At this point, most people have noticed the sharp increase in interest in overlanding camper vans, specifically, and also RVs across the board. Currently, 600+ registered custom “upfitters” in the U.S. turn vans and trucks into overlanding campers. The problem with this industry is that to get anything comfortable and big enough for a family, the price of entry is often well north of six figures. However, Tommy Campervans is serious about building the most affordable campers that are still high quality.
What is the most affordable overlanding camper?
Overlanding camper rigs came from a purely DIY community for many years. The rapid increase in interest has led to many people wanting one but lacking the skill or time to build an overlanding rig themselves. This has made way for many custom builders to take advantage of the high demand and low supply.
According to Expedition Portal, Arizona-based Tommy Campervans was formed to answer the insanely inflated cost of custom upfitter van and truck conversions. The founder believes that the van life should be accessible to more than just the very wealthy. This is why the base price for a Tommy Campervans Hotshot Adventure Truck conversion starts at an unbelievable $69,000. This price includes the truck and the build. This is easily one of the most affordable camper truck conversions on the market.
Tommy campervans is a special company
The founder of Tommy Campervans, Mikey Rudman, was driven to start this company for two main reasons: the wild prices and the extremely long wait times for these expensive overlanding camper builds. Not only does Tommy Campervans have options as cheap as $30,000, but they shoot for no longer than a three-month wait on builds.
Even more incredibly, unlike most overlanding camper upfitters who expect payment in full upon delivery of a camper, Tommy Campervans offer lenient financing to make camper ownership more equitable. But, wait; there’s more.
Not only are all of the aforementioned things incredibly cool on their own, but a large chunk of the proceeds of Mikey’s sales go to St. Judes Children’s Hospital as donations. Eat your heart out!
Are these affordable campers any good?
The Hotshot Adventure Truck is the upfitter’s bread and butter. Mikey gets lightly used Hotshot buggies from the forestry department and BLM workers. These are typically built of Ford F-550 or Dodge 5500 platforms and sometimes other similar HD truck platforms.
He uses these trucks because they are inexpensive to get second-hand from the forestry dept. The bonus of the boxiness lends to easier builds and more interior room than the curved insides of most vans. These reasons are part of how he can build one of the most affordable campers in the game.
Unfortunately, official spec sheets aren’t available for the Hotshot Adventure trucks just yet. However, the website will have that feature soon. In the meantime, looking through the photo gallery on the website shows a charming cabin adorned with wood, a modern kitchenette, plenty of storage, a sizable bed, and a beautiful shower.
As we await more information from this philanthropic overlanding camper builder, shop around the many custom camper van builders out there, and you will quickly find out how unique Mikey’s approach is. This is something the overlanding camper and camper van market has sorely needed.