You don’t have to break the bank to get a seriously awesome #vanlife rig!
It’s great to dream, but not all of us can actually afford to buy and upfit something like the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or the Ford Transit Trail. Hell, just buying either of those vehicles alone will easily relieve you of $65,000 before you even think about customization for your go-anywhere machine. As folks like Andy prove in the video below, though, you don’t have to go through all that financial pain to build an awesome rig. You could instead get yourself a $16,500 JDM Mitsubishi Delica, save tens of thousands of dollars in the process, and have a unique head-turning travel companion.
Before getting into the details, though, there’s one huge point Andy notes in covering his Delica. As with any project, make sure you know what you’re diving into before you pull the trigger. It may be awesome and relatively affordable to import one of these bad boys from Japan, but you have to watch out for major issues — especially rust.
With that out of the way, what’s been modified to create this off-road rig?
The Coastal Off-Road steel bumper, skid plates, bull bar, Warn Zeon 8-S winch and Lightforce Venom off-road lights immediately catch my eye, as does the lifted suspension. This Delica is riding on 30-by-9.5-inch BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires with 15-inch steel wheels.
Andy goes into further detail with the van’s changes, including Dobinsons heavy-duty torsion bars in the front and custom Coombs Country Autos custom coil springs in the rear. The Delica even has a 30-gallon fuel tank from Australian outfit Long Range Automotive. Thanks to the enlarged tank, Andy says he can travel 500 miles between fill-ups, which usually outpaces the need to stop for other reasons. Up top, the Delica sports Maxtrax, a DMOS shovel and an ARB awning. Out back, there’s a Coastal off-road rear bumper as well as a swing-out spare tire carrier.
What’s going on inside?
As cool as the exterior gear is on this Delica, what gear you fit inside your adventure rig is also a huge deal. To that end, Andy’s van has an all-in-one camping solution called the ‘Nestbox’. Built by Czech company Egoé, the Nestbox offers a compact solution for a wide range of wagons, SUVs and vans. It’s available in multiple models, with this one being the “Supertramp” designed for off-road vehicles.
The slide-out modular system includes a cutting board, sink unit with a pressurized water tank, a small Engel refrigerator and a two-burner stove setup, as well as several drawers for added storage. Atop the Nestbox, there’s a sturdy plywood bed setup that widens to 48 inches, comfortably accommodating at least one person. In total, this Egoé setup comes in at just under $7,000. Unlike some other permanently fitted systems, this is a bit more convenient, as the roughly 150-pound unit is securely strapped in place.
What else makes this the ultimate off-roading van?
Before all the upgrades, the “L400” Mitsubishi Delica already has several hallmarks of a capable off-roader. Underneath, you get a solid rear axle in addition to the torsion bar front suspension setup. Under the hood is Mitsubishi’s 4M40 engine, a 2.8-liter turbodiesel that put out 140 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque, at least when it was new. Andy notes the engine has been 100% bulletproof and quite happily cruises along at 70 mph without any issues, even with the heavy bumpers and extra gear.
Check out the Delica in more detail in the video below and let us know what you think about a rig like this as an alternative to a brand new build!