graeme.r.bell