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.
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.
Jeremy david, Foundations Manager
Jeremy has spent the past four years living in his van, from Sedona, Arizona to Teton Valley, Idaho, and many different places in between. He first moved into a van to pursue mountain bike racing, and to allow himself the freedom to travel to the country’s best mountain bike destinations, and to liberate himself of the expenses associated with living in a home. Jeremy has an intimate understanding of what it takes to live life on the road, and it’s this knowledge that he brings to the Freedom Vans table. His skills gained in carpentry and the fine work of bike mechanics have contributed to finishing some awesome projects here. Today, he manages the foundational aspects of the building process, and he assures the team is ordering the best materials for our work.
Seth Feralin, Carpentry Lead
Mark Springer, Electrician
Mark is an OG Bellinghamster, and grew up camping in the outdoors. He knows how important it is to have quality time with nature, and tries to live life with a zero waste and minimal impact mentality. He is drawn to the small footprint and self-sufficiency of vanlife. Mark specializes in the electrical systems of van conversions and handles projects such as fuse boxes, batteries, inverters, and our specialty here, solar systems. Beyond the electrical focus, Mark has also enjoyed getting into the woodworking side of craft, as well. He also likes doing insulation and all of the “behind the scenes” work that isn’t necessarily apparent in the final product. In his life away from the shop, Mark geeks out on model trains, bikes, and motorcycles, and his favorite breakfast food is cereal and cinnamon buns.
Kelend Hawks, Metal Fabricator
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, Van Builder
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.
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.
Scotty Lousen, Van Builder
Scotty reigns from Pasadena, California and has taken time to explore wilderness all the way up the coast. His favorite range is the Central Sierras, although he likes to escape the city lights in the Cascades of Washington. Even further from humanity, Scotty digs the natural expanses of Alaska. During his free days in the woods Scotty likes to row, backpack and catch food. He aligns well with this work as he loves being self sufficient and having the freedom to move around as he pleases. Scotty’s favorite project in the shop is when he gets to work on power enclosures, because of his background in engineering and attention to detail.
Carey deVictoria-Michel, Office Assistant
Carey (the person, not the dog) was swooned by the expansive west coast when she left Minneapolis to go to college in Seattle. She moved down to Oregon and then got lost in rock climbing pursuits, which brought her into life in a van for a few years. She then co-found a rock climbing guide service called, She Moves Mountains. Adventuring around to different destinations and altitudes, Carey found deep joy in living on the road and taking in the vistas of the west. In her free time she plays with paint and makes art, often mountain inspired. Freedom Vans aligns with her love for exploring new places and going to the wild spots you wouldn’t go otherwise.
Andrew Hecktor, Van Builder
Andrew has been living in the area for five years where he came for Bellingham’s great attraction, mountain biking. He travelled from Ohio, where he ran his own lawn care business for seven years. Andrew spent his winters there doing custom home building work. In Bellingham he continued in the custom home building industry and he also branched into the loveable trade of baking. He was a baker at a popular pastry shop, and has obviously gained an array of talents. You might be thinking that Daisy is the baker, but Daisy is Andrew’s pup and she’s not camera shy. His work in custom home building transferred well to the world of van conversions. Andrew is excited by work that meets the quality he desires and he enjoys the freedom of creativity in the shop.