What to look for in a Van Builder
Are you dreaming about a sprinter van conversion, or maybe you’re already planning out the perfect layout for a Mercedes Metris camper conversion? Acquiring the van is the first step but now it’s time to search for the perfect up fitter to design and build your converted camper van. There are a variety of conversion companies all over the states and what seems like a new one popping up every day.
Searching for a camper van conversion company
What may seem like a daunting task should actually be fun and exciting; You want a camper van conversion company that is going to be fast, reliable and value driven. The experience and style of each company varies wildly so making sure to find the perfect fit for YOU is important. We’ve provided the top 5 things to look for when searching for a company to build out your camper van.
- Track Record
- Past Customers
- Same Vision
Look at their track record
You should look for a conversion company with the practice and knowledge to do it correctly. Building out a sprinter is completely different from building a house or an Airstream. If you have a Sprinter, Transit or Dodge, then make sure they are familiar with those specs and shapes.
ADF has been in the business since 1987 and for the past 30+ years we’ve been producing the highest of quality builds.
Talk to past customers
The best way to judge a company is talking to its past customers and seeing how their experience was as well as how the van has held up. Unlike products on amazon you don’t typically see ratings on their website, so referrals are the best way to go. Any good builder should be able to provide at least a few past jobs and if they don’t, be wary. Another suggestion is to visit their Instagram to see who tags them and reach out though DM’s – I’m sure they would love to share.
See ADF Sprinters past builds and feel free to reach out to ask how much they love them.
See if your visions are aligned
Not all builds are the same, in fact there are tons of different styles & looks for your camper van conversion. Companies can specialize in one look or another but make sure your visions align with the details and plans of the conversion. You might not want to be the guinea pig if it’s the up fitters first time with your styled van. For instance, you don’t want to bring your Mercedes Sprinter Van to a up fitter who specializes in Dodge Sprinter camper vans. You may however come across a company that has production vans with pre-designed floor plans and if those mesh with your use then go with it because chances are, they perfected that layout.
Different styles of builds –
- Adventure van
Location isn’t everything
It shouldn’t be a deal breaker to not be within the vicinity of the van builder. A good builder once started on the van will be able to build a complete conversion from 4-5 months of work. So that’s why it’s not very important in being close because you’re essentially dropping off and picking up. That is why it is so crucial about being on the same page as your van conversion company, because that communication needs to trickle down to the build.
What is their Warranty
This is a serious investment and similar to any investment you should have everything in writing from the start of the build. All good camper van builders will have a contract which lays out the overall outline of the van conversion with itemized list and costs for each portion. If they don’t, avoid them or write something up yourself.
At ADF, we offer a warranty on all our builds whether full van conversions or slight modifications. We stand behind the quality of our builds and it’s based off a year or a mileage hit.
Custom Camper Vans
These are guidelines to consider when you are shopping around for a van specialist and ultimately you should go with someone you trust & believe is looking to build you exactly what you want. It isn’t necessary to use a professional camper van conversion company, but it does extend the lifetime of that conversion.
Camper Van Conversion FAQs
Should I get a Ford or Mercedes?
Two completely different models that most builders have experience with both. There are different dimensions but the gist of it is, The Ford is taller by 4 inches inside and has more volume overall. The ford is obviously cheaper brand new but is also less inexpensive for parts & repairs while the Mercedes Sprinter is pricier but has the 4×4 option. So should you get the Transit or Sprinter? Well it really comes down to price & height.
Do van up fitters provide financing?
While you can finance your vehicle through the dealership not all camper van up fitters have the option to pay it off through monthly payments.
How long does it typically take to convert a van?
On average, full conversion take 4-6 months while minor modifications and additions will a couple weeks. With the recent boom in van life, there has been a high demand in camper van conversions which has put a strain on the van specialties market.
Can you rent before you buy?
Renting a camper van then having the option to purchase isn’t typical but there a few conversion companies which offer you to purchase your rental. At ADF, all our Van Rentals are for purchase; We have our Metris Anacapa models available currently
How much does a camper van cost?
This all depends on your hopes & dreams of this adventure vehicle. You can make some modifications for a couple hundred dollars and build an extravagant home on wheels for over $100k. Do you want a sprinter van conversion or a Ford Econoline adventure van, they both have different price points so expect to pay around $20-$50k for a full conversion.
If you have a van and ready to start converting, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask any questions.