If youâ€™re an outdoor enthusiast who wants to get outside increasingly and hit the unshut road, the Storyteller Overland MODE van might just be the perfect ready-to-go venture vehicle for you. This versatile, capable van is designed to get you off the tamed path and indulge you to wits the outdoors in a whole new way. In this full Storyteller Overland MODE van review, I share exactly why.
I took a 2023 Storyteller Overland Classic MODE AWD Van for a spin virtually Southern Utah, exploring dirt roads and secluded campsites, and I was squandered yonder by how adventure-ready it is. Itâ€™s easy to see that Storyteller Overland has veritably perfected their diamond over the years – every little detail is impressively thought out. It comes equipped with everything you need so you can hit the road right away.
To requite you a little background, Iâ€™ve toured many variegated camper vans, truck campers, and other venture vehicles over the years. My husband and I have road tripped and camped in our Volkswagen Vanagon all virtually the Western U.S., driven the Baja California peninsula many times, and plane lived out of it for increasingly than a year when we crush from San Diego to Patagonia. From meeting other travelers on the road to checking out venture rigs at events, weâ€™ve seen vehicles that have spanned the gamut from upkeep DIY to luxury RVs to insanely capable Earth Cruisers.
I first saw Storyteller Overlandâ€™s MODE vans in person at Open Roads Fest, Bearfoot Theory’s van life event, and was impressed by their well-thought-out versatile layout, rugged design, and the way they maximized the use of space. However, getting to wits a MODE van on the road was next level and gave me a tremendous appreciation for how wondrous these vans really are.
After 10 days and nearly 1,500 miles exploring the backroads of Southern Utah in a Storyteller Overland MODE Van, here is my full review and why I think this might be the ultimate venture vehicle for outdoor enthusiasts who want a van that’s ready to hit the road.
Made Possible by Storyteller Overland
This review is made possible with the support of Storyteller Overland. A big thank you to them for handing over the keys to one of their trademark new 2023 MODE vans without hesitation and letting us take it for a spin. All words and opinions are our own and we strive to share honest, helpful information.
- Water Storage
- Climate Control
- Storage Space
- Additional Features
- Off-Road Capability
- Energy System
- Exterior Accessories
The Van: 2023 AWD Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
We were lucky unbearable to take out a trademark new 2023 Storyteller Overland Classic MODE AWD van built on a 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. As with all Storyteller Sprinter vans, itâ€™s a 144â€ť wheelbase, high-roof Sprinter.
The first thing we noticed was how easy it was to drive compared to other camper vans and large vehicles weâ€™ve driven. It handled increasingly like an SUV than a 9,000 lb camper van, zipping through towns and sliding into normal parking spots.
360-degree cameras make every speciality of driving a walkover whether youâ€™re turning a tight corner, parallel parking, or valuables up. The front dashboard has a big touch screen that displays the camera view when needed and makes it easy to tenancy lane squire and other streamlined driving features.
The van comes with all the other modern suavities youâ€™d expect in a brand-new Sprinter van including LED high-performance headlamps, heated swiveling suburbanite and passenger seats, satellite radio, a navigation system, driving assist, Bluetooth, and more. You can view the full specs of the Storyteller Overland Classic 2023 MODE AWD Sprinter here.
Storyteller Overland Classic MODE Van Interior
Step inside the Storyteller Overland MODE van and you’ll be greeted by a cozy, functional living space that’s designed to add repletion and convenience to your adventures. The interior layout is well-thought-out, with a variety of cleverly designed features that maximize space and functionality.
One of the things we loved most well-nigh the Storyteller Overland MODE van was the seating and sleeping setup. The van comfortably seats and sleeps up to four people, thatâ€™s why the STO makes our list of the best campervans for families.
Thereâ€™s seating with seatbelts for two overdue the driver’s seat. Plane better, this seat – moreover known as Storyteller Overlandâ€™s patented GrooveLounge – folds lanugo into a bed.
We traveled with our one-year-old so this setup was perfect for us. In seat mode, we were worldly-wise to safely secure her car seat for the long drives. The seat next to her came in handy so one of us could sit with her when she got restless and needed entertainment and snacks.
The seating zone moreover includes a table that can move, swivel, and be removed and stowed if not needed. Itâ€™s perfect as a work station by day and dining table at night. We stowed it for the elapsing of our trip since we used the GrooveLounge as a sleeping zone and moreover needed space for our toddler to roam around, but it’s nice to have the option.
Finally, the front seats were luxurious and well-appointed and both the suburbanite and front passenger seats swivel virtually for uneaten hangout seating and space when camped.
As mentioned above, one of our favorite features of the Storyteller van is the GrooveLounge – the rear seats that turn into an spare bed. It takes less than a minute to fold lanugo and itâ€™s wide unbearable to comfortably sleep one sultana or two small children.
When camped, weâ€™d fold the GrooveLounge lanugo and put our little oneâ€™s Packâ€™nâ€™Play right on top (it felt sturdy as is but we secured it with paracord so there was no endangerment of her knocking it over). Plane with the Packâ€™nâ€™Play setup, we were worldly-wise to move virtually the van like normal and wangle the kitchen area, the bed, and the garage. There was plane unbearable space inside the van for us to fit our toddlerâ€™s upper chair inside for dinner on unprepossessed evenings.
The main bed at the when of the van is well-appointed and spacious unbearable for two adults. The flares provide that little bit of uneaten space needed to be worldly-wise to sleep sideways and maximize the space in the van. My husband is 6â€™ and was worldly-wise to fit comfortably on the bed from throne to foot. If youâ€™re larger than 6â€™ tall you would need to use a little diagonal space (which thereâ€™s room for) if you wanted to stretch out and sleep with your legs straight.
The bed is flipside one of Storytellerâ€™s unique patented features (known as the Dreamweaver Bed/Convertible Work Surface) and is made up of two parts which makes the when zone of the van very versatile. You can fold up one side of the bed to make increasingly standing room and use the other side as a platform for cooking or working. Or you can fold both sides of the bed up to requite yourself plane increasingly standing room in the back.
We traveled with the main bed in place the whole time since there was unbearable space in the motel for us that we didn’t need to wangle the when much. We loved that there was no need to move things virtually or make up the bed at night, it was ready to go. We found the bed to be well-appointed as is (no uneaten padding needed) and slept really well. We used a comfy double REI sleeping bag and pillows from home as our sheets and it worked out great.
The kitchen in the Storyteller van, like everything else, is perfectly thought out (in fact, it makes our list of best camper van kitchens). It utilizes the slider door space for maximum efficiency and looks out so you can enjoy the views while cooking and cleaning. We found the counter space to be plenty, and when the stainless steel sink is not in use, the faucet folds lanugo and the sink lid sits well-to-do on the counter creating spare counter space as well.
The refrigerator/freezer was spacious and held unbearable supplies for the three of us for our unshortened 10-day trip. The van plane comes with a stainless steel microwave oven which came in handy for reheating leftovers and quickly heating up dinner for our little one.
The top drawer of the galley holds the single burner portable induction cooktop that comes with the van. This stove was easy to melt on and really came in handy. We brought our double burner zany stove thinking weâ€™d want to use it to melt increasingly elaborate meals but didn’t use it once – we found the single burner induction stove to be all we needed.
The three drawers unelevated provided a good value of storage space for pans, dishes, cookware, utensils, Tupperware, etc, and made it user-friendly to melt and easy to wipe up afterward.
The galley moreover comes with a handy exterior fold-down table on the outside that you can use with the slider door open. Thereâ€™s plane an outlet right whilom the table (Iâ€™m telling you – theyâ€™ve thought of everything) so you can plug in the induction stove and melt outside. That table was really all we needed for outdoor cooking and dining and it was nice to not have to rely on an spare zany table to set up and pack away.
There are two showers on workbench the Storyteller van – both an indoor and an outdoor shower. The indoor shower is unique to Storyteller in that it stows yonder when not in use. Like the Groove Lounge, this is flipside one of their ingenious patented designs. You can see a video of it in whoopee in our roundup of the best camper van bathrooms.
While an indoor shower is usually stationary and takes up valuable real manor inside the van, Storytellerâ€™s Halo Interior Shower System is built into one of the overhead cabinets. Simply unshut the cabinet, pull out the shower curtain, and unshut the FlexSpace Concealed Shower Pan built into the floor (which serves as a step up to the bed and storage space when not in use) and youâ€™re ready to wipe up without a long day of adventure.
The shower throne has a handy on/off sawed-off so you can hands stop the water spritz while you soap up, then turn the spritz when on when youâ€™re ready to rinse – a helpful way to save water so you can make your water supply last as long as possible.
The outdoor shower is located in the garage on the water tenancy panel. It’s perfect for quickly hosing off yourself, your gear, and your pets when you donâ€™t need to take a full indoor shower.
Of course, if you’re going to shower you’re going to want hot water, and Storyteller Overland’s vans come with a diesel-fired water heating system. You can have warm water when doing the dishes (the weightier when camping in unprepossessed temps) and for a hot shower anytime. The water heater works seemingly instantaneously when you once have the motel heater running, and if you donâ€™t once have the heater running it takes just a few minutes.
The Storyteller Overland van moreover comes with a portable toilet that fits neatly inside the shower pan. For obvious reasons, this was not included in the demo van so we donâ€™t have any personal input on this, but having a portable toilet or other system for going to the washroom onboard is essential when traveling yonder from washroom facilities.
The Storyteller van has an in-cabin 21-gallon freshwater tank and a 24-gallon grey water tank – plenty of water storage space for a week of venture without having to worry well-nigh refilling. With all the onboard conveniences, we were pretty liberal with our water use at first and went through most of our water supply during the first 3 days of our trip (quicker than we normally would). Without realizing that, we started using water increasingly conservatively and were worldly-wise to make it last longer. You could hands make 21 gallons of water last for a week if youâ€™re stuff inobtrusive and not showering in the van.
The freshwater tank can hands be filled by attaching the included hose to a spigot. It can moreover be filled via siphon which is a really tomfool feature. The Storyteller can siphon water when a spigot can’t be found or if you simply prefer to fill from a skillet or a 5-gallon jug.
For example, in Sedona, rather than searching for a potable water spigot to refill the van’s water tanks, we found it easier to fill a 5-gallon jug with water at a refill outside of a grocery store and siphon it into the van. It took 4 rounds to fill the fresh water tank but it was quick and easy and is a unconfined option to have on hand for when you can’t find an misogynist water spigot (which can be increasingly difficult in the winter months).
The van comes with a special Storyteller touchscreen tenancy panel that allows you to monitor and tenancy various systems, such as the lighting, heating, and water, from one internal location. You can unshut the vent and turn the fan on, tenancy the heating and air conditioning, trammels your freshwater and greywater levels, and more. We found this system to be extremely easy to use and it was so nice to be worldly-wise to turn on the heater with a tap without coming when from a unprepossessed snowy hike.
To start, the Storyteller van is insulated with all-natural sheepâ€™s wool which provides a increasingly well-appointed interior temperature right off the bat. For example, we stopped at an REI in Phoenix on a hot 80-degree day and decided to make lunch in the parking lot surpassing hitting the road again. We comfortably hung out in the van in peak afternoon heat in full sun in a parking lot with just the vent unshut and the slider door ajar – that was pretty impressive.
In addition, the window on the slider door and the window opposite (behind the suburbanite seat) both unshut to vent, and the window in the when of the van by the bed slides unshut as well creating multiple ventilation options combined with the roof vent and fan.
The high-powered ceiling intake/exhaust fan was handy for venting the van when we were cooking and for creating a little airflow during the day when our one-year-old was inside napping. The vent has a rain sensor and will automatically tropical if it starts to rain – very handy in specimen youâ€™re yonder from the van with the vent unshut and the weather turns.
Between the window vents, the ceiling vent, and the fan, you can be well-appointed in the van plane on a hot day. We never used the cabin air conditioning but itâ€™s misogynist in specimen you find yourself camping in really hot temperatures and need a little midday escape.
Perhaps most importantly for us, the van has a diesel-fired heating system which was a godsend on our trip in late March. It has been a wet, snowy year and it still felt like winter when we were on the road. We camped in the snow in below-freezing temperatures at the Grand Canyon and unceasingly had nights in the 30s throughout our trip. In the evening when the temps would drop, we would hop in the van, set the thermostat to a comfy 68 degrees, and enjoy cooking and eating dinner in comfort.
The diesel heating system is both a motel heater and a water heater all in one. For the motel heater, you can tenancy the temperature and the fan level (low, medium, or high) so you can really heat things up quickly when needed or alimony things at a well-appointed temperature when sleeping at night. You can moreover use the wheels setting and set the temperature to where you want it and the heater will take superintendency of the rest. This was expressly important to us with our little one-year-old so we could sleep easy knowing she was warm and cozy at night.
Lighting has a big impact on ambiance, and the lighting in the Storyteller van was thoughtfully laid out, functional, and convenient, just like the rest of the van.
The lights are divided into variegated areas so that with one touch of the tenancy panel you can turn on the motel lights (the main lights lanugo the part-way of the van), the reading lights (lights withal the sides of the van underneath the cabinets that you can click on and off individually), and garage lights. All the lights are LED and fully dimmable as well. This was nice for creating the environment we wanted and was expressly helpful for turning things lanugo in the evening when it was time to wind lanugo our little one for bed.
Thereâ€™s plenty of well-thought-out storage space throughout the van.
Up front thereâ€™s overhead storage for both the suburbanite and passenger (the perfect place to store your hat, sunglasses, beanie, headlamp, etc for easy access), three storage compartments on top of the dashboard one of which has USB and Bluetooth ports, and two sets of dual cupholders. These may all be standard features of Mercedesâ€™ 2023 Sprinter vans but they were super user-friendly nonetheless.
In the motel there are overhead cabinets that line both sides and provide plenty of storage space. All have click-in sawed-off locks that are super handy – just click the sawed-off in when latter the cabinets to lock them in place for driving for a rattle-free journey and click them unshut when youâ€™re stopped and need to wangle something.
We used the cabinet closest to the galley as a pantry for coffee, tea, oatmeal, and snacks. The cabinets whilom the bed were perfect for storing all our gown which we put in packing cubes to make it easy to find what we were looking for (one packing cube for tops, one for bottoms, one for undergarments, etc). Having a place for everything really helps alimony things organized so you can spend your time exploring outside, not searching upper and low for your socks.
The garage is very spacious and makes bringing big gear items withal easy. Itâ€™s a large unshut cargo zone with a heavy-duty floor and L-track so you can store and secure bikes, paddleboards, hiking/backpacking gear, and anything else you might need. We only brought hiking gear on our road trip so we didnâ€™t utilize the garage to its full capacity, but it was helpful to have so much space and be worldly-wise to hands throw our gear when there.
In wing to all the storage space in the garage, youâ€™ll moreover find an outdoor shower and the unshortened water tenancy panel where you can fill water, empty water, and winterize the system when needed. Itâ€™s all very straightforward and easy to use.
The Storyteller van comes with a full set of bug screens installed on both the side and rear doors so you can enjoy the fresh air with the doors unshut right off the bat. These are essential for warm months when the bugs are out. They are easy to roll lanugo when needed and roll up when not. When in use, a magnetic strip makes it easy to go in and out of the van and tropical the screen overdue you to alimony bugs out. We only used the bug screens on the first day of our road trip surpassing we reached colder temps where there were no bugs and we found them to be very convenient.
Another full-length that I consider an wool necessity is insulated privacy window covers. Luckily, the Storyteller van comes with a well-constructed set of high-quality window covers for each window in the van. Each is labeled with its location and hands attaches via the magnetic lining. In wing to providing privacy, these help insulate the inside of the van from both hot and unprepossessed temperatures outside.
The included portable bluetooth speaker was a nice touch as well. Itâ€™s housed right whilom the galley next to the microwave where it conveniently charges so itâ€™s ready in specimen you want to take it outside. This small but thoughtful full-length widow to our fun and made it super easy to create a fun environment while making dinner and hanging out without having to have the car stereo on.
Storyteller Overland Classic MODE Van Exterior
One of the major highlights of the Storyteller Overland Classic Mode AWD Sprinter camper van is its off-road capability. This van is built to tackle rough terrain and take you to remote destinations that are not wieldy by regular RVs. The van is equipped with all-terrain tires that provide spanking-new traction and stability withal with a robust AWD system and 9.5 inches of ground clearance permitting you to confidently navigate through challenging landscapes.
We took this van on many dirt roads during our road trip, many of which were muddy and rutted from major rains in the days leading up to our trip. We put it to the test and crush up the infamous Cottonwood Canyon road in Southern Utah – it handled very well and made it through some impressively deep mud.
The power system is set up to indulge you the self-rule to be stationary for multiple days and still have wangle to the power you need.
The van comes with a 90W solar panel on the roof withal with a hefty house lithium shower that moreover charges while you momentum via the high-output auxiliary alternator. We crush scrutinizingly every day during our trip so we never had to worry well-nigh power and only took the shower lanugo to virtually 70% plane with using the lights, music, microwave, and charging our electronics.
The van moreover comes with a 30A power string in specimen you want to vaccinate up at a campground or RV park.
The Volta touchscreen exhibit next to the main Storyteller tenancy panel makes it easy to turn the inverter on and off and to see how much power youâ€™re using and how much you have left.
There are plenty of 110V and USB power outlets throughout the van, all strategically placed right where you might need them. There are moreover a few 12V outlets in specimen you need them.
The van comes with a low-profile roof rack (complete with a wind deflector) that creates a large platform on top of the van where you can sit and enjoy the sunset with a drink in hand. This moreover gives you the option to hands nail gear or a rooftop tent.
The roof can be hands accessed via the side ladder which has a handy nonslip grip.
Thereâ€™s moreover a hitch on the back where you can nail a velocipede rack (in specimen you don’t want to travel with bikes in the garage) or other exterior traps like a spare tire (see our review of the additional Owl Vans accessories that Bearfoot Theoryâ€™s founder Kristen has on her custom Outside Van).
The van moreover comes with a powered awning that you can proffer and retract with the touch of a button. Itâ€™s plane lined with dimmable LED lights so you can have outdoor lighting while relaxing outside at night.
Overall, we were vastitude impressed with the Storyteller Mode Sprinter van and how durable, well-built, and adventure-ready it is. So much so that we were sad when the time came to return it. Weâ€™re now dreaming of getting one for ourselves so we can protract adventuring with all the repletion and convenience it provides, expressly with the little one onboard.
How to Get a Storyteller Overland Van
Storyteller Overland’s MODE vans are misogynist through a variety of dealers wideness the U.S. You can find a local dealer near you to see one in person.
What’s really nice well-nigh Storyteller Overland’s vans is that they’re ready to go right off the lot – no big diamond decisions to make, no waiting for the build, no second-guessing your decisions. Just a well-thought-out, proven diamond thatâ€™s been perfected over the years.
If you’d like to take a Storyteller van out for a spin surpassing taking the leap, trammels out GoCamp – they offer fully equipped camper van rentals by owner and have a number of Storyteller Overland vans in their fleet. Use the lawmaking GOBEARFOOT to get $50 off your rental.
I hope you found this Storyteller Overland review helpful and that you find the right off-grid-ready camper van for you.
Looking for increasingly inspiration to hit the road? Get adventure-ready with these resources:
- Van Life 101: How to Guide for Living in a Van
- Best Van Life Gear at REI
- Van Life with a Dog: Tips for Traveling with Pets
- Van Life Suit Packing Checklist
- 15 Must Have Van Life Apps
- 10 Weightier Van Life Books to Inspire You to Hit the Road
- How to Find Free Campsites for Camping & Van Life