How long does it take to build a van?
Generally, it takes us about one month from the time we receive your van until we complete the conversion. This month conversion time can be pushed longer, however, if we are unable to get parts or other equipment necessary for the conversion. We do our best to order components as soon as we have a deposit to avoid delays, but they do occassionally happen. We provide you a weekly update on where the van conversion process is at so you'll know whether or not the conversion will be done on time.
What tools can I use to design my floorplan?
Google Sketchup seems to be the easiest tool to use these days. There are some quite good YouTube Google Sketchup tutorials online (specifically for drawing tiny houses, but they teach the basics you'd need for working with a van design).
How much battery and solar power do I need?
Battery and solar power really depend on two things - your usage and the amount of sunlight expected. If you're in the rainy northwest, for example, you'll need more solar panels. If you travel primarily in the desert southwest, you won't need as much. If you do a lot of winter travel where it's snowing, you'll need more.
To figure out your usage, the easiest way is to use a "Kill-a-watt" meter. Plug your appliance (laptop, monitor, hair dryer, microwave) into it and find out how many watts the appliance is using. Once you know how many watts each appliance uses, you can fill out this spreadsheet with average hours of usage for each appliance. The spreadsheet also provides lights and stereo watt averages. Once you have the data filled it, the spreadsheet will tell you the amp hours needed for a 12 volt battery system.
What type of warranty does Craftsman Vans provide?
Craftsman Vans warrants their own workmanship for a period of three years, or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. We want to provide the best quality workmanship in our products, and want you to have a warranty that reflects our belief in our quality. All manufactured components in our conversions (solar panels, inverters and chargers, water pumps, etc.) come with a full manufacturers warranty.
What do I do if something goes wrong while I'm on the road?
If something goes wrong while you're on the road, please give us a call and we'll try to help you through it. If there's a problem with a component and it's under warranty, we'll have a replacement shipped out as soon as we can. If there's a problem with our workmanship, we'll come to you to get it fixed - we want you to feel comfortable and taken care of in your Craftsman Van.
How do I buy a Craftsman Van?
Give us a call or contact us via the website. Buying a Craftsman Van really involves a lot of communication. We want to ensure we understand your needs for your van, including floorplan designs, components, and what you plan to do with the van. Once all the design details are hammered out, we'll give you and bid and ask for a 10% deposit to get started. The remaining 90% is due upon delivery of the van.
What if I already have a van? What if I want a turn-key van?
If you already have a van, great, we'll convert it to your road trip machine for you! At this time we don't sell the van chassis. If you need a turn-key van, we can certainly help you order the right van from our partner Sprinter dealer here in Portland, McCoy Freightliner. We can take delivery of the van for you, then deliver it to you when it's all done.
I don't live near Portland, Oregon - can I still buy from Craftsman Vans?
Certainly! We'll even pickup and deliver the van to your location for a modest fee. We want to make sure that you have the easiest purchasing experience and best customer service, regardless of your location.
Can I finance a Craftsman Van?
Unfortunately we cannot offer financing on Craftsman Van conversions at this time. After much communication with banks all across the nation, we were unable to find a bank willing to finance Class B conversion vans unless we produce over 500 units per year. We don't intend to grow that big - we like to keep a personal face on our business. As alternatives, people have successfully used home equity lines of credit or credit cards with good rates to finance their van conversions.