Vanspeed Aims To Secure the Title for Best Off-Road "Budget" Camper Van American Has Seen

Summit 21 photos
Photo: Vanspeed
It's nothing new that the mobile living industry is big bucks. That said, we'll be checking out the freshly launched Summit camper van lineup from none other than Vanspeed. Better balance those checkbooks for this one.
Folks, the name Vanspeed may seem new to you, but this bespoke camper conversion crew working out of Westminster, California, has had its eyes set on this industry for some time now, actively building these magnificent mobile habitats for the past seven years.

However, what very few people know is that this company's founder is no stranger to the camping lifestyle, having operated a van accessories e-commerce shop for years. If you own such a vehicle, then Van Mart may have been one of the websites from which you've gotten your gear.

This brand's newest endeavor, the Summit, is a lineup of RVs designed to perfectly blend comfort, luxury living, and outdoor adventures into one neat on-road and full-time home on wheels. Oh, and one aspect of this lineup that Vanspeed is making a big deal out of is the fact that their pricing is set at under $200K or $198K (€183K at current exchange rates). It's time to see what's in store.

Photo: Vanspeed
As mentioned, Vanspeed aimed to create the perfect machine with the Summit, engineering it to handle short and long weekends out in the woods or on beaches during summer, ski and snowboard trips in the winter, and, if desired, everything else in between. As Vanspeed's Duran Morley states, "We are committed to designing the ultimate van that redefines comfortable living while out on the open road."

Now, everything starts off with nothing other than a tried and tested 144 Sprinter with four-wheel drive. That last bit of information is sure to tell you that you can venture deep into raw landscapes touched by only a few humans. But, there's no mention yet of the sort of suspension system in place, but we can expect it to be in line with what Vanspeed has been cranking out all these years. Maybe it's just a stock setup; time will tell.

The rest of the exterior sees some heavy attention too, including a ladder that leads up to a roof rack where future owners can add whatever gear their adventures call for. It might even be a completely walkable roof, meaning countless picnics from just a few feet off the ground; it's more than enough to sprinkle some magic over meals and countless other moments.

Photo: Vanspeed
However, the interior of this lineup really grabs everyone's attention, mainly because it's crafted around a Murphy bed layout. This means that the entire Sprinter is free to roam through during the day, from back to side doors, and at night, the rear half of the unit simply converts to a bed. Best of all, once you've set up your bedroom for the evening, anything else you had lying around in the cabin can simply be tossed underneath. The perfect place for some boards, skis, and whatever else you can think of.

As for day-to-day activities, they'll be unfolding something along the lines of you waking up, lifting the bed into place and freeing up the interior, putting on a pot of coffee onto the on-burner top, grabbing a jug of milk from the fridge and whipping up your favorite foam, and after, throwing in a couple of eggs and some bacon into a pan; that roof will surely call.

After digestion has taken its place, the space that was once your bedroom can now be used to squeeze in a couple or so hours of work, have a chit-chat with anyone you befriend on your journey, or ready yourself for the outdoor activities of the day. One of them may be taking a shower outdoors, as the interior doesn't include a wet bath, which is a benefit as you won't be dragging any dirt and grime into your unit, but you may need an annex if it's not "wild and free" where you're parked.

Photo: Vanspeed
For the interior, allow me to point out that nothing more than good old maple wood paneling is used to bring what you see to life, and a touch of black is thrown in to tie it all together, typically in the shape of some features and accessories. Be sure to check out the storage cupboards and that integrated LED lighting; simple, yet elegant.

Last but not least, to help the modern nomad really feel like a nomad, Vanspeed also offers systems like 40 gallons of fresh water and a lithium battery bay that can be fed by the solar panel—the essentials, as I like to call them: water and power.

So, let's say you've fallen in love with what you see. If that's the case, all you have to do is give Vanspeed a call and go from there; we got you started with a bit of introductory text and some images. The rest is in your hands.
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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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