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If Instagram provides any evidence of what’s trending (it does), #VanLife is in full swing. The lifestyle movement of, yes, living out of a van (or truckbed, hatchback, and even the occasional creatively utilized sedan)—and maybe even down by a river—is made possible by wifi, remote work, and the gig economy. It’s no surprise that #VanLife has blossomed here in Colorado, attracting residents and digital nomads who would rather spend time outdoors than in the city.
“What drives a lot of the Van Life movement and what’s making it so popular is the freedom it provides,” says Devon Svejcar, owner and founder of Timbr Basecamp, a Denver-based vehicle build-out company started in March 2017. “In a van you’ve got whatever you need, wherever you are, and you can go wherever you want.”
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To keep up with the trend, a number of Colorado companies have sprung up to outfit your ultimate adventure mobile. Whether you’re looking for a full-time house on wheels or a reliable weekend machine, check out these seven businesses to help bring your #VanLife dreams to life.
Services: Interior design; off-road trailers; custom animal solutions
Specialty: Cabinetry; wagon and non-van conversions
The little things matter to Adventure Vehicle Concepts. This company specializes in vehicle interiors and can equip any kind of car—be it a van, truck or hatchback—with creative storage and sleeping solutions. The team designs and cuts all their cabinets in their Loveland studio, and can build drawer systems to fit any size rig. If you are working with a smaller vehicle, their off-road trailers are a great way to grow space while maintaining ultimate terrain and travel versatility. Have a pup on board, too? Their custom-built dog beds offer your furry friend comfort on the road.
Services: Conversion package installation; custom conversion builds
Specialty: Pop-top installations
Colorado Camper Van is geared to meet the needs of future road-dwellers at every point between the extremes. Whether you’re planning to live on wheels full-time or simply on the weekends, they provide a tiered approach to build outs that are easily adjustable to your lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a “Bare Naked” weekend warrior machine (just a pop-top installation), a “Road Trip Addict” vehicle, or “The Palace” experience (a full-on build-out), Colorado Camper Van can deliver a mobile environment that’s just right.
Services: Rentals; conversion package installation; ready-to-buy vans
Timbr Basecamp designs and builds all of their “basecamps” in-house, keeping maximum gear storage and off-grid travel at the forefront of their creations. A unique service Timbr offers, in addition to converting and selling ready-to-go vans, is their line of rentals. If you’re curious about what the lifestyle entails, or want to test out a system or design, you can pick from a variety of options in their rental fleet. Each Timbr rental rig comes with solar energy, a shower, all your cooking essentials, and cabinets stocked with Colorado-sourced goodies like coffee and snacks. That, plus a 200 daily mile allotment (or an upgrade to their unlimited mileage package), means wherever you go, you’ll arive in style and comfort.
Services: Conversion package installation; custom conversion builds; ready-to-buy vans
Specialty: Mercedes Sprinters, Webasto (heater system) deals and repairs
Titan Vans opened shop in summer 2017, and since then, they’ve produced dozens of vans for adventurous souls. To keep costs low, the team designed a “Classic” rig that serves as a base design—a bed and storage space—that they can install into any van. You can also select from the many add-on packages, which allow you to customize the interior (adding a sofa, or a kitchen, or extra storage) without the cost of a fully unique design. If you do want a custom build-out, their team of engineers will produce 3D renderings of design ideas for your build. They also work on trucks to build living and travel systems alike, and sell vans already built-out and ready to roll.
Services: Custom conversion builds; DIY Sprinter conversion packages and kits
Specialty: Mercedes Sprinters; wheelchair-accessible designs
With three years of experience, TouRig brings custom work and expert consulting to those who want to collaborate on interior designs and ideas. For the DIY-ers, they also offer Sprinter conversion kits ready to install. Earlier this year, TouRig celebrated the completion their first wheelchair-accessible van, though they are perhaps most famous for their work with adventure companies. TouRig has outfitted rigs like the Obozmobile, the Zeal Optics Sprinter, and the Yeti Cycles van, among other high-profile brand mobiles that now tour the country.
Services: Interior design; electrical work; insulation services
Specialty: Custom wood interiors; solar power installations
Think of the classic Insta-famous van: smooth wood interior seamlessly arcing between the walls and ceiling, solar panels propped atop the roof, upholstered seating, extra windows peeking out to a gorgeous landscape, delicate fairy lights, and even a ceiling fan. Any one of these elements might’ve been built or designed by Van Life Customs. Besides offering extensive custom design services, the company also sells a wide selection of interior and exterior components like battery storage, heaters, and solar panels, in addition to providing educational material for those wanting to DIY their adventure van.
Location: Fort Collins
Services: Conversion package installation; custom conversion builds; DIY packages, education, and consulting
Specialty: DIY packages
To some, Keith Hess is the original #VanLife master. He started fixing up and building out vans in 1978, and in the 80s and 90s “heyday” of vans, he and his crew claim to have churned out more than 200 van and truck conversions each month. While today’s production hasn’t returned to those heights, Vanworks’ hard-earned expertise has persisted. The company builds van packages that are tailored to whatever activities future owners are interested in, be it the need for mountain bike storage, family camping trips, or a mobile office. With a slew of DIY packages and custom installation options, Vanworks is committed to keeping #VanLife affordable by eliminating any unnecessary elements, leaving you with what you need, where you need it.