Camping off the bike is great fun, and a big part of the ADV appeal for many riders. But what if you want to get away, but your bike isn’t suitable? Maybe you want to take your offroad-only bike to the woods for a weekend of riding, or maybe you want to camp out at the race track. That’s where camper vans have long served the two-wheeled crowd—you can haul your bike to your destination, and use it as a home base. And, for those of you who are interested, here’s a cool conversion offered by Contravans.
Contravans is based in Colorado, and far as we know, has no association with Oliver North. Its business is centred around camper conversions of cargo vans, minivans and even SUVs and cars. Contravans offers kits for DIY conversion systems, and also offers its own pre-built customs.
One of those pre-built rigs is for sale on the Contravans website right now. It’s based on a 2015 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Van XLT, but has been modified into a five-passenger camper.
The sleeping capacity comes from a Roofnest Condor XL Rooftop Tent that’s supposed to fit three adults comfortably. Two more adults can fit into the van’s rear quarters. The van has LED lighting inside, a four-gallon HydroBlu water filtering system, and the interior is insulated, with sound dampening. There’s a dual-burner, dual-fuel stove and a 36-litre Isotherm refrigerator. Contravans included a 50 amp-hour lithium battery, a 1000-watt inverter, and 50-watt solar panel.
On the mechanical side of things, the Transit had 60,000 miles on the odometer before its conversion, and is powered by Ford’s sensible 2.5-litre four-cylinder (as also used by Mazda), with six-speed auto tranny. The suspension has been upgraded to handle the van’s extra weight. Contravans also added window tinting, WeatherTech floor mats, and upgraded to LED headlights. There’s also a trick vinyl wrap, but if you aren’t into flamed-out paint, it’s removable.
And, perhaps most importantly, there’s a trailer hitch with 2-inch receiver, so you should be able to use a bumper-mount hitch or a trailer, when you’re hauling your motorcycle around.
Such convenience doesn’t come cheap. This van (Contravan dubs it “The Starting Five,” for reasons unknown) is currently listed at $34,998 on the Contravan website. Should you want to do your own conversion to save some dough, you can buy individual DIY parts from Contravan; their cargo van conversion “system” sees pricing start at $3,998.