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HomeHikingThe Final Journey Car – Bearfoot Concept

The Final Journey Car – Bearfoot Concept

If you happen to’re an outside fanatic who needs to get outdoors extra and hit the open highway, the Storyteller Overland MODE van may simply be the right ready-to-go journey automobile for you. This versatile, succesful van is designed to get you off the crushed path and let you expertise the outside in a complete new means. On this full Storyteller Overland MODE van overview, 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 through the years – each little element is impressively thought out. It comes outfitted with every part you want so you may hit the highway immediately.

To offer you a little bit background, I’ve toured many various camper vans, truck campers, and different journey automobiles through the years. My husband and I’ve highway tripped and camped in our Volkswagen Vanagon throughout the Western U.S., pushed the Baja California peninsula many occasions, 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 highway to trying out journey rigs at occasions, we’ve seen automobiles which have spanned the gamut from funds DIY to luxurious RVs to insanely succesful Earth Cruisers.

I first noticed Storyteller Overland’s MODE vans in particular person at Open Roads Fest, Bearfoot Concept’s van life occasion, and was impressed by their well-thought-out versatile structure, rugged design, and the best way they maximized the usage of area. Nevertheless, attending to expertise a MODE van on the highway 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 overview and why I feel this is likely to be the last word journey automobile for out of doors fans who desire a van that’s able to hit the highway.

Made Doable by Storyteller Overland

This overview is made potential with the help of Storyteller Overland. A giant 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 sincere, useful info.

The Van: 2023 AWD Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

We have 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 seen was how simple it was to drive in comparison with different camper vans and enormous automobiles we’ve pushed. It dealt with extra like an SUV than a 9,000 lb camper van, zipping via cities and sliding into regular parking spots.

360-degree cameras make each facet of driving a breeze whether or not you’re turning a decent nook, parallel parking, or backing up. The entrance dashboard has a giant 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 fashionable facilities you’d anticipate 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’ll be able to view the total specs of the Storyteller Overland Traditional 2023 MODE AWD Sprinter right 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 comfy 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, useful dwelling area that’s designed so as to add consolation and comfort to your adventures. The inside structure is well-thought-out, with quite a lot of cleverly designed options that maximize area and performance.


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 finest campervans for households.

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

We traveled with our one-year-old so this setup was good for us. In seat mode, we have been capable of safely safe her automobile 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 good as a piece station by day and eating desk at evening. We stowed it at some point of our journey since we used the GrooveLounge as a sleeping space and likewise wanted area for our toddler to roam round, however it’s good to have the choice.

Lastly, the entrance seats have been luxurious and comfy and each the driving force and entrance passenger seats swivel round for additional 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 additional seating when camped | Picture: Storyteller Overland


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

When camped, we’d fold the GrooveLounge down and put our toddler’s Pack’n’Play proper on high (it felt sturdy as is however we secured it with paracord so there was no probability of her knocking it over). Even with the Pack’n’Play setup, we have been capable of 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 toddler’s Pack’n’Play match completely on the Groove Lounge

The primary 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 capable of match comfortably on the mattress from head to foot. If you happen to’re bigger than 6’ tall you would wish to make use of a little bit diagonal area (which there’s room for) in the event you needed to stretch out and sleep along with your legs straight.

The mattress is one other certainly one of Storyteller’s distinctive patented options (often known 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’ll be able to fold up one aspect of the mattress to make extra standing room and use the opposite aspect as a platform for cooking or working. Otherwise you can fold either 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 primary mattress is spacious and comfy and may fold up when not in use

We traveled with the principle mattress in place the entire time since there was sufficient area within the cabin for us that we didn’t have to 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 additional padding wanted) and slept very well. We used a comfortable double REI sleeping bag and pillows from house as our bedding and it labored out nice.


The kitchen within the Storyteller van, like every part else, is completely thought out (the truth is, it makes our listing of finest camper van kitchens). It makes use of the slider door area for optimum effectivity and appears out so you may benefit from the views whereas cooking and cleansing. We discovered the counter area to be lots, and when the stainless-steel sink shouldn’t be in use, the tap folds down and the sink lid sits flush on the counter creating extra counter area as properly.

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

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

The three drawers under offered quantity of space for storing for pans, dishes, cookware, utensils, Tupperware, and so forth, and made it handy to prepare dinner and straightforward 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 part) so you may plug within the induction range and prepare dinner outdoors. That desk was actually all we wanted for out of doors cooking and eating and it was good to not need to depend on an extra 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 good for cooking outdoor


There are two showers on board the Storyteller van – each an indoor and an outside 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’ll be able to see a video of it in motion in our roundup of the finest camper van bogs.

Whereas an indoor bathe is normally stationary and takes up helpful 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 a protracted 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 may simply cease the water circulate when you cleaning soap up, then flip the circulate again on whenever you’re able to rinse – a useful method to save water so you may 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 flooring 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 good for shortly hosing off your self, your gear, and your pets whenever you don’t have to 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’ll be able to 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 working, and in the event you don’t have already got the heater working it takes just some minutes.

The Storyteller Overland van additionally comes with a moveable bathroom 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 bathroom or different system for going to the toilet onboard is important when touring away from toilet amenities.

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 per week of journey with out having to fret about refilling. With all of the onboard conveniences, we have been fairly liberal with our water use at first and went via most of our water provide in the course of the first 3 days of our journey (faster than we usually would). After realizing that, we began utilizing water extra conservatively and have been capable of make it last more. You may simply make 21 gallons of water final for per 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 will also be crammed through siphon which is a very cool characteristic. The Storyteller can siphon water when a spigot can’t be discovered or in the event you merely desire to fill from a bucket or a 5-gallon jug.

For instance, in Sedona, fairly than looking for 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 outdoors of a grocery retailer and siphon it into the van. It took 4 rounds to fill the contemporary water tank however it was fast and straightforward and is a superb choice to have readily available for when you may’t discover an out there water spigot (which may 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 contemporary water tank utilizing the siphon characteristic in Sedona

Local weather Management

The van comes with a particular Storyteller touchscreen management panel that means that you can monitor and management numerous techniques, such because the lighting, heating, and water, from one centralized location. You’ll be able to 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’ll be able to see the Storyteller Management Panel and the ability management middle on the high of the picture
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 fitting | Picture: Storyteller Overland

To start out, 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 highway 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 driving force seat) each open to vent, and the window at the back of the van by the mattress slides open as properly 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 have been cooking and for creating a little bit airflow in the course of the day when our one-year-old was inside napping. The vent has a rain sensor and can routinely 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 may be snug within the van even on a scorching day. We by no means used the cabin air con however it’s out there in case you end up tenting in actually scorching temperatures and wish a little bit 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 have been on the highway. 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 comfy 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 may management the temperature and the fan degree (low, medium, or excessive) so you may actually warmth issues up shortly when wanted or preserve issues at a snug temperature when sleeping at evening. You may also use the auto setting and set the temperature to the place you need it and the heater will care for the remaining. This was particularly vital to us with our little one-year-old so we might sleep simple figuring out she was heat and comfy 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 has a huge impact on ambiance, and the lighting within the Storyteller van was thoughtfully laid out, useful, and handy, identical to the remainder of the van.

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

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

Storage Area

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

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

Within the cabin there are overhead cupboards that line either side and supply loads of space for storing. All have click-in button locks which can be 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 whenever you’re stopped and have to 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 have been good for storing all our garments which we put in packing cubes to make it simple to search out what we have been on the lookout for (one packing dice for tops, one for bottoms, one for undergarments, and so forth). Having a spot for every part actually helps preserve issues organized so you may spend your time exploring outdoors, not looking out excessive and low on 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 straightforward to entry


The storage may be very spacious and makes bringing large gear gadgets alongside simple. It’s a massive open cargo space with a heavy-duty flooring and L-track so you may retailer and safe bikes, paddleboards, mountaineering/backpacking gear, and anything you may want. We solely introduced mountaineering gear on our highway journey so we didn’t make the most of the storage to its full capability, however it was useful to have a lot area and be capable of simply throw our gear again there.

Along with all of the space for storing within the storage, you’ll additionally discover an outside bathe and the whole water management panel the place you may fill water, empty water, and winterize the system when wanted. It’s all very simple and straightforward 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 aspect and rear doorways so you may benefit from the contemporary 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 highway journey earlier than we reached colder temps the place there have been no bugs and we discovered them to be very handy.

One other characteristic 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 through the magnetic lining. Along with offering privateness, these assist insulate the within of the van from each cold and warm temperatures outdoors.

The included moveable bluetooth speaker was a pleasant contact as properly. It’s housed proper above the galley subsequent to the microwave the place it conveniently prices so it’s prepared in case you wish to take it outdoors. This small however considerate characteristic 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 automobile 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 deal with 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 wonderful traction and stability together with a sturdy AWD system and 9.5 inches of floor clearance permitting you to confidently navigate via difficult landscapes.

We took this van on many grime roads throughout our highway journey, lots of which have been muddy and rutted from main rains within the days main as much as our journey. We put it to the take a look at and drove up the notorious Cottonwood Canyon highway in Southern Utah – it dealt with very properly and made it via 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 highway which had some very muddy stretches after the rain (this was a mellow part)

Vitality System

The facility system is ready 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 prices when you drive through 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 you have to high off the hefty Lithium battery system when stationary

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

The Volta touchscreen show subsequent to the principle 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’ve got left.

There are loads of 110V and USB energy shops all through the van, all strategically positioned proper the place you may want them. There are additionally a couple 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 high of the van the place you may sit and benefit from the sundown with a drink in hand. This additionally provides 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 simple method to safe extra gear or perhaps a rooftop tent

The roof may be simply accessed through the aspect 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 may connect a motorcycle rack (in case you don’t wish to journey with bikes within the storage) or different exterior equipment like a spare tire (see our overview 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 which you could lengthen and retract with the contact of a button. It’s even lined with dimmable LED lights so you may have out of doors lighting whereas stress-free outdoors at evening.

Total, we have 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 have been unhappy when the time got here to return it. We’re now dreaming of getting one for ourselves so we will proceed adventuring with all of the consolation and comfort it gives, particularly with the toddler 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

How one can Get a Storyteller Overland Van

Storyteller Overland’s MODE vans can be found via quite a lot of sellers throughout the U.S. You’ll be able to discover a native seller close to you to see one in particular person.

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

If you happen to’d prefer to take a Storyteller van out for a spin earlier than taking the leap, try 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 overview useful and that you simply discover the fitting 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

In search of extra inspiration to hit the highway? Get adventure-ready with these sources:

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.

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