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Gualala the EcoSprinter: A Van Conversion Showcasing the Spirit of Northern California

A serene outdoor scene where a person is lounging on top of a vintage white van.Source: Stefan Lanker

Van life aficionados and eco-conscious explorers, check out this unique van conversion named the Gualala (pronounced WAH-la-la) EcoSprinter. This isn’t just any van; it’s a rolling homage to sustainability, luxury, and the untamed spirit of Northern California. Buckle up as we take a ride through the story of this majestic mobile abode, lovingly crafted by a van life virtuoso.

The Northern Inspiration

van is parked on a scenic overlook, with the sun casting a warm glow on a cliffside in the background. Source: Stefan Lanker

Gualala the EcoSprinter owes its name and soul to a small town in NorCal, where the water dances down to the coast. It’s a place where the free spirit runs as deep as the coastal views are breathtaking. Just like its namesake, this van embodies the liberty of the road and the allure of the natural world.

The Craftsmanship Behind the Wheel

Driver's seat and passenger seat in a converted van, featuring custom patterned upholstery that adds a personal touch to the vehicle's interior. Source: Stefan Lanker

Conceived over a two-year labor of love, Gualala the EcoSprinter is a testament to meticulous craftsmanship.

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Live-edge walnut countertop a custom Sprinter van.Source: Stefan Lanker

Step into the culinary corner of this high-roof haven where the fusion of function and artistry is celebrated. The kitchen flaunts a magnificent live-edge walnut countertop, its rich, dark tones and natural grain patterns offering an organic contrast to the vibrant, hand-painted Spanish tiles that adorn the backsplash.

The kitchen area showcasing the wood paneling on the ceiling of the van conversion.Source: Stefan Lanker

Above, the ceiling is lined with warm cedar paneling, exuding rustic charm, while below your feet, the eco-friendly cork flooring provides a cushioned, sustainable foundation. The space is accessorized with practical magic – a chalkboard beside a quirky holder brimming with colorful markers, ready to capture the names and tales of wayfarers.

Back Doors open Showing the inside of the Gualala EcoSprinter. Source: Stefan Lanker

Its 200 Ah Li-Ion battery, armed with solar panels and shore power, ensures the freedom to roam is never tethered.

The Heart: A Kitchen That Travels With You

An eclectic kitchen corner featuring a hammered copper sink with a high-arc faucet, set against a backdrop of vibrant, multicolored Spanish tiles. The countertop is a slab of live-edge walnut, its natural edges and deep wood grain illuminated by the streaming sunlight from the open door. Source: Stefan Lanker

The sink is a combination of rustic and modern with its high arch faucet that flows into a hammered metal basin. This is a clever sink look that doesn’t sacrifice style with the ease of managing the water.

Utensils and a propane burner in a drawer. Source: Stefan Lanker

Of course, a kitchen is only as good as its utility. They managed to pack everything you may need on a van trip in the kitchen drawers, from utensils, pots, pans, and a propane stove. They also have an induction stove for running off the electrical hookups as well.

Portable stoves, whether induction or gas, are a very convenient van-build option since many people like to take the cooking outdoors in the warmer months to both enjoy the weather and keep the heat out of the van.

Dining table that swivels out while in living mode.

The fold-away table is a practical addition to the van setup. It’s multifunctional. Offers a stable surface for meals or a workstation. It tucks away to free up living space when you don’t need it. A smart solution for the tight quarters in a van conversion.

When It’s Time To Sleep

Check out the photo above. There’s plenty of space to sit and chill. Or enjoy the view with the doors open. But what does the sleeping setup of this custom van build look like?

Once turned into a bed, the sleeping area takes up the majority of the width of the van. It’s a pretty roomy sleep for one, and like most van conversions, it would be a cozy night for two. The curtains are yellow. There’s also LED lighting. The wood interior is yellow too. All these add up to a bright look. It doesn’t feel claustrophobic.

Utility Meets Luxury

There are plenty of little nifty ideas sprinkled throughout the build, such as the shoe rack pictured above. It looks nice, it’s practical, and it’s not overly complicated. It’s that kind of thing that DIY van lifers can look at and think, “I could put that in my build.”

This van’s got a Dometic fridge/freezer. It’s not just efficient. It also has an ice maker. Perfect for those sundowner cocktails.

And let’s talk about the heated shower – this rarity among campers is your personal waterfall, all thanks to a 20-gallon tank and electric pump.


For those dreaming about van life, taking a look at other’s van conversions can be a source of inspiration. For those who already have a van, seeing how others have set theirs up can give you ideas on how to arrange yours better. Sometimes, though, it’s interesting to see how a builder took their existing creativity and skills into a functional space. All of the above is definitely the case for the Gualala EcoSprinter.

Interestingly enough, if you thought to yourself, “I’d love to spend a couple of nights in that rig to check it out.” Well, you’re in luck.” It’s up for rent on Go Camp. As of now, it’s rocking a five-star rating. That’s based on 25 reviews.

I know you want to know the price and I’d love to give it to you. Unfortunately, in the interest of keeping this article current as long as possible, it’s best to click on the rental page to get the most current info. This isn’t a sponsored or “paid for” article, but the owner of the van, Stefan Lanker, graciously submitted the build info along with the photos to our sister site, Do It Yourself RV, with permission to use the info and the photos. You can check out their Instagram here.

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1 thought on “Gualala the EcoSprinter: A Van Conversion Showcasing the Spirit of Northern California”

  1. Gorgeous Vans
    i have (2) old G-20 vans still available to camp out take couple hours to reload & go

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