What’s the best way to design the van that’s right for you? The wonders of the web - Filled with pretty pictures, creative ideas, and endless opinions - can get anyone stoked to build the van of their dreams. But when the rubber meets the road, the digital dream may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Every van owner experiences the road differently, with unique needs and expectations. This means the setup that flashed across your phone today from #bestvanever may turn out to be the #wrongvan for you. The only way to know for certain what design fits your needs is to spend some real, hands-on time using a van.
It’s challenging to build a van that will work perfectly for your life situation on every adventure - only you can decide what elements are critical, and what you’re willing to compromise. This is a bit of a Catch-22: You want to get your van set up for adventure right now, but you can’t properly set it up until you get out and adventure in it. There are countless YouTube videos out there that address the fallout from this exact dilemma: 10 Things We Hate About Our Van Build, or The Top 5 Things I Would Change About My Van Conversion, and the list goes on.
While most custom conversions leave little room for change after they’re completed, a modular system like the Adventure Wagon Interior System allows you to take a step-by-step approach. The AdWag kit will give you a van ready for the road (and future upgrades) as you figure out what works best for you. The foundation is provided – power, ventilation, insulation, flexible sleeping options, and beautiful interior finishes - so you can thrive on your early van adventures. Toss in the car-camping gear you likely already have in the garage and hit the road.
You’ll discover how to cook (or not) in the van, how much storage you need and for what, and what sleeping set up is ideal. The track on the walls and ceilings can be used to secure bikes, boats, boxes, bags, and countless other cargo. Preconceptions will be shifted, and the wine-bottle tree and spice rack you had on your van wish list may never materialize. Over time you can add more and/or different beds, hard or soft cabinets, a galley, porta-potty, bike racks, more power and solar, tables and who knows what else. Or you may decide you like a more utilitarian approach and leave most of the accessories behind. In the end, you’ll have a van that’s custom to you and your lifestyle, and you won’t have an overpriced van that’s poorly designed for your situation and preferences.
If you’ve built vans in the past, you understand the unique challenges and opportunities living in a van presents, and you may be able to hone in on the configuration that’s right for you. But if this is your first van, and you haven’t spent significant time traveling in one, you can’t rely on the internet to define or dictate your van reality.