Product release: Strap-Up Bed

We are excited to announce the launch of our new product, the Strap-Up Bed! This is a very affordable and versatile bed for sprinter and transit vans. It is made from high-quality bamboo and is easy to install and remove.
Van lifers often struggle to find a comfortable and affordable bed for their vehicles.  Quick straps provide quick access to a ready made bed at nearly any height.

Traditional beds can be expensive and difficult to install. They can also take up a lot of space, which is not ideal for vans that are already limited on space. Our Strap-Up Bed is the perfect solution for van lifers who are looking for a comfortable, affordable, and versatile bed.

The Strap-Up Bed has a number of features and benefits that make it the perfect choice for van lifers:


The Strap-Up Bed can be configured in a variety of ways to fit your needs. In combination with the Fu-Kit Bed, it gives you a great solution for sleeping four people in the van… creating a bunk-bed system.

Easy to install and remove.

The Strap-Up Bed is easy to install and remove, even for people with limited DIY skills.

Easy Storage.

The Strap-Up Bed stores out of the way and provides a ready-made bed in an instant. This van bed system gives you the ability to raise your bed quickly all the way to the ceiling, or even lower it all the way down to the wheel wells. It gives you immediate and maximum flexibility of your garage.

Park Anywhere!

Another big benefit of the Strap-Up Bed system is that you are able to level the bed regardless of the angle at which your van is parked. If you are parked at an angle, you can adjust your bed to be completely flat.

To learn more about the Strap-Up Bed, visit the product page on our website or connect with us directly. We are confident that you will love this product as much as we do!

3 Steps to Consider When Building a Van

There are many different resources available online about building out a camper van… From blogs and videos, to social media groups. Sometimes it can feel like an information overload. At Roost Vans we like to be somewhat in the middle…

Do you want a professional, high quality build at a good value? Are you wanting to DIY the whole thing? Maybe you want to hire Roost Vans to do the hard parts, and you do the rest? We like to provide the van life community with an approach that meets your budget, skill set, schedule, and everything in between. In this blog, we are going to break down the 3 major decisions you should consider when diving head-first into the van world.

1. Platform

You’ve made the big decision to buy a van, but you don’t know where to begin. You have probably heard of the 3 most popular vans on the market: Sprinter, Transit, and Promaster. Which is right for you? They are all great vans, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. It really comes down to the process of elimination. Let’s do a comparison of the three vans to help you choose the best one for your needs.


Sprinters are known to be one of the most luxurious and comfortable vans. They are available in rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and 4×4. Sprinter vans also have a high resale value. That being said, they are going to be the most expensive van and not as fuel-efficient as the Transit or Promaster. If your budget allows for it, a Sprinter Van is going to be a very valuable option.


The Transit is known for its fuel efficiency, cargo capacity, and affordability. Just like the Sprinter van, Transit vans are also available in rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and 4×4. It is going to be the most fuel-efficient van and has the widest range of trim levels and options.


The Promaster is a very versatile van known for its affordability and customization options. Of the 3, it is going to be the most affordable van. Promasters are available in a variety of body styles and have good fuel economy for a van of its size. That being said, it won’t be as luxurious or comfortable as the Sprinter or Transit vans.

So, which van should you choose?

For the more budget concsious person, we would recommend a Transit van, particularly if you plan to buy new (but we will get into that later). It is the most fuel-efficient and the cargo space gives you more room to work with.

If the budget allows for it, Sprinter would be the best option because of its reliability. The Sprinter has a lot of aftermarket parts and accessories available. This makes it easier to find the things you need to build your camper van.

This leaves Promaster being the least desirable all around. The curved roof and metal supports can make it more difficult to insulate or run plumbing through. On the other hand, buying a Prosmater can save you money on the purchase price of the van and it will give you the most space.

Finally, one last insider tip that is worth mentioning would be that you find a van that already has the basic configuration the way you want it. This will save you money, rather than paying to modify it. For example: A cargo van is going to give you way more bang for your buck than a passenger van when doing a full conversion. You will pay for a lot of finished interiors with a Passenger van that ends up getting torn out. Also, Buying something with the window configuration you want will save you thousands in adding new windows. Lastly, for a heavier build, buying a 2500 or 3500 is way less expensive than having to beef up the suspension to support the build.

2. New vs. Used

One of the most important decisions is whether to buy new or used. Buying a new van will come with the latest features and technology, and will often have a warranty, which can give you peace of mind. New vans are definitely more expensive than used vans, but you know exactly how the van has been driven and maintained.
The most obvious pro of buying a used van is that they are typically less expensive than new vans. You can still find vans with the features and options you want, even if they’re not the latest model. Sometimes used vans may have hidden problems that aren’t apparent during a test drive.
So, which is the better option?
The answer ultimately depends on your budget. Generally speaking we would recommend something under 10 years old, and less than 100k miles. Anything older is probably not worth putting the money into finishing it out. It could be like putting lipstick on a pig. Roost Vans product line (and most modern build product lines) are for 2008 and newer. We think a safe window would be buying 2 to 5-year-olds.
Just remember to do your research. Consider buying a van from a private seller, as they are often more willing to negotiate on price than dealerships. If you’re planning to finance your van, getting pre-approved for a loan will give you an idea of how much you can afford to spend. If you’re not happy with the price or the condition of a van, don’t be afraid to walk away. There are plenty of other vans available. Be patient: Buying a van on a budget takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find the perfect van right away. Keep looking and you’ll eventually find the perfect van for you.

3. Conversion

You’ve got the van… now what? The most important part of the conversion process is HOW you are going to convert your van into the van of your dreams! We have an entire blog post on the pros and cons of hiring someone to build out your van for you OR building it out yourself. You can read that blog HERE.

In this blog we want you to consider the option in-between: a Hybrid build. Perhaps you want to go the DIY route but have a fear of getting the wiring or plumbing wrong. Or maybe you want to get the basics done, take it on the road, and come back later to add more. That’s where we come in. Roost Vans is great at meeting you right in the middle.
One of the most popular types of builds we offer is our Core Build. A core build can be a standalone project, or the first step of a full build in a multi-phase incremental buildout, allowing the customer to finish their van in phases.

Our core builds always start with our Smooth Rail Mounting system. This provides a permanently accessible, strong, and secure mounting point for most van build components and accessories. Components installed to our mounting system can be installed, temporarily removed, or re-positioned without the need to remove paneling or drill additional holes in your van. Most components can be removed or replaced in minutes with simple tools. Once our van rail system is installed, the possibilities are endless. Our Core Build also includes: our core electrical wiring system, insulation and sound suppression, ventilation, wall paneling, doorway treatments, and flooring.

Sometimes customers like having Roost’s professional installers do the bare metal vehicle work, allowing them to conduct other portions of the build themselves… projects more suited to their talents and available tools. We sell a very large array of van products that you can order online and install yourself.

If you’re serious about converting a van into a camper van, please feel free to reach out to Roost Vans. We would be happy to answer any questions you have!

Living Out of a Van: A Guide

Living out of a van is a popular choice for people who want to travel and live a more minimalist lifestyle. It can be a great way to save money and see the world, but it’s important to be prepared before you make the switch.

Here are some tips on how to live out of a van…

Choose the right van.

The first step is to select the right van for your lifestyle. If you are planning to live in your van full-time, you will need a van that is large enough to accommodate your needs. You will also need to consider the type of van you want, the features you will need, and the long-term cost.

Here are some specific things to consider when choosing a van for full-time living:

Size: How much space do you need? Will you be traveling with other people or pets? Transit vans are larger and have more space for storage. Sprinter passenger vans are usually a bit smaller, but more fuel-efficient.

• Features: What amenities are important to you? Do you need a kitchen, bathroom, or sleeping area? If you are wanting a kitchen, a bed, AND a living space, Roost Vans offers those products for both Transit and Sprinter vans.

• Cost: How much can you afford to spend on a van?

• Reliability: How reliable is the van? Will it be able to handle the rigors of full-time travel?


Once you’ve chosen the right van, you’ll need to convert it into a living space. You can go the route of hiring a van builder, like Roost, to convert your van for you. Or you can go the DIY route. We have an entire blog dedicated to helping you decide what choice would be best for you.

If you’re planning to DIY your van conversion, Roost Vans has everything you need to make the process easy and hassle-free. We offer a variety of van products that are simple to install yourself, so you can save money and get the van of your dreams.

Here are some specific examples of the products Roost Vans offers:

• Our 2-panel or 3-panel Fu-kit Bed System. With our Fu-kit Bed, you can add a Flip-up Kit, which allows you to turn your bed into a deep-seated sofa.

• We also have our Strap-up Bed! The Strap-up Bed is another versatile bed system that can be configured in a variety of ways. It can be raised or lowered to the perfect height, and it can be used to create a bunk bed system by adding the Fu-kit Bed.

We also have Passenger or Drivers side kitchen cabinets, Upper and Lower cabinetry, and so much more. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you, just remember to add plenty of storage space. We recommend really think about the features you want to add to make your van more comfortable.


If you’re planning to travel full-time, you’ll need to plan your route. There are a few different ways to do this. You can either plan a specific route and stick to it, or you can be more flexible and decide where to go as you go. The possibilities are endless!

Some factors to consider when planning your route are…

• Your interests: What are you interested in seeing and doing? Do you want to visit national parks, hike trails, explore cities, or something else?

• Your flexibility: How flexible are you with your plans? If you’re willing to change your plans on the fly, you’ll have more freedom to explore and discover new places.

We recommend visiting Portland, Oregon! Portland is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with mountains, forests, and rivers all within easy reach. There are endless opportunities for hiking, biking, camping, and fishing. Not to mention, the food and craft beer is something you won’t want to miss out on. We might be a bit biased though, as Roost Vans is tucked inside the PNW, located in Clackamas.

If you would like to try out the van life before committing, read our Try Before You Buy blog post. This will give you the chance to hit the road and see how you like it before taking the time and spending the money to build out a van.


One of the biggest challenges of living out of a van is finding a place to park. There are a few different options available. You can park in campgrounds, RV parks, or you can also look for free or low-cost parking spots in cities and towns. Be aware that parking on the side of the road can be seen as suspicious in some areas. It may also be illegal in some jurisdictions. Do your research and always choose the safest option



It’s important to be prepared for emergencies when you’re living out of a van. Make sure you have a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and a way to communicate with others. You should also have a plan in case of a breakdown or other unexpected events such as bad weather. Make sure you have clothes and gear for all types of weather.

Living out of a van can be a great way to see the world and live a more minimalist lifestyle. By following these tips, you can make the transition to van life easier and more enjoyable. Don’t expect to adjust to van life overnight. Be patient with yourself and your surroundings.

Check out the video below of one of our builds, Towne, to see some of the products Roost Vans offers.

Photos by: Leah Smith

Building your own van vs Hiring a van builder

Building your own van vs Hiring a van builder

Building out your own van versus hiring someone to do it is a decision that many van lifers face. Both options have pros and cons, and the best choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Pros of building out your own van

It can be a rewarding experience

There’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from building something yourself. It can also be a lot of fun to be creative and put your own spin on your van. There are plenty of DIY van companies like Roost Vans, that have van bed systems and van cabinetry, that make it easy to install products yourself.

You can save money

Building out a van yourself can be much cheaper than hiring someone else to do it. There are many resources available online that can help you with the conversion process. In addition to online blogs and videos, there are plenty of companies like Roost Vans, Goal Zero, and Lagun USA that make the process easy and affordable.

You have more control over the process

When you build out your own van, you can choose exactly what you want and how you want it to look. With the Roost Vans Smooth Rail Mounting System, you are able to place your van products in a precise location, as opposed to 1” intervals with an L-track. Roost Vans products give you much flexibility and are easy to install.

Cons of building out your own van

It can be time-consuming

Building a van can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you’re not experienced with construction. It can be frustrating. There will be times when you make mistakes or things don’t go according to plan. It’s important to be patient and persistent when building your own van.

You may not have the necessary tools and materials

Building a van requires a lot of tools and materials. Thankfully, companies like Roost Vans have products that are easy to install, such as our cabinetry or bed systems.

Pros of hiring someone to build out your van

It can save you time

If you hire someone else to build your van, you won’t have to spend all the time and effort doing it yourself. Most van builders, like Roost Vans, have showrooms that help you choose your desired van products and the overall look and feel of your van.

It can be less frustrating

If you hire someone else to build your van, you won’t have to deal with the frustration of making mistakes or things not going according to plan.

Cons of hiring someone to build out your van

It can be expensive

Hiring a professional to build your van can be expensive, especially if you want them to do a high-quality job. Not only will you have to pay for the products and materials in your van, but you also have to pay for the labor.

They may have a waitlist

Social media platforms have made it easier than ever for people to share their van life experiences with the world. This has helped to raise awareness of the lifestyle and make it seem more attainable. With the rise in popularity, professional van builders might not be able to build your van when you desire. Van builders usually take on a few vans at a time, making the wait time a bit longer.


Vans are a relatively affordable way to travel, especially when compared to traditional RVs. This makes them a more accessible option for people who are looking to downsize their lifestyle. Ultimately, the decision of whether to build out your own van or hire someone to do it is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer, and the best choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. 

Try Before You Buy

Have you ever dreamt of having your own van, but aren’t quite ready to take the leap? We now offer the ability to rent our 2021 Ford 148 extended wheelbase Transit van: Spaceball One. You can now take Spaceball One on your next road trip! This is a great way to try-before-you-buy or experience van life without having to purchase your own van.

The Layout

Spaceball One is a custom camper van, ready to take off on a road trip to remember! This conversion van seats four passengers. When you step into this luxury van you are greeted with a second row of seats in addition to the driver and passenger swivel seats. Perfect for turning around and enjoying a meal around the Lagun table.

Just like every van we build out, it starts with our own rails track system we call the Smooth Rail mounting system. Available for purchase on our website.

We added our bunk bed eco system using our Strap-up and Fu-Kit beds: the perfect van bed duos — which means up to four people can sleep comfortably, with approximately one queen-size and one full-size bed. The Strap-Up bed can go nearly up to the ceiling or as low as the where the Fu-Kit bed sits. The Fu-Kit bed is not only a bed but also a deep sofa where you can sit facing forward: enjoying the inside of the van – or backward: enjoying the outdoor scenery from the back of the van. This can all be done depending on which panel you flip-up.

Making a meal for the family is a breeze in this van build. The drivers side kitchen has a built-in propane 2-burner stove and a cold water sink (that can be covered with the glass top lid). It also houses a door-style refrigerator. You’ll be able to make all the home-cooked meals in Spaceball One! Not to mention, you’ll also have plenty of storage for all your items below the sink, or above in our closed upper cabinetry. The other side of the van features our open-shelf system for all your quick-grab items. The control panel for this van sits comfortably on the kitchen cabinet and controls everything from the overhead lighting to the refrigerator and the built-in heater.

Here at Roost Vans we like to keep the toilets simple – that’s why we have an easy chamber pot in our Loo Bench. There’s no need for flushing or electronics. Simply go and empty outside… or take it out in the woods and have some quiet alone time while you let off a load.

Lastly, this van has a 20-gallon over-the-rear well water tank. This water tank has a freshwater fill, a spray port, a water heater for hot showers, and a drain for winterizing.

Your adventure in Spaceball One will be out of this world!

Where and how to rent

Renting Spaceball One is almost as simple as using it. This rental is live on

GoCamp is a van rental website fueled by a genuine passion for camping and outdoor life. It’s a peer-to-peer platform that lets van owners earn extra income by renting out their camper vans, and gives renters an opportunity to experience van life without having to purchase a van of their own.

Simply visit this page and select the dates you would like to adventure and you’re set to hit the road!

Transit Eco-system Product Release

We’re very excited about the release of our Smooth Rail mounting system, as well as our ecosystem of cabinetry and bed products for the Transit van! For the past 5 years, we have been working hard on our Smooth Rail mounting system and all our cabinetry products for Sprinter vans… but now customizing our products to fit the Transit is a reality!

Smooth Rail Mounting System

All the benefits of our Smooth Rail mounting system can be found on our blog article HERE. The Smooth Rail mounting system, with both Sprinter and Transit vans, gives a lot of flexibility and security. It also provides a safe way to install all of our cabinetry, bed systems, kitchen cabinetry, and our benches. The mounting system is thoroughly reinforced with bracketry that goes into the rib work of the van, to ensure a robust and secure mounting point for the products that you’re installing in your van. It provides an even greater value to a DIY person because they have a tremendous amount of flexibility on where their cabinetry can go. They don’t have to thoroughly plan out their entire build based on where all the cabinetry MUST be installed. The Smooth Rail mounting system allows for modularity. You have the ability to change a build immediately after something is tried and then can easily be changed later. We have quite a few stories of customers doing Core builds through Roost Vans; or doing their own build using Roost Vans products, and then later selling their van. The new buyer of the van then wants to install additional cabinetry or remove some cabinetry, without fear of a poor finish when the cabinetry is moved or removed. That is the benefit of the Roost Vans ecosystem and how flexible it is for adjustments downstream when ownership of a van changes. The new owner can remove or simply loosen the cabinetry and then adjust the position slightly without completely removing it. This is something that L-track cannot provide. On top of this, the aesthetics of the hardware and the powder-coated rail is another big benefit that helps create an enjoyable interior environment as opposed to a utilitarian feel.

Bed systems

The release of the ecosystem also includes our Fu-kit Bed and Strap-Up Bed! These are great DIY van bed options. Both bed systems can work autonomously or in combination with each other as a bunk bed system.

The Transit Fu-kit Bed is available as a 2 or 3-panel bed and gives you a couple more inches than the sprinter bed system does. You also have the option to add a Flip-Up Kit to the bed system: This gives you a deep-seated sofa, as well as plenty of access to your garage underneath. Another benefit to the flip-up kit is having the ability to extend your kitchen countertop, giving yourself an extra 24 inches underneath. That way the extra countertop space is only exposed when you flip up the bed.

The Transit Strap-Up Bed system is so versatile. In combination with the Strap-Up Bed, it gives you a great solution for sleeping four people in the van… creating a bunk-bed system. The Strap-up Bed system gives you the ability to raise your bed quickly all the way to the ceiling, or even lower it all the way down to the wheel wells. Another big benefit of the Strap-Up Bed system is that you are able to level the bed regardless of the angle that your van is parked at.

Transit Ecosystem

The transit ecosystem is very similar if not exactly the same as the Sprinter ecosystem. However, the profile of a Transit van is slightly different than a Sprinter, so it has warranted us to adjust our Sprinter cabinetry to fit the Transit profile. It also gave us an opportunity to iterate the Sprinter cabinetry at the same time, improving upon an already great set of products.

The Transit can be a bit peculiar but our cabinetry allows for that. Sometimes you need to do some minor customization around bump-outs, but that is something a DIYer could easily do in a few minutes to make their cabinetry fit exactly where they want it.

Transit vs Sprinter

Probably one of the biggest benefits of a Transit van over the Sprinter is the area above the sliding doorway. In this area, you can install the Roost van’s upper cabinet. We highly recommend if you’re going to do this, that you also have a lower passenger cabinet in that location too… that way you can avoid standing up and hitting your head on the bottom of the cabinet as you enter the sliding doorway. Particularly for a Transit 148 wheelbase (as opposed to the extended wheelbase), you have an opportunity for more forward cabinetry in your kitchen area and in front of your bed system, without having cabinetry over your bed. With the Transit’s window pockets, it allows for greater side-to-side sleeping. So, another option is to have a bank of cabinetry above your feet on the passenger side, along with a passenger kitchen cabinet.

Transits are harder to build than Sprinters. Adding the Smooth Rail Mounting System really helps with the build process. The rear of the van is normal, good-quality steel, but the front half of the van is ultra-high-strength steel, also known as Boron steel. Boron is tremendously difficult to work with. In order to install the Smooth Rail mounting system you have to drill a few holes in these areas, which is difficult but achievable. That’s where that mounting system comes in so valuable: Once the mounting system is installed, you have an infinite array of flexible mounting positions.


A very common mistake in van layouts is having all the weight on the driver’s side. If you’re not careful, you can affect the center of gravity on your van by doing this. This is why it’s important to add storage and cabinetry on the passenger side of the van as opposed to just on the driver’s side. Having a transit mounting system, as well as the cabinetry ecosystem, gives you a lot of flexibility in your design layout. You can move a lot of that weight over to the right side of the van, which is tremendously helpful in balancing the suspension and load of your vehicle. Inevitably, the driver’s side of the van is going to store a lot of stuff, simply because it doesn’t have a door in the way… therefore it doesn’t have a restriction on how much stuff you can store on that side. Planning out your build with this in mind helps you to counteract some of the pitfalls of inexperienced van builders and uninformed layouts.

Where to start?

Our entire Eco-system including: Cabinetry, Fu-kit & Strap-up Bed Systems, as well as our Smooth Rail mounting system are live on our website. We also have several other blog posts if you want to do a deep dive into more of our products, and van life in general. For inspiration on how to use our ecosystem or how to layout your van, check out our Youtube channel!

Smooth Rail Vs. L Track

Smooth Rails Vs. L Track


Smooth Rail Mounting System



L Track Mounting System

L Track (also known as Logistic or Airline Track) is a tie-down system.  Its primary purpose is to secure cargo.  At some point L Track (and sometimes E Track) was adopted by the #vanlife and builder community as an interior mounting solution.  Until recently it was seen as the “go to” approach for an interior mounting system, and has been used for many years by DIY van builders and even some professionals.

Our clients regularly ask why we prefer the Smooth Rail Mounting System, and about the differences and advantages over these ”X” Track systems.  To be clear, a properly mounted L track or E track system, with correct support bracketing, sufficient metal to metal contact and ample attachment points can be a functional, strong, and safe mounting solution.  If you are a DIY van builder this is still an acceptable solution.

However, when Dennis (our founder) built his first van as a family project, his frustrations with the limitations of these types of tie-down tracks led him to develop a much better solution.  His close attention to detail, and eye for aesthetics inspired him to develop the Smooth Rail Mounting System, and ultimately the origins of Roost Vans itself.  Since that time, many van builders have adopted our approach as an innovation.  Below are some of the key advantages, and the reasoning behind this trend in the van building community.



One of the biggest drawbacks to an “X” track system is that it is only incrementally adjustable, typically in 1” intervals.  This is fine for a tie down system, but when trying to position interior components in a van build, it is often very important to position a component exactly where we want/need it to be, rather than “give or take an inch”.

The Smooth Rail Mounting System is infinitely adjustable, allowing each component to be dynamically placed in a precise location.  This allows cabinetry to be flush mounted, and/or positioned for a specific, consistent gap.  When dealing with a mechanical component, precise positioning is sometimes critical to proper operation (such as a bed with a flip up kit, or an adjustable strap).  We find it extremely valuable to place components exactly where we want them, or to be able to reposition in one direction or the other without fully removing the component.  This is very helpful when trying to maximize design efficiency.  Without the smooth rail system, many of our innovative product designs would be less effective, or in some cases impossible.



Mounting components to one of the track systems, typically involves a protruding bolt from the mounting system.  Our system reverses this by placing a threaded nut into the mounting system allowing the use of any bolt we desire, including a wide variety of decorative bolthead options.  Most of our products use a black zinc coated, button head bolt that looks beautiful and offers no protrusion; just a smooth and finished looking surface.  This is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also helps with rust prevention by minimizing the exposure of hardware surfaces to humidity.




Our mounting system consists of continuous powder coated rails.  When installed properly they are largely recessed into the paneling allowing only enough surface area to fully engage with the attached components.  This provides a much more finished look.  Further, proper positioning of components, and consistent sight lines also enhance the visual presentation considerably.  The recent addition of plastic end caps further enhances the look of our system by closing off the very ends of the rails.  This type of attention to detail is the difference between a “pretty nice-looking van” and a visually stunning result.



In terms of strength and weight capacity, either mounting system will perform comparably.  When properly mounted both tracks and rails generally exceed the capacity of the fasteners and/or the van’s structure itself.  However, there are a couple additional and unique safety concerns to consider:

  • Track systems have relatively abrupt corners and can sometimes have sharp interior edges, where the smooth rail system provides a continuous smooth and rounded rail edge the full length of the rail section.
  • Smooth, rounded boltheads rather than protruding bolt ends help minimize surfaces for clothing or small fingers to catch on.



Our entire ecosystem of products is designed with the DIY customer in mind.  Though some may want to use our plug and play solutions, others want a simple platform upon which they can build and create their own solutions, specific to their individual needs and circumstances.  This is where our  system really shines.  Not only do we offer plug & play solutions, but any bracket or material that sits flush on the rail surface can be attached to the mounting system using a threaded insert nut with any bolt of the desired length, head, and finish. The only “specialty” supply you need is the 5/16-18 Universal Insert Nut itself, which can be purchased directly from us, or a variety of online vendors.



L Track and E Track are great cargo tie down systems, but less than desirable as a van’s interior mounting system.  For a more robust and versatile interior mounting solution for Sprinter or Transit van conversions, our staff, affiliates, and DIY customers strongly prefer the Smooth Rail Mounting System.  It is the future of the van building community.


Kicking It Up A Notch for DIY

Our core business is the design, development, and manufacture of products for van builders and the DIY market.  Regardless of your circumstance or skill set, our goal is to provide what you need to get on the road in style, and within your budget.  Our clients take a variety of approaches:

    • Some want our professional installers to do their entire project in our Portland, OR van conversion shop.
    • Many are drawn to specific products such as our Smooth Rail Mounting System, FU-Kit Bed System, Strap Up Bed System (coming soon), or any variety of our modular cabinetry solutions, and in some cases, they hire a local builder to help install our products.
    • Others choose to hire experts to do the shell/core work (electrical, plumbing, paneling, flooring, etc..), then use our DIY products for the main components (cabinets, beds, accessories, etc..).
    • Many more choose to do their own van build, using our products for some, most, or all of it.

Our mission is to support all of these approaches, and everything in between.  We are here to provide you with what you need to get on the road!

The DIY Dilemma

In our experience, most DIY van builders choose this approach because of a specific aspect of their design.  This often involves an innovation, idea, or custom need that they are excited to bring into the world.  In some cases it is due to a particular area of expertise such as an electrician, a wood worker, or a fabricator that is excited to do that portion of the van build.

However, when faced with the scope and complexities of a full van build, the prospect can be quite daunting.  In reality a van build involves almost as much complexity as building a home, and few individuals possess all of the skills and tools to do every aspect of their build without a lot of support.  Sometimes these realities lead to procrastination or project abandonment, and we hate to see that!

Our Modular Approach

(aka “Build It Your Way”)

The Roost line of products is designed to provide the support you need, in conjunction with the inspiration and freedom to pursue your passions.  This is baked into our “mix & match, use what you want” line of products, and serves the do-it-yourself builder particularly well.  We can often help tackle aspects of the build that are a particular challenge, while freeing a van owner to focus on the more desirable aspects of their build.

We cherish the symbiotic relationship we have with our fellow creators and do everything we can to support this approach.  Our DIY customers often remain in contact with us through their build process, sending pictures, offering suggestions, and making additional requests for products and support.  These interactions fuel our commitment to a constant state of improvement, and allow us to regularly refine and improve our products and services.

One of the most common requests we receive is for assistance with sourcing matching materials and hardware (particularly bamboo, rail material, and specific hardware).  Though we are happy to point these builders to our suppliers, many of our suppliers either don’t sell to the public, only sell in bulk, and/or have shipping costs that are prohibitive for smaller orders (this is specifically true of bamboo and steel).

It is in response to these requests; we are pleased to announce a major expansion of our product line to include:


About Pricing:


We offer these new options as a courtesy to support our DIY clients.  We definitely aren’t trying to become a high-volume material supplier.  We have set our pricing to be as affordable as possible, but the reality is that to provide this service, we pay to ship in both directions, cut/assemble, re-package, and re-ship these materials, as well as the associated administrative and overhead costs.

We encourage you to attempt to source materials and hardware directly with local or online suppliers when it is affordable and practical to do so, using our offerings when not.  Further, sourcing material can be a daunting and time-consuming task, and you may find that it takes you many hours to save a few bucks, and still possibly not find the right material.

It is for these situations that we are here to help.  We want to provide an easy and reasonably affordable way for our customers to source top quality, matching material so they can focus their time and energy on the passion project(s) that led them to do their own build in the first place

Roost Vans has moved into a new shop!

Roost Vans has moved into a new shop!

Wow, 2022 was busy… We’ve moved into a new shop and are excited to share a walkthrough of the space and why we moved. But first a little history of how we got from there to here.

Roost Vans started in 2018, when our CEO (Dennis) took a sabbatical from running CreatID, Inc. a product development and industrial design firm, to build out Obsidian, a 170 wheel base Sprinter van for his family. During that time, he drove past a horrific RV accident that involved a number of fatalities covered with sheets. That is when he knew safety had to be his top priority, particularly with children on board. So, he started over and reworked Obsidian from the ground up recognizing the great importance of a secure and flexible mounting system. This became the first iteration of the Roost Smooth Rail Mounting System.

Once the mounting system was engineered, he was then able to leverage that to grow the Roost Vans product line eco-system. The product line started with the upper cabinets and a single bed system. Recognizing the need for a wider audience, it has grown to include many variations of DIY flat-packed and shippable cabinetry and bed systems. All of this started out of his driveway.



After this, Roost Vans took off – or should we say rev’d up. Whatever the case, Roost Vans quickly outgrew the driveway and it was time to find somewhere more suitable. Thus when some space became available at a neighbor’s 3 bay shop, he sublet a bay. Just one… 30 days later he took over all three. He then brought on his business partner, Mike Atkinson, who now serves as the CFO. Next, Roost hired 2 installers who are still helping build and integrate the Roost Vans product line.

Some of Roost’s history in review:

  • 2018: 4 vans 
  • 2019: 9 vans
  • 2020: 11 vans
  • 2021: 15 vans
  • 2022: 24 vans

So, to date we have built over 60 vans for happy customers and way more than that taking into account DIY online sales. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

Later in 2018, we started shipping more and more DIY products, which led to the need for a commercial warehouse. Soon after, we leased a warehouse in Clackamas, Oregon where everything is shipped directly to our customers.

Within a year, Roost Vans had an install shop for manufacturing vans and a warehouse for all our online DIY products.

Since we established the warehouse, our install shop has essentially been our own customer and R&D lab. This is not by accident. Since we order products from our warehouse, we see what our customers see when we launch new products. Experience what they experience. That way we can quickly iterate designs and verify final products being shipped to our customers reflect the needs and desires of our installers.

Even though they were in the same town, we even shipped our products from the warehouse to the shop! That way, we truly got to feel what it was like unboxing our products and got a chance to test our online ordering system. This verified our packaging design and that everything would come in one piece. But, as you would expect, that got expensive real quick…



Our first 3-bay shop was beautiful, but growth and space were maxed out. In 2022 the universe had a better place for us and the timing couldn’t have worked out better. When our lease in the 3-bay shop came to an end, the space adjacent to our warehouse became available. Truly divine timing. This move has helped us start with a fresh canvas. We redesigned and expanded our shop floor space, dialed in electric, dust control, lighting, and layout, and moved in. All this while not sacrificing quality or increasing overhead. And, still nearly doubled our production.

In addition to the obvious benefits, a happy surprise to being adjacent to our warehouse emerged – faster feedback on installed products. And of course, further streamlining of our operations.

The old space will forever have a place in our hearts: the large trees the shop sat underneath; the deer frolicking out in the front yard; the mountain bike trails right outside the door. However, having running water and flushing toilets is really nice. Seriously. We used a porta potty and our Roost Vans kitchen products for water to make do. You gotta start somewhere.

We also gained an opportunity to provide a showroom for our potential clients. Now our customers can sit down with our sales team and decide in a well-educated way on the products, appliances, features, color, and personality of their cabinetry and van products. Then we take it from there and build a platform for making experiences.

The Roost Vans business model is to develop beautiful, quality, standardized products that are flexible and installed securely onto our mounting system with ourselves as our own customer. The vision is to get families outside, making memories together in a safe and effective outfitted vehicle. A lot of effort goes into ensuring that our DIY products are thoroughly tested for both ease of installation and safety. and, many of our products have 2 points of failure redundancy built in. Ie., in the case of a loose bolt, a second point of safety is engineered in.

Roost has grown enough now that we are able to set our sights on larger operations in the future. 2023’s focus? Expanding our product ecosystem and increasing online sales and support. That way we can provide these products to more van installers so they have the tools and resources to safely install quality products into their customer’s vehicles.


The new Roost Vans shop is right off highway 212 and 205 in Clackamas, Oregon. Shoot us an email at to set up an appointment to come see our new showroom. We are excited to have you visit!

Be sure and check out our new video walking you through our new shop!

2021 In Review

2021 In Review


It has been a great year for Conversion Van Enthusiasts!  Below are some of the highlights from 2021, and directions we are headed toward in 2022.


Our Installation Shop
(Portland, OR)

The early months of 2021 did get off to a rocky start with significant delays in Transit and Sprinter van deliveries from dealerships.  Due to COVID and supply chain issues, there was a period that our customers (both DIY and shop installs) were simply not getting their vans.  However, by mid-summer most of these issues had improved, and we have been struggling to keep up with van builds and orders ever since!

We have continued to streamline the build process utilizing our growing product line.  As an increasingly robust set of versatile solutions are added, we are able to accelerate the build process considerably.  Builds that used to take 3 or 4 months (or sometimes more), are typically turned around in 6-8 weeks.  This is largely due to the versatility and adaptability of our mounting system and product line.  Once the Core Build is complete, much of the remaining build involves off the shelf products that simply require assembly and installation.

Online Orders
(DIY & Builders)

The Roost product development team has been hard at work to bring more of our product line available for DIY van builders.  As more of our products in development reach the Beta or Full Release stage, we are streamlining the release process.  We hope this continues to accelerate and we are able to bring more and more of our standard products to the DIY van builder who wants a boost to their conversion van build experience.  Please visit our Product Line page to see a list of our growing line of products that are currently or soon to be available for online purchase.


Rental Van(s)

We are in the process of building our first “Try Before You Buy” rental van.  When complete it will be available for rent for those who might like to try our products and/or van life itself before making the leap.  Our rental van will be build using our standard product line.  Depending on interest level in this option, we may consider adding more rental vans in the future, and building a rental fleet.  This may allow for more options in terms of build, size, platform, etc…


Affiliate Program

In 2021 we have had a few more professional van builders join the team and start using Roost products in their builds.  At present we do offer volume discounts to professional van builders, but beyond that it is a fairly informal program.  Long term we plan to build a very robust affiliate and certified dealer program.  Our Portland location is only able to service a small fraction of the inquiries we receive for professional van builds, and we hope soon to build a network of qualified and verified van builders who share our values and commitment to excellence.  As with product development, we are very careful and methodical about growth and development.  We will take the time to make sure that we can confidently recommend/refer customers to reliable and trustworthy builders.  Building a vast and reliable will be several years in the making, but we have decided to put a very serious emphasis on beginning this process in the earlier portion of 2022.  We look forward to a day that we can serve more customers who are outside of our area, who want professional van builds using our products. More to follow!