In many cases when I write about Class B RVs, inevitably the comments include something like, “I could build it for half of that.” The thing is, you might be able to do just that. Or what if you want something that’s not already included. Or there’s something there that you do not want in the build?
In fact, I have this vision in my own mind’s eye of taking a cargo trailer and turning that into my own customized RV. Then my wife reminds me of my skill set. Oh, well.
But what if you want to? Perhaps you might want to consider visiting Wayfarer Vans.
Like so many good ideas, Wayfarer Vans started on a camping trip. Essentially, the founders of the company were coming home from a trip in their Honda Element. They realized that that was just too small a vehicle for two people to camp in. So they stepped up the size and created a business to convert Ram ProMaster City vehicles to camper vans. That expanded to now include the Ram ProMaster van, Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
The way the company works is to start with very specific vehicle platforms. The nice thing about this is, you can bring your own van in. Or they have a relationship with a dealership local to them. One of the advantages of this situation is that, if you find a good used van, you can utilize that and potentially save a bunch of money.
The conversion process is really, really quick
Essentially you find your van and set an appointment to have it converted. Typically the conversions themselves only take a few hours and you’re ready to roll.
By having everything relatively standardized and ready to roll, the cost of the conversions is relatively low. For example, the “Walter” package, which utilizes the Ram ProMaster 136” wheelbase high roof van starts at just $10,100 installed. Compare that to some of the vans we’ve been looking at lately where the finished price is close to, or over, $100,000. You see a real bargain for the right customer.
What’s inside the Wayfarer “Walter”
It should be noted that these vans are not the fully featured models that might come from companies like Airstream and the like. But they do offer pretty much a good foundation on which to fully outfit a van.
The basic package includes bed frame, cabinetry, storage platform with bungees and a flooring system with rack rails that will let you tie down your gear. From the company’s website, which is really good: “The complete Walter conversion comes with: flooring, with integrated cargo management tracks, wall and ceiling paneling with 100% natural wool insulation, perimeter shelving, a kitchen galley with 5 gallon fresh and grey water tanks, sink and hand pump, bed platform that measures 54″ wide x 6’1″ long with cushions, boot box and privacy paneling for the sliding and rear door window areas.” Bam.
You can upgrade the Wayfarer
You can also upgrade with more features if you choose. Those can include a slick spice box, hideaway table, 12-volt cooler, propane heater, lighting and side windows.
The water system is dead simple – it’s essentially two five-gallon containers under the sink. There’s a manual pump on the faucet (reminds me of vintage VW campers). The water gets pumped from one container and drains into the other. That’s it.
Interestingly, the company provides a choice of three different fabric colors for the padded surfaces in the van: teal, piñon (green) and stone (light gray). But you can also ship them six yards of fabric and they’re make the interior with that.
This blank slate can be inspirational
While the company offers a few options, a blank slate like this can really be inspirational. It’s no stretch to imagine heading over to your local camping store. You could add things like induction cooktops, battery systems, solar, a toilet, a shower and more. Yes, this is almost more of a camper in the state you get it from Wayfarer. But it’s also a blank canvas.
The upside of starting from this point is that the price is relatively affordable and the materials are certainly good. For example, the bed frame rails are quarter-inch thick “L” brackets on the side with square steel bars spanning the space. These are also slotted bars so you could also hang things from here. The elevated bed leaves plenty of cargo space below the bed.
The shelves on the side are also really unique in that they’re a flat horizontal surface, but then there are bungees that contain your stuff.
This is certainly not the van conversion for everybody. But it’s one of the most affordable and promising ones that I’ve seen. I’ve seen many Class B’s that try to be everything to everyone and come out just badly. But I like this much more simplified approach with consistent materials and processes.
Furthermore, you can be as stealthy as you wish in a Class B like this. If you happen to find the right van in an auction and it still has a delivery company or plumbing company logo on the side, maybe this is the ideal vehicle for camping in the city where nobody even knows you’re in there.
Of course, if you go all crazy with solar and awnings and put your Instagram and Facebook stickers on the van, all bets are off. But at least you have a choice.
If you choose to have one of these Class B vans built, the company has two locations: Reno, Nevada, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the company is headquartered.
Now, if someone did something similar to this in a cargo trailer I’d be all in.
I do not have a chart for this model.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
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.
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