How to Build a Camper E-Book

Outside Van Camper Takes You From Mountains To Coast In Style

If you’re looking for an off grid home that has more features than a swiss army knife and is custom built for living off grid, then this article will blow you away! We’re at Overland Expo West in conjunction with Four Wheel Campers, checking out all of the amazing campervan conversions, modified campers and off grid van tiny homes, and we’ve been hanging out with the incredible team over at Outside Van.

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 youโ€™re interested in the best pop up truck campers around.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Outside Van’s work, this camper conversion company from Portland, Oregon make some of the best Mercedes Sprinter conversions and Ford Campers that we’ve ever seen. Designed with both comfort and extreme sports in mind, Outside Van has a whole host of different models and options available to their customers, specialising in creating vehicles that are functional, stylish, and crammed full with everything that you might need for your alternative living lifestyle.

So, without further ado, let’s take you round the sweet rig that we had the pleasure of looking at when we hung out with Outside Van!

From The Mountains To The Coast, Outside Van Know How To Travel!

I’ve dropped a few hints so far about the name of this gnarly looking creation from Outside Van so far. For those of you that still have dreamy eyes after looking at the pictures and video above, I’ll stop with the games and get on with the facts.

Mountains To Coast could well be the most thought out Ford Transit Campervan that we’ve ever covered here on Van Clan, with more hidden features and off-grid accessories than you could stake a gear-stick at. Outside Van has packed so many van life essentials into one off-road adventure bus that we don’t know where to start (but I’ll give it a go because otherwise, it would make for pretty dull reading)!

Tell Us More About Mountains To Coast

As the name might suggest, Outside Van has created an off-grid tiny house for any occasion, any weather, and any scenario. They wanted to build a van that has enough storage for any gear that you might need to use in the mountains, like your snowboards, BMX’s or mountain bikes, but also have ample storage for surfboards and paddleboards too. (If you get yourself some compact, inflatable Bluefin Paddleboards then you’ll have even more space too!).

Outside Van - High roof ceiling on Ford Transit

The Ford Transit’s high ceiling allows surfboards to be stored overhead without encroaching in on the available living space, leaving you to do your thing without banging your head every time you want to make a smoothie. The roof has a series of reinforced tracks for storing heavy objects, so you’re not going to be pulling on the ceiling or damaging it in any way. Whatever you might be worried about, Outside Van has already thought of it and come up with a simple solution!

Let’s start with the outside of the vehicle first. Apart from looking like a badass stealth camper van (no nosey bears are going to be see you in the shadows of the trees), Outside Van have given Mountains To Coast some incredible off road features that will make any foray into the wilderness feel like taking the kids to school (albeit with much more excitement and better scenery).

Let’s talk about that lower front bumper first, with a 22″ light bar to add extra visibility when you’re cruising along those forest paths. The bumper is custom made by Outside Van to fit this Ford Transit and acts as a buffer between your van and the rest of the pointy, sharp, and bumpy objects in the world. It’s perfect for adding protection and giving stubborn sheep a little nudge out of the way. There’s also a super bright 50″ light bar up on the roof too, making this van perfect for any drivers who have a fear of the dark!

Outside Van - Front light bar on the top of the roof

Do Outside Van Do Outside Storage?

You bet they do! Mountains To Coast comes with a Safari Roof Rack, as well as side Surf/SUP racks for any additional boards that you might want to bring along for the ride. The Safari Roof Rack is great for storing other large objects such as tents, luggage and boards, and it’s also where you’ll find the solar system that helps to keep your two AGM batteries topped up with tasty juice for all of your gadgets and devices. There’s also a custom-designed ladder that you can use to get up onto the roof safely. Outside Van think of everything!

Surf andsStand up paddle board storage on the side of the van.

As well as housing a Safari Rack, solar system, and light bar, the’res also a pull-out awning that you can use to create some shade or provide shelter against the elements when you’re relaxing after a hard day out on the trail. On the bonnet, you’ll also see a feature that you’ll only find on Outside Van vehicles. Those cool looking cartography lines aren’t just lines made up by a machine; they represent areas of the world that the creators have spent time in or have enjoyed blazing through in their own Outside Van rigs. It’s kind of fitting that Mountains To Coast has some sweet cartography art on it as it’s a van that’s well suited to being in nature.

How Off Grid Can This Beast Go?

Outside Van custom tyres, black and rugged

Have you taken a look at those tyres! Outside Van know their stuff when it comes to off-roading, and provide all-terrain tyres that can cope with anything you might throw at them. You can choose from their recommended packages or add your own into the mix if you have a favourite style or design that you want to include in your new build.

The Outside Van team have been camping in Mountains To Coast for five days so far here at Overland Expo West, and they haven’t had to use a generator or plug into an external power source once. Thanks to the batteries and solar system in Mountains To Coast, and the fact that the alternator creates extra electricity thanks to a split charge relay while driving, this camper keeps you off the grid for longer where you belong!

What’s Inside This Outside Van?

In The Cab

I know that you will be spending most of your time outside in the wilderness, but when it comes to interior comfort and design, Outside Van has come up with a winning solution. As soon as you open the side door, you’re greeted by a fold out step that makes it easier to climb up into the van. If you want a raised van that is going to cope with any bumps or ditches that you might be cruising over then you either need to be super tall or have a neat little step!

The cab area has been fitted with extra passenger seats that are super comfortable (trust us, we tried them out), all of which are travel approved captains chairs. Any van that has multiple captains chairs in is a winner in my book! Thanks to the open plan bulkhead storage system, the cab area also provides tonnes of space to store anything from large bulky objects through to extra clothes and gear that you might use on the go. It has dimmer switches that control LED lights in the underside of the shelving, providing somewhere quiet where you can sit and read a book.

Clever open plan bulkhead storage with blue railing to stop items from falling off

Moving On To The Living Quarters…

The living quarters are separated from the cab by a hard wall, but can still be accessed by an open doorway. Outside Van have designed and included an insulated soft wall that rolls down and zips up, closing the gap and keeping all of the heating in the living area where it belongs. Pretty clever right?

Outside Van models differ from other conversions that you might have seen on your travels through the internet, in that they specialise in ‘ultimate gear hauling’. They focus on giving you enough space to store all of your extreme sports gear while giving you a place to sleep, cook, eat, and relax at the same time. We’ll go into this in greater detail as we go through the article, but check out some of the pictures in the grid below to see some of the different setups that you can have while on the road.

Depending on how many people are travelling with you, the beds and board storage can be pushed back into the walls or changed around to suit your needs. If you’re travelling solo and have bikes in the back, then there’s room to have all three out on the go at once. The beds strap into the walls by velcro pads and are super easy to fold out when needed. Pretty rad if you ask us!

The many different ways you can store and sleep inside your Outside Van

Show Us The Inside Of Mountains To Coast!

Outside Van Kitchen Area

Once you’ve stepped into the living quarters, you’re greeted with an open plan, malleable space that can be designed to your individual specifications. The one area that has been designed to stay fixed, however, is the kitchen space, which gives you ample room to prepare meals and make-up pack lunches for picnics. Call me sad, but one of the best bits that I liked about the kitchen area was the pull out chopping board. This is an ingenious way of storing a cumbersome object and turning it into an extra worktop area.

The kitchen comprises of a pull-out fridge (you can find out more about these in our Best Campervan Fridges article), a built-in hob that runs off the vans electrical system, a smoothie maker so you can still get your nutrients on the go, and a deep sink that is big enough to wash any of your pots and pans with ease.

Outside van fridge, showcasing push-lock chopping board design

Where Can I Store Stuff?

All of the pots and pans store neatly away in cupboards above the kitchen unit, with plenty of space for all of your top cooking accessories and dry food ingredients. Outside Van have designed push-lock cupboards that feature throughout this Mountains To Coast build, giving you extra reassurance that your belongings aren’t going to fly out when while you’re navigating your way over rocky terrain.

Mountains To Coast also has the added bonus of having hot and cold running water, which is great if you want to get clean after a day in the mud. All of the electrical power comes from the two AGM batteries I mentioned earlier, which are all stored away nice and neatly in the back away from your gear, so there’s no chance of snagging a wire when you are loading stuff in and out of the back.

Outside Van Make Gear Storage A Piece Of Cake

If you’re looking at buying an Outside Van camper, then the chances are that you will have a couple of bikes that you might want to bring along for the journey too. Mountain and road bikes are expensive bits of kit, and you don’t just want to throw them into the back of a van and hope for the best. That’s why Outside Van has come up with an ingenious fork mount system that will keep your expensive frames secure and intact until you get to the start of the trail.

The back of the van is also where you’ll find your porta-loo designed for off grid living (if you gotta go, then you gotta go!), and a hot/cold shower hookup system. This is great for washing your gear or wetsuit off before packing away, and also a nice place to have a shower with a view!

Custom Made Outside Van cupboards

The back also house an exo-skeleton storage area, again designed by the clever minds at Outside Van, a roof vent, and the all-important and highly craved ‘stuff sacks’ on the back of the rear doors. These are cleverly placed so that they can be easily accessed from both inside and outside the van, and are big enough and stretchy enough to hold any miscelaneous items like pumps, lights, helmets, your travel hammock, food, books and more!

Final Thoughts…

We have wanted to hang out with Outside Van for such a long time now, and meeting up with them at the Four Wheel Campers Overland Expo west has been a blast not only for the great company, but because we’ve finally had chance to look inside Mountains To Coast with our own eyes. This vehicle, along with many of the other Outside Van fleet, is a perfect example of how living in a van and travelling in a van is the best way to combine a love of sports and adventure with a passion for seeing the world and experiencing everything that it has to offer.

Outside Van on the snow - Mountains To Coast model

Buying your own Mountains To Coast vehicle will cost around $200K, but once you’ve had a look inside you’ll soon realise that it’s worth every penny. It would be a great vehicle to split the cost with friends who also like to get out in the wilderness too, reducing the cost and giving you all an excuse to get out on the trail far more often! We love what Outside Van has done with Mountains To Coast, and hopefully you will too! Keep your eyes peeled for another special announcement and accompanying Outside Van article coming very soon!

Still hungry for more Van Life Content? Head over to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to get your fill!

More Content From The Van Clan Team!

How to Build a Camper E-Book


Please note that all comments will be checked by our team before being approved.