The North American arrival of the Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 has been making an impact on the camper van market with the likes of the Sportsmobile Sprinter 4x4 and Winnebago Era 4x4. Portland-based Outside Van has taken delivery of its first Sprinter 4x4s and has created the Lava Flow, a light camper van with loads of interior space dedicated to hauling sports gear into and out of the wild. It's a van for the full-time adventurer or weekend warrior who doesn't need all the weight and bulk of a fully equipped camper.
Outside Van was founded with the aim of delivering customized vans built to roam on and off the grid in search of surf breaks, fresh powder, and other bits and pieces of Mother Nature's benevolence. The company has a deep list of options and works to detail each project to the customer's every need and whim.
One of Outside's "gear haulers," the new Sprinter 4x4-based Lava Flow exemplifies the company's strategy of building vans that you can drive to work all week and play in all weekend. Similar to vans like the Volkswagen California Beach, the Lava Flow avoids weighing you down with a bunch of fixed furniture and equipment, offering a camper van-light configuration that leaves plenty of space for cargo. It includes just enough standard equipment to make a night of sleep comfortable, without getting into cabin-cramping features like kitchen and bathroom equipment.
The Lava Flow cabin is based on OSV's Basecamp package, which provides a spacious, versatile interior for hauling cargo and spending the night in. It has a removable overhead cabinet, Mac's cargo tie-down track/rings, bike fork mounts, vinyl flooring, and interweave wall panels and headliner. Beyond that, the cabin is quite open, so you can put all those storage and mounting solutions to work on dirt bikes, mountain bikes, surfboards and whatever other gear you want to bring along.
Eventually all that biking, paddling or skiing is going to wear you down, and the Lava Flow's three-panel platform bed folds out and gives two people a place to crash. The insulated interior and 10-speed roof vent keep things comfortable inside, while the tinted windows and snap-on blinds create a dark sleeping cell.
The Lava Flow also includes some serious exterior upgrades, like a ruggedized pre-runner bumper, off-road LED light bars, Cooper Discoverer Maxx tires, a rear ladder and a retractable passenger-side running board. It has cross bars up top for hauling paddleboards and other gear.
The complete Lava Flow conversion starts at US$119,600, including the base Sprinter 4x4. and is available in both Sprinter 4x4 170 and 144 models. Outside says that it can add additional equipment from its options list, including kitchens, solar panels and additional storage solutions.
Of course, if the Lava Flow isn't to your liking, Outside offers plenty of other van conversions neatly divided in "gear hauler," "people hauler" and "camping van." You can also work with the company to build a custom van up from scratch. Looking through the photos, the options seem almost endless.
You can get a closer look at the individual Lava Flow features in the video below and in our photo gallery.
Source: Outside Van