Last year (2019), we had the opportunity to build a Ford Transit 148” van conversion for a lovely couple that travelled to us from Tahoe, CA. They wanted something that would feel like their home away from home when they went on mountain biking and other adventures. They named their build “Fred the Van”, and have been going on trips on it over the past year. Here is their “Vanniversary” interview on how vanlife has been for them so far!
What is your favorite place that you have traveled to in your van?
We took a 4 week trip through Colorado hitting all the big mountain biking spots (e.g. Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Durango and more). We rode every day with only a couple of days off and I was able to work from the road!
What is your favorite part about van life?
My wife and I do not like rigid itineraries when we travel. Van life allows us to go where we want to go at any time and alter our plans as we go, which happens quite often. Our van build meets all our needs, efficient storage and garage for our toys, a work and dining area, spacious kitchen so we have everything we need.
What is your least favorite part about van life?
Nothing. Van life is everything we hoped it would be. I suppose if I had to say something negative it would be the anxiety we feel when we are home and anxious for our next trip to start.
Tell us one of your favorite stories from a van trip!
This anecdote illustrates why we love van life so much: We went to Baja for a month over the holidays to learn how to kite surf. A friend loaned us a lot of gear which fit perfectly in the van. We arrived in La Ventana and stopped at a cafe to have some coffee and ask about kite surfing instructors. The owner of the cafe knew a local that was an instructor and he introduced us. The owner also allowed us to park and stay in his lot right next to the ocean. So we hung out there for several days taking lessons and hanging out with the locals. It’s this spontaneity that we enjoy so much.
What is your favorite feature of your van?
I struggle with this question because the total solution is just so perfect. If I have to say it would be the garage. The layout is fantastic. It’s as though Freedom Vans took measurements of everything we wanted to store and found a place for it. When living in such a small space this is super important.
If you did your van conversion with Freedom Vans again, what would you change?
In all honesty, nothing. We have been adventuring for most of our adult lives so we had a very good idea of what we wanted. Over the years we would talk and dream about what we would do if we had a van. We finally pulled the trigger and bought a van and found Freedom Vans. They worked with us to turn our dream into a reality and built us the “perfect van”. The more time we spend in the van the more we love it. The van has the perfect balance of functionality, comfort and beauty!