It all started with a simple google search for “custom campervans.” Just a click of the button that led us to Sportsmobile. Their website was packed full of information and pictures to get us interested and wanting more. To fully research this area and get a feel for the industry norm in campervans, we checked out a number of other custom campervan outfits (Outside Van was pretty cool), but at the end with certainty we came back to Sportsmobile. What we really liked about them was: 1) the type of campervans that were being built by them, 2) their comprehensive website, 3) one of their facilities was in Fresno, California which was somewhat close to where we live, and 4) they were a well established company. We had a blast creating many versions of our “dream” campervan and coming up with as many crazy cool designs that we could imagine.
At some point after many months of discussing and thinking, we came up with a design/layout that was “the one.” Now what? There were just so many questions we had and so many unkowns. Is Sportsmobile a trustworthy company? How does the actual process work? How long does it take? Their website was good at answering questions for potential customers, but we were in the next phase and wanted to know specifics. My hubby made an appointment to tour the facility and we made the drive to Sportsmobile West in Fresno. We wanted to take a look in person at the campervans and get a feel for the facility and the people that worked there. Once you walk through the lobby and step inside the factory portion of the facility, you can feel the energy and hear the noises from all the campervans being created. If the number of campervans being built in the facility was any indication, Sportsmobile was doing well for themselves.
We got to look and go inside a finished, for sale campervan on their showroom floor, as well as peek inside the vans in various stages of their build on the factory floor. The colors, the textures, the feel when you’re standing/sitting inside a campervan is something you have to see and experience in person. Questions we had about colors, textures, sizes were all answered after seeing things in person. Nick was the representative that showed us around and he became the contact person through the whole build and purchasing process. It was nice to have a face with all the email/phone correspondences. Nick was very knowledgable and went over all the details of the purchasing process, the build options, timelines and handled all the countless questions we had (he even stayed after closing time to finish talking with us). He was kind enough to take pictures throughout the process when we asked. The following pictures were taken by him.
The final build was awesome! It was amazing to see the transformation from an empty cargo van into a well-finished room on wheels. The cabinets were nice and functional, the curtains and window coverings were well made and fit perfectly. Everything looked beautiful! The Penthouse top went up and down very smoothly and everything worked the way is was supposed to. There were some minor flaws: staples are visible in one area, adhesive is exposed in a few places, and some panels aren’t attached/adhered as well as they could be. Overall, the campervan turned out very well and we are extremely happy with it.
The time it took from start to finish was about 7 months. Four months wait for the van and then 3 months for the build, give or take a couple of weeks. The process seems to be very streamlined. The part that took the longest and was excruciating was waiting for the van to arrive in Fresno from the factory in Europe.
Below are pictures taken by my hubby on the day he went and picked the campervan up at Sportsmobile. Yay!