Grant Wilson of Van Go Outdoors, St. Augustine, Fl., has been building the best in overland and van travel for over a decade. He specializes in vehicle building and fabrication. He expertly welds custom interior aluminum parts and pieces for vans. We caught up with Wilson at the REEB Ranch in Hendersonville, NC., at Overland Expo East 2018. He was happy to give us an overview and walk-through of his own custom build van.
Grant took a factory 4x4, 2018 Mercedes Sprinter Van and added several upgrades to include van compass suspension, dual front shocks, adjustable rear shocks, and an Add a Leaf kit. “This thing rides like a dream!” Wilson said.
The exterior features a van compass front winch and hitch mount. It also has a carry on the front, “perfect for carrying a Honda Grom,” Wilson said.
The roof racks are some of his own design, they are aluminum and modular, which means they can be customized for different vehicles or specific needs. The layout of the cross racks can be arranged for anything from solar panels to AC units.
The van windows are linear and, double-paned. “They have an interior screen and shade which makes life very pleasant,” Wilson said. These windows also sit above the kitchen area to provide extra ventilation for cooking.
Wilson has made the inside of the van comfortable and highly efficient. He welded and built all the aluminum components inside the van himself. The interior includes flare space flares which accommodate a queen-sized bed. The flares allow for two additional feet of build space inside the van. The front seats are factory Mercedes swivel seats. These seats eliminate the need for additional chairs in the van that would take up space. It also features a lagoon table that doubles as a work surface. On chilly days, an Espar D2 diesel heater that runs off the diesel tank in the van keeps the van warm and comfortable. The van has a 26-gallon full water system, with marine grade components. For refrigeration, Wilson uses a Dometic CFX 75 Dual Zone fridge. A Dometic propane stove, sink, and grey water collection system round out the necessary features for extended time on the road. Small details, like touch-lights above the bed and gas struts on all cabinets prove that Wilson has given every aspect of van travel careful thought and consideration. Amazingly enough, the entire rig weighs just over 8,000 lbs., making it ideal for regular and offroad travel!
To learn more about Van Go Outdoors, or to speak with Grant Wilson about your own custom build, visit: VanGoOutdoors.com