These days are something of a golden era for camper vans. Buyers can choose from a broader range of vehicles and builds than ever before, ranging from minimalist minivans to fully-loaded mini-buses that rival full-blown RVs. But if you're looking for a van that could truly double as a residence for just about anyone, yet still retains the proportions of a regular full-size van...you'd be hard-pressed to outdo the Alphavan.
The Alphavan — which, somewhat confusingly, seems to be both the name of the brand and the name of the model, so far as we can tell — is a new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter build, brought to our attention by the good camper van-obsessed crew at New Atlas. It's based on the biggest Sprinter you can buy; this might seem unnecessary, considering how well camper van makers package their interiors, until you discover this choice gives the Alphavan a stunning six-feet-nine-inches of headroom inside the vehicle.
Up front lies a pair of captain's chairs that spin around to face a table that also features a small couch, which has seatbelts so it can double as a place to abide when the vehicle is in motion. On the other side of the van lies a small kitchen with a single-cats countertop that features curved edges, to cut down on the pain of any impacts in the small living quarters; it packs a flush-mounted two-burner Thetford induction stove, a 90-liter Dometic fridge and, of course, a sink, as well as plentiful storage.
Move a little further back, and you'll hit the wet bath, which elegantly integrates the toilet in a way that gives you more room to stand in the shower and packs a pull-out sink and a waterproof storage bin. Built into the back of the bathroom sit two more storage areas, as well.
Behind that lies a ladder that leads up to the master bedroom, so to speak. (Alphavan calls it the "Relax Area," for what it's worth.) A roughly queen-sized sleeping area lies between windows on both flanks of the van, as well as a ceiling one that offers both added airflow and a way to gaze at the stars on clear nights. The 22-inch TV swivels so that it can be seen from either the bed or the living area, should the book being illuminated by the LED reading lights not prove scintillating.
Below the bed, however, lies what could be the Alphavan's killer app: in addition to all of the above, it packs a miniature garage that's big enough to hold all kinds of gear — one deep and tall enough to accommodate mountain bikes with their wheels still attached. If you'd rather bring tikes than bikes, the area can easily be converted to a second bedroom for kids, thanks to power ports, LED lights and an available folding mattress.
According to New Atlas, the Alphavan is available now for a starting price of around $148,250. It's unclear whether or not it'll be available in the United States...but hey, it's not like we don't have big Sprinter vans over here.
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