This 2008 Dodge Sprinter is like the TARDIS from Doctor Who and the tents from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; it’s unassuming on the outside, but surprisingly livable and functional inside. The van’s adventurous owners have somehow found enough space to sleep, cook, store outdoor gear, and drive, allowing them to travel to some of the country’s most gorgeous natural locales.
Welcome to a wonderland on wheels! Voyage On has been painstakingly creating a home within the blank slate of a van, adding real wood, real tile, a real bed, plenty of storage, and even more style. And to answer the inevitable first question, the ceiling is 6’2″ (1.8 meters) high, and its two residents are able to stand up in it just fine. The insulation and new hardwood floor and ceiling ate up about two vertical inches of the extraordinarily tall Sprinter.
It was smart to separate the driving area from the living area, without closing it off completely. While driving, the residents won’t feel their possessions overwhelming them—vehicles generally feel cramped enough already. The unobtrusive storage above the driving cab was custom built out of plywood and holds bulky sweaters and coats.
In the kitchen, the subway tile is real tile with petite proportions and grey grout; the quality material joins with the wooden features to create a cozy vibe worlds away from the van’s original all-metal interior, or the primarily plastic laminate decor of some campers. The slow-close drawers and overhead bins have magnetic locks and bolt latches, ensuring they stay shut on the road. The countertop is a live edge plank of red cedar sealed with many coats of polyurethane.
Looking towards the bedroom, something that stands out are the numerous dainty recessed lights (powered by the solar panels atop the van, by the way). All of the white paint does a good job reflecting light and opening up the admittedly small space, while the black cabinetry brings the drama and high style.
The red cedar ledge next to the bed opens up to store small items such as socks and underthings. When closed, it also can serve as a tiny bedside table, providing a spot for glasses, phones, and so on. The bed itself is 6’2″ (1.8 meters) long, half of a foot shorter than a standard queen-size mattress.
The luscious leather bench on the left contains the refrigerator, which vents through the charming moon cutout. Speaking of crescent moon cutouts, this van does not feature a bathroom or shower; an earlier Voyage On van had both, but they were rarely used: “It’s been fine without them! We have a rinse kit to shower outside with.” A smaller bench across the way holds shoes and a heater. The invitingly fringed black-and-white pillows are from World Market, where they’re currently on sale.
Though under-bed storage is a fairly common phenomenon, the Voyage On team takes the concept to intimidatingly sporty new heights:
We have our “garage” space under our bed filled with four surfboards, two mountain bikes, a bin filled with all our wetsuits, a bin filled with all our snowboard gear, two camping chairs, two fishing poles, a bin for firewood, rinse kit for outdoor showers, batteries for solar, plus a bin filled with our extra clothes (we brought way too many with us), and a laundry bin!
As if that weren’t enough, there’s also storage on the top of the van for paddleboards, snowboards, and more.
This project required vision, creativity, and a lot of hard work, and now the van must be an absolute joy to adventure in.
Thank you, Voyage On!