HiAce - Vanlife Northwest

The Toyota Hiace is a compact 4wd diesel van that is just making its presence known in the US due to 25 year import laws now allowing early Hiace models on the streets. One of the leaders of this JDM off-road van boom is Danny, the owner at Vanlife Northwest. He imports these early 90’s vans from Japan, then completely revives the nearly 30 year old vehicles and upgrades them to take on all the terrain the West Coast has to offer. The largest problem Danny has run into; he completely restored these vans mechanically, but building out the interior of the van to a fully functional camper was left for the customer to tackle. 

One of those super special and specific projects that only the PNW has to offer, I was lucky enough to connect with Danny and was given the task of creating an efficient camper solution for these very unique vans. I used my experience with CAD/CAM to design and prototype the first unit alongside Danny to develop the perfect camper solution that met not only all of his customers needs, but tastes as well. We stuck closely to the design of other campers of the era and nodded to the classic Wesfalia in this unique camper solution. 

Since he runs primarily a mechanics shop, I was tasked with sourcing all materials and components for the van and established local manufacturers to laminate, CNC cut, finish and assemble the final product so I can be dropped in and delivered as a complete van adventure package directly to the customer. Interested in purchasing? Head on over to Vanlife Northwest for reservation.

On top of this year long "Space Cabin" project, I also helped develop roof racks that fit on all of the HiAce vans, dubbed the "Pluto" roof racks for purchase here.