Beartooth Vanworks Can Turn #Vanlife Dreams into a Reality
Montana-based Company Offers Custom Conversions Built for Adventure
The incredible growth in popularity of camper vans over the past few years has allowed more people to experience the RV lifestyle in a smaller, more approachable vehicle. It has also given rise to a cottage industry filled with companies specializing in converting those vehicles into tiny homes on wheels. For the designers and engineers that work at those places, a Mercedes Sprinter or Ford Transit van isn’t just a mode of transportation but is instead a blank canvas on which they can produce their art.
Such is the case for Beartooth Vanworks, a Montana-based conversion company specializing in helping customers live their best #vanlife. Since 2016, the BTV team has turned vans into lavish living spaces that make life on the road and at the campsite downright luxurious. And after taking a look at their past projects, it is easy to see why the company is in such high demand.
Bring a Van or Buy One
Most customers that work with Beartooth already own a Sprinter, Transit, or Ram Promaster van. Those that don’t can purchase a 4×4 Sprinter directly from the company, or the BTV team can assist in tracking one down. And if they’d rather skip the entire buildout process, the company even lists a few vans that have already gone through the conversion process for sale on its website.
The Beartooth Process
A typical Beartooth Vanworks build starts with potential customers completing an online survey. That survey helps the design team to get to know the client better by asking them questions about the intended use of the camper van. Knowing that the owner is a fan of mountain biking and fly fishing—and plans to camp in the backcountry—helps the BTV team better understand their needs. That customer may have different requirements compared to one that stays at established campgrounds and enjoys skiing and scuba diving.
After completing the survey, members of the Beartooth team create a preliminary design and meet with the client to discuss their ideas. That conversation helps refine the build process and leads to a more detailed floorplan. BTV then finalizes the design concept and creates a quote with detailed estimates of the cost of the project. If both sides are comfortable with the plan, a contract is signed, and the buildout begins.
Bespoke Van Builds for Everyone
Each Beartooth project is an entirely bespoke build from the ground up. While the members of the team tap into their more than 70 years of combined experience when creating a van, they never replicate the same interior space. The company’s philosophy is that each client has different needs, and the custom build should reflect that.
Some of the features that make their way inside a Beartooth conversion include convertible couches that transform into queen-size beds, induction stoves, refrigerators, and dry flush toilets. LED lighting illuminates the cabin, which includes custom-made wooden cabinets and a water heater that connects to the galley kitchen and shower. At BTV, the designs are only limited by the client’s imagination and budget.
Van Build Upgrades
Other optional features include custom roof racks and nerf bars, along with solar panels and shore power electrical systems. When equipped with lithium-ion battery packs, AC power outlets, and an inverter, the van can run all kinds of appliances and even an HVAC system. Add in a fresh or gray water tank—sized to meet the individual customer’s needs—and the vehicle is ready for camping off the grid for extended periods.
How Long Does It Take to Build Out a Van?
A Beartooth conversion typically takes approximately 14 weeks to complete, but each project varies slightly. A complex build can sometimes take a little longer, while more straightforward installs may wrap up more quickly. Once all of the features and amenities have been finalized, an estimated delivery date is provided.
Prospective vanlifers looking to skip to the head of the line may want to check out one of Beartooth’s Grasshopper spec vans. These vehicles come prebuilt with a layout that includes many essential items that make their way into a BTV’s custom builds. While these builds aren’t as unique as the other projects the company works on, they do offer features like a couch that converts to a bed, a full galley kitchen, storage cabinets, and a slide-out toilet. They also have the added benefit of being ready for customers to take delivery on relatively short notice.
Van Builds for Every Lifestyle
One of the more impressive aspects of a Beartooth van is how it complements the owner’s lifestyle. If the client is someone who enjoys rock climbing and kayaking, it will have features that support those activities. If they prefer to camp off the grid rather than at a commercial campground, the van can also be tailored to meet those needs. In this way, the RV becomes a highly-customized mini-home on wheels that can serve as a base camp for various outdoor adventures.
To find out more about Beartooth Vanworks and its services, visit the company’s website.