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Supertramped Co.’s Conversion Camper Van Is Part Tiny Home, Part Surf Shack

There’s something so appealing about flippantly abandoning our worldly belongings, tossing our iPhones into the ocean, and living the simple life on a beach in Costa Rica. That ideal, or something like it, is engrained in the DNA of most of us. One U.K.-based company distilled that entire daydream down into a single, one-of-a-kind camper van unlike any we’ve ever seen.

Supertramped Co. started its one-of-a-kind build with a stock Mercedes-Benz T2 van. It’s a solid choice as the model has long been revered in Europe for its reliability, durability, and versatility, making it a typical workhorse for ambulance and delivery drivers. From the outside, “Ernie” looks like almost any other cargo van — save for the bold, turquoise-and-white paint scheme. Color-matched wheels and a coordinated striped awning provide a dose of whimsy and a vague, ice-cream-truck-ish vibe that hint that this truck is something more.

Indeed, it is. Opening the French rear doors reveals a virtual tiny house neatly packed inside a cargo van. Supertramped blanketed the interior from top to bottom with raw, reclaimed wood. Shell art, marine netting, oxidized chicken wire, scalloped metal drawer pulls, and hand-painted driftwood signs give the space a picture-perfect, Pacific surf shack look. White-washed cabinetry, a tile backsplash, and a farmhouse sink add additional rustic touches.

The shabby chic vibe belies a thoroughly modern build, however. The rear sleeping quarters house a bed platform with ample storage underneath. Supertramped Co. even coaxed a marine bath — complete with a shower stall and toilet — and a full-featured kitchen with an oven, cooktop, and fridge/freezer combo into the T2’s compact footprint. A giant skylight and Alexa-enabled lighting keep the interior bright and airy day or night. The long list of technological conveniences includes built-in Wi-Fi, a Bluetooth audio system with six ceiling-mounted speakers, and a 520-watt solar system to keep the Jack Johnson going even off-grid.

Sadly, Ernie is a one-off camper van, and he’s not for sale. Supertramped Co. can customize existing camper vans, however, for around $25,000, including all labor, materials, and other fees. The only catch, of course, is that U.S.-based nomads will need to find a way to transport it across the pond.

For a real plug-and-play alternative, PlugVan converts almost any work van into a road-ready camper in about five minutes for less than $25,000.

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Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
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