Jonathan Feld reclines in a finished van. Demand has it so customers can expect to wait up to 15 months for one. File Photo
Written by Edward Smith
When you think of campers, rock-hoppers and off-road vehicles, do you expect to see a Mercedes-Benz van out in the wilderness? The face of a company with 30 years of experience doing just that is starting down a new path.
Field Van, Inc. debuted Sept. 1 as a custom auto outfitter that transforms vans into Class B motorhomes with all the amenities and accessories a lover of the outdoors could dream to have in their vehicle.
By the end of October, Jonathan Feld, CEO of Field Van, hopes to be able to start quoting out prices for his customization services. He has an office and showroom at 3632 S. Bagley Ave. in Fresno.
There, the van he has on site can demonstrate the possibilities for people who want to use their vehicle for camping adventures — whether it be adding cabinetry, generators, four-wheel drive capabilities or all of the above.
Feld is the former president of Sportsmobile West, with whom Feld ended his licensing agreement. Feld’s father, Alan, opened up Sportsmobile West in 1989 and moved to Fresno in 1990.
Sportsmobile West is still fulfilling out contracts and warranties for finished products. The website for Field Van is still under construction, but Feld said it’s going to be a modern experience where customers can explore every customization option. He hopes to be done with it by June 2021.
“The cool thing about our industry is there’s always someone making something for a car, for a boat, for a motorhome, for a truck cabin — and all those items we can incorporate into our build,” said Feld. “We’re not the only ones doing all the creative innovation.”
Field Van can start fulfilling orders July 1, 2021, which is about how far out many of the custom van outfitters are, Feld said.
Outdoor photographers, emergency workers and campers have used the vans Feld and his team have worked on. A fleet even found use in search-and-rescue efforts in Lebanon following the massive explosion in Beirut in August.
Feld got the name for the company after so many people had mistaken his last name for Field. He liked the idea of an open field and thought it represented his business well.
“It represents freedom and all those things — It’s our vibe and what we want to give off,” Feld said.