Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, RV companies — especially those that sell camper vans — have experienced a rise in sales, demand, and waitlists.

The Nelson camper van driving down a road.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


Source: Insider

And it’s not just the big legacy makers like Airstream and Winnebago seeing a spike in demand.

The Airstream 2022 Interstate 24X Touring Coach driving down a road

The Airstream 2022 Interstate 24X Touring Coach.

Airstream


Smaller makers like Advanced RV — a custom Mercedes-Benz Sprinter conversion company — are also experiencing success during the road travel boom.

The Nelson camper van sitting inside a factory with its door open.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


Source: Advanced RV, Insider (1) (2)

 

Like other road travel vehicle makers, Advanced RV’s sales grew throughout 2021, and have generally been increasing since the company was founded a decade ago, Mike Neundorfer, Advanced RV’s president, told Insider in an email.

The dashboard, driver, and passenger seat as the van is in the factory.

The interior of the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


As the team continues to grow, so has its client backlog, which now extends back about two years.

The door into Nelson open, exposing part of the kitchen.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


But Neundorfer says the Ohio-based company’s success is only “somewhat affected” by the rise in RV ownership amid the pandemic, he told Insider in 2021.

Stacks of planks of cedar wood inside of a factory.

The cedar wood.

Advanced RV


Source: Insider

Its customers have also been requesting add-ons and upgrades that have become trendy across the trade …

A close up of the lower half of the Nelson camper van.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


… including four-by-four chassis, better internet and cell connection, and sound and entertainment upgrades.

The van's dashboard.

The interior of the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


Let’s take a closer look at the van, an “all-cedar” four-by-four camper van built for a client named Terry.

Storage cabinets towards the ceiling of the van.

The interior of the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


The company works directly with clients to design its highly customized tiny homes on wheels, and this wood-lined camper is no exception.

The Nelson camper van outside at dusk among trees, nature with the door open.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


The van has many of the upgrades RV buyers have recently demanded, such as a four-by-four chassis, off-grid capabilities, and an entertainment system.

The Nelson camper van sitting inside a factory.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


The team began working with Terry in 2018. Together, they spent the next year designing the tiny home on wheels.

The Nelson camper van sitting inside a factory.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


Advanced RV finally received the 2021 170-inch Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis in 2020, and the build was finished several months later.

The stainless steel shower surrounded the wood-lined interior.

The bathroom in the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


Now, Terry and her dog are using Nelson as their home base for months-long road trips across North America.

The Nelson camper van outside at dusk among trees, nature with the door open.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


So far, she’s stopped in locations like Colorado, Wyoming, Canada, Alaska, and California.

The Nelson camper van sitting inside a factory with its door open, exposing the kitchen and front of the van.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


The company’s previous few vans have ranged between $380,000 and $550,000, according to Neundorfer.

A close up of the front of Nelson camper van's Mercedes-Benz logo.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


He declined to state Nelson’s exact price, but noted that the van “approaches the upper end of that spectrum” at somewhere over $400,000.

A table extended out the open door of the van attached to the kitchen unit.

The exterior table of the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


While the price may seem hefty, the van includes all the rooms you’d find in a typical studio apartment, including a kitchen, garage, bathroom with shower, and a joint living room and bedroom.

The Nelson camper van outside at dusk among trees, nature with the door open.

The Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


The interior was also designed to be built with minimal plastic, animal products, and materials with volatile organic compounds, as per the owner’s request.

A window under a green seat surrounded by wood.

Seating inside the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


It’s easy to notice the van’s standout feature: the cedar, which lines its ceilings and walls. The only other color accent is the green fabric that covers the seats and curtains.

A bed on the right and couch on the left surrounded by wood.

The bedroom and living room inside the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


Nelson’s bathroom is located in front of the garage at the rear of the van.

The foot of the stainless steel shower and toilet surrounded the wood-lined interior.

The bathroom in the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


The space has all the bare necessities of a bathroom: a shower, toilet, and medicine cabinet.

The stainless steel shower tray next to a toilet

The bathroom in the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


The bathroom spans across the width of the 70-inch Sprinter body, and sits behind a sliding cedar door that separates the bathroom from the rest of the living space.

A bed on the right and couch bed flat on the left surrounded by wood.

The bedroom and living room inside the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


The entry door is just beyond this kitchen, but the van has one more hidden secret: an additional seat that can convert into a third bed for guests.

A window under a green seat surrounded by wood.

Seating inside the Nelson camper van.

Advanced RV


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