- Roland and Dani - Native Eyewear Sprinter Van Conversion -
Roland and Dani have what to me is the best job ever. They work for Native Eyewear as what I call "content creators" or "adventure starters". They're not the marketing team or even sales reps. They simply travel the country, meet rad people and go do rad things. I first met these two through Ashley Hutchinson and they had met Ashley because of her Bumble Beast Sprinter Van Conversion that they were following on Instagram.
I was able to take a tour of their outstanding conversion that they call home everyday. Reclaimed beetle kill wood paneling is one of the most beautiful aspects of the van in my opinion. They also took Ashley's idea of using rock climbing holds for a ladder on the outside of the van.
Enjoy the tour below and be prepared to be extremely envious of their amazing tiny home on wheels and lifestyle. There's a movement happening and Roland and Dani are proving that you can make a living on the road doing something you love.
-Make Mercedes Benz
-Model Sprinter 2500
-Length Regular length with 170 inch wheel base
-Interior Square Footage 100 square feet
-Purchased From/Location Mercedes Benz of Loveland, Colorado
-Name of van Royal
-Cost in materials for the conversion Approx. $10,000
-Is the conversion complete or still in progress? Complete
Tell us a bit about how the idea to build this van came about. We have been living full time on the road out of multiple vehicles for 5 years now. Sprinter Van has always been the dream. Something we could stand up in, tons of storage and livable space, and good gas mileage.
Dani in their first mobile home "Bella Bloo" circa 2011.
Who converted the bus for you and how long did it take? We designed the Sprinter but had a small outfitter in Loveland Colorado build it out. Colorado Camper Vans. It took 2 months
It always seems to start with a sketch!
Colorado Camper Vans working with Roland and Dani on their new home.
Who is involved or part of the crew with your adventures? My best friend Dani and I travel for Native Eyewear seeking out locals in small mountain towns. Adventuring with them and sharing their stories of passionate lives lived in the outdoors.
Dani and Roland loving everyday and truly living life to the fullest.
What materials did you use during your build? Any reclaimed/upcycled items? We tried to keep everything as local as possible. All of the wood paneling in the van is Pine Beetle Kill from Colorado. Pine Beetles are an invasive species that have been decimating the Pine tree populations in Colorado for the past several years. Harvesting and using beetle kill wood for construction is a responsible way to use the massive amounts of trees that have been killed in Colorado. Beetle Kill wood has a really unique color to it and there are trails of the beetle present in the wood. All of the cabinets were made in CO, as well as our mattress.
Walk us through your kitchen setup (stove, sink, water source, etc.) and what items you're using (make, model if applicable). We tried to be as space efficient as humanly possible when designing the interior. For the counter top we went with a small Neptune pump handle sink. We chose to bypass a sink with an electric pump to keep things simple. Electric pumps can freeze and burst in winter temps and having a hand pump allows us to conserve water. The sink is connected to a 6-gallon water jug behind the driver seat. It takes us about a week to go through 6 gallons of water! There is no permanent stove on the counter top. We chose to use a 2-burner camp stove which allows us to utilize counter space when we aren’t cooking and take it outside for cooking on those beautiful summer nights.
How many can the van sleep and how is the sleeping arrangement designed? We designed it to just sleep 2, Dani and myself, but we can and have easily slept a friend on the kitchen floor space.
What is your power source? (make and model of items your using). We wanted the van to be completely off the grid for power. We have two Goal Zero Boulder solar panels mounted on the roof that charge the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 solar generator. This powers everything in the van - our lights, stereo, vent fan, heater, and fridge. It also allows us to charge our cameras, laptops, phones, and anything else. The Goal Zero Yeti is awesome because it is simple and streamlined. It’s your battery, charger, and inverter all wrapped up in one nice organized efficient package!
What is your source of heat if any? (make and model of items your using) We put a heater in the van because we will be living out of it full time, year round. We installed an Espar Heater that runs off diesel fuel from the tank. It is super energy efficient with both the amount of fuel it uses to heat and the amount of electricity it pulls from the solar generator
Espar diesel drip heater.
What has been the hardest part of living in your van? (parking, water,trash, etc) The hardest part is finding somewhere to park it to sleep on a nightly basis. It’s not always super tough finding somewhere but it is usually time consuming.
Rock climbing holds for a ladder to their Thule box.
Where can people follow or find out more about your camper? (social, media, website, etc.)