Custom Camper Van Builders

As the phrase suggests, custom camper van builders build a van to a customer’s specifications. What the word “custom” means in this context varies. Sometimes ‘custom’ means that you can choose from a limited number of options. Or it could mean that the builder works closely with a client to build a van that exactly matches that client’s vision (Advanced RV is the quintessential example of this). In addition to the varying meaning of the word ‘custom’, there is great variation in what is meant by ‘builder’. Some builders on this list are “mom and pop” ones building vans out of a garage (or more likely, ones run by a young couple who developed their building skills by constructing their own van). Others are large operations employing 50 or more people. Some have been in the van conversion business for over 50 years and others are just starting out.  This provides you with many choices. You can support a local start-up or go with a large established builder. You can get a van built whose interior looks like a cozy log cabin or one whose interior displays a non-wood gray-scale industrial chic featuring powder coated aluminum. 

Above photo by Alfonso Escalante from Pexels

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA)

As opposed to custom camper van builders, most manufacturers of Class B vans are members of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. To be a member requires that all the recreational vehicles they sell comply with over 500 safety requirements for electrical, plumbing, heating, and fire. For example, if you buy an Airstream or Winnebago van, you know that it passed those safety requirements. Obviously this is a good thing. However, getting the RVIA seal just means they passed this minimal set of criteria. It is like knowing someone passed medical school. If you are trying to decide on a surgeon, that might not be good enough. Instead, it would be nice to know whether that doctor passed with a ‘D’ or with an ‘A’. The RVIA seal is like that graduation certificate. We don’t know whether it is ‘A’ quality or ‘D’ quality. We just know the van passed its inspection. 

For a company that isn’t a member of RVIA and this includes nearly all the companies on the following list,  we don’t have that minimal assurance. Their vans could be triple-A quality — much much better than any van built by a major manufacturer, or the vans they produce could be unsafe. The onus is on you, the shopper. When buying any Class B, you can’t skimp on the research, but when buying from a smaller company be particularly diligent. Some customizers are RVIA members and that designation is indicated in the following list.


The List

Advanced RV

If you want the absolute best quality van possible and you have a large amount of money to buy it (~$300,000), look no further than Advanced RV. This Willoughby, Ohio based company was formed in 2012 by Mike Neundorfer, who has managed to attract a team of extremely talented designers, engineers, and craftspeople. The results are stunning.  (RVIA member)

Benchmark Vehicles

Benchmark, based in Portland Oregon,  builds custom vans on the Mercedes Sprinter and Ford Transit chassis. Their moto is “Vehicle optimization for outdoors enthusiasts.”

Blue Ridge Adventure Vehicles

Blue Ridge Adventure Vehicles, in Fairview, North Carolina, builds custom vans on all the major chassis. Their website features some pricing guidelines so you can get a ballpark estimate of your build. 

Creative Mobile Interiors

Creative Mobile Interiors, based in Grove City, Ohio, is a vehicle conversion company that modifies “all makes and models of motor coaches, RVs, mini-buses, vans, trailers, campers, and specialty vehicles – new or used.” They create vehicles for mobile marketing, mobile offices, and mobile homes.

Custom Crafted Vans

Custom Crafted Vans is based in Boise Idaho was formed by two former business coaches and yoga instructors, Sara and Alex James. Their typical builds range from $40,000-$90,000 not including the van.

El Kapitan

El Kapitan is based in Huntington Beach, CA. They were formed in 1984 and are a certified Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van Master Upfitter, which speaks to the quality of their builds.  According to their website they offer conversions for shuttles, mobile offices, limos, mobility and wheelchair vans, and upgraded passenger vans. (RVIA)

Embassy (SVO Group)

SVO group, in Elkhart, Indiana was originally an upfitter for commercial vehicles. In 2015 they introduced Embassy Buses, a line of executive class shuttles, and Embassy RV, a line of Class B vans. Instead of using wood and wood-based products in their builds, they use high density polyethylene sheets. They will do conversions on the Ram ProMaster, Ford Transit, and Mercedes Sprinter chassis. They appear to create innovative quality builds.


Esplori, formed in 2017,  is based in Bend, Oregon, and specializes in “Environmentally conscious Sprinter conversions.”  The conversions feature powder coated aluminum walls, ceiling, and cabinetry. Esplori is another company that advertises their vans as “built for adventure.”

Glamper Vans

Glamper Vans, based in San Francisco, builds non-custom vans built on the ProMaster 136 high roof chassis (18 feet long). Their standard build costs around $50,000 (above the price of the van). The term glamper is a portmanteu of ‘glamorous’ and ‘camper’. These vans don’t match that aesthetic.  They are more of a Scandinavian design.  


GTRV originated in 1994 in Sabastopol, California. They customize a variety of vans ranging from minivans such as the Toyota Sienna and Mercedes Metris to full size Sprinters.Their primary area of focus is pop-top conversions.

Heartwood Custom Vans

Heartwood was formed by Adam and Vanessa Hickey who built their first van in 2018.  It is based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Their vans have a very wood oriented interior (probably not surprising given the name of their company). They also sell a “how to build a van” ebook.

Humble Hand Craft

Humble Hand Craft started in  2012 by Ryan O’Donnell as a builder of ‘artisanal’ tiny houses.   In 2018 they expanded to building camper vans with a decidedly cabin look. They are based in Ventura, California. Some of their website examples look like tiny cabins in a van.

Land Yacht Motor Werks

Land Yacht Motor Werks is located in Magnolia, TX. It was formed by Michael Alpha in 2016 to convert Mercedes Sprinter vans to luxury shuttles, tailgaters and camper vans. The designs looked geared toward traveling on interstates. Indeed, their motto is “It’s not just about where you’re going … but how you get there.”

Nomad Vanz

Nomad Vanz is located in North Vancouver, Canada and only converts Mercedes Sprinter and Metris vans. Prices start at $120,000 for converting a 144 WB Sprinter. Adding in the price of a Sprinter and you are close to $200,000.

Outside Van

Outside Van, based in Portland Oregon, was founded by Erik Ekman in 2007.  They are one of the larger van conversion companies employing around 65 people and doing 100 conversions annually. In addition to custom conversions they offer prebuilt one-off vans.


Sportsmobile is a van conversion company that has been in business since 1961 (not a typo!) and have four locations (Austin, Fresno, Huntington, Indiana and Reno).They will do conversions on Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster, Chevy Express and Ford E Vans chassis.  The price for a Sportsmobile Classic is $175-$225,000. Other models are less. (RVIA)

Sync Vans

Sync Vans was co-founded by Jay Sfingi and Josh Shetler in Hailey, Idaho. Conversions start at 32,000. The majority of their builds are on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. Their designs veer toward an industrial chic aesthetic.

Titan Vans

Titan Vans was formed in Boulder Colorado in 2017 and specialize in “off-the-grid vans.” They primarily work with Sprinters but will do conversions on other chassis. Their vans have an industrial chic vibe. Prices range from $50,000 for a Titan Classic conversion (on top of the price of the van) to $75,000 or more for a custom conversion. They tout their 3 year/ 36,000 warranty.

TouRig Custom Vans

TouRig was formed in 2015 and is based in Golden Colorado. In 2017 they partnered with the German company Terracamper to bring Terracamper interiors to the U.S. market. The focus on builds for the “outdoor adventure enthusiast.” Their builds are on the Mercedes Sprinter and Metris chassis.

Van Specialities

Van Specialities is based in Tualatin, Oregon just south of Portland. They have been in business since 1973.  Their designs are industrial chic and feature a grey-scale color palette. They build on a variety of chassis. Some people have complained about the wait time reporting deliveries 9 months or more after ordering..


VanDOit is based in Blue Springs Missouri. They are part of  Kline Van and Specialty Rental which rents and leases vans and VanDOit mostly does conversions on existing vans in their fleet. The vans they convert are Ford Transit 350 XLT passenger vans. The converted vans start at $50,000 (that includes the van).


Zenvanz was founded by Jen and Bryan Danger and has been building vans in Portland, Oregon since 2012. They convert Mercedes Sprinter vans using modular aluminum/bamboo components.

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