If you’ve tried bare-bones van camping and decided you’re all-in, yet want something custom-built to fit your needs, Oregon-based Outside Van might be a good place to start. Its unique camper van dubbed the Rainmaker is the perfect example of how Outside Van builds its campers for off-grid living.
Outside Van offers vans with what it calls “core,” “configurable,” and “custom” conversions, none of which come cheap. A core van conversion generally takes four to seven weeks to build, costing buyers between $48,000 to $53,000, which doesn’t even include the original price of the van.
A configurable van, with heat and power, takes roughly two to four months to complete and costs anywhere from $80,000 to $135,000 — again without the van. For a full-on custom experience, Outside Van allows prospective buyers to provide their own van as a base before offering upwards of $180,000 in potential options and features, with the upper limit controlled only by the customer’s imagination.
For each of its builds, Outside Van uses real wood, powder-coated metals, lightweight fabric walls, and custom-built aluminum bumpers and racks. The company also backs every van with a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty on each of its upgrades.
The company initially based its Rainmaker on a graphite gray metallic Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. The Rainmaker has it all — well, except for a bathroom. There is a stainless steel, enclosed stand-up shower, however.
The bespoke van’s off-grid capabilities are bolstered by the inclusion of a solar package, H2O package, power package, and diesel heat package. Upgrades include everything from retractable running boards, an awning, and sun shades to gleaming appliances in the food-preparation area, ample storage, and two sleeping areas. There’s even plenty of lighting and multiple outlet types including 110v, USB, ARB, and 12v.
Roof racks, ladders, PIAA driving lights, and custom bumpers are other features that make the 4-wheel-drive Mercedes an ideal vehicle for outdoor adventures and longer getaways. Camper vans like the Rainmaker aren’t intended for casual use. However, if you’re looking for a roomy, customized camper van, it appears Outside Van has the tools to build whatever you want — for a hefty price, of course.