Home / MARKETS / 2 former Silicon Valley executives are creating an off-grid, off-road capable $194,500 Ford Transit RV camper van — see inside

2 former Silicon Valley executives are creating an off-grid, off-road capable $194,500 Ford Transit RV camper van — see inside

So it’s no inquire two former Silicon Valley executives have teamed up to create Aeonrv, a RV startup that specializes in 2021 Ford Transit-based midget homes on wheels.

An AEONrv build on a dry field with a tree in the back.

An AEONrv build.

AEONrv



But unlike the everyday Transit camper van, Aeonrv is “bridging the gap” between camper vans and overlanding conduits, Jim Ritchie, Aeonrv’s CEO and founder, Aeonrv, told Insider.

A dinette with cookies and tumblers on the table inside an AEONrv build.

Inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv



According to Ritchie, the startup’s RV has respective overlander-like capabilities at a “lower” price: $194,500, to be exact.

Someone driving an AEONrv build off-road among blue skies and a dry terrain.

An AEONrv build.

AEONrv



Like any startup, the genesis of Aeonrv starts with its come to grief finding a hole in the market.

Someone driving an AEONrv build off-road among blue skies and a dry terrain.

An AEONrv build.

AEONrv



Ritchie, who’s had a decades-long tech career in Silicon Valley, was in perpetuity interested in the outdoors and small offroading RVs.

A man looking into an AEONrv build with a shower.

The entryway bathroom of an AEONrv build.

AEONrv/YouTube



Initially, he never had any objects of starting a RV company.

A man by a two burner stovetop inside an AEONrv build.

The kitchen inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv/YouTube



But the more he searched for his ideal RV (specifically a weightier van with four-wheel-drive, off-road capabilities), the more he realized there was nothing on the market that could fit his needs.

Someone driving an AEONrv build off-road among blue skies and a dry terrain.

An AEONrv develop.

AEONrv



That’s when he decided to design his own custom fiberglass reinforced panel Transit van with the help of another fellowship, Total Composites.

The exterior rear of an AEONrv build on a field of grass.

An AEONrv build.

AEONrv



“A lot of people said, ‘hey that’s a great idea. I’d buy that,'” Ritchie hinted, prompting him to begin seriously designing and building a prototype in August 2020.

A man by the refrigerator and freezer inside an AEONrv build.

The kitchen inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv/YouTube



The foremost prototype was then assembled about seven months later, and the company brought its van to the market in October.

A man moving the dinette table inside an AEONrv build.

The dinette provender inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv/YouTube



Along the way, he recruited another tech friend with a background in yachts and fiberglass to behoove the CTO of Aeonrv.

The kitchen with a two-burner portable stovetop and bed inside an AEONrv build.

The kitchen and bed inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv



Together, since its debut, the company has hit over $3 million in pre-ordered vans, and has already begun erection its first production units, Ritchie said.

Dinette seating in front of the refrigerator and a doorway into the front of the RV inside a AEONrv build.

Inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv



It now plans to build 20 items by the end of 2022 in its Reno, Nevada factory, starting with the first seven units in the second-quarter of 2022.

The passenger seat inside a AEONrv build.

Inside an AEONrv construct.

AEONrv



Ritchie predicts the company will sell all 20 units shortly into 2022: “We’re two-thirds wholly that number already … and we’ve got multiple tens of other people that I would call ‘hot leads.'”

In 2023, it’ll then draw 50 to 150 builds, but as a startup, “anything out past a year is really pie in the sky,” Ritchie said.

The bathroom inside an AEONrv build.

The bathroom inside an AEONrv develop.

AEONrv



COVID-19 may have spiked the public’s interest in RVing, but this wasn’t Aeonrv’s motivation for creating the following.

An AEONrv build on dry hilly terrain.

An AEONrv build.

AEONrv



Aeonrv is looking to target consumers who would’ve either wanted a Winnebago Revel or Airstream Interstate 24X Expedition Coach van, or an Earthcruiser overlander, all without the $200,000 to $750,000 price tag and potential “quality and design problems,” Ritchie explained.

EarthCruiser EXP Dual Cab.

EarthCruiser EXP Dual Cab.

EarthCruiser



He believes Aeonrv’s biggest competitor is the Winnebago Ekko, but several of its early customers obtain been Winnebago Revel owners who wanted an “upgrade” …

A Winnebago Revel among birch trees with two people and a dog sitting outside.

A Winnebago Revel.

Winnebago Industries



… or overlanding enthusiasts who didn’t shortage to pay for an expensive RV or take the time to build their own.

EarthCruiser EXP Dual Cab.

EarthCruiser EXP Dual Cab.

EarthCruiser



“One of our jokes is we give you 80% of an Earthroamer for 20% of the fetch,” Ritchie said.

The kitchen with a sink, microwave, and stovetop inside an AEONrv build.

The kitchen inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv



So far, its customers include a man in his late-20s who’s working remotely and a kind with three children.

A man opening a storage unit inside an AEONrv build.

Storage inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv/YouTube



Of course, there are other off-road skilful camper vans available on the market.

A roof with a skylight and solar panels on a AEONrv build

The roof of an AEONrv build.

AEONrv



But according to Ritchie, the fiberglass reinforced panels and extrusions and tech-forward amenities pushy the van stand out compared to its competitors.

A double burner cooktop and stairs by a bed inside an AEONrv build.

The kitchen and bedroom inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv/YouTube



“I reached out to analysts that bedclothes this industry to figure out what was going on in the market, and they were very interested in what we’re doing because they concurred the industry needed more innovation and different thinking,” Ritchie said.

A man opening a storage unit inside an AEONrv build.

Storage inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv/YouTube



Let’s book a look inside Aeonrv’s build based on the 2021 Ford all-wheel-drive Transit chassis to see if it’s worth the six-digit expenditure tag.

The entrance into an AEONrv build with a shower

The entrance into an AEONrv build with a shower.

AEONrv



The interior is about 13.4 feet long and 6.7 feet lanky and wide.

Two seats with a dining table in between with a plate of cookies and two tumblers inside a AEONrv build.

The dinette inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv



The first “room” you see when you open the tiny home’s door is the dual bathroom and mudroom.

A man opening a medicine cabinet inside an AEONrv build.

The bathroom clandestine an AEONrv build.

AEONrv/YouTube



This space has a medicine cabinet, a cassette toilet, a sink that can lose it up to save room …

The bathroom inside an AEONrv build.

The bathroom inside an AEONrv build.

AEONrv



… and a shower that can be used both inside and faade the van, hence its location at the entryway.

A man holding a shower head outside of an AEONrv build.

The shower of an AEONrv build.

AEONrv/YouTube



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