Story by Andy Mullins |

September 20, 2023 |

The Problem With Traditional RVs

From Facebook to forums, one-to-one conversations and everything in between, a common theme of RV ownership centers around two key things: repair and maintenance. 

Talk to nearly any past or present RV owner and you’ll hear stories of features and accessories failing, often at the most inconvenient time. 

The reality is that quality isn’t a top priority for many RV manufacturers. In fact, the RV Industry Association reports that following a survey of 800 RV owners, more than 4 in 10 suggest there is at least one type of improvement needed on their RV after purchase, with plumbing and sanitation as areas requiring upgrades or additions (just one of the reasons we do not offer a bathroom in our vans).

A similar dealership industry insights fact sheet from August 2023 echoes the reality of challenges with RV quality in their report of Repair Event Cycle Times averages (RECT is the number of days from the start of a work order until it’s completion):

  • The overall average 2023 RECT was 35 days (8 days more than 2018)
  • Warranty-related RECT stood at 48 days 
  • Out-of-stock-part-related RECT is 64 days 

It’s safe to say that if an out-of-stock part breaks on your RV, you could be waiting over two months to get your vehicle back based on the industry average (while still making payments). 

There are myriad reasons even brand new RVs and camper vans break down with common causes including: 

  • Low quality materials and finishes 
  • Large-scale production that prioritizes quantity over quality
  • Interior complexity (read: packing in as many amenities as possible) 
  • Lacking integration of real customer feedback and experiences

RVs and camper vans are meant to be an escape from everyday life and a way to make memories with the ones you love, not a financial and logistical headache to be burdened with. 

Wayfarer Vans: Quality, Simplicity, and Durability

Producing one of the best products on the road is the reason we come into work everyday.

In a recent survey, 97% of Wayfarians reported high satisfaction with the quality of their van.

Here’s what a few of our owners had to say about quality:

“After 5 years, everything is holding up very well, and I love using the wayfarer kit.” – Gil S.

“We’ve been on some long camping trips and long road trips in the two years we’ve had the van, taken it to all kinds of places, and it’s held up beautifully.” -Amy L.

“It’s a great build, has everything you need. It’s simple for easy upkeep, affordable but still well made and durable, and it’s got a nice aesthetic too.” -Alison D.

“I own two Wayfarer vans now and would buy another one!” -Bill E.

Camper Van Upper Cabinets

The Second Generation of Wayfarer Vans

In 2023, Wayfarer Vans launched our second generation design following eight years of production and feedback from nearly 1,000 Wayfarians who put their camper van to the test every day (join the Wayfarer Vans Fans Group to see what we mean). 

To us, a high quality camper van product means: 

  • High quality materials (duh!) – durability, appearance, function, and overall aesthetic
  • Adaptable features – modular components and structurally sound framework with the ability to hang and install accessories on existing furniture components without fear of things breaking
  • Simplicity – products that stand the test of time without ongoing maintenance and adjustment
  • Positive feedback – less time fixing = more time adventuring! It’s what we want for ourselves, and for every individual who joins our Wayfarian community

In addition to offering a simple, hassle-free interior, Wayfarer Vans takes pride in our hands-on design process that values direct input from the experiences of our customers and team members.

galley with kitchen leaf

Material and Product Selection

Wayfarer Vans employs a full-time inventory and product selection guru who strives to source (and scrutinize) locally-sourced, sustainable products; things like our soft panels, hard panels, fabric, and accessories. She’s a go-getter that doesn’t compromise quality or durability on even the smallest of details. 

Additionally, Wayfarer Vans proudly manufactures every piece of furniture in-house to ensure end-to-end quality control. Is it the cheapest option? No, but it’s a core part of our philosophy and it’s one of the reasons 96% of Wayfarer Vans owners state they would buy from us again. 

Considering a camper van? Here’s where Wayfarer Vans quality stands out

Wood (cabinets, boxes)

We machine our own furniture using 9-ply solid-core Baltic Birch that is UV treated for water and scratch resistance, and our galley (aka kitchen) and Lagun table are topped with a highly durable and equally attractive walnut veneer. Using a premium Baltic birch provides screw holding strength that is superior to other plywood options. Further, Baltic birch holds together nicely for the long haul while the facing veneers of other types of plywood often chip, split, or break off.

While 9-ply baltic birch is a key component of the van for both function and aesthetics, it provides the added bonus of being easily routed, cut, or drilled into without compromising integrity. Let ‘er rip and anchor that paper towel and spice rack wherever you’d like!

Here’s what Wayfarian Steve C. has to say:

“I was originally attracted to Wayfarer because of the simplicity of their design. ‘No moving parts’ was my mantra. I wanted a barebones rv without all the cheap add-ons that create clutter and always seem to break. The Wayfarer approach provides a perfect foundation for personal customization. I appreciate how Wayfarer has continued to evolve and improve on their original model.”

Long story short, you can rest easy knowing that like Mick Jagger, your Wayfarer Vans furniture will live on no matter what type of abuse it takes.  

ford transit camper van cabinet details

Soft panels & fabric

Wayfarer Vans’ soft panels and fabrics have undergone multiple iterations and we’re beyond satisfied with our 2023 product. 

Our team works with multiple vendors to create some of the most durable soft panels available. The custom-made hydrophobic material is moisture, mold, and mildew resistant. Best of all, soft panels and seat fabrics can be removed in moments for a quick wash when needed (here’s looking at you, Burners). 

Looking for an even more personalized interior? You can upgrade to custom cushions and send us your own fabric! We’ll work with our vendor to create a beautiful seating finish that does not compromise comfort. 

Hard panels 

The walls, ceiling, trim and cabinet doors in each Wayfarer Van are a laminated composite material that’s scratch resistant, water resistant, and made from recycled post-consumer materials. 

A unique feature for those with Wayfarer Vans’ upper cabinets (an upgrade available for both ProMaster and Transit) are the cabinet faces. We use bungee cords instead of locking hardware or handles.  The bungee cords are quiet (no jiggle jiggle here, folks) and allow the door to move both directions without any rub or catch on the cabinet.

Should the bungees wear out after many years of adventures, they can be replaced in just minutes. Further, we use ceiling-mounted rare earth magnets to hold cabinets open. We prefer these over gas struts as they are far more reliable, offer more side room, and remove the potential of any rattling on washboarded Forest Service Roads.

magnetic cabinet doors

Galley leaf brackets

Finding the best high strength, collapsible arms to support the galley table is a challenge that Wayfarer Vans conquered. Many years of material research and testing led us to the perfect heavy duty, collapsible table arm that comes standard with every Wayfarer Vans galley leaf. This leaf can be easily repositioned to the left or right side using just a ⅜-in. socket and phillips head screwdriver. For those with a swivel seat upgrade (also available through Wayfarer Vans), the forward facing table position creates a functional space to work, eat, or just relax.

galley leaf bracket


Insulation is a largely debated topic in the camper van world. We won’t show off our high school debate team skills here… rather, we’ll say that after looking at multiple options, we chose Havelock Wool (which is 100% sheeps wool) for its moisture management, R-value, sustainability, and sound absorption. To top things off, it’s also fire, mold, and mildew resistant.

Wayfarer Vans are insulated top-to-bottom in every nook and cranny with Havelock wool to provide a comfortable, quiet camper van experience. 

Camping in all four seasons? Check out our Propex heater for a reliable and efficient heating option for your van. We prefer Propex for its reputation and safety which includes a two-stage regulator, no exposed heating elements, and ability to locate it inside a locker that’s externally vented.

camper van heating


Available on top of Wayfarer Vans furniture lineup are a range of commercially-tested and highly reviewed accessories, all of which are used in our company vans. These include: 

Offering accessories makes it convenient for you to get everything you want in your van from the get-go so you can focus your time and energy on getting outside with a comfortable home base to come back to. 

yeti goal zero battery

Start Building Your High Quality Camper Van

When it comes to simple, high quality camper vans, Wayfarer rises to the top. From our maintenance-free builds to our durable, modular furniture, we get you outdoors faster so that you can spend more time doing what you love. And, with nearly 1,000 vans on the road and a 96% overall satisfaction rating, you can be confident in getting an exceptional experience and product. 

Get started with Wayfarer Vans in three easy steps: 

  1. Build your van
  2. Speak with a Journey Architect 
  3. Begin your adventure!