Dave and Kari Browning - 170" 3500 4x4

To see more of their van click "HERE"


RB Components -Welcome David and Kari Browning. What attracted you to look for an adventure van?

Dave & Kari - 

Kari built a Sprinter Van for her commercial photo business. David suggested modifying it just enough to use it for mountain bike excursions and camping when it wasn’t in use for business. We loved camping in it so much we decided to sell the first van and build a new one specially designed to enable business and off-grid adventure travel. 

RB Components -How did you hear about RB Components?

Dave & Kari - 

We were referred to RB Components by Matt Wenger, promoter of Over the Hump MTB race series, when Kari was building her first van. Matt recommended a few Sprinter builders but said RB was hands down the best and most likely the one we’d choose. Turns out he was right. RB built our first van and was our only choice for our second van.

RB Components -Building out an adventure van is fun but there are so many options. How did you decide on the layout and what you wanted in your RB Adventure Van?

Dave & Kari -

It helped that we had a dry run with our first van. We had a good idea of what our challenges were with the converted first build and we addressed them in our second build. But still with all the options, letting the RB team know what our key interests were allowed them to design a custom van solution that met our top needs. Here were a few of our top priorities.

  1. Lots of water! We wanted to travel for long distances and durations and we knew water was the #1 thing we could not live without. RB loaded us up with water storage and omitted a grey water tank so we could maximize on fresh water.
  2. Bed height. Kari wanted a low bed, David wanted the bed high enough to store the bikes inside. RB designed a bed height that met both our needs. Kari can sit up in bed and David has a garage space for bike and gear storage.
  3. Bikes inside the van - One of the key components of an RB designed solution is it gives us room to store 3 MTB bikes inside the van, below the bed so we do not have security or maintenance issues resulting from expensive bikes being stored outside.
  4. Cabinets, counter space and clothing storage -  We wanted enough storage to be able to live out of the van. RB configured a design that maximized on storage and counter space including building a custom cabinet on the passenger side of the van that overlapped some of the large amount of open space in the sliding door opening.
  5. Indoor and outdoor shower - Traveling in all kinds of weather we wanted the option to shower inside or outside. RB’s design gives us the freedom to do just that.
  6. Mobile cooking - We like to cook outside as much as possible but sometimes we need to cook inside the van if the weather is bad. RB included a portable butane stove top as well as a van mountable outdoor BBQ.  We opted to not build a permanent cooktop in the van so we could maximize on usable counter surfaces.
  7. Climate controls! Lots of windows that open, two MaxAir fans and an auxiliary AC unit so we can travel in any weather, get lots of light, fresh air and keep the temperature controlled for our dog when she hangs out in the van while we ride bikes or hike.
  8. Charlie the Dog bed - We travel with a large dog and RB built a couch that folds out into a bed the exact size we wanted for our dog to be able sleep comfortably on.
  9. Large refrigerator - big enough to store up to 5 days of food and drink, this is a key component to the right outfitting. 
  10. Roof rack - a roof rack we can climb up and stand on, store extra gear and mount our solar panels upon.  It also serves as a mount point for all around van lighting.
  11. POWER! - We wanted lots of rechargeable power for off-grid travel. RB designed a system with lots of auxiliary batteries and tons of solar panels to keep us charged. We travel with lots of technology that always needs recharging - eBikes, laptops, cameras, phones…
  12. Off Road - RB built our van with suspension and tire modifications to support the 4x4 capability, and skid plates to protect you in an “oops” outcome.  They also put in extensive lighting to make sure you can see where you are going any time of day or in any weather condition.  
  13. Lastly - we don’t have young kids so we didn’t need lots of passenger seating. That helped us build out everything else that was super important for us - optimizing the space for our personal needs.

RB Components -What is one of the favorite things you like most about your van?

Dave & Kari -

It looks like a “badass” van. People wave, honk and ask to get inside it everywhere we go. Beyond it looking like it can handle just about anything is the reality that it can. Our van is permanently stocked with clothes, food and bikes. We can leave on a moments notice and we can go just about anywhere. It is our home on wheels and is always ready for an adventure.

RB Components -Now that you have had your RB adventure van for a while where are some of the places you have visited?

Dave & Kari -

We drove from SoCal to Alaska and back, a month in a half entirely in the Adventure Van.

We made a trek up and down the coast and interior of Western coastal states from CA to WA.

We’ve made lots of trips through the Southwest - throughout CA, AZ, UT and CO.


RB Components -You do a lot of social media posts about your van experiences and the places you have visited. How can everyone follow you on social media to see what you guys are up to?

Dave & Kari -

Instagram - 

Follow Kari @karisimm 

Follow David @dbrowning013


YouTube - Gen X Adventure Team channel:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtTlqrRciFzOfg45ApepN-Q

Website - 


RB Components -We really appreciate taking the time to answer these questions. What would you have to say about people that are on the fence about getting into the adventure van lifestyle and why they should choose RB Components for their Adventure Van needs?

Dave & Kari -

Just do it. Don’t be afraid. There is so much freedom in the van lifestyle. Go when you want, where you want. It makes day trips amazing and long distance travel so exciting. We can be on the road in a very short period, almost never have to make reservations, and set up camp in minutes - so we’re not bound to any schedule or route. And it allows us to camp in places few people ever access, making every trip a true adventure experience. Invest in an RB Adventure Van, hit the road, join the awesome van-life community and see the world!