Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

AVC RIG offers DIY options for adventure vehicles

By: Lizzy Rogers | The Surveyor | December 31, 2020 | Business

A Berthoud based business that designs and builds custom adventure vehicles is on a mission to help as many people as possible explore the great outdoors.

Courtesy photo – Matt Dunkerly sits inside one of the modified adventure vehicles at AVC RIG in Berthoud.

Matt Dunkerly, the owner of AVC RIG is a true advocate of outdoor exploration and adventuring. Talking to him at the businesses shop on East County Road 8 he explained how his love of the outdoors led him to the van conversion industry seven years ago and then to start his own business, Adventure Vehicle Concepts (AVC RIG), in 2017.

“I worked at a summer camp for 10 years so I really am big on getting people outside and getting them to share outdoor experiences. I think a van that makes it easy for your family to get up and go on a Friday night is what it’s all about. Lowering the barrier of entry to the outdoors.”

After gaining experience in the construction and sales of adventure vehicles within other van upfitter companies, Dunkerly thought he saw an opportunity within the industry to make van conversion an accessible option for even more people.

“I saw a hole in the market for DIY products. We were doing lots of builds for people but there was nothing out there that provided a really good option to do it yourself that was really easy so my mission when I first started my shop was to be the IKEA of vans. Ship flat, make it really simple for people to just assemble and put it into their vans. It’s easier said than done though. It really took me until now, three and a half years later, to get to the point where we have a really good product that fits well, that is thought out, and is a true turnkey solution so now we’re finally rolling out our DIY products.”

Dunkerly started his business with the help of his friend Stephen Nance in a South Loveland location and then moved to their current Berthoud home in April 2019. Although the original reason for starting the business was to offer DIY products they decided to invest in the technology and time to offer a full van conversion option first and then the DIY kits more recently once they had their own processes refined.

When talking about the business Dunkerly discussed how adventure vehicles are a very different concept from the standard recreational vehicle.

“So an RV is a little house on wheels. It’s going to have a full bathroom, shower, even sometimes a full range and usually a TV of some sort these days. We are very anti-screen so we don’t put them in our vehicles. It changes the idea of the van so we don’t offer them. The point of our vans is to get you outside, it’s not to bring the inside with you. We call it an adventure vehicle on purpose because we’re trying to get you outside, away from the city and the hustle and bustle.”

Dunkerly explains that his small team consisting of Peter Kurst, Stuart Hanson, Spencer Ortego, and himself aims to offer bespoke, affordable, and simple van conversions so that customers can have a “comfortable, meaningful outdoor experience without all the noise.” One of the ways they do this is by offering four standard build packages, all of which they aim at the Ford Transit as Dunkerly believes it to be the best vehicle option for adventuring in America. Details of the packages available plus the DIY kits for roof racks, wall kits, and flooring systems can all be found on the companies website avcrig.com and contacting the team is best done through the form on the site or by email.

If you are not sure if the adventure vehicle life is for you the company does offer the option of hiring one of their vans for a weekend and will even refund some of the higher cost if you go ahead with a custom build.

While other businesses might be struggling under the issues around the global pandemic, Dunkerly says his business has seen a real boost.

“Because Covid is here, people can’t do the normal vacationing they would. Things like flying on a plane and getting a hotel room are much less appealing. A more realistic thing for people to do is adventure locally and have their own safe place on wheels. A lot of cities are shutting down and we don’t always know what’s happening with them but the wilderness is always open.”

To Dunkerly his company offers people a simple way to navigate not only the pandemic but the adventure life in Colorado and beyond too.

“Get in the van and go make some memories!”

 

 

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