Updated: Dec 9, 2022
Once a small community of minimalists, adventurers and restless vagabonds, #vanlife has grown into a worldwide movement, as shown by the small matter 10 million Instagram posts.
But as the popularity of #vanlife has increased, so too has the number of companies offering it to eager travelers. Unfortunately, as so often happens with trends, many of these companies are simply looking to make a quick buck and deliver a subpar product while they do it.
How do you avoid falling into this #vanlife trap? Let’s take a look at a few things you should consider when choosing a company to help you build your dream campervan.
What makes your builder qualified?
There is a big difference between a qualified tradesperson and a handyman. A
tradesman proves that a person has the skill set to do a job well – they’ve learned from masters in their craft, and will produce quality results. A handyman might be able to get the job done, but they simply won’t boast the same level of knowledge and ability.
Ask your van builder whether they use professionals. Ask whether the work is done in-house, or if it is outsourced. In-house companies are more commonly the handyman, jack-of-all-trades type operations, and just as you wouldn't hire an electrician to plumb your home, you don’t want unskilled trades building your van.
Dive into the details
Make sure you have discussed all the details before you sign anything. A good van builder will have an incredibly deep knowledge of the work that they’re about to undertake, and will be able to talk you through it in detail. If there are questions that the builder can’t or won’t answer, you should start to question whether they’re the right choice.
Check the contract
Once you’ve ironed out all the details, make sure that everything you’ve discussed is included in the contract. This document represents your only recourse should something go wrong, so you need it to be comprehensive and watertight.
Ensure that it includes every factor of the build: the materials used, the custom fittings and fixtures requested, the agreed upon completion date, and any other special requests that you might’ve made.
Choose someone you like
A van build is a big project that can demand a lot of consultation. It’s therefore important that you get along with your builder; that they’re happy to work with you, and you’re happy to work with them.
Dealing with someone you like makes the whole process far easier. It turns a huge, complex and potentially stressful job into something fun and exciting!
Why choose Drifter?
At Drifter we tick all of the boxes above, making us the preferred builder for endless #vanlifers
Our founder Paul has nearly two decades of experience as a general contractor and is a member of the carpenters’ union.
Our lead builder Kyle is a licensed electrician of 20 years, a skilled craftsman, and our on-site gearhead. Kyle has built everything from food trucks to some of Detroit’s most eye-catching hot rods, and is ready to craft you an epic campervan.
Daren brings his skill set as our in-house master certified carpenter.
All other high-level aspects of the conversion, including plumbing, gas, insulation, custom painting and cabinetry, are subcontracted out to licensed professionals.
Add in our deep initial consultation, our comprehensive and watertight contracts, and our friendly and knowledgeable team, and you can be confident that by choosing Drifter Vans, you’ll enjoy a fantastic build experience - one that will end with us handing over the keys to the van of your dreams.
Call us today and let’s chat about how we can turn a van into a home built for you.