A 4 x 4 conversion company can take almost any van from paved suburban streets to winding off-road adventures. Popular with van-lifers and those who love to experience life on the open road, converting a 2-wheel-drive van or RV into a 4×4 combines the best of living in a spacious and comfortable vehicle with enjoying terrain that most 2x4s struggle to tackle.
While Do It Yourself 4×4 conversion kits are available, they require a decent amount of expertise to correctly assemble, and if you don’t have the know-how it can be a struggle to keep up with the maintenance of a DIY converted 4×4 vehicle over the long term.
Since not all of us have the niche understanding of 4×4 van conversions, the go-to option is often to turn to a company that specializes in converting vans into offroad vehicles. There are companies across North America that offer conversions – but it can be difficult to know which is going to deliver the results you want.
Here are 10 North American-based 4×4 van conversion companies that are worth checking out, and the best ways to decide who to trust with your vehicle conversion.
Top 10 4×4 conversion companies:
Location: Huntington, Indiana and Austin, Texas (sales and service also available in Phoenix, Arizona).
Conversion Cost: $8,216 for a partial conversion to $42,544+ for full conversion.
Sportsmobile is a huge player in the 4×4 conversion industry, working on both pre-owned and new Ford Transits and Mercedes Sprinter vans.
This company provides a huge variety of van conversions (not only 4×4) and, as a result, offers a more extensive variety of options to customize your converted van than other companies that focus solely on 4×4 conversions.
More info: sportsmobile.com
2. Advanced 4×4 Vans
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Conversion Cost: Comparable to similarly equipped 4-wheel drive SUV
Advanced 4WD Systems converts Nissan, GM, and Ford Vans as well as specialty vehicles such as buses, RVs, and motorhomes.
Advanced 4×4 has all of the optional extras like winches, roof racks, lights, and brush guards available, and their longstanding relationship with manufacturers ensures that Ford, GM, and Nissan will continue to honor their factory warranty after your van has been converted – which is not often the case with modified vehicles.
In addition to this, the company adds its own warranty on converted parts and workmanship. Advanced 4×4 will convert both new and preowned vehicles
More info: advanced4x4vans.com
3. Quigley Motor Company
Location: Manchester, Pennsylvania
Conversion Cost: Starting at $11,795
The Quigley Motor Company has been a strong fixture in the heavy vehicle scene since the 1960s, and for the last 50 years has focussed on van conversions and customizations.
Working on General Motors, Ford Transit, Nissan, and Ford E-Series vans, Quigley has developed a reputation for quality manufacturing. Even their most basic conversions are accompanied by a 5 year/60,000+ mile warranty, giving you peace of mind on the road.
Also read: How Much Does A Quigley 4×4 Conversion Cost?
Quigley converts both new and pre-owned vans, and aside from their basic conversion packages, also offers additional upgrades and extra features such as 2-4 inch lifts, all-terrain tires, shocks, automatic hub locks, and sway bars.
More info: quigley4x4.com
4. Whitefeather 4×4 Conversions
Location: Red Bluff, California
Conversion Cost: starting at $30,000
With over 30 years of experience, Whitefeather 4×4 conversions work on an impressive array of 2-wheel drive vans and recreational vehicles, from Sprinter vans all the way through to classic cars, trucks, and motorhomes.
Whitefeather claims to be the only company in North America that converts Mercedes Sprinters to 4- and 6- wheel drives, and offers a 3 year, 36,000-mile standard warranty on their conversions.
Whitefeather conversions offer an extensive range of optional extras including roof racks (starting at $2,600), bumpers (from $1700), driving lights (at a range of prices around $400 per pair), and extra suspension (rear springs starting at $1,400).
More info: whitefeather4x4conversions.com
5. Ujoint Offroad
Location: Fletcher, North Carolina
Conversion Cost: Starting at $25,000
DIY kit cost: $5,995.95 to $12,295.95
UJoint Offroad converts Ford E-Series Class C vehicles, working on E150/250/350/450 models from as early as 1992. They source exclusively Ford-manufactured parts which reduces the overall cost when compared to sourcing from multiple manufacturers and ensures finding replacement parts for maintenance is easy.
Optional extras include bumpers, lights, winches, roof racks, and lifts ranging from 4 to 8 inches. UJoint uses leaf springs which are the preferred suspension of heavy vehicles, due to their sturdiness and less flex when compared to coil springs.
UJoint also offers DIY kits if you’d prefer to convert your vehicle yourself.
More info: ujointoffroad.com
6. NW Quadvan
Location: Portland, Oregon
Conversion Cost: $13,000 + for basic conversion
NorthWest Quadvan exclusively converts Ford Vehicles, working on Transits (excluding the Transit Connect) and Econoline/E-series vehicles from 1997 onwards, and only uses new factory Ford parts in their conversions so any existing warranty remains valid.
They install optional extras such as skid plates and hitch receivers, and their conversion includes a lift of 2.25-4 inches.
More info: quadvan.com
7. AJ’s 4×4 Vans
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Conversion cost: starting from $9,000
AJ’s 4×4 vans convert Ford E-Series and Chevy vans, as well as doing modifications like bumpers, side steps, lighting, ladders, and roof racks. Every part AJ’s sources is high-quality stock ford parts so maintaining the van is easy and a no-hassle experience. They also allow customers to provide their own parts if they are after something specific with their conversion.
AJ’s uses coil springs for a smooth ride, incorporating dual steering stabilizers to combat the shaking, or ‘death wobble’ that can come with the combination of Ford trucks and coil springs.
More info: ajs4x4vans.com
8. Clydesdale Vans
Location: Kamloops, British Columbia
Conversion Cost: contact company for a quote, prices in Canadian dollars.
For over 40 years, Clydesdale has converted vans that can be seen fulfilling the needs of campers and travelers all over Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
This company works on a vast array of vehicles including Ford Transit and E-lines, GMC and Nissan vehicles, Sprinters, and Dodge ProMaster. Clydesdale offers various packages and accessories that come at an extra cost including winches, lighting, mud flaps, grill guards, ladders and bumpers, and lifts of up to 2.4 inches.
More info: clydesdalevans.com
9. SWC 4×4 Vans
Location: Wilmington, Massachusetts
Conversion Cost: contact the company for a quote.
SWC works exclusively on Ford Vans and converts all chassis both new and used. This company incorporates high-quality aftermarket products and converts vehicles with both leaf and coil suspension depending on the needs of the vehicle and the customer’s preferences.
More info: swc4x4.com
10. Tim Dahle Nissan NVP 4WD Conversions
Location: South Jordan, Utah
Conversion Cost: Contact the company for a quote. Must purchase a vehicle through Tim Dahle Nissan dealership.
The Tim Dahle Nissan dealership converts Nissan NV passenger and commercial Cargo vans using only high-quality Nissan parts. Because they are a direct dealer, they manage to keep prices relatively low in comparison to other companies.
A three to six-inch lift is included in this conversion, with optional bumpers, lights, and winches as well as other luxurious additions such as DVD players and sensors. Tim Dahle specializes in custom conversions but being a dealership, only works on vehicles purchased through them (they sell both new and used cars and vans).
The chassis is based on a Titan XD truck body and all parts in the conversion are either factory-designed or made exclusively for the NV 4×4 conversion. The vehicle can be switched into 4 wheel drive at any speed, provided it is traveling below 60 miles per hour.
More info: timdahlesouthtowne.com
Choosing a 4×4 Conversion Company
Price is a big deciding factor – some companies reduce the cost to their customer by sourcing recycled or pre-owned parts, but this can make finding replacements a challenge. Alternatively, others rely on factory-produced parts from your van’s manufacturer which can hike up the cost but provide a little more peace of mind.
Location will also impact a customer’s decision. There are a limited number of trusted 4×4 converters in North America and there might not be a huge range of options for garages and dealerships in your area. Luckily, most companies offer domestic shipping at a price.
Whether you already have your van or want to buy a particular model will influence your decision. Not every converting company will work on every model – in fact, most of them pick just a few vehicles to focus their expertise on.
Researching and contacting a company that offers 4×4 conversions is the best way to find out if they can service your vehicle.
What is the Best Van to convert to a 4×4?
Ford vehicles are widely regarded by those experienced in conversion as the best vans to convert to a 4×4 vehicle, with both the Ford Transit and the E-series being popular choices.
The Ford Transit has a high roof, a powerful engine, and good fuel economy (about 16 miles per gallon). Production on the E-series has been discontinued, so you will only be able to purchase pre-owned vehicles but it is essentially the predecessor to the Transit.
Most 4×4 conversion companies and garages work on Ford vehicles such as the Transit or E-series – making replacement parts and experts willing to work on your conversion easy to find.
Can you Convert a 2×4 to a 4×4?
Converting a 2×4 to a 4×4 is possible, but it does require some research and expertise. Parts like the front suspension, a transfer case, and an engagement system need to be purchased which can be pricey – but then there’s always the option of seeking out recycled or preowned parts which significantly reduces the cost.
Many 4×4 conversion companies also offer kits if you want to do your own conversion, but this does often leave you with a lack of support in terms of troubleshooting down the line. Most companies also offer decent warranties with their conversions but not their kits, and some vehicle modifications can void the original manufacturer’s warranty.
The consensus on most forums seems to suggest that it is only worth converting a 2×4 if the model cannot already be purchased as a 4×4 vehicle, at least from a financial perspective.
Can a RAM ProMaster be converted to a 4×4?
A RAM ProMaster doesn’t tend to be a popular choice because its 4×4 conversion is generally a more complicated process than when starting with another vehicle (such as a Sprinter van or Ford Transit/E-series).
The RAM ProMaster doesn’t have the ideal frame, and therefore foundation, for a 4×4 conversion. It is a front-wheel-drive with a low floor, which is generally less compatible with 4-wheel-drive mechanics as it leaves limited room for a transfer case and driveshaft under the vehicle.
Not very many trusted converters work on Dodge vans, so if you’re set on a conversion you might have to do the handiwork yourself – this being said, if you have the funds, time (patience!), and knowledge you can do some major work and convert the ProMaster to a 4×4.
When looking for a 4×4 conversion company, Quigley stands out to me based on their testimonials. They work on many different van models and makes which expands their customer base, but still manage to provide quality support to their customers even after a van has left the garage.
I like the idea of using a converting company that sources all of their parts from the original manufacturer where possible – it just adds to my peace of mind knowing that parts are easily replaceable and under warranty, and this is something Quigley takes pride in offering.
Converting a two-wheel-drive vehicle to give it 4-wheel-drive capabilities is a good way to combine the comfort of living in a van or RV with the thrill of offroading and exploring off the beaten track.
Finding the right company to convert your vehicle can be a challenging task if you’re not sure what to look for, but with appropriate research, budgeting, and figuring out exactly which features you want your vehicle to have it is possible to build the vehicle of your dreams!
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Featured image (top of article): sportsmobile.com