As part of our #Vanlife series, we’ll feature custom builders and outfitters who turn a standard van into an Adventure Van. At NAHBS this year, VanDOit held a lot of peoples’ attention with their sweet custom Transit smack dab in the middle of the show floor.

Based in Kansas City, VanDOit’s founders have been in auto industry for three generations, and they’ve been leasing fleet vehicles for 20 years. Now, instead of selling them after leasing them as passenger vehicles (mostly by churches and private schools), they take the low mileage vehicles and turn them into something much, much more awesome.

VanDOit custom Ford Transit adventure van with slide out bike rack and integrated work stand
Yes, that’s THAT Nelson Vails, who’s a spokesperson and rep for VanDOit.

The vans come off lease with an average of 15,000 to 20,000 miles, which means they’re still fresh, but come to you at a great price…fully outfitted in various states of adventure readiness. Which means you can get this slide-out bike rack design that’s strong enough for you to stand on when fully extended, which is how I took this photo:

VanDOit custom Ford Transit adventure van with integrated solar panels on roof

Up top, they can do cargo racks with auxiliary AC for when you’re connected to shore power (or running the engine with a converter), and solar panels to keep everything charged. And a satellite TV antenna, too.

VanDOit custom Ford Transit adventure van with bed and built in bike rack VanDOit custom Ford Transit adventure van with bed to sleep two adults

All interior parts are made in house. They buy aluminum T-track in bulk and cut and drill it to serve their purposes. And serve it does, forming the mounting spots and attachment points for the TV, bed, and other appointments throughout the cabin.

VanDOit custom Ford Transit adventure van with bed and built in bike rack VanDOit custom Ford Transit adventure van with slide out bike rack

Like that sliding tray with bike mounts, which could be used to transport just about anything they make a T-track mount for.

VanDOit custom Ford Transit adventure van with slide out bike rack

You can get them just about any way you want them, but for cyclists, an air compressor and pop-on bike work stand seem like good ideas.

affordable ford transit adventure camper van conversions from VanDOit

While VanDOit will customize the Mercedes Sprinter, Ram ProMaster and Nissan NV, too, they told us their preference and recommendation is the Transit. Why? Because no matter where you go, you’re probably not far from a Ford dealer or any good mechanic, and most any good mechanic can work on a Ford. Not only will the repairs be more affordable, but the vans themselves are a deal since they’re slightly used.

Interested? Check them out at



  1. Yeah, there’s something wrong with bike culture and outdoor sports in general. It feels like everything is geared more and more towards the affluent. Sure, there are affordable bikes out there. And you could buy a used Toyota truck with a camper shell for a lot less than a fancy van conversion. (Even that is too much money for me right now). But most of the stuff I see and read is clearly geared towards the upper middle class. I guess that makes sense, since all the money is going to the top these days. Still, it would be refreshing to see stories about dirtbag mountain bikers or people who ride ancient mountain bikes to the trailhead and still have fun. Of course, those guys don’t buy much and this site is primarily about the latest bike gadget or product…

    • You could argue that this evolution targeting the affluent is actually making the culture MORE egalitarian and inclusive.

      #vanlife started out as dirtbag culture, accessible only to those without a job that required even a basic level of personal hygiene. Nowadays you can pull a good income, have a family, even take regular showers (!) and still be part of #vanlife on weekends and holidays.

      The dirtbags are still out there in the car park packing up before the ranger arrives in the morning to avoid their fees, but the campground facilities they are leeching off have been upgraded to cater for the wealthy, so if they can spare a coin they can take a warm shower once every couple of days/weeks/months.

      In 5 years’ time, the second-hand market is going to be flooded with fancy vans, and the better heeled dirtbags will have a whole new class of luxury compared to the old Toyota Hiace with mouldy carpet, cheap foam mattress and shelving built from chipboard they’re driving now.

      Everybody wins.

  2. Awesome idea to let somebody else eat the first year or two of depreciation, and roll that into more interior bling!

    Need 4WD or AWD option.

  3. VanDOit offers Quigley4x4s The van also offers a max of seven seats without any equipment removal as seen in the photos above. At the same time you have a choice of 2,4 or 5 seat also, making this vehicle a practical daily driver. It Does come with factory warranty and can be purchased new. The starting price is less than a Jeep Wrangler.

  4. It’s like they read my mind! Exactly the van I’ve wanted at half the price of competition. Just read their web site…WOW what a van. Modular and convertible between passenger van and camper van. I figured the price was just for the conversion but it’s for everything…van included. VanDOit where have you been all my life?

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