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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