The van community is changing and growing which means vendors are always creating new gear to keep up with the times! Innovation is high in 2023 and we’re super stoked about some new parts that will be/ already have hit the market. Here are our favorites 2023 has in store for us so far and we will offer to all of you!
Big Ticket Items:
Van Compass Opti-Rate Leaf Springs – The leaders in offroad van suspension have created their own leaf spring replacements, with a special twist. Until now, purchasing replacement leaf springs meant ordering very specifically to fit the weight and lift height of your rig. For some, this meant guessing or leaving suspension upgrades as the last item on the list (which isn’t good because adding so much weight to stock suspension can cause serious issues). VC changed the game with Opti-Rate leaf springs for both 2500 and 3500 4×4 sprinters, which allow you to tune and adjust your leaf springs to accommodate the weight of your rig. Not only will this allow you to tackle your suspension earlier on in the build process, but you can even adjust your suspension regularly to accommodate the vehicle at every weight stage of your build! These Opti-Rate leaf springs are available for 2500 and 3500 4×4 sprinters and are also offered in Van Compass’s new suspension kits such as the Striker 2” Lift for both 2500 and 3500 sprinters, Stage 3 systems for 3500 Dually, and NEW Dually stage 4.3 system and 6.3 system.
Backwoods Scout Bumpers – You may be familiar with the Scout Bumper for Ram Promasters. This year Backwoods Adventure Mods released their Scout Bumper for 2019+ Mercedes Sprinters! The bumper comes with bull bar and no bull bar options. It is smaller and sleeker than the typical Backwoods bumpers we all know and love. Its just enough to make your rig look good, house your winch and lights, and protect the front without the full look of a huge front bumper.
Life Style Gear:
Owl Vans Monster Box – The biggest, baddest cargo box on the market. If you need more than this, well we don’t know what to tell you because this can house up to 8.8 cubic feet of gear. The box has some unique features such as dual folding doors where the bottom door can provide a stable working area for a grill, cutting board, or anything else! The outside of the box has sherpa carrier-like gear plates that will allow you to mount other tools onto the box when you run out of space inside the box. The box can mount to pretty much anything, but it is pre-drilled for the Owl Vans B2 Bike Carrier, so check those out too!
Diode ROK Lights – Coming soon, Diode Dynamics will be shipping their Rock lights. These guys will mount under your rig and in the wheel well of your van to produce an under-glow look and feel! These are multicolored LED lights with remote and app control to switch up your color scheme whenever you want. The lights are meant to hang out under your van, but are easy to put anywhere you need some extra visibility! Grab your 8-pack and even add on the 2-pack for even more lighting fun.
Garmin Devices – Garmin is upgrading their technology, so it is out with the old and in with the new! The well-known Garmin RV 890 is now being replaced with the RV 795, 895, and 1095 units. All three have the same great capabilities, just different sizes. The new RV series has all the same great components as before with updates and new features. Navigation is made simple with custom routing to fit the size of your rig, road trip features to suggest scenic routes and more adventurous journeys, a preloaded directory of RV parks and campgrounds, and more to make travel a breeze. They are also equipped with smart features like blue-tooth pairing to your phone, live traffic and weather updates, and even live fuel prices to help you find the best deals on the road! Other great features include national parks navigation, Tripadvisor travel guides, and backup camera compatibility.
Back-Up Camera – The BC 50 backup camera is replacing the BC 35. The new model is equipped with a longer range which means even larger vehicles or trailers can use these without the worry of connection. The camera is also high-def resolution with a 160-degree field of view. You’ll also never have to worry about your camera getting damaged as it is IP67 weather resistant. If you’re looking for an even cooler, more capable camera, check out the BC 50 Night Vision! All the same great features with additional night vision to ease driving in the dark.
Ekko & Transit specific:
VanMade Gear Shades – Our favorite shade option for adventure vans has teamed up with us to produce a new shade set for Winnebago Ekkos! The full set includes shades for the bedroom windows, kitchen window, and nook area window. These easily attach to the outside of the frame of each window with adhesive Velcro that then allows you to attach the screen/ shade combo. The cover itself is double-layered with layer one being the full blackout shade and then unzipping to layer two, the screen. These are a great upgrade to the accordion blinds that come standard with Ekkos because they provide more privacy/ light prevention as well as the benefit of having your windows open with that screened-in protection to prohibit bugs from entering your rig. Grab a full set or individual shades for your rig!
VanMade Gear Transit Foglight Upgrade – The plug-and-play fog light upgrade for Ford Transits! VanMade gear took a step outside their typical box and created brackets to hold two Diode SS3 lights and mount them in the factory fog light housing in the Transit bumper. Replace your factory fog lights with the upgraded Diode SS3 fog and driving lights! Our kit comes with everything you need to make the upgrade easy. Includes: VanMade Gear bracket, factory bezel, wiring harness, and x2 pairs of Diode SS3 Light Pods in either white or amber. You are more than welcome to purchase just the replacement brackets, but honestly, save yourself the time and effort it will take to find the other parts needed when the kit is readily available and simple to install!
We’re excited to see what the rest of 2023 has in store for our community! There is already innovation and excitement so early in the year, we’re sure there is plenty more to come. As always, we’ll keep you updated on the newest items as they hit the market!