The American propensity for the preposterously gargantuan should leave no doubt as to why Winnebagos and other Greyhound-bus-sized RVs rule the road. Testament to this: the discontinuation of Volkswagen's Eurovan and Westfalia—two of the most popular small camper vans ever made.
That's where Ian Horgan and his Wayfarer Vans Dodge camper-conversion kits come in. Horgan, despite being vice president of operations for a company that owns and operates RV parks catering to land yachts, is a sleep-under-the-stars camper at heart. The term “dirtbag” might apply. “I’m an outdoorsy guy,” says Horgan. “I hike, I mountain bike, I ski, I climb. I look at Outside Van, Road Trek and Sportsmobile, but they’re charging six figures for a camper van. I look at the VW Westfalias; they’re compact, you can drive them around day-to-day, and you can go camping over the weekend, but they break down all the time. When somebody’s looking to buy a camper van, it’s either super expensive or super unreliable.”
Horgan wanted to make a kit that would let buyers turn a Dodge camper into a full house-on-wheels. At first, he set out to build a simple camper van he and his fiancé could take on weekend camping trips. The couple were pleased with the design's utility, and quickly realized how desirable a modular conversion kit could be for those of us who are petrified at the very mention of DIY.
Using treated birch wood, heavy-duty five-pound pull strength magnets, some tasteful upholstery (selected by Horgan’s fiancé), and half a dozen bolts, Horgan created a $4,700 kit (excluding delivery) for the 2015/2016 Dodge Ram ProMaster City. All you need is a Phillips head screwdriver and a socket wrench, and you'll have the entire kit unpacked and installed within 25 minutes.
If you want to give a Wayfarer Van a test run, you can rent one from Basecamper Vans in Salt Lake City, Utah.