Ram Promaster cargo van converted into a multi-purpose camper
Professionalcarpenter and wood worker Ryan Wells has recently turned his hand toconverting utility vans into smart campervans. The Seattle-basedmotor-home enthusiast recently converted a 2015 Ram Promaster into a multi-purpose adventure van. Dubbed the Ryda Van, theconversion accommodates two occupants and boasts beautiful bespokewoodwork, smart fold-away furniture and rooftop solar panels.
"Theidea started out with a few ideas to combine a weekend adventurevan, a weekday cargo work van, and also a place to showcasewoodworking," Wells tells New Atlas. "We tested theSprinter, Transit, and Promaster and liked the size and feel of thePromaster best. We also chose this van because of the 136 inchwheelbase that fits in most parking spots. We also wanted some keyfeatures such as a reverse camera with sensors, windows in the rearand a color that wasn't contractor white."
TheRyda Van conversion was designed to suit Wells' needs as a cargo/workvan in conjunction with using it for weekend getaways. The 60-sq ft(2.15-sq m) interior features a double fold-down Murphy bed, fold-awaytable and chairs for two, bookcase, hidden storage, compact kitchen,320-W solar system, hardwood oak floors, cedar accent ceiling, butcherblock counter-top, dual propane burner, 33-quart (31-liter)refrigerator/freezer, LED lighting, curly maple veneer and walnutcabinetry.
"Idid the build when I had free time, so it took quite a while, about ayear all up," says Wells. "Once I installed the Murphy bed,we were able to use it for trips while it was still being finished.The 320-watt solar system setup was new to me, so that took a lot oftime and research."
One standoutattribute of Wells' design compared to other campervans and DIYconversions is that the Ryda Van has been converted with the goal of optimal floorspace. The large, open and central space allows Wells to pack the van with work materials, or serve as a multi-purpose zone whentraveling with his wife. All of the interior furniture elements foldup and out of the way, while there is enough space for occupants towalk around and cook comfortably in the compact kitchen.
Wellsreveals that his fold-down bed is the most asked about feature of thebuild. The bed is built with a piston lift system and counterbalancing to ensure smooth operation, and is only 16 in (406 mm) wide when packed away in the up position. Opposite the bedwall is another bespoke feature wall, complete with a large flip-downdining table and two flip-down chairs that sit either side. The unit also features a bookcase and lots of storage.
"Ilike the intimacy and challenge of small space design and storage," says Wells. "Ifyou design properly, you can fit all your essential items. We areable to fit everything in our storage while traveling and still nothave anything on the floor."
Sofar Wells has taken the Ryda Van to Alaska on a trip that was over5,000 mi (8047 km); a three week Southern California coast trip;two week Rocky mountain mountain bike trip; a winter snowboard tripfrom Washington State to Colorado, and countless local trips inWashington, Oregon and British Columbia.
Dueto the popularity of the Ryda Van build that cost Wells US$5,000 in materials all up, he has redirected thefocus of his woodworking business to van conversions and has beeninundated with requests. We look forward to seeing his future builds,so stay tuned.
"Iam currently working on two builds now and plan on a new build for mywife and I in the future. We are having a child in December, so Iplan on making a kid friendly design."