The Blue Oval sells an awesome Westfalia-converted Transit camper called the Nugget in Europe, but it’s sadly not available here. However, we have some vantastic news for those who feel they’re missing out: We found three U.S.-based upfitters who can make your small Ford camper-van dreams come true.
Ursa Minor Vehicles
First up is Ursa Minor, a San Diego–based outfit that has been converting vans since 2007. Today, it makes a pop-up tent for the long-wheelbase 2019 Transit Connect van, with costs running from $6,750 to $9,375 (van obviously not included), depending on the configuration and options. According to the company, the conversion doesn’t involve any major cutting or modification of the vehicle roof.
In addition to the Ford conversions, it also builds an ECamper based on any Honda Element that adds a two-person sleeping area. It also makes a pop-up camper for Jeep Wranglers that looks totally rad. The pop-top campers include a 7×4-foot mattress, LED reading and dome lights, and zippered and screened windows.
Another company to consider is Portland’s Outside Van, also in business since 2007. It says it builds more than 100 custom vans a year, and it will create custom, turnkey campers based on the larger Transit. The company also currently has rear- and four-wheel-drive 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis in stock to customize, starting at $99,500. Outside Van’s design team works with customers to design their dream van before turning the project over to its own engineers and crew. An in-house woodworking team handcrafts galley kitchens, cabinets, tables, and more.
Finally, we have VanDOit of Blue Springs, Missouri, which offers affordable, customizable adventure vans “crafted for adventure people, by adventure people,” according to its Instagram page.
“Even though VanDOit is a third-generation business starting in 1947, we didn’t launch the VanDOit brand with its extreme-functioning, modular, marine-grade, multipurpose camper van until late 2017,” Kaylee Kline of VanDOit tells us. “Until that time, we were and are a van-leasing company, converting vans for lots of other more commercial uses. The VanDOit brand, though applied to a camper van, is also utilized for commercial and passenger uses, too. We were able to utilize our many years of know-how to create this transformer-type van.”
Aside from Transit Connects, it’s willing to convert the Sprinter, Ram Promaster, and the Nissan NV, but it bases many conversions—as seen here—on full-size Ford Transit 350 XLT models. Some of VanDOit’s converted camper features include a hydraulic queen-size bed lift to increase headroom for passengers, modular seats, a kitchen, cabinets, a shower, bike racks, and more. Prices start at $48,800 (van and options included) and can crest $111,800 for a top-of-the-line model.