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“Van Life” is driving a niche market for conversion companies

Jenn McAmis and Calder Phillips opened West Coast Adventure Vehicles in Oroville, California.

Jenn McAmis and Calder Phillips opened West Coast Adventure Vehicles in Oroville, California. Andrew Nixon for Marketplace

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Live-in vans are emerging as an alternative for 20-and-30-year olds who want to opt out of homes. So-called “van lifers” want vehicles they can live, work and play in, and they’re looking for outfitters to trick out their rigs.

Despite a hefty price tag that ranges from $35,000 to $65,000 for a professional van conversion, industry trackers say there’s more demand for this service than supply, even as more van conversion startups enter the market.

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