About Freedom Vans

Freedom Vans was founded on the f r e e d o m of the off grid lifestyle; and we are here to enable this lifestyle for our clients. We wish to give people the foundation for their adventures; an off grid home (permanent or secondary) that will allow you to comfortably relax after a day of skiing, a big bike ride, a challenging climb, or a stroll down the beach. A place to enjoy a snack or a nap in between. Whatever the adventure- we want to build the van for you.

We are a small business that works closely with our clients to bring their dreams to life. Solar power systems are our specialty, specifically tailored to our clients needs. Attention to detail and quality are the most important factors to us in a project, as you can see in our project gallery. If you are looking for a custom and personal experience, we are right here in Bellingham, WA.

Tom Doran and Kyleigh Rogers, owners of Freedom Vans, with shop assistants, Moby and Cleo.
Tom Doran, Co-owner

Tom co-founded Freedom Vans after 14 months of living life outside the box. Frustrated with the high costs of rent and few rental opportunities, Tom outfitted his 1996 Ford D’elegant Conversion Van with solar power and a fridge. A small sink and a microwave kept the comfort high and the costs low. This was the start of discovering a passion for the alternative way of living and adventuring.

Less than a year later, Tom upgraded to a 170″ 2007 Sprinter Van, giving him the space to carry his dirt bike and mountain bikes. FREEDOM. In June 2015, Tom quit his job of 8 years in Solar Power Installation to compete in the Big Mountain Enduro mountain bike race series around Colorado. He took on this adventure with Kyleigh, and they became a great team in forming what the company is today. He now has the freedom to bring to others what has changed his life; vans for comfortable living, travel, and independence.

Co-owner of Freedom Vans, Tom works with our team to create and build dream vans for our clients. With an eye for detail, he handcrafts all of the cabinetry and woodwork. He specializes in power systems, providing clients with the ultimate off-grid adventure vehicle! With years of experience in leading the shop team through more than 55 builds from the launch of the business, Tom has tuned his skills in providing clients with high-quality vans for their off the grid exploration.

Kyleigh Rogers, Co-owner

Kyleigh co-founded Freedom Vans with a high motivation to share a vision with others who were passionate about living freely through the joys of van life. Kyleigh graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences. Van life appealed to her background in Anthropology and Geography, and her authentic care for the clients and this work has led this company to grow and flourish. Kyleigh and Tom discovered their Freedom Vans vision while on the road in Colorado, where they have since grown an inspired business in Bellingham, WA. 

By being closely involved in each step of a build, from start to finish, Kyleigh has refined our work here and holds a high integrity for providing a thoughtful and quality experience for our clients. She has developed her management skills from her previous experience as a certified teacher in California and through her work as an Americorps VIP where she managed 25+ employees a week. At Freedom Vans she manages our team and leads us to reaching our short and long term goals as we continue to step into the future. Kyleigh is there from the meet and greet, to designing and planning for the project, to ensuring overall happiness once the van leaves our shop. Once you have a Freedom Van, you’re a part of the family.

hannah hendrickson, Sales & Marketing

 

Hannah grew up on a farm in a small town on the Olympic Peninsula, where she spent most of her days outdoors or doing art. She graduated from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2018 and then moved up to Bellingham to be closer to the mountains and British Columbia. Her passion for travel and nature brought her to Freedom Vans, where she has contributed her skills in photography, videography, marketing and sales support. Her photography work and video production has added great value to the company’s social media and Youtube van tours. Her eye finely captures the craftsmanship of our van conversions and allows our community to see the details and quality work accomplished in our shop. Hannah loves hiking and going on road trips in her free time, and she is finishing up her own van build for her future adventures! We recommend you check out more of Hannah’s work and photography  on her Instagram.

 @johanna.hendrickson

Abby Butzen, Design Engineer

Abby, fueled by her love of the outdoors and new adventures, transplanted to Bellingham from Wisconsin in 2016. After graduating with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, she went on to work in the HVAC and Marine industries. Working with clients on the design of their systems and boats perfectly primed her to conquer the spatial restrictions of designing a van. You could say the stars aligned when Kyleigh and Tom moved next door to her, which peaked her interest in van life. Abby works closely with clients to decide all aspects of the van lay-out, often down to the inch. She has designed over thirty van conversions with Freedom Vans, and that number is quickly growing. When she’s not creating van designs, she is busy honing one of her many crafts. Whether it be biking, snowboarding, silversmithing, yoga, hiking or mindfulness at the beach – she will always be accompanied by her furriest friend, Bosa.

Seth Feralin, Carpentry Lead
Seth has an extensive 6 year background in “not-so-typical” carpentry, which makes him an excellent addition to the not-so-typical Freedom Vans team! He has done carpentry work in museum exhibits, in private homes, trade show displays, and commercial promotional materials. Seth has transferred his diverse background in carpentry skills to the creative building involved in van conversions. He moved to Bellingham from Minneapolis in 2018, and was drawn to Freedom Vans’ mission to enable the off grid lifestyle. He says “it is encouraging to see people do more, go further, and climb higher”. In his free time, he loves backpacking in Washington’s beautiful mountain ranges, especially the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Kristian Duft, Van Builder

Kristian grew up on the move living in many places, and stays psyched on getting out to new destinations and new (sa-weet) mountains. He is repping the Freedom Vans motto of getting out and exploring. “Have fun doing it ‘your way’”, he says. Kristian has a bachelors in Fine Arts and took his skills into the field of mechanics, where he has worked as a bike mechanic, fabricator, shop tech and screen printer. His comfort with fine hand tools, forklifts, hydraulic presses, CNC machines and metal foundry has brought him to Freedom Vans with a wide array of skills to accomplish the small and large tasks of building vans. Here, he gets to blend his fabricating and sculpting skills to fit all the pieces together for the final product – the van.

Tony Enriquez, Systems Builder

Tony is all about the focus and detail needed for working on cars, trucks, and vans. He has a passion for car mechanics that is a hobby and a lifestyle. Tony has seven years experience as a machine operator where he became well versed with operator heavy equipment, as well designing custom cuts with autocad. Before that he worked for six years as an electrician and an audio video specialist. His knowledge of mechanical equipment, electrical systems, and audio video equipment is extensive and adds to complex systems that our shop equips in conversions. Ask him about the tattoo on his arm, and you will hear about his past collection of Ford Broncos and Rangers. The attention needed to get things done in the shop working on the vans put him in his element. He takes pride in the very stylin’ orange, Bronco he fixed up for his wife. 

Sydney deVictoria-Michel, Foundations Lead

Syd made the migration from Minneapolis to Bellingham eleven years ago, leaving the flatlands of the Midwest to find sufferfests in the mountains. Syd dedicated herself to a Masters degree in Counseling and worked as a school counselor for four years, and was a firefighter/EMT for a year in Bellingham. On top of these skills, she is also a dedicated adventurer with mountaineering skills and worked at our local mountain shop, Backcountry Essentials. She has been building out her own Astrovan adventure mobile for the past few years. Her background being both active and inter-personal makes Syd an awesome team member and a great addition to this skills based work environment.