Vanspeed's California Coast Camper Conversion Is the Bee's Knees and Might Be the Cheapest

California Coast 12 photos
Photo: Vanspeed
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What if I told you that you can customize your very own Mercedes-Benz Sprinter into a camper van for as little as $65K? If you're familiar with this industry and movement, you know that's one hell of a sweet deal. Well, Vanspeed is here to show us how that's possible.
Folks, if the name Vanspeed sounds familiar to you, it may be because we've featured their work before. However, this time around, we'll be exploring the newest addition to their growing lineup of on-road and off-grid-ready motorhome conversions, the California Coast, a layout that's very befitting of its name. Better whip out your wallets for this one, people.

Now, the ravishing wheeled creatures you see in the image gallery are Sprinter 144s that have seen the Vanspeed touch. Oh, and just so that we're on the same page here, that $65K base price doesn't include the base vehicle; conversion only. I know, it's a bummer.

Why $65K for this conversion? Well, it all comes down to the way Vanspeed does business and how they bring these babies to life. For instance, the units this manufacturer puts out are based on predefined yet "adaptable" layouts, removing the entire process of what goes where and why.

As a result, their delivery times are also down to under three months, so if you've got the cash now, by the beginning of this year's season, you'll be ready to go. The question now remains: just what is this amount of cash - in comparison to other camper van brands - going to bring us?

California Coast
Photo: Vanspeed
Well, you already know that Mercedes-Benz is the power behind your lifestyle, and honestly, I don't feel I need to point out any of this company's success stories. Hell, there's a two to three-year wait for their Gelandewagen, AKA G-Wagon, AKA G-Class, AKA "The one from that rap song."

Upon this base vehicle or chassis, Vanspeed then goes to town, bringing to life what they call "...a versatile travel solution perfect for weekend getaways that can also be used for longer, coastal excursions in mind," and to achieve this, modularity is key. That said, just about every corner of this floorplan can "do things."

Starting our journey at the rear of a converted unit, we'll swing open those large doors, revealing an interior where wood is king. But, it's also here that Vanspeed comes in with their simple yet highly effective garage-o-dinette-o-bedroom construction.

California Coast
Photo: Vanspeed
With this huge modular section, future owners will be able to access a large storage garage running down the center of the bedding block and more storage on either side of the garage. The latter is where you'll find systems and features needed for electrical and plumbing, including an outdoor shower hookup. Let's skip over using the side sliding door and hop right into the unit form here.

As we do, we'll find ourselves in the midst of a dinette, which also takes the place of a two-person queen bed later in the evening. Just twist the tabletop off of the removable leg, put down a cushion or two, and good night. Be sure to grab your pillows and covers from the storage bays below or above this space.

Take a moment to picture yourself here, either sleeping, squeezing in a tad of work, or maybe just lounging around and watching your significant other doing their thing at the galley block. A smile is sure to creep across your face.

Speaking of the galley, at the foot of the bed, Vanspeed adds a neat and minimalist yet complete galley block that has it all. There's a sink and running water, a cooktop, storage, and an integrated fridge, too. Simple yet elegant touches like hidden LEDs and windows all around ensure lighting is exactly as you want it, no matter the time of day. But you might need to look into some window shades.

California Coast
Photo: Vanspeed
Yet, the magic doesn't stop there either. As I dove deeper into this layout, I saw features like 25 gals (95 l) of fresh water, 200 W of integrated solar panel power, Thinsulate insulation, and 3M sound dampening. All that's supported by an interior that's been optimized for easy cleaning; sand gets in everywhere, I swear.

Last but not least, your Sprinter 144 can be taken way further, and by the time you're done paying extra for things like a bike or roof racks, you will have thrown a tad more cash at your dream adventure mobile than $65K, but you'll still fall under what a lot of the industry offers by thousands of dollars.

Honestly, that's really how Vanspeed made it this far in their rise to RV and camper van supremacy, and the main reason why we're sure to see more and more of this crew in the near future. After all, they show absolutely no signs of slowing down.

So, to sum things up, if you've been looking for a camper to hit the road ASAP and do it without spending all your life savings - just a part - the California Coast conversion may just be the one for you. Just remember, you'll need to bring your own Sprinter 144 to the game.

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Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase an array of California Coast campers and features. This article has been modified post-publishing to better reflect the financial outcome of a completed conversion.

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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