Advanced off-grid camper van gives nomads a stealthy "Last Resort"
Advanced RV's latest custom camper van creation, the "Last Resort" was developed for a pair of empty nesters making the leap from happy homestead to full-time mobile living. As such, it's packaged and detailed a little more thoughtfully than average, combining a stealthy exterior, electrical and connectivity "tech-gate," sturdy roof deck, tailor-fit living area, and smart details right down to the rock-solid latches. This 4x4 camper van ventures deep off-grid, camps in covert mode when deep in civilization, and functions seamlessly from steering wheel to load doors.
The Last Resort started life as a third-generation Sprinter 144 panel van with all-wheel drive. Instead of cutting out windows, Advanced RV keeps the solid walls intact to provide a more unassuming work van look. Further enhancing that stealthiness, Advanced skips the usual side hookup panels, putting the water, dump valve, outdoor shower and air compressor hookups in long, narrow LED-lit side-skirt compartments. These clean, functional solutions keep the van about as sleek and low-profile as a roof air-conditioned camper van can be.
The interior strays from more popular camper van floor plans, putting an L-shaped kitchen directly in front of the raised rear bed. To prevent the exact issue we worried about with the recent Rocket Camper — i.e. kitchen splash and spatter dirtying or soaking the bed — a hinged panel serves as a tall backsplash during the day and folds down to add about a foot of bed space at night. The kitchen L block includes a sink with high-arched faucet and plenty of counter space but no built-in stove, leaving occupants free to use a portable stove. The kitchen block also includes a fold-down outdoor counter on its backside.
Across from the main kitchen, a marine-style Isotherm fridge/freezer stands below a Cuisinart convection steam oven. To prevent any issues with leaked steam prematurely wearing the cabinetry, Advanced lines the stove compartment with aluminum and seals the edges with caulk. Magnetic-reinforced latches keep the slide-out oven completely stable during the roughest, bumpiest stretches of travel.
Another interesting detail is the slide-out espresso machine. During development, Advanced found that the back of the slide face panel blocked access to the steam wand, so it adds a special swivel plate atop the slide to allow for full, unimpeded use. No need to sip a doppio when a cappuccino is what you really crave.
One aspect of the Last Resort interior that leaps out on even the quickest visual inspection is the TV mounted in portrait mode against the wall. It's not particularly useful that way, but an articulated arm spins and swivels the ultra-wide display for easy viewing from the bed. The TV is hooked up to an Apple TV, small portable computer and security cameras mounted around the perimeter of the custom-designed roof rack, an aluminum-framed, perforated mesh-topped unit that doubles as a sitting deck, accessible via the marine-grade hatch over the bed that eliminates the need for an external ladder.
The Last Resort powers onboard amenities with a potent 828Ah electrical system with eight lithium batteries stored on the rear floor. Advanced encloses the battery pack, 3000W inverter, Wi-Fi router and other key hardware in the diamond plate-trimmed garage area. It says that solar panels aren't necessary for the electrical system it's engineered, but we're surprised they don't throw a couple on anyway — it's not like they're sparing much expense with this build.
The wet bath compartment features a double-door design so that you can close the entire door or just the lower section when using the deployable shower curtain for extra maneuverability when scrubbing down. The upsized 151L water tank supplies the fixtures.
No price tag accompanies this custom-built one-off, but Advanced RV does say that its custom vans start around $300,000, so we can only imagine the deluge of pretty pennies this one involved. In fact, we wonder if the buyers were planning to sell their home when they got started or just found it necessary as the build (and pricing meter) progressed.
The video below runs close to half an hour, but it provides a very thorough look at the complete design process and every little nook and detail of the Last Resort build, worth a watch if you like the looks of this custom van or Advanced's craftsmanship in general.