The Final Journey Car – Bearfoot Concept

If you happen to’re an out of doors fanatic who desires to get exterior extra and hit the open street, the Storyteller Overland MODE van would possibly simply be the right ready-to-go journey automobile for you. This versatile, succesful van is designed to get you off the overwhelmed path and can help you expertise the outside in a complete new approach. On this full Storyteller Overland MODE van evaluation, I share precisely why.

I took a 2023 Storyteller Overland Traditional MODE AWD Van for a spin round Southern Utah, exploring grime roads and secluded campsites, and I used to be blown away by how adventure-ready it’s. It’s simple to see that Storyteller Overland has completely perfected their design over time – each little element is impressively thought out. It comes outfitted with every little thing you want so you possibly can hit the street straight away.

To provide you just a little background, I’ve toured many various camper vans, truck campers, and different journey autos over time. My husband and I’ve street tripped and camped in our Volkswagen Vanagon throughout the Western U.S., pushed the Baja California peninsula many instances, and even lived out of it for greater than a yr once we drove from San Diego to Patagonia. From assembly different vacationers on the street to testing journey rigs at occasions, we’ve seen autos which have spanned the gamut from finances DIY to luxurious RVs to insanely succesful Earth Cruisers.

I first noticed Storyteller Overland’s MODE vans in individual at Open Roads Fest, Bearfoot Concept’s van life occasion, and was impressed by their well-thought-out versatile format, rugged design, and the way in which they maximized the usage of area. Nevertheless, attending to expertise a MODE van on the street was subsequent degree and gave me an amazing appreciation for the way superb these vans actually are.

After 10 days and almost 1,500 miles exploring the backroads of Southern Utah in a Storyteller Overland MODE Van, right here is my full evaluation and why I feel this is perhaps the last word journey automobile for out of doors lovers who desire a van that’s able to hit the street.

Made Attainable by Storyteller Overland

This evaluation is made potential with the help of Storyteller Overland. An enormous thanks to them for handing over the keys to certainly one of their model new 2023 MODE vans with out hesitation and letting us take it for a spin. All phrases and opinions are our personal and we try to share trustworthy, useful info.


The Van: 2023 AWD Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

We had been fortunate sufficient to take out a model new 2023 Storyteller Overland Traditional MODE AWD van constructed on a 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. As with all Storyteller Sprinter vans, it’s a 144” wheelbase, high-roof Sprinter.

A man holding his toddler standing in front of a Storyteller Classic AWD MODE van with the Grand Canyon in the background
We examined Storyteller Overland’s new 2023 Traditional MODE AWD van over 10 days and 1,500 miles

The very first thing we observed was how simple it was to drive in comparison with different camper vans and huge autos we’ve pushed. It dealt with extra like an SUV than a 9,000 lb camper van, zipping by means of cities and sliding into regular parking spots.

360-degree cameras make each side of driving a breeze whether or not you’re turning a good nook, parallel parking, or backing up. The entrance dashboard has an enormous contact display screen that shows the digicam view when wanted and makes it simple to manage lane help and different automated driving options.

The van comes with all the opposite trendy facilities you’d count on in a brand-new Sprinter van together with LED high-performance headlamps, heated swiveling driver and passenger seats, satellite tv for pc radio, a navigation system, driving help, Bluetooth, and extra. You may view the full specs of the Storyteller Overland Classic 2023 MODE AWD Sprinter here.

View out the front windshield of the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE AWD van showing the front cab, touchscreen display, and a snowy forested road
The entrance cab is spacious and cozy with a big touchscreen show and loads of storage

Storyteller Overland Traditional MODE Van Inside

Step contained in the Storyteller Overland MODE van and also you’ll be greeted by a comfy, purposeful residing area that’s designed so as to add consolation and comfort to your adventures. The inside format is well-thought-out, with quite a lot of cleverly designed options that maximize area and performance.

Seating

One of many issues we beloved most concerning the Storyteller Overland MODE van was the seating and sleeping setup. The van comfortably seats and sleeps as much as 4 individuals, that’s why the STO makes our listing of the most effective campervans for households.

There’s seating with seatbelts for 2 behind the motive force’s seat. Even higher, this seat – also called Storyteller Overland’s patented GrooveLounge™ – folds down right into a mattress.

We traveled with our one-year-old so this setup was excellent for us. In seat mode, we had been in a position to safely safe her automotive seat for the lengthy drives. The seat subsequent to her got here in useful so certainly one of us might sit together with her when she received stressed and wanted leisure and snacks.

Interior of the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van showing the galley/kitchen, bed, cabinets, and seating
Storyteller Overland’s vans seat and sleep as much as 4 individuals

The seating space additionally features a desk that may transfer, swivel, and be eliminated and stowed if not wanted. It’s excellent as a piece station by day and eating desk at evening. We stowed it at some stage in our journey since we used the GrooveLounge as a sleeping space and in addition wanted area for our toddler to roam round, nevertheless it’s good to have the choice.

Lastly, the entrance seats had been luxurious and cozy and each the motive force and entrance passenger seats swivel round for further hangout seating and area when camped.

Interior of the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van showing the front seats swiveled to create more seating space when camped
The entrance driver and passenger seats swivel for further seating when camped | Picture: Storyteller Overland

Sleeping

As talked about above, certainly one of our favourite options of the Storyteller van is the GrooveLounge – the rear seats that flip into a further mattress. It takes lower than a minute to fold down and it’s large sufficient to comfortably sleep one grownup or two young children.

When camped, we’d fold the GrooveLounge down and put our baby’s Pack’n’Play proper on prime (it felt sturdy as is however we secured it with paracord so there was no likelihood of her knocking it over). Even with the Pack’n’Play setup, we had been in a position to transfer across the van like regular and entry the kitchen space, the mattress, and the storage. There was even sufficient area contained in the van for us to suit our toddler’s excessive chair inside for dinner on chilly evenings.

Interior of the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van showing the sleeping area with a Pack n Play set up for a toddler
Our baby’s Pack’n’Play match completely on the Groove Lounge

The essential mattress behind the van is snug and spacious sufficient for 2 adults. The flares present that little bit of additional area wanted to have the ability to sleep sideways and maximize the area within the van. My husband is 6’ and was in a position to match comfortably on the mattress from head to foot. If you happen to’re bigger than 6’ tall you would want to make use of just a little diagonal area (which there’s room for) in the event you wished to stretch out and sleep along with your legs straight.

The mattress is one other certainly one of Storyteller’s distinctive patented options (referred to as the Dreamweaver™ Mattress/Convertible Work Floor) and is made up of two components which makes the again space of the van very versatile. You may fold up one facet of the mattress to make extra standing room and use the opposite facet as a platform for cooking or working. Otherwise you can fold each side of the mattress up to present your self much more standing room within the again.

The main bed inside the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van set up with pillows and a sleeping bag
The principle mattress is spacious and cozy and may fold up when not in use

We traveled with the primary mattress in place the entire time since there was sufficient area within the cabin for us that we didn’t must entry the again a lot. We beloved that there was no want to maneuver issues round or make up the mattress at evening, it was able to go. We discovered the mattress to be snug as is (no further padding wanted) and slept very well. We used a comfortable double REI sleeping bag and pillows from residence as our bedding and it labored out nice.

Kitchen/Galley

The kitchen within the Storyteller van, like every little thing else, is completely thought out (the truth is, it makes our listing of greatest camper van kitchens). It makes use of the slider door area for max effectivity and appears out so you possibly can benefit from the views whereas cooking and cleansing. We discovered the counter area to be lots, and when the chrome steel sink just isn’t in use, the tap folds down and the sink lid sits flush on the counter creating extra counter area as nicely.

The fridge/freezer was spacious and held sufficient meals for the three of us for our total 10-day journey. The van even comes with a chrome steel microwave oven which got here in useful for reheating leftovers and rapidly heating up dinner for our baby.

The highest drawer of the galley holds the single burner moveable induction cooktop that comes with the van. This range was simple to cook dinner on and actually got here in useful. We introduced our double burner camp range considering we’d need to use it to cook dinner extra elaborate meals however didn’t use it as soon as – we discovered the only burner induction range to be all we would have liked.

The three drawers beneath supplied an excellent quantity of space for storing for pans, dishes, cookware, utensils, Tupperware, and so on, and made it handy to cook dinner and simple to scrub up afterward.

The galley additionally comes with a useful exterior fold-down desk on the skin that you need to use with the slider door open. There’s even an outlet proper above the desk (I’m telling you – they’ve considered every little thing) so you possibly can plug within the induction range and cook dinner exterior. That desk was actually all we would have liked for out of doors cooking and eating and it was good to not should depend on a further camp desk to arrange and pack away.

A family camped off-grid near Sedona in the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van showing the galley/kitchen and outdoor patio area
The outside fold-down desk was excellent for cooking outside

Bathe/Bathtub

There are two showers on board the Storyteller van – each an indoor and an out of doors bathe. The indoor bathe is exclusive to Storyteller in that it stows away when not in use. Just like the Groove Lounge, that is one other certainly one of their ingenious patented designs. You may see a video of it in motion in our roundup of the most effective camper van bogs.

Whereas an indoor bathe is often stationary and takes up useful actual property contained in the van, Storyteller’s Halo Inside Bathe™ System is constructed into one of many overhead cupboards. Merely open the cupboard, pull out the bathe curtain, and open the FlexSpace™ Hid Bathe Pan constructed into the ground (which serves as a step as much as the mattress and space for storing when not in use) and also you’re prepared to scrub up after an extended day of journey.

Storyteller Overland's patented HALO hidden shower system stows in the overhead cabinet when not in use
The Halo hidden bathe system stows away in a cupboard | Picture: Storyteller Overland

The bathe head has a useful on/off button so you possibly can simply cease the water stream when you cleaning soap up, then flip the stream again on if you’re able to rinse – a useful option to save water so you can also make your water provide final so long as potential.

Storyteller Overland's patented hidden shower pan doubles as storage space and a step up to the bed when not in use
The bathe ground pan serves as space for storing and a step as much as the mattress when not in use | Picture: Storyteller Overland

The out of doors bathe is situated within the storage on the water management panel. It’s excellent for rapidly hosing off your self, your gear, and your pets if you don’t must take a full indoor bathe.

In fact, in the event you’re going to bathe you’re going to need scorching water, and Storyteller Overland’s vans include a diesel-fired water heating system. You may have heat water when doing the dishes (the most effective when tenting in chilly temps) and for a scorching bathe anytime. The water heater works seemingly instantaneously when you have already got the cabin heater operating, and in the event you don’t have already got the heater operating it takes only a few minutes.

The Storyteller Overland van additionally comes with a moveable rest room that matches neatly contained in the bathe pan. For apparent causes, this was not included within the demo van so we don’t have any private enter on this, however having a conveyable rest room or different system for going to the lavatory onboard is important when touring away from rest room services.

Water Storage

The Storyteller van has an in-cabin 21-gallon freshwater tank and a 24-gallon gray water tank – loads of water space for storing for every week of journey with out having to fret about refilling. With all of the onboard conveniences, we had been fairly liberal with our water use at first and went by means of most of our water provide through the first 3 days of our journey (faster than we usually would). After realizing that, we began utilizing water extra conservatively and had been in a position to make it last more. You would simply make 21 gallons of water final for every week in the event you’re being conservative and never showering within the van.

The freshwater tank can simply be crammed by attaching the included hose to a spigot. It can be crammed by way of siphon which is a extremely cool function. The Storyteller can siphon water when a spigot can’t be discovered or in the event you merely want to fill from a bucket or a 5-gallon jug.

For instance, in Sedona, reasonably than trying to find a potable water spigot to refill the van’s water tanks, we discovered it simpler to fill a 5-gallon jug with water at a refill exterior of a grocery retailer and siphon it into the van. It took 4 rounds to fill the recent water tank nevertheless it was fast and simple and is a superb choice to have readily available for when you possibly can’t discover an out there water spigot (which will be tougher within the winter months).

Filling up the water tank in the back garage of the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van using the siphon feature
Filling the recent water tank utilizing the siphon function in Sedona

Local weather Management

The van comes with a particular Storyteller touchscreen management panel that permits you to monitor and management varied programs, such because the lighting, heating, and water, from one centralized location. You may open the vent and switch the fan on, management the heating and air-con, verify your freshwater and greywater ranges, and extra. We discovered this technique to be extraordinarily simple to make use of and it was so good to have the ability to activate the heater with a faucet after getting back from a chilly snowy hike.

A man holding his toddler sitting inside the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van with the control panel above
You may see the Storyteller Management Panel and the ability management middle on the prime of the photograph
Close up of the Storyteller Control Panel and the power control center inside the van
Storyteller Management Panel on the left and energy management middle on the best | Picture: Storyteller Overland

To begin, the Storyteller van is insulated with all-natural sheep’s wool which gives a extra snug inside temperature proper off the bat. For instance, we stopped at an REI in Phoenix on a scorching 80-degree day and determined to make lunch within the car parking zone earlier than hitting the street once more. We comfortably frolicked within the van in peak afternoon warmth in full solar in a car parking zone with simply the vent open and the slider door ajar – that was fairly spectacular.

As well as, the window on the slider door and the window reverse (behind the motive force seat) each open to vent, and the window behind the van by the mattress slides open as nicely creating a number of air flow choices mixed with the roof vent and fan.

The high-powered ceiling consumption/exhaust fan was useful for venting the van once we had been cooking and for creating just a little airflow through the day when our one-year-old was inside napping. The vent has a rain sensor and can robotically shut if it begins to rain – very useful in case you’re away from the van with the vent open and the climate turns.

Between the window vents, the ceiling vent, and the fan, you will be snug within the van even on a scorching day. We by no means used the cabin air-con nevertheless it’s out there in case you end up tenting in actually scorching temperatures and wish just a little noon escape.

Maybe most significantly for us, the van has a diesel-fired heating system which was a godsend on our journey in late March. It has been a moist, snowy yr and it nonetheless felt like winter once we had been on the street. We camped within the snow in below-freezing temperatures on the Grand Canyon and persistently had nights within the 30s all through our journey. Within the night when the temps would drop, we might hop within the van, set the thermostat to a comfortable 68 levels, and revel in cooking and consuming dinner in consolation.

Cooking in comfort inside the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van on a cold night
Heat and comfortable cooking dinner inside on a cold 17-degree evening on the Grand Canyon

The diesel heating system is each a cabin heater and a water heater multi function. For the cabin heater, you possibly can management the temperature and the fan degree (low, medium, or excessive) so you possibly can actually warmth issues up rapidly when wanted or maintain issues at a cushty temperature when sleeping at evening. You can too use the auto setting and set the temperature to the place you need it and the heater will handle the remainder. This was particularly vital to us with our little one-year-old so we might sleep simple understanding she was heat and comfortable at evening.

Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van camped in the snow at the Grand Canyon
Tenting in consolation within the snow on the Grand Canyon

Lighting

Lighting has a big effect on ambiance, and the lighting within the Storyteller van was thoughtfully laid out, purposeful, and handy, identical to the remainder of the van.

The lights are divided into completely different areas in order that with one contact of the management panel you possibly can activate the cabin lights (the primary lights down the middle of the van), the studying lights (lights alongside the perimeters of the van beneath the cupboards that you could click on on and off individually), and storage lights. All of the lights are LED and totally dimmable as nicely. This was good for creating the ambiance we wished and was particularly useful for turning issues down within the night when it was time to wind down our baby for mattress.

Interior of the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van showing the well thought out lighting
Even the lighting within the Storyteller van was nicely thought out and handy

Storage House

There’s loads of well-thought-out space for storing all through the van.

Up entrance there’s overhead storage for each the motive force and passenger (the right place to retailer your hat, sun shades, beanie, headlamp, and so on for simple entry), three storage compartments on prime of the dashboard certainly one of which has USB and Bluetooth ports, and two units of twin cupholders. These could all be normal options of Mercedes’ 2023 Sprinter vans however they had been tremendous handy nonetheless.

Within the cabin there are overhead cupboards that line each side and supply loads of space for storing. All have click-in button locks which are tremendous useful – simply click on the button in when closing the cupboards to lock them in place for driving for a rattle-free journey and click on them open if you’re stopped and must entry one thing.

We used the cupboard closest to the galley as a pantry for espresso, tea, oatmeal, and snacks. The cupboards above the mattress had been excellent for storing all our garments which we put in packing cubes to make it simple to search out what we had been searching for (one packing dice for tops, one for bottoms, one for undergarments, and so on). Having a spot for every little thing actually helps maintain issues organized so you possibly can spend your time exploring exterior, not looking out excessive and low in your socks.

Opening the overhead cabinet storage space inside the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van
The overhead storage cupboards made it simple to maintain clothes and toiletries organized and simple to entry

Storage

The storage may be very spacious and makes bringing large gear objects alongside simple. It’s a giant open cargo space with a heavy-duty ground and L-track so you possibly can retailer and safe bikes, paddleboards, climbing/backpacking gear, and anything you would possibly want. We solely introduced climbing gear on our street journey so we didn’t make the most of the storage to its full capability, nevertheless it was useful to have a lot area and have the ability to simply throw our gear again there.

Along with all of the space for storing within the storage, you’ll additionally discover an out of doors bathe and the whole water management panel the place you possibly can fill water, empty water, and winterize the system when wanted. It’s all very simple and simple to make use of.

View into the back of a Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van showing a mom and toddler looking out
The storage within the Storyteller homes the water management panel and out of doors bathe and has loads of area for gear storage

Further Options

The Storyteller van comes with a full set of bug screens put in on each the facet and rear doorways so you possibly can benefit from the recent air with the doorways open proper off the bat. These are important for heat months when the bugs are out. They’re simple to roll down when wanted and roll up when not. When in use, a magnetic strip makes it simple to go out and in of the van and shut the display screen behind you to maintain bugs out. We solely used the bug screens on the primary day of our street journey earlier than we reached colder temps the place there have been no bugs and we discovered them to be very handy.

One other function that I think about an absolute necessity is insulated privateness window covers. Fortunately, the Storyteller van comes with an entire set of high-quality window covers for every window within the van. Every is labeled with its location and simply attaches by way of the magnetic lining. Along with offering privateness, these assist insulate the within of the van from each cold and hot temperatures exterior.

The included moveable bluetooth speaker was a pleasant contact as nicely. It’s housed proper above the galley subsequent to the microwave the place it conveniently expenses so it’s prepared in case you need to take it exterior. This small however considerate function added to our enjoyable and made it tremendous simple to create a enjoyable ambiance whereas making dinner and hanging out with out having to have the automotive stereo on.


Storyteller Overland Traditional MODE Van Exterior

Off-Highway Functionality

One of many main highlights of the Storyteller Overland Traditional Mode AWD Sprinter camper van is its off-road functionality. This van is constructed to sort out tough terrain and take you to distant locations that aren’t accessible by common RVs. The van is provided with all-terrain tires that present glorious traction and stability together with a strong AWD system and 9.5 inches of floor clearance permitting you to confidently navigate by means of difficult landscapes.

We took this van on many grime roads throughout our street journey, a lot of which had been muddy and rutted from main rains within the days main as much as our journey. We put it to the check and drove up the notorious Cottonwood Canyon street in Southern Utah – it dealt with very nicely and made it by means of some impressively deep mud.

The Storyteller Overland Classic MODE AWD van driving off-road on a muddy dirt road in Southern Utah
Driving the Storyteller Overland MODE van on Cottonwood Canyon street which had some very muddy stretches after the rain (this was a mellow part)

Power System

The facility system is about as much as permit you the liberty to be stationary for a number of days and nonetheless have entry to the ability you want.

The van comes with a 90W photo voltaic panel on the roof together with a hefty home lithium battery that additionally expenses when you drive by way of the high-output auxiliary alternator. We drove nearly each day throughout our journey so we by no means needed to fear about energy and solely took the battery right down to round 70% even with utilizing the lights, music, microwave, and charging our electronics.

Roof rack and solar panel on top of the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van
A 90W photo voltaic panel is all it’s essential prime off the hefty Lithium battery system when stationary

The van additionally comes with a 30A energy wire in case you need to hook up at a campground or RV park.

The Volta touchscreen show subsequent to the primary Storyteller management panel makes it simple to show the inverter on and off and to see how a lot energy you’re utilizing and the way a lot you have got left.

There are loads of 110V and USB energy shops all through the van, all strategically positioned proper the place you would possibly want them. There are additionally a number of 12V shops in case you want them.

Exterior Equipment

The van comes with a low-profile roof rack (full with a wind deflector) that creates a big platform on prime of the van the place you possibly can sit and benefit from the sundown with a drink in hand. This additionally offers you the choice to simply connect gear or a rooftop tent.

Woman sitting on the roof rack on top of the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van with Lone Rock at Lake Powell in the background
The low profile roof racks make a pleasant place for taking within the views and supply a straightforward option to safe extra gear or perhaps a rooftop tent

The roof will be simply accessed by way of the facet ladder which has a useful nonslip grip.

Caming off-grid in the Storyteller Overland Classic MODE van at Lone Rock Beach Campground at Lake Powell
Tenting at Lone Rock on Lake Powell

There’s additionally a hitch on the again the place you possibly can connect a motorbike rack (in case you don’t need to journey with bikes within the storage) or different exterior equipment like a spare tire (see our evaluation of the extra Owl Vans equipment that Bearfoot Concept’s founder Kristen has on her customized Exterior Van).

The van additionally comes with a powered awning that you could prolong and retract with the contact of a button. It’s even lined with dimmable LED lights so you possibly can have out of doors lighting whereas enjoyable exterior at evening.

General, we had been past impressed with the Storyteller Mode Sprinter van and the way sturdy, well-built, and adventure-ready it’s. A lot in order that we had been unhappy when the time got here to return it. We’re now dreaming of getting one for ourselves so we are able to proceed adventuring with all of the consolation and comfort it gives, particularly with the baby onboard.

The Storyteller Overland Classic MODE AWD van driving off-road on a muddy dirt road through a Mars-like landscape in Southern Utah
Driving otherwordly backroads in Southern Utah

Get a Storyteller Overland Van

Storyteller Overland’s MODE vans can be found by means of quite a lot of sellers throughout the U.S. You may find a local dealer near you to see one in individual.

What’s very nice about Storyteller Overland’s vans is that they’re able to go proper off the lot – no large design choices to make, no ready for the construct, no second-guessing your choices. Only a well-thought-out, confirmed design that’s been perfected over time.

If you happen to’d prefer to take a Storyteller van out for a spin earlier than taking the leap, take a look at GoCamp – they provide totally outfitted camper van leases by proprietor and have a lot of Storyteller Overland vans of their fleet. Use the code GOBEARFOOT to get $50 off your rental.

I hope you discovered this Storyteller Overland evaluation useful and that you simply discover the best off-grid-ready camper van for you.

The Storyteller Overland Classic MODE AWD van driving off-road on a dirt road in Sedona, Arizona
Exploring Sedona in Storyteller Overland’s 2023 Traditional MODE AWD van

Searching for extra inspiration to hit the street? Get adventure-ready with these assets:

We took the 2023 Storyteller Overland MODE AWD van for a spin around Southern Utah, exploring dirt roads and secluded campsites. Here is our full review of this epic adventure vehicle.