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Can You Offroad In A Van? With an OHV Build, You Can!

Offroad Van

Have you ever looked at a rugged, off-road trail winding through the wilderness and wondered if you could conquer it in a camper van? It's not as far-fetched as it may seem. While vans are typically associated with urban commuting or family road trips, they can also be transformed into capable off-road vehicles with the right modifications. In this blog, we'll explore the key components that make off-roading in a van possible: suspension, lifts, limited-slip differentials, and off-road tires.

Offroad Van Suspension

Suspension: The Backbone of Off-Roading

One of the first considerations when preparing a van for off-road adventures is upgrading its suspension system. Stock suspensions are designed for smooth roads and comfortable rides, but they lack the robustness needed to handle rough terrain. Off-road suspension systems typically feature heavy-duty components such as shock absorbers, springs, and sway bars that provide increased travel and durability.

Upgrading the suspension to either a Dark Star Offroad Coilover or Evictus 2.65" kit not only improves off-road performance but also enhances overall ride quality by reducing body roll and minimizing the impact of bumps and obstacles encountered on the trail.

Lifted Sprinter Camper Van

Lifts: The Ground Clearance You Need

Lifting a van involves raising its chassis higher off the ground, providing additional clearance for navigating rough terrain. Lift kits come in various sizes, typically ranging from two to four inches, allowing owners to customize their vans based on their off-road needs and preferences.

A lifted van not only offers increased ground clearance, especially for ProMaster vans, but also accommodates larger tires, further enhancing its off-road capabilities. However, it's essential to choose a lift kit that maintains proper suspension geometry and driveline angles to prevent premature wear and ensure optimal performance.

Sprinter Limited Slip Differential

Limited-Slip Differentials: Tackling Uneven Terrain

Limited-slip differentials (LSDs) play a crucial role in distributing power to the wheels, especially when traversing challenging off-road conditions. Unlike open differentials, which allow power to flow to the wheel with the least resistance, LSDs help ensure that both wheels on an axle receive adequate torque, improving traction and stability on uneven surfaces.

By transferring power to the wheels with the most grip, LSDs enable vans to navigate through mud, sand, gravel, and other off-road obstacles with greater confidence and control.

Camper Van Offroad Tires

Off-Road Tires: Grip and Traction

Arguably one of the most critical components of any off-road vehicle, tires can make or break your off-road experience. Off-road tires, like the BF Goodrich K02s we use on all OHV Vans, are designed with aggressive tread patterns and durable sidewalls to provide maximum traction and durability in challenging terrain.

When selecting off-road tires for your van, consider factors such as tire size, tread pattern, sidewall construction, and load rating to ensure they meet your specific off-road requirements. Additionally, airing down your tires can improve traction by increasing the contact patch and conforming to uneven surfaces.


While camper vans may not be the first vehicles that come to mind when thinking about off-roading, with the right modifications and upgrades, they can conquer trails and terrain previously thought inaccessible. From enhanced suspension systems and lifted chassis to limited-slip differentials and off-road tires, there are numerous ways to transform a van into a capable off-road machine.

Whether you're seeking remote campsites, exploring rugged backcountry trails, or embarking on epic overland journeys, off-roading in a van opens up a world of adventure and possibilities. So, the next time you spot a challenging off-road trail, remember that with the right modifications, your van might just be up for the challenge.

To get started on your offroad camper van build, chat with one of the experts at Off Highway Van! Our team of engineers is ready to create your dream van.


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