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When An Architect Does A Van Conversion 

This is the Ryovan Project. It’s Saul and Ayaka’s Japanese teahouse van conversion!

It’s all based on a 2018 Sprinter 2500 with 4×4. All imagined and built by Andrew Wade Keating (architect) and High Grade Partners. You can follow along with the owners/dwellers @theryovan on Instagram!

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The Ryovan Project: A Japanese Teahouse-inspired Van Conversion

How about that? A Japanese zen cabin within a cargo van?

And you can even use the rack system to store you gear.

Enough room for the pup, too!

Views of the snow can be inspiring.

This is such a cool campervan!

It’s all built on a 2018 Sprinter 2500 with 4×4.

It was imagined by Andrew Wade Keating (architect).

It was built by High Grade Partners.

The owners and dwellers are on Instagram @theryovan.

There’s no zen without tea, is there?


How do you like the wood in this van?

Quality hardware, too!

How cool is this van conversion?

Rear-view camera for security and convenience.

Ready for adventure.

And with all wheel drive, you can almost go anywhere.

Where would you be headed right now?

What gear would you be taking with you?

And who’s going with you?

The Royo Van!

A Zen Masterpiece!

A lot of people wish they could have a van this awesome.

And you can! But it’s hard work to build.

And/or, very expensive to buy!

But if you’re determined enough, you CAN do it.

This is Saul and Ayaka’s Japanese-inspired teahouse adventure mobile.

And it’s ready to roll with its off-road-ready tires.

It’s even slightly lifted!

Do you like this van conversion?

What would you do differently?

Learn more

Our big thanks to Saul and Ayaka @theryovan for sharing!🙏

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Alex
    January 1, 2020, 2:25 pm

    A few other stories you may like, kind of like this:

    Couple’s LEGAL Garage Tiny Home + Van Life

    Man Turns High Top Cargo Van Into Rolling Cabin

    He Shows You How To Convert a Work Van Into a Camper

  • Avatar D. Pedersen
    January 2, 2020, 7:54 am

    I really like this conversion. A no bullshit approach and it looks good.

  • Avatar Roy
    January 13, 2020, 10:55 pm

    Why do you keep calling things “Zen?” Do you know what it means? That van doesn’t have anything special that makes it zen. The word is overused and is becoming meaningless.

  • Avatar Roy
    January 13, 2020, 11:09 pm

    And while I’m at it…
    Does this van levitate? Does it help one reach a higher form of being? It looks to me to be a cleverly designed van of some beauty, but I don’t think it would help me reach a meeting with God. Unless I died in it. Just saying…

    I read your stuff every day. I am building a tiny cabin and I’ll send you pictures when I’m done. But if I describe it as being Zen, please shoot me. Thank you for encouraging my behavior.

  • Avatar Michael
    March 20, 2020, 2:00 am

    It looks nice and clear. However, it lacks cooking, cooling and body care capabilities which means there is no kitchen and bathroom. How do you boil hot water for pictured tea, outside ?
    Beside that storage space is limited to two benches and slats at walls are catching dust.
    For me it is not suitable neither for weekend trips nor nomad living.

  • March 22, 2020, 8:03 pm

    The great outdoors has been a natural bathroom for as long as man has lived. Many a camper/traveler choose sites with cooking and bathroom facilities close by. Not every culture is to your liking or what you are used to. Learn more of their side or ignore if you wish.

  • Avatar James Walsh
    April 11, 2020, 7:51 am

    Like Michael said above, the conversion looks nice and clear.
    Apart from the points that he raised, what type of timber was used? And was it washed with a lime wash.

  • Avatar Steve B
    June 13, 2020, 10:48 pm

    I agree. May be a good ad for architectural prowess, but without consideration of the practicalities of van accommodation. Pretty but impractical.

  • Avatar James Bibb
    June 25, 2020, 3:59 pm

    I really liked this build….liked the comments which shows different sides. It has made me think about material and simplicity…openness. Nice work.

  • Avatar Terence Tung
    June 28, 2020, 11:21 am

    I loved this van. It’s functional and flexible. That will be my future RV design. Please reply so we can chat for the project. Thanks.

  • August 3, 2020, 10:35 am

    Why do so many folks think *they* can design your perfect van better than *you* can?
    Great job on the aesthetic. I picked up a few cool ideas (like the removable pedestal for the bed platform) and will tweak mine for surfing and a mobile office (as well as options for my family of 4) but I suppose that’s why I didn’t buy/build *your* van!!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      August 3, 2020, 12:05 pm

      Such a good point, Matt!

  • Avatar Bic Green
    August 26, 2020, 10:15 pm

    Great build.
    Very clean and I love the peacefulness.
    Could add a little cooking area but I really love the design.

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