We get more than a little excited putting energy into planning our road trips, whether they are for work or play. Thankfully they are often a mixture of both. There is a plethora of information on the web these days on how to convert your van into a camper van. As much as we love a building project, if there is one we know for sure, it’s that these things take WAY more time than we ever truly budget. And right now that’s not something we have a lot of. So rather than spending months building out our new van to make it road-worthy and livable, we decided to opt for a different solution. And thankfully, a really creative man in Colorado Springs named Ian Horgan has created a modular camper van conversion kit for the Ram ProMaster City Cargo van. The following is a breakdown of why we chose the Wayfarer Van Conversion Kit.
Pros of the Wayfarer Van Kit
The Wayfarer Van kit is efficient. Ian’s layout is multifunctional and simple. In his own words it’s a ‘plug-n-play’ system. There is no clutter to his design. He uses plywood that is precision-cut, sanded, and clear coated. His kits are pre-assembled, 100% modular and designed specifically for the Ram ProMaster. Installation only takes 2 hours and uses the factory installed framework of the vehicle to bolt to. The Wayfarer is one of a handful of camper kits available these days but it’s the one that made the most sense to us.
What’s so great about a camper van conversion kit?
Well, if you want to use your van to haul firewood or a handful of bikes, you just unbolt the boxes. Your van is then empty and ready for you to pack. If, later down the road, you want to sell your vehicle, you haven’t made any permanent changes to the vehicle itself. You just need to unbolt the boxes, take down the insulated panels on the roof and walls, and all is new again.
Basically, the conversion kit comes with insulated wall and ceiling panels, a wood floor, and a series of boxes that provide a platform for the bed and storage within. The boxes at the rear of the van serve as a kitchen pantry and open from the top as well as the front. The set of boxes along the side wall and behind the seats are for storage and have hinged doors on the top. There is also a very handy table top that folds up on one wall so that when not in use, it’s out of the way with a few swift movements.
The cargo van comes as an empty shell without any insulation or padding to absorb road noise. The Wayfarer Kit has molded open-cell foam panels covered in durable fabric and studded with heavy magnets. All you have to do is pop them in place on the walls, wheel wells, and roof and your van is insulated. These panels will make your van feel like home in an instant.
Cons of the Wayfarer Van Kit
The cushions Ian provides for the kit are only 2 inches thick; not as plush as we would like for sleeping on. He recommends blow up camping pads for sleeping and his cushions for day/work use and while we think his solution is a good one, we want our one cushion/mattress to serve both purposes.
We purchased the Exped SIM Comfort Duo 7.5. It completely covers the bed platform which is 48 inches wide. It’s also durable enough to stay inflated for everyday use. The Exped also easily folds in half lengthwise and clips together with hooks and loops. This feature is great because we can use the same pad as the bench cushion. Fully inflated, the pad is 3 inches thick. We still have plenty of headroom even when sitting up in bed. Update July 2020: We no longer use this inflatable mat and instead are using a DIY bed that we made ourselves.
Why We Chose the Wayfarer Van Conversion Kit Recap
We spent a lot of time researching the correct vehicle for us and 2.5 years in it, the Wayfarer is a good a fit.
Do you have a Wayfarer Van Conversion Kit? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below as well as any other suggestions or solutions you may have!
Want to know more about the gear we use in van life? Check out our review of the Wayfarer Conversion Kit and our van after 2 years in it. Also, be sure to read up on our take on the Problems with the Ram Promaster City. We were surprised to have the issues come up that have.
Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley are travel writers, photographers and the authors of Authentic Asheville.