If you’re in the market for an adventure van but you’re lacking the time, inclination, mechanical know-how, tools, or workspace needed to kit out a van yourself, you’re also staring down the barrel of a stomach-churning $100k purchase price, or thereabouts, for a custom-built off-the-grid capable van. Rear-wheel drive and 4×4 vans are already expensive as it is, and that price shoots way, way up into the stratosphere when you start fitting them out with sinks and beds and solar panels.

But now there’s a Maryland-based company that promises a selling price dramatically less than the mortgage for a house, for a custom-made adventure rig.

Off Grid Adventure Vans is building camp-ready vans for around $60k. And they’re taking orders.


Started by Aaron Fensterheim, a sound engineer who’d spent years living in vans himself, the idea is simple. Build (relatively) inexpensive adventure vans for people who aren’t sitting on piles of cash. He also wanted to focus on the east coast market, figuring there were already plenty of #vanlife options out west.

Off Grid builds their rigs primarily on the Dodge Promaster platform, both the 1500 and 2500 models. Fensterheim likes the Dodge because it’s front-wheel drive and a bit cheaper than the 4×4 models lots of #vanlifers run; the base van itself costs only about $30k. The build out is another $30k, depending on options.

The local dealership Off Grid gets their vans from also finances the van plus the conversion, putting one of these rigs in reach for people who don’t have tens of thousands of dollars in cash just lying around.


The conversion looks well-thought out and well-appointed too. That $30k gets the buyer: Full-size bed, wood-paneled living/dining area that can seat six, full kitchen with sink, Dometic fridge/freezer combo, propane tank, composting toilet, two-burner stove, and a 200w solar kit, among other goodies.

The vans are built in Maryland, but they’ll deliver them wherever you like. Though, a van like this really needs to be driven back to your home, preferably in a trip taking weeks, touring plenty of public lands.

Photos: Off Grid Adventure Vans