4×4 trucks and SUVs may have blazed the trail for overlanding, but a great deal of folks are heading off into the backcountry in overland-kitted vans. And this is the month we give them their much-overdue attention. With the help of our friends at Storyteller Overland, we have collected our favorite overlanding vans — and van accessories — to get you comfortably out on the trail and exploring.
Storyteller Overland — Beast MODE 4×4
If rugged individualism and pure joy were ever combined in equal measure and embodied in the form of a vehicle, then that vehicle would be the all-new, infinitely capable Beast MODE Adventure Van from the good folks at Storyteller Overland.
Its load-rated, off-road wheel and tire package and ARB On-Board air with front and rear chucks make for an extremely stable and adjustable ride. Meanwhile, the 360-degree KC headlight package keeps the road extremely well-lit. It also features a rugged exterior with the Agile Ride Improvement Package to give the beast a smoother ride and more capability.
Combining the innovative floor plan, feature set, and automotive-grade lithium battery power system of the Classic MODE, with a host of rugged new off-road/off-grid performance upgrades, Beast MODE is the perfect way of saying an emphatic “Yes” to a lifetime of grand adventures.
If you’re keen to get technical, here are the details. THe Beast MODE features a 12-kiloWatt-hour M-Power Energy Storage System with high output alternator and 3600-Watt inverter (enough energy to power your air conditioner through the night completely off grid), a GrooveLounge convertible sofa bed with two shoulder belts, and a Dreamweaver murphy-style bed. Interior temperatures are kept comfortable by both a 13,500-BTU air conditioner and diesel-fired heating system. Plus, there are Inside and outside showers. Those are fed by a 21-gallon freshwater tank. There’s also a 24-gallon gray water tank onboard.
The kitchen includes an induction cooktop and there are bug screens to allow you to let fresh air in without inviting a swarm of insects.
The Beast MODE is built atop the Sprinter 4×4 144-inch chassis. It’s topped with a rugged roof rack with sonic wedge deflector and dual solar panels. Access to the rack comes from a tubular side-mount ladder. Spending outside the van is as comfortable as lounging inside thanks to an awning with dimmable LED lights.
Front-end protection comes from the Storyteller Tenzing Brush Guard. KC Highlights Extreme Lighting Package virtually turns night into day. And the Agile Ride Improvement Package makes traveling over even rough terrain for hours on end extremely pleasant.
We love the Storyteller Overland Beast MODE 4×4 because it’s more than just a reliable, turnkey overlanding van. It’s equal parts stylish and capable — and that’s an uncommon combo to find these days.
MSRP: $189,743 (see-through pricing)
Storyteller Overland — Matte Black Stealth Storyteller Wheel & Tire
If you’re looking for a wheel and tire upgrade for your Sprinter van, Storyteller Overland has you covered. This package includes the brand’s signature Matte Black Storyteller Wheel already mounted and balanced on a BFGoodrich All-Terrain 265/60/R18, T/A K02 Tire. Importantly, it includes a Stock Mercedes Tire Pressure Sensor (TPMS) and Matching Center Cap. However, it does not include lug nuts.
The rim size is 18×8. It’s made from aluminum. It is load rated at 3,530 pounds. THe Bolt Circle Diameter is 6x130mm. And it’s been tested to SAE J328 specifications.
If you’re looking for a strong and great looking set of wheels and tires to bolt onto your Spinter, there are few better options than these.
Storyteller Overland — Storyteller Tenzing Trailhead Brush Guard
Exquisitely built in America from beefy 3/16-inch plate steel, and finished in rugged matte black powdercoat, the Tenzing Trailhead Brushguard was designed to protect model year 2008 and on 4×4 Sprinters from trail damage.
Named in tribute to the famously rugged mountaineer “Sherpa” Tenzing Norgay, the Tenzing Trailhead Brushguard will beef up the looks and function of your Sprinter. Built in America from stout 3/16” steel with a 1.75” outer diameter tubular bar, then finished in scratch-resistant matte black powdercoat, the Tenzing Trailhead Brushguard was designed to fit 4×4 Sprinters from the 2008 model year on up. You can fit this to tw-wheel drive Sprinters. However, it requires slight modification.
Importantly, this brush guard works with Sprinter sensors, front camera, radar, and tow hook. Better yet, installing it is simple; no bumper cutting required, and all hardware is included. Plus, the price includes Free shipping in the lower 48.
Do keep in mind, however, this is a custom-made product that is built to order. Delivery is generally expected within four to six weeks, if not sooner. Storyteller Overland will notify you via email when it is ready to ship.
We love this brush guard because it adds visual flare and much-needed protection to the front of your Sprinter without sacrificing its safety and tech features, like parking sensors and radar. And, all things considered, it’s affordable, too, considering the materials American craftsmanship that goes into making it.
Storyteller Overland — Storyteller Defender Bug Screens
These bug screens are the perfect solution for enjoying the fresh air and simplicity of MODE Life without the pesky bugs.
Keep pesky bugs out of your MODE 4×4 with Defender Bug Screens for the rear door and sliding door. They’re made in the USA with heavy-duty zippers, durable canvas panels, roll magnet closures, and hook/loop. Unzip the main screens and strap them up when not needed or simply remove screens to store. These are a must-have for fresh-air lovers.
All fasteners, hardware and hook/loop strips are included for assembly. However, unless you are super handy, consider opting for a professional installation. Also note that permanent alteration of the MODE is required. This includes drilling, riveting (rivet gun not included), and applying adhesives. Screens are designed to fit all MODE 4x4s 2019 and up.
Like so many Storyteller Overland products, the Defender Bug Screens are a custom-made product, built to order. Delivery is generally expected within four to six weeks, if not sooner. Storyteller Overland will notify you via email when it is ready to ship.
If you love the bug screens but don’t yet have a van, we should tell you that Storyteller Overland MODE 4x4s 2020 and later come equipped with a Defender Bug Screen kit pre-installed from the factory. So, perhaps consider just getting the whole van?
Lunatec — 1000ml Hydration Spray Bottle
Water is essential on any overlanding trip — more than just for drinking. Water is super helpful for cleaning off dishes and gear, too. However, not everyone has a pressurized water system onboard. Enter Lunatec, which combined the functionality of a garden hose, kitchen faucet and water bottle into a fun and easy-to-use hydration spray bottle.
It’s a small, simple way to bring pressurized water on your next journey. Use the mist, stream, and shower modes to keep cool, clean gear and people, and stay hydrated. Of course it’s not just useful on your overland trips. You can use the bottle for travel, beach trips, athletic events, muddy pets, sailing, and more.
Have a hard-to-reach spot on your gear you want to hose down? Good news, the Lunatec works upside down. It’s BPA free, so you don’t have to worry about weird chemicals leaching into your water. It’s as easy to clean as it is proficient at cleaning; it can be disassembled for easy repair and maintenance.
More than an on/off switch, there’s a variable flow control trigger so you can finesse the flow. What’s more it has stealth and pulse modes. And multiple attachment points make it easy to carry on the trail and elsewhere. If that weren’t enough, there are additional accessories available for more utility and convenience, too.
That’s why we love the Lunatec Hydration Spray Bottle, it packs the functions of a multifaceted hose into a compact, versatile, and easy-to-use and clean package at a super affordable price.
ModVans — CV1
The ModVans CV1 is an award-winning multipurpose vehicle for family, work, and play. Intelligently designed for maximum utility, the CV1’s cargo area components can be rearranged or removed depending on how you want to use it. Versatile, agile, and always ready to go, the CV1 delivers adventure on demand.
The CV1, a full-featured campervan, is essentially three vehicles in one. It’s a lightweight conversion with modular components and seating for up to seven and room to sleep four.
Built on the low roof, 148-inch wheelbase, EcoBoost-powered Ford Transit, the CV1 features a popup top that complements the body lines of the chassis. ModVans’ pop-up top roof adds space without compromising the driving experience. The CV1 is easy to drive and park, convenient to service, and affordable.
The CV1 has all-wheel drive, power seats, adaptive cruise control, power steps, power awning, solar, shower, cell booster, A/C, furnace, fridge, toilet, sink, stove, and more.
The vans we build are Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) certified and J.D. Power listed. So, ModVans owners can have peace of mind and, better yet, access to RV financing.
We love ModVans’ CV1 because it takes the trusty Transit van and adds fun, distinctive features that will make overland adventures longer, more accessible, and more enjoyable.
Nomad Vanz — ACGB Extended-Range Fuel Tank for 2019+ Sprinter
Made for the 2019+ 4×4 Sprinter, ACGB tanks are a 100% aluminum replacement of the factory fuel tank, more than doubling your fuel capacity to 48.9 gallons. There are no fuel transfer pumps or secondary fuel filler ports to install or contend with. This one works out of the box.
ACGB tanks are manufactured in France in an ISO-certified manufacturing facility to an extraordinary level of quality.
If you’ve never heard of Nomad Vanz let’s get you up to speed. They curate a collection of top-quality products used in their premium, custom conversions. Each item has been thoroughly road tested and matched against the competition, in order to earn Nomad Vanz’s stamp of approval. They’ve done all the research, now your build gets to benefit. This promise of quality is an expression of the brand’s mission: Expanding horizons.
Nomad Vanz seeks to push the limits of innovation and possibility in the industry, while empowering others with the equipment they need to comfortably embark on adventures through the most challenging terrain and go where they could never have gone before.
This is evidenced by the ACGB extended-range fuel tank. Nomad Vanz went as far afield as France to find the best possible extended-range fuel tank solution for their conversions and customers and brought it to North America. Rather than settle for what’s most convenient, Nomad Vanz only seeks — and sells — the ultimate. And that’s why we love them.
MSRP: $4,550.00 CAD
Omniasweden — Stovetop Oven
Meal variety is the key to staying happy and healthy on any overland adventure. Sure, you can grill up an array of meals before you get tired of any one of them. Eventually, though, you’ll need an oven to take your campsite meals from ordinary to gourmet. That’s where Omniasweden’s Omnia stove top oven comes into play.
It’s remarkable how something so simple can transform your campsite food preparation routine. You can easily take on any recipe that calls for food to be heated, baked or cooked in the lightweight Omnia stove top oven. Pull it out of its specially designed carrying bag and place it on your propane stove. Et voilà, you have a campsite oven.
The three-piece design works by strategically circulating the heat from the below propane stove around the food inside. The stainless steel bottom plate transfers heat to the conical aluminum center body while the aluminum lid — complete with cleverly designed vents — precisely traps heat in. This creates an ideal oven-like cooking environment.
The Omnia measures 9.8 inches in diameter and can hold two quarts of food inside. Despite its moderate size, thanks to its lightweight but strong materials, it only weighs 1.1 pounds.
We love the Omnia stove top oven for its lightweight but solid construction, simple but appealing aesthetic design, and — not least of all — its versatility. Lasagna, bread, brownies — you name it. You can make it in the Omnia. Don’t believe us? The Omnia comes with four recipes in the package with more inspirational recipes online. Check them out for yourself.
Ozark Mountain Adventure Vans
Springfield Coach Group (SCG), the parent company of Ozark Mountain Adventure Vans (OMAV) has been building limousines, party busses, and custom Sprinters for the last 30 years. So, it’s fair to say they’ve practically mastered the art of producing modified vehicles.
In early 2020, SCG had 70 employees and a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility producing limousines, which were not exactly in high demand during the pandemic.
So, the father-and-son duo, Gary and Gary, pulled their team together for a brainstorming session. The Garys and the team decided they could utilize their CEO Sprinter rigs and transform them into quality adventure vans with a build-quality level that exceeded industry standards.
Ozark Mountain Adventure Vans (OMAV) was born.
The team spent all of 2020 building prototypes. They selected only the highest quality components, which they based on internal testing. The team selected gear not based upon how expensive it was but rather on how durable and well constructed it was — just because a component is pricey doesn’t mean it’s the best.
With components selected and prototypes dialed in, OMAV launched its vans with four different layouts and a handful of options to satisfy every need. The brand’s long-term relationships with the manufactures, Mercedes, Ford, and Ram gives it an advantage on pricing and gathering units, which it passes along to its customers.
SCG had a long relationship with the Ford QVM program, too. So, early on, OMAV understood the need to be a member of RVAI. OMAV applied and went through the rigorous testing required to qualify. That certification allows OMAV to be listed in the NADA valuation books, gives banks from coast to coast the information needed to make loans on OMAV’s products at substantial savings, as they know a certified RV holds its value much better over the long term.
Yes, OMAV is new to this industry. But the long-term experience the brand, its owners and staff bring to the table gives fresh ideas to your adventure, certified to be built right at a high-value price point.
That’s why we love OMAV. Not only can they leverage their 30 years of experience and expertise to build you the overland adventure van of your dreams, they also have turnkey units ready to roll out the door right now. So, whether you’re champing at the bit to get out and get going on your next adventure or are rather keen to have a bespoke adventure van constructed to your exact specifications, needs, and desires, they can do that.
TOURIG — Bunker Basin Portable Shower
Known for their super tricked out Sprinter and Transit vans, TOURIG is also a supplier to the emerging overland market with some incredible product designs available — to the masses. One such product is the Bunker Basin Portable Shower for showering inside or outside your van, RV, or truck-camper. It utilizes an oversized collapsible basin with high, structured sides, curtain wall with a zippered opening, interior stash pocket, and four fiberglass support rods to create a unique shower experience requiring little space. The top of the curtain wall connects to overhead points inside your vehicle. Alternatively, it can be suspended to rear van doors, a tree, etc. for outside use. It was designed to both dry quickly and stow easily, as it rolls into itself for the ultimate adventure vehicle travel companion. The lightweight, durable performance fabric is water, mold, and mildew resistant. And its unique burrito-style roll makes for easy stowage requiring minimal space.
This is a brand-agnostic product, too: It is compatible with almost any van, RV or truck camper design. What’s more, it works with on-board water systems as well as portable systems such as Geyser, RinseKit, NEMO Helio and EcoTemp.
The basin itself measures: 22 inches in diameter and 18.5 inches tall. It weighs four pounds three ounces.
We love the TouRig Bunker Basin Portable Shower because, let’s be honest, a shower is a necessity after any prolonged period of time on the road. And having an agile, portable shower that can work with any rig is a benefit. And the TOURIG shower is one of the best.
Header image: Storteller Overland