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 walkthough 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 needs for a wider audience, it has grown to include many variations of DIY flat packed and shippable cabinetry and bed systems. All of this starting out of his driveway.

  

That is how Roost Vans was born

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 neighbors 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:By the end of 2018, Roost Vans manufactured about 5 vans.

  • 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 product. 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…

So, why make the move to a new shop?

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 their and build a platform for making experiences.

The Roost Vans business model is to develop beautiful, quality, standardized products that are flexible and install 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 customers vehicles. 

So where is this new shop?

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

Spring 2020 Update

The Last 9 Months

 

I will be the first to admit it:  We have been horrible about blogging and sending newsletters to our subscribers. 

By last summer we were inundated with van builds, and since that time we have been hard at work building vans and developing our product line.  With up to 4 active builds in our shop at a time, we had little time for much else throughout 2019 and early 2020.    

It is funny how a crisis can sometimes help us focus.  We love building vans in our shop, but our vision involves much more than that!  Our goal is to develop a comprehensive, versatile, and affordable line of products, that are shippable to DIY customers and local installers throughout North America.

When the shutdowns began in early March, we decided to take the opportunity to reassess.  At the time we had 4 active builds in the shop.  We immediately stopped taking on new builds, and first focused on completing them.  We were lucky that the conditions of our shop, and the orders of our Governor allowed our installers to continue to work.  

 

 

The Last Few Weeks

 

As we have completed each active build, we were increasingly able to shift our focus toward development.  We have released several new products on the shopping cart, with many more coming soon.  We have made major improvements to the web site including more content, better images, CAD illustrations, and much more detailed information about our products.  Recently we have been taking a lot of video footage, many of which can be seen on our Instagram page and will soon be added to our Youtube channel (please subscribe for updates as content is added).  We have a lot more work to do, but there has been a vast recent improvement in each area.

 

 

What’s Next

 

Portland Shop Accepting New Builds:  Effective immediately we are ready to take on 1 or 2 new van builds.  For the coming months we are going to limit ourselves to two active bays, which means that soon our lead times are probably going to be a little longer for shop builds.  However, as of right now we are ready to start our next new project within the next couple weeks.  If you are interested in a new or updated quote, I encourage you to check out our new Shop Installation section of the web site, and fill out a shop build quote request.

Balance & Focus:  Though we will keep 2 active builds in the shop, we are going to continue to put more energy into bringing more products to the shopping cart, standardizing shop build elements, and communication.

New Normal:  For the foreseeable future we will be maintaining the same workplace standards we have followed for the last several weeks.  For van pick up and drop off, we will be conducting a thorough disinfecting wipe down of all surfaces, and additionally we will be adding a 72 hours quarantine for each new van in and out.

 

With a new focus, and a much stronger line of products, we look forward to the coming months.  We invite you to check out the recent changes and videos, for much, much more!