When it comes to Mercedes Sprinter conversions, we like to think that we’ve seen enough to know what works and what doesn’t. Open up your Van Life Instagram feed, and the chances are that 90% of the vehicles on there will be Sprinters, and it’s not hard to see why! They are the go-to choice for both companies and vandwellers alike, and a tried and tested vehicle with world-wide renown and parts that are available in pretty much every country on the planet. So, when we arrived at Overland Expo West with our sponsors Four Wheel Campers, you can imagine our excitement at seeing a Sprinter Camper Van every few paces just waiting for us to explore. One, in particular, caught our eye; the Storyteller Overland Mode, and what a story it had to tell!
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.
Storyteller Overland know how to make incredible looking off grid vans and the Mode 4×4 series is no exception. They were more than happy to let us have a look around one of their amazing Sprinter conversions, and let me tell you, there were more magical storage solutions inside this van than inside our world famous travelling Harry Potter House! Van Clan’s very own Severus Snape, Brandon, got up close and personal with the Storyteller Overland Mode so that you could share the excitement with us. Faster your seatbelts folks; this one is gonna be wild!
Could Storyteller Overland Be The Greatest Off Grid Tale Of All?
Here it is folks, the Storyteller Overland Mode. Our first impressions are that it’s incredibly well made, it looks funky-fresh, and it’s got a stylish element about it that oozes cool. Storyteller Overland use both Mercedes Sprinters and the Ford Transit Camper for their Mode range, so if you’re worried about getting the bright white paint all dirtied up or just prefer the feel of a Ford Transit Campervan, then you have a choice of models at your disposal. Personally, we love the Mercedes and wouldn’t change a thing!
So, lets take a look at how this thing can cope with getting off grid. First up, let’s check out the tyres. As you can see from the pictures and the video above, Storyteller Overland use custom made wheels that provide the Mode 4×4 range with rugged four-wheel-drive whenever you need it. The wheels are load rated and perfect for any terrain from smooth tarmac to rocky ravine floors, making them the perfect choice for the vanlifer who doesn’t bother with pre-determined routes. Every one of these vans knows what it means to be an adventure bus, and they’re ready for an
Tell Us More About The Exterior
Moving up from those asphalt-hungry tyres, you can see that Storyteller Overland has included a sturdy looking roof rack on their Mode 4×4, as well as an awning that extends to a whopping 10 feet. Awnings are a great way of keeping the sun off you on hot days or providing shelter against the elements if you want to sit out in the rain. Don’t laugh at that last notion; there’s nothing better than sitting outdoors in a downpour with a cup of coffee in your hand, the smell of the rain and the sounds of a storm filling your senses as you kick back and watch nature. Storyteller Overland know that some of the best stories come from truly experiencing the outdoors, and that’s exactly what van life is all about!
The underside of the awning makes use of some cleverly placed LED lights, providing you with a nice ambience for outdoor drinks while watching the sunset, or a quiet nightcap with friends or bears that you’ve become acquainted with while out on the trail (don’t offer a bear a glass of port, they’re rowdy drunks!). On the opposite side of the van to the awning, you’ll find a fixed ladder that you can use to get up onto the roof. As well as providing you with access to the rack and some pretty spectacular views, it also gives you access to your 100w solar system. This might not seem like a lot at first, (I have 200w on my Vauxhall Movano Camper Conversion), but just you wait until you’ve taken a look at all of the different power saving and
What’s On The Inside Of The Storyteller Overland Mode?
While we haven’t had the chance to see one of these Storyteller Overland vehicles in the flesh before, we had heard many a
As you open the sliding door, you immediately have access to a fold-down table that is just the right height for cooking or preparing food outdoors. If you are planning on cooking up an intricate meal, then having an extra couple of hobs in something like the iKamper EatOut would be a great help, and this table would be a perfect place to put it!
Just inside the door, you’ll find the all-important 12V fridge, which is more than big enough for all of your fresh veg, meat, pressed tofu, beer (delete as appropriate), and can be accessed from both the inside and outside with ease. Already we’re seeing a big push on social settings from Storyteller Overland, with a big emphasis on communal spaces and not shutting people out by doing certain actions. These guys have really thought about the design of this camper, and it shows!
A little further up above the fridge is where you’ll find the main cabin lights and controls for your awning and awning lights. They are located in an easy to reach
Does The Mode 4×4 Come With A Bathroom?
It’s not often that I get excited about a shower in a van; a shower is just a shower, right? That’s what I
Storyteller Overland explained that this area is called their ‘Flex Space’, and it certainly is flexible and takes up next to no space. The shower bracket stores away so neatly that you wouldn’t even know it was there, and the quick release shower curtain protects the rest of your van from being covered in water and shampoo (or plain old shower gel if you’re bald like me. Life is cruel, folks!).
Below the show head is a cleverly hidden bath pan, which also acts as a storage unit for the portable toilet. You can lift this in and out of the vehicle as you please, but it’s probably best to put it in one place and keep it there for the duration of your stay. These toilets can get pretty heavy when full, and the last thing that you want is to put your back out and spill the contents everywhere. (That’s the kind of thing that Instagram doesn’t tell you about living the van life, but we tell it like it is here at Van Clan!)
Get Into The Storyteller Overland Groove
Ladies and Gentlemen; welcome to the Groove Lounge. Now I know what you’re thinking and no, the Mode 4×4 doesn’t have an in-built dance floor or a drop down disco ball, although if the guys from Storyteller Overland are reading this, then those could be pretty good ideas for your next build!
The groove lounge is actually a specially designed custom seating component that folds down from a leather seat into a second, twin sized bed (little song drop for any Death Cab For Cutie fas out there). It’s a great addition for anyone who wants to bring a friend along for the ride or for a family that likes to spend time in the outdoors together.
Show Us Where The Magic Happens!
Sadly Overland Storyteller hasn’t built a magic box into the build, but the bed is pretty interesting, so let’s talk about that instead! Like the rest of the features in the build, the bed in the Mode 4×4 is made to be flexible and packs away when not needed. You can, of course, keep it out all of the time, but it’s always a bonus when you have the option of packing everything down and creating a wide open space for your energetic yoga practice or ‘van aerobics’.
The bed is more than big enough to fit two people and quickly adjusts into a workspace by removing one set of cushions and folding a panel up into the wall. This kind of set up is perfect for the digital nomad who likes to work while travelling in a van, and it also provides you with more space for preparing meals or a space to play games etc.
What’s It Like For Storage?
With the bed down you soon have tonnes of space for all of your bulky outdoor gear. There is a neat little L-Track in the van floor for strapping down your expensive travel bikes and other bits of kit while you drive, giving you a safe and secure place to keep your belongings away from the prying eyes of potential thieves. You can also keep your bikes in the back with the bed down by removing the front tyre and locking the fork in place. It all depends on that you want to do with the available space, but the great thing is that you can easily change the layout without any fuss.
Storyteller Overland has equipped the Mode 4×4 with 22 gallons of fresh water storage, which can be accessed from the
I was pretty interested to find out that there’s a glycol loop running around both the fresh and grey water tank top stop it freezing in extreme temperatures. For me, the sign of a good camper is one that can be used all year round in all manner of weathers, and Storyteller Overland
Let’s Talk Power!
At the right-hand side and opposite to the water storage, you’ll find another hidden compartment with all of your batteries inside. The battery system is pretty intense, which is a good thing if you want to stay away from the campground and keep your van out in the wild while you carry on living off grid with the Grumpkins and Snarks.
The Air Conditioning in the Mode 4×4 can run for almost 12 hours without you needing to even think about your energy reserves, which is great for when you’re trying to sleep in a seriously hot country. The solar panel that we touched on earlier in the article is constantly keeping those batteries charged, but if you need an extra boost, then you can just crank the engine on and the split charge relay will get those batteries back up to full in less than 90 minutes. That’s pretty impressive work!
Each Mode 4×4 has a furnace to keep you toasty in cold conditions, and it also heats up the water too so that you don’t have to endure the cruelty of an ice-cold shower. The Sprinter conversions use Diesel, whereas the Ford Transit conversions use Gas to heat up
Does It Have A Living Room Or Kitchen?
Storyteller Overland hasn’t fitted a living room as such, but there’s plenty of space to relax on the seats or up on the bed (why
The kitchen is simple in design but has everything that you might need, including tonnes of storage with those useful push-lock buttons to keep everything secure. I like the addition of an induction hob as it uses no gas and is a safer alternative if you’re travelling with inquisitive children. The kitchen unit also has a tidy looking sink too; now all that’s left to do is to find out who pulled the short straw for washing up!
Storyteller Overland were very gracious hosts when they showed us around the Mode 4×4, and their confidence in their product certainly wasn’t misplaced. From the moment that we opened the sliding
The beauty of the Mode 4×4 series is that they feel just at home on the campsite as they do careering through the mountains, and they are an excellent choice for someone who is looking for a practical vehicle that can change terrain at a moments notice. As of this
Thank’s once again to our sponsors, Four Wheel Campers, for putting together this fantastic event, and we hope that you have all enjoyed learning more about the Storyteller Overland Mode 4×4. Let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and look out for an in-depth article about all of the campers at Overland Expo West coming very soon!