We make conversion ready camper van kits but maybe we’re not the best option for you, or maybe you haven’t discovered all your options yet. What we’re really here for is getting you into a camper van, even if its not a Wayfarer Van, and feel the most important part is sharing all the wonderful things that comes with owning a camper van.
So, we’ve compiled and simplified all of our research, making it easier and faster for you to decide on that dream camper van.
Below you can explore the three most common options you have when trying to find the right camper van, which are: having it custom built, building it yourself, or purchasing new or used. But before we start here is a brief overview of the options, so you can then quickly scroll to the best category and start your research.
-Price range depending on level of customization: $15,000 to $100,000+
-Average wait period from order to completion: 4 months to 16 months
-Price range depending on level of customization: $800 to $12,000+
-Average time to completion, several weeks to several years depending on ability, wants, resources, time and motivation
Purchasing new or used
-Depending on make, model, age and condition
-Typical used Westfalias cost between $15,000 to $65,000, with yearly maintenance costs running between several hundred to several thousand
-Typical used RV type camper van starts at around $32,000, with yearly maintenance costs again running between several hundred to several thousand
Our Favorite Custom Builders
Located in our home town, Colorado Springs, Chris and Mark at Alpine Mechanisms make amazing custom camper vans, mixing form and function for a complete van that’ll turn heads for sure. Also, if you’re looking for some additions to your Wayfarer Van that you aren’t confident in yourself to do, give them a call and they can get to work with whatever it is you’d like.
We’re a fan of Recon because like us, they focus on micro vans, specifically the Nissan NV 200. Their background is in Automotive Manufacturing and attention to detail is on point. You can purchase just a pop top or a complete camper.
The Grand Daddy of camper vans. Sportsmobile has been around since 1961, specializing in overland type vans, which are built to be and stay off grid. If you’ve been an outdoor enthusiast long enough you’ve probably heard of or have seen a Sportsmobile, but be ready for a price tag.
Another Colorado company, Vanlife Customs puts emphasis on interior aesthetics, putting you in that ultimate #vanlife vehicle or mobile tiny home. Their latest creations have included copper back splashes and reclaimed barn wood – fancy.
Building Your Own Camper Van
Building your own camper van can be very rewarding and is a great way to save money if you’re on a tight budget. However time is the biggest factor you will be giving up. Depending on your wants and your ability to take it from conception to realization will determine how long it takes you to build your van. To get started we recommend following all or some of these steps.
Prioritize your needs and draw out your ideas WITH dimensions; and remember cardboard is much cheaper than plywood. Shape your ideas out of some cardboard and duct tape first, it will give you a sense of dimensions.
Research, research, research. Because once you build everything into your camper van you’re not going to want to rip it out and do it again. Youtube offers tons of videos of people who give guided tours of their camper vans; also through pinterest and some simple bloggers you will most likely find some variation of what you have in mind.
If you have little to no mechanical or trades experience we recommend finding a friend that does and sitting down with them before you rush out and start purchasing your materials. In fact, if you can persuade that friend with a few six packs of beer and some pizzas to help you with your build that would be ideal. We’re not saying a camper van build cannot be done without experience, however simple mechanical and carpentry skills (and the necessary tools) can go a long ways, save you lots of money and more importantly time. Like all DIY’s its easier said than done and with a camper van, what you thought could be a weekend build has now turned to several months.
Get out there and use it, cause thats what you made it for. We have been through several generations of our layout before reaching our current setup. Each generation was tested out over the course of several months and many camping trips, took notes, then went back to our design with the modifications. Expect to have slight tweaks and modifications to your setup, it wont be perfect the first time.
Purchasing New or Used
Much like a used car there are many ways to purchase a used camper van. If you’re looking for a used Westfalia you’ll have the best luck searching in areas with a higher density; that is, parts of the country that have a higher concentration of camper vans than others. For instance, Portland Oregon has the highest concentration of camper vans than anywhere else in the nation. Also parts of the country that are more conducive to the camper van lifestyle. Such places like Southern California, Oregon, Colorado and Utah. Search the classified ads and craigslists for major metropolitan cities in these states and we’re sure you’ll be able to find something.
If perusing the internet for deals isn’t your thing or your skeptical with what you find in the classifides then you can hone in your search using some more specific, trustworthy platforms. Go-Westy has a classifieds page where you can search their inventory of rotating camper vans. Also you can search Camping World or Lazy Days to find more RV type camper vans, they can be found under the Class B section on each website.
So we hope this helps with your search for the proper camper van and we wish you the best of luck. However we have been in your shoes, looking at all the options, and because we just couldn’t find the right solution decided to start Wayfarer Vans. We have been able to package the best of each option into an affordable, modern van and that gives you the feeling and finish of a custom build without the price tag or the long wait.