Outside Van Campers Created The Ultimate Vehicle For Adrenaline Junkies
Choosing what kind of layout you should have for your camper conversion is always tricky, which is why we at Van Clan try to cover as many different styles, makes and models that we can to help give you a better choice when it comes to picking your dream vehicle. But with so many affordable tiny homes and campervan conversions to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Wouldn’t it be great if there were a company that made hundreds of different styles of campers, custom building van life essentials for their customers, and creating comfortable solutions for living off grid? Outside Van Campers do all this and more, and we’re here to tell you how!
This article is sponsored by Four Wheel Campers. They were kind enough to invite us to Overland Expo which gave us the chance to produce this article for the Van Clan community. Check them out if you’re interested in the best pop up truck campers around.
We have spent the past couple of days hanging out with the Outside Van crew at Overland Expo West with our sponsors, Four Wheel Campers. Their latest vehicle, the Apex, is more proof that this Portland-based conversion company are masters in the art of creating overlanding and off-grid vans of superior quality, functionality, and style. So, without further ado, let’s take an exclusive look at the latest build from Outside Van Campers; the Apex!
Meet The Apex From Outside Van Campers!
If you’ve not spent any time looking at Outside Van Campers before, then prepare to be amazed. These custom built off-road machines are perfect for your next off grid adventure, and they come with more hidden surprises than Forest Gump’s box of chocolates. The Apex is the newest in the company’s line of gear haulier campers, designed to provide comfort and secure storage for your outdoor accessories no matter where you are.
What’s On The Outside?
Ok; it’s time to get nerdy. Let’s start with one of my favourite parts of the design of these Outside Van Campers – the custom decals. That is a phrase that I would never normally use (in fact it could well be the first time that I’ve ever said it), but these custom made stickers hold a heck of a lot of van life experience in them, and are even more proof that Outside Van know what they’re talking about.
The team at Outside Van Campers has been living the van life and travelling in a van for the past 30 years, picking up all of the tips, tricks, and skills that vandwellers need to enjoy life on the road. They have been here, there, and everywhere, racking up van life costs, finding all of the best van life travel spots, and getting the complimentary t-shirt to prove it! Not only do they know what works and what things you need in your van from their own experience, Outside Van have passed a little piece of their adventures on to your camper in the form of their custom cartography decals! These seemingly normal lines are all from places that the team have travelled to or spent time in with their vans, and they also provide extra protection from stones and grime while travelling through the wilderness.
Tell Us More About The Custom Components On These Outside Van Campers!
All of the metalwork that you see on these Outside Van Campers is custom built by Outside Van in-house at their workshop. It’s pretty rare to see a company making all of their own components in house and not heading straight to AEV for their custom parts. This is a great way to keep costs down for the consumer and creates a chance to meet with customers who might want something a little different on their camper.
The gnarly looking front bumper, roof rack, and the ladder on the side of the van have been custom made to fit the Apex. Each piece is a significantly sturdy bit of kit and looks incredibly swish on this custom Sprinter Camper Van.
The roof rack is where the magic begins to happen, and it houses all of the essentials to keep your off grid home in the wilderness and away from the campsite. The Apex range of Outside Van Campers make use of 130watt solar panels from Zamp. We’ll get onto power in a little while, but rest assured this van has enough juice stored away to keep the lights on during the rainiest of days.
What Else Can You Fit Up There?
Outside Van Campers understand the importance of transporting as many people as possible away from computer screens and video games and into the heart of nature. The Apex features one of the best rooftop tents on the market, part of Outside Van’s partnership with Free Spirit. This comfy camping pod is super compact and can easily house a single camper. It could even fit two if you’re one of those PDA couples that spend all day wound around one another.
The roof rack also provides space for extra storage; you could stick a lockbox up there, or even store your surfboards and other outdoor adventure gear. Don’t bother with a massive SUP though; just get one of these compact, inflatable Bluefin Paddleboards and save yourself the hassle!
Pretty Cool, But Can It Cope Off Grid?
Have you seen those tyres! Not only do they make small rocks and desert dunes quiver at the thought of having to rearrange themselves after a severe pounding, but the 18″ inch tyres on this all terrain camper have the coolest name I have EVER heard. Say hello to your new set of ‘Black Rhino Warlord’ tyres; just let that sink in a second. That, my friends, is how you name off-road components!
Show Us The Inside Of These Outside Van Campers!
Let’s cover sleeping arrangements first. Outside Van Campers have a very simple and clever solution to getting as many people as possible inside their campers. Bunk beds fold down from the walls, providing a place to lay your sleepy head after a hard day on the trail. Some of the conversions that we have seen make use of four of these bunks, but the main idea behind id the Apex is that you can have two bunks on one wall and still have tonnes of storage for your bikes, boards and gear. The Apex can fit three people up front, and with the added roof tent above it can easily sleep three too.
I guess you’re wondering what kind of gear you can actually stick inside these Outside Van Campers? Well, The Apex has enough room for you to cram it full of bikes, and there’s a clever area where you can securely store your boards in a horizontal rack. It’s also wide enough to drive a 4×4 quad bike or snowmobile straight into the back! Thanks to the sturdy floor that appears to be as hard as Captian America’s shield (that’s Vibranium for any geeks out there), you won’t damage the vehicle will packing your travel bikes or lifting your quad. Plus (you’ll like this bit), you can also use the handy motorised winch to pull heavier objects up into the back, giving your arms and back a well-earned rest.
Let’s See Some Fixtures!
Those of you that are familiar with Outside Van Campers will no doubt recognise two of the most sought after storage features in their campers. The world famous ‘stuff sacks’ that can be found on the inside back doors of the camper are perfect for storing all sorts off…well, stuff! From maps and books to glasses and coats, these sacks expand to fit bulkier objects and are a great place to house items that you use regularly and don’t want to lose.
The exoskeleton cabinets are also a super useful place to store items that you might want to keep out but don’t want to clutter the living space. Big enough for pans, top cooking accessories, and large file-o-faxes with strict adventure itineraries (some people like to plan!), these shelves are the go-to-place for all of your van life gear.
The Apex range of Outside Van Campers has a fixture system called ‘L-Track’ running pretty much throughout the entire build. This is an excellent way of keeping all of your bikes and boards strapped down while in transit, and it also gives you the flexibility to be able to move objects like your fridge or kitchen essentials around if you aren’t happy with their current location.
Time To Talk Power…(And Air).
The Apex houses two AGM leisure batteries which are perfect for charging up your digital nomad gadgets on the go. These batteries usually last around ten years and work in colder temperatures, as opposed to the lead-acid batteries that last 3-4 years and take a snooze when there is a slight breeze outside. There is more than enough power to work the all-important Vitamix machine, so there’s no excuse not to get your 5-a-day while out on the road!
Last but not least (and also because I couldn’t find another section to talk about it in), we have a neat little air compressor at the rear of the vehicle. Any vacuuming haters out there will rejoice when I tell you that this powerful hose is a great tool for sweeping out the floor of your van, and also for dusting powder of your boards/snowmobile and cleaning off your bikes. Outside Van Campers are full of little tricks like this that only come from years of experience of living in a van, and they all make off grid living a heck of a lot easier.
Outside Van Campers usually come with water storage and a hidden camper shower, and while we haven’t seen any official information about whether the Apex has these features, chances are that Outside Van will have fitted them into the build to increase your time off the grid.
The Apex adventure mobile costs $175’000 and will be announced on the Outside Van website very soon. If you are looking for a comfortable and functional gear haulier built for life both on and off the road, the Apex should be high up on your dream campers list! Let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Thank you to our sponsors, Four Wheel Campers, for inviting us to Overland Expo West. Check out the video below to see all of the campers from the Expo!
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