10 Amazing Overland Van Conversions

Key takeaways

Considering an overland van build for van life?

Overland vans are far more capable off-road than regular vans, which makes them great for touring in remote locations.

But what about the cost and practicality? And what kind of conversion can you build with an overland van?

In this post, we’ll find out.

10 Amazing Overlanding Vans

With robust drivetrains, four wheel drive, and lots of interior room, overland vans provide a great platform for designing a layout… but which is the best?

Here are 10 of the coolest overland vans ever:

#10: 4WD Delica with Convertible Bed and Large Interior Kitchen

  • Highlights: This Mitsubishi Delica build has a long bench that slides out into about a double-sized bed. It sits across from the large kitchen unit which has tons of countertop space, a sink, and lots of cabinet storage. It’s fit for overlanding with its 4×4 drivetrain and kitted-out roof rack.
  • Van: 1995 Mitsubishi Delica L400
  • Owner: @indefinitewander

 

#9: 4×4 GMC Savana Campervan with Raised Bed and Awning

  • Highlights: This off-road ready GMC Savana has a cozy interior design with a high bed and storage underneath. The “kitchen” area has a fridge and room for a stove. There’s an awning outside the van for outdoor hangouts and cooking.
  • Van: GMC Savana
  • Owner: @bigfoote4x4

 

#8: Overland Ready 4×4 Pop-Top Ford Econoline Campervan

  • Highlights: This overland ready Ford Econoline by Sportsmobile is truly off-road ready thanks to it’s Dana 60 front and rear axles and Atlas transfer case. Inside, the van features a bench seat that converts to a bed, as well as a kitchen with a sink, stove, and fridge.
  • Van: 2014 Ford Econoline
  • Owner: @sportsmobile (more photos at sportsmobile.com)

 

#7: Overland Sprinter for Surfers with Roof Deck

  • Highlights: The interior of this 4×4 Sprinter has a large side-facing platform bed with surfboard storage underneath, plus a kitchen in the front. The back of the van holds a spare tire and a heavy-duty storage box. On top, the roof rack holds solar panels and a roof deck.
  • Van: 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter
  • Owner: @werollwithit

 

#6: Converted F-350 Overland Ambulance with Lofted Bed and Slide-Out Table

  • Highlights: This lifted 1999 ambulance is lifted on Fox shocks and features a Dana 60 front end. Inside, the van has a rear lofted bed with storage underneath for a fridge. A table slides out from under the bed, and a corner booth acts as seating for the dining table/workspace. The kitchen is simple, with just a sink and some countertop space.
  • Van: 1999 Ford F-350
  • Owner: @bumpie.roads

 

#5: Lifted E350 Ambulance Conversion That Sleeps Four

  • Highlights: This Ford ambulance has a large bed in the back, as well as a u-shaped dinette that converts into a bed. The kitchenette has a sink and a cooktop. The vehicle is lifted and the 4×4 wheels mean it can drive on any terrain.
  • Van: Ford E-350
  • Owner: @bobgoes_

 

#4: Class B Motorhome Converted to Ultimate Overlanding Van

  • Highlights: This old van was completely gutted and replaced with a bed, kitchen, and bathroom. The interior seats four while driving. The lift, four-wheel drive, awning, and roof rack make it the perfect overlanding vehicle.
  • Van: 4×4 Ford E-350
  • Owner: @overlandvehicles

 

#3: Off-Road Ready Chevy Express with 4WD Conversion

  • Highlights: This Chevy Express by Timberline Vans features a 4WD conversion and lift kit with fully rebuilt differentials. Inside, the interior has a side-facing bed with slide-out storage underneath. The kitchen unit has a sink, and stove, and the side door reveals a large fridge.
  • Van: 2015 Chevy Express
  • Owner: @timberline_vans

 

#2: Overland-Kitted Professional Ford E-350 Conversion

  • Highlights: This lifted 350 4×4 high top van comes with all-terrain tires, front and rear bumpers, a winch, a light bar, and a custom roof rack. The interior has a side-facing rear bed, plus extra sleeping room in the high top. It’s fitted with a small kitchen and a portable toilet.
  • Van: 2005 Ford E-350 4×4
  • Owner: @wildernessvans (more photos at wildernessvans.com)

 

#1: Lifted 4×4 Sprinter Van Conversion with Aftermarket Everything

  • Highlights: This lifted 3500XD Sprinter 4×4 mid-roof features a heavy duty front bumper from CA Tuned Offroad as well as aftermarket brakes, a roof rack, Baja Designs lighting, and a convertible bed.
  • Van: 2018 Mercedes Sprinter 3500
  • Owner: @more.van.ever

 

10 Reasons Why Vanlifers Like Overland Vans

Overland vans are way more off-road capable – but are they the best option for vanlife?

Here are 10 reasons why vanlifers like overland conversions:

  1. Great for Full-Time Van Life: If you want to live on the road full-time, investing in a kitted-out overland van is a great option because they’re designed to be able to stay off-grid for weeks at a time.
  2. Reach Any Campsite: In an overland van conversion, you’ll have no problem reaching any remote campsite you want to go to.
  3. Drive on 4×4 Trails: If your overland conversion is capable enough, you can have a blast driving off-road.
  4. Handles Snow and Ice: The all-terrain tires and four-wheel drive mean that overland vans can safely handle ice, snow, and rain.
  5. Style Points: A huge benefit of overland vans is how cool they look. Expect lots of thumbs up from other drivers when you’re cruising down the freeway!
  6. Heavy Duty: Overland conversions are built to withstand tough conditions; they’re heavy duty and will probably last a long time.
  7. Fully Customizable: Depending on what type of Overlanding you want to do (and for how long you’ll want to stay off the grid), you can install different add-ons to your van, like extra solar panels and gas storage tanks.
  8. Interior Room for Amenities: Larger vans used for Overlanding like the Sprinter and E-350 have a good amount of space inside to add an extra sleeping area, a kitchen, and/or a bathroom.
  9. Tons of Options: Your options for an overland van are far from limited. Anything from a 25-year-old Delica to a brand-new Sprinter can work great for Overlanding.
  10. Heavy Payload Capacity: Suspension swaps in overland vans allow them to handle heavy payloads, so you can pack your van full and add tons of extras.

7 Reasons Why Vanlifers Dislike Overlanding Conversions

As with every vehicle, there are downsides to overland vans.

Here are 7 reasons why vanlifers dislike overland campervans:

  1. Pricey Conversions: Lifting a van, swapping its suspension, and converting it to 4×4 can cost over ten grand. 
  2. Poor Fuel Economy: Overland vans don’t have the most aerodynamic builds and can be super heavy. The more you add to your van, the worse your fuel economy will get.
  3. May Not Fit in Garages: Lots of these vans are super tall, so they may not fit in typical garages.
  4. Overland Accessories Are Expensive: Overlanding accessories like roof racks, winches, and light bars really add up.
  5. Not Efficient to Use as a Daily Driver: Overland vans are not designed for driving around the city or suburbs, so using them as a daily driver doesn’t make sense.
  6. Not Stealthy: How cool these vans look can also be a drawback. Your lifted kitted-out van will not blend in.
  7. Impractical: Overlanding vans are excellent for camping off-grid, but when it comes to any other type of driving (carrying passengers, going to work, etc.), they’re not very practical.

 

Cost, Dimensions, & Fuel Economy

Now that you know a little more about overland vans, let’s see how they compare.

 

Overland Van Cost

Model New Used Price
Mercedes Sprinter $45,340 $70,000 Check Price
Mitsubishi Delica N/A $19,777 Check Price
Ford E-350 N/A $15,750 Check Price
GMC Savana $38,100 $26,700 Check Price

 

Overland Van Dimensions

Model Interior Height Interior Length (cargo) Interior Width Ext Length
Mercedes Sprinter 79 inches 189 inches 70 inches 274 inches
Mitsubishi Delica 51.2 inches 86.6 inches 55 inches 188 inches
Ford E-350 53.9 inches 121.4 inches 73.6 inches 212 inches
GMC Savana 55.1 inches 126.8 inches 62 inches 224.1 inches

 

Overland Van Fuel Economy

Model City Highway Combined
Mercedes Sprinter 18 MPG 21 MPG 19.5 MPG
Mitsubishi Delica 18 MPG 22 MPG 20 MPG
Ford E-350 13 MPG 17 MPG 15 MPG
GMC Savana 11 MPG 16 MPG 13 MPG

 

Conclusion: Is an Overland Van Right For You?

There are a lot of reasons to like overland van conversions: They can reach more places, they’re perfect for going off-grid, & they have major style points – but they may not be for you.

Biggest Factors:

  • Off-road capabilities–reach any campsite
  • Awesome looks
  • Pricey
  • Impractical

So should you get one?

Yes, we’d recommend an overland build for any vanlifer who has the budget and wants the ability to go off-road.

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