VanLab Makes Glamping Dreams Come True: Complete Conversion Kits for As Little as $2,800

SUV Kit 15 photos
Photo: VanLab
Medium KitSmall KitMedium KitMedium KitLarge Kit (Chevy, GMC)Large Kit (Chevy, GMC)SUV KitSUV KitSUV KitSUV KitSUV KitSUV KitSmall KitSUV Kit
The beauty of living out in the wild is one of those lifestyle changes that almost everyone wants to achieve, but very few have the right finances to do so. Well, one team is making a business out of transforming your existing vehicle into a camping-ready machine.
Folks, if the name VanLab sounds familiar, it's because we've featured a couple of this team's works in the past. However, we never fully covered all the conversion kits available from this team. That said, whip out your wallets, and let's explore a bit of what this American-born crew has to offer to future customers like you and me.

Now, before we go on, allow me to point out a few things about what we're in for. First off, VanLab's kits are DIY, so basically, you'll get yours delivered to your door, and the rest will be in your hands. If you like LEGO or IKEA projects, this one's for you.

Part two of the story is that each kit is modular, so once you have it installed, each section can perform an array of functions, so be sure to have everything measured out. There's a modular bed, a kitchen that does things, and multipurpose storage drawers. Some items, like water tanks and electrical wiring, have predetermined routes and spaces where they belong.

Photo: VanLab
As for the kits themselves, four types of vehicle sizes are suitable for a VanLab kit, and within each category, tens of vehicles show up. For example, the SUV kit can be thrown into a Tesla Model X, Toyota Rav4, Volvo V60, Kia Sorento, Mazdas, Land Rovers, Fords, Hyundais, you name it.

The Small kit is fit for vehicles the likes of a Nissan NV 2000 or Chevy City Express, and as we move up the size ladder, we arrive at the Medium and Large kits. The Medium constructions are good for just about any Ford E-Series, Chevy Express, or GMC Savana, and the beloved Sprinter 144. Have a bigger vehicle, let's say, an extended E-Series or Sprinter 170? Large is the way to go for you.

However, it's the Small setup that grabbed my attention most. Why? Well, for starters, it's suitable for countless SUVs on the market, making it the most suitable option for most. Secondly, it's just so damn cute! Yet, that cuteness hides a monster and one that can accommodate the lifestyle of two guests even more if you really deck your SUV out to the brim with things like a rooftop tent and more water. This is also the newest addition to this family's lineup, so I'll be focusing on it more than all others you see in the image gallery, not to mention the most accessible, priced at just $2,800 (€2,600 at current exchange rates) with a bed, kitchen, and cushions.

Photo: VanLab
To get an idea of what we're in for, I want you to pretend that an extended weekend is coming up, and come Thursday night, this puppy is loaded up into your SUV, and you're just waiting for Friday morning to drive off into the wild; it's a beautiful thing, I'm telling you.

Another beauty of this sort of setup is the fact that you're no longer limited to just trailer parks and asphalt. Because it's mounted into your vehicle, wherever it can go, your home will be right there beside you. Go ahead, pick a spot in your mind, and let's see what else this trunk-friendly machine has to offer.

To do that, picture yourself out on the edge of some beach or mountain range, parked and ready to settle down for a day or two. Once you've stretched out your legs and taken a deep breath of sea air, you'll turn to the rear of your vehicle and begin to unravel what you built.

Since you missed lunch, it's the perfect time to explore this setup's galley. Standing at the rear of your car, you'll pull out two drawers, one for glassware and bottles of wine, the other for a portable cooktop, and other essentials you may have. Not to worry, however; a fridge/cooler is found mounted deep within the unit.

Small Kit
Photo: VanLab
After sunset starts to roll around and you've cooked the last meal of the day, you can easily access a two-person bed by extending some of the box panels into place, a mechanism similar to an array of other conversion kits the market has to offer. And that's all the Small has to offer.

Yet, once we start exploring the large VanLab kits we can access, we can truly grasp the full extent of why this crew is still alive in an industry that's seeing more and more such brands and manufacturers. As an example, I've chosen to bring to light the Large Kit and the one suitable for a Sprinter 170.

For starters, VanLab is asking us to spend no more than $12,745 (€11,900) on a kit that's even ready with electrical, not to mention all the features found in a small. This one can be transformed into a fully functioning mobile home, and the layout is just genius, giving rise to a gear or toy garage in the process.

For the remainder of our time together, be sure to explore all the images in the gallery, and as you do, pick the kit that's best for you and your lifestyle and really picture yourself taking full advantage of what VanLan has achieved here. If you thought getting into the mobile living game meant you had to spend your life savings, think again.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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