These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
By Tony Barthel
If you are in the business of building vans you’re likely not able to come close to keeping up with demand nowadays. Of course, part of that is due to the popularity of RVs in general – but vans are a hot segment of the market, particularly among younger people.
Van conversions are “the thing” – with a number of people doing conversions. Among those is a young startup company called Boho Camper Vans. Boho has a different take on how they approach this field by inviting prospects to bring their own vans in and then Boho converts them to campers.
At present, Boho is focusing on the Ram ProMaster platform and is customizing conversions of those. Since there are so many of these, even their website suggests considering a used model or new, depending on the buyer’s preference. This could save the prospect many, many thousands of dollars. It’s not unusual that a Class B RV carries a retail price of over $100,000, so that means your licensing and insurance and all of that are based on that price.
The present Boho conversion is $36,500. And that’s just for the conversion alone. The interior has a very rustic cabin appearance to it with a beautiful (to me) red cedar plank wall structure. Floor plans vary, as with all RVs, and can be tailored by the customer to what they want.
Typically the van buildouts include things like a 25-gallon fresh water tank, seven-gallon gray water tank, Dometic Stowaway five-gallon portable cartridge toilet, MaxxAir ceiling fan, wool insulation and more. The vans also typically feature solar and an inverter, with shown examples sporting a 2,000-watt Victron inverter and hundreds of watts of rooftop solar.
The two examples that I focused on each had 340 watts of rooftop solar and a 315-amp-hour battery system, for example. They also featured a Dometic CFX3 75-liter refrigerator.
Most of the floor plans I saw featured a queen-sized bed in the back with various seating arrangements. The bed is raised so that there’s a good amount of storage beneath it. The Promaster chassis is front-wheel-drive, so the floor is low and flat.
I think that a lot of people are dreaming of the van life after seeing an endless stream of Instagram photos with people standing on the roofs of their vans. I’ve never seen anybody do this in the real world – but it’s certainly popular on Instagram, to be sure. But what if you buy a van and discover that van life isn’t your cup of tea?
Boho has a solution for anyone who is considering van life – a rental department. The company is all too happy to rent out one of their camper vans from their offices in Tempe, AZ, to see if the image in your mind is as good as the reality you experience.
Boho’s fleet of vans includes a number of standard-height Ford Econoline vans as well as a high-roof Econoline. But to get a taste for what the company is currently building they do have a high-roof Promaster in their rental fleet as well. Honestly, I think trying out van life before you make the commitment to living in a van down by the river is a wise idea.
Of course, that saying “living in a van down by the river” was popularized by Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live and used to be a pejorative. Now it’s actually a goal of many, many young people including some in my own circle.
The icon of van life might just be Bob Wells who espouses van life and has a very popular YouTube channel and following within the community.
If you’re considering van life, rent one of Boho’s campers. If you decide it is for you, you’ll certainly find less attractive vans out there.
The fact that you can find a Promaster used and then have it uplifted for about $36,500 means you’ll possibly end up with a beautifully done conversion at a far more affordable price than buying the whole thing new.
As for the DIY folks, I have seen some nice conversions but I have seen a lot of conversions where the owner got to a point and then stopped with the promise of finishing later. Usually that later never comes and you’re living in a half-finished van.
Boho might make a lot of sense for people with dreams of creating their own van but doing it well within a certain budget.
Because each van is built to order we did not make a specifications chart or include a floor plan for this vehicle.
Looks like my brothers van back in the 70’s All wood, he added a ton of weight to that Dodge van. Never did finish it. Real dog with all that weight. I think he had a 318 engine. He was a traveling electrician so it served him well though.
This is a GREAT concept. Wish these guys had been in business when we were looking to “graduate” from a VW Westfalia back in the ’70s. Too late for us now, as we’d be very hard pressed to downsize from our 40′ Country Coach.
I’m really enjoying these RV reviews, so please keep them coming. But I’m starting to suspect that your “scoring” is much like the Wine industry’s: where 90 points is marginal, and anything below 80 is totally undrinkable. Maybe you should post your “scale” so folks understand that (apparently):
5***** is a GREAT RV
4**** is a pretty good RV
3*** is marginally acceptable
below 3*** = run, don’t walk, away from this dog. 🙂
Keep on doing what you’re doing, guys. We love ya!