By: Jeff Domingues
It’s been a long time dream of mine and my wife’s to get into a vehicle, leave everything behind and hit the open road for days/ weeks/ months at time. This obsession started with our honeymoon out west. We landed in San Francisco jumped into a Hyundai Elantra rental (I know the most exciting car possible) and started driving.
We had an idea of what we wanted to do but didn’t want to stick to a rigid time schedule, all we knew is we had to end our trip in 2 weeks in Seattle. 2 weeks of open roads, from San Fran to Seattle, I think we can find a few things to do.
We took in the beauty that is San Francisco, headed west to Yosemite, drove north weaving between the mountains and the cost to the Redwood National and State Park in Northern Cali. Into Oregon hugging the coast as much as possible and into Portland. Then Portland into Seattle, by the time we handed the rental back we managed to do around 3,000 miles, it’s crazy but that cheap rental opened our eyes to the wonder of road trips.
During our 2 weeks driving around relentlessly exploring as much as possible, I notice something that I’ve never seen before. That is offroading vehicles that looked like more than just a 4×4 to go mudding or rock crawling. I noticed people set up their vehicles to go camping as well. WHAT’S THIS!? Offroading with camping. Never have I seen this before and let me tell you my imagination ran wild with ideas of being perched up on top of a mountain waking up to sun rises in a landscape that hid itself from us because we drove all night to get on top of this imaginary mountain.
We have been camping plenty of times, and not car camping were you drive into an over crowded site with people making noise 10′ away from your site. I’m talking spending days out hiking and killing ourselves to get to a site that few have been to or want to go to. So the idea of driving to remote places that are near impossible to get to by foot in the comfort of our own 4×4 rig became a new dream of mine. After returning home I started researching and found out this is called overlanding.
Overlanding is the idea of using a vehicle to go offroading into remote places so you can camp for days at a time. The vehicle will provide you with shelter, carry your food and water, your camping supplies ect… This doesn’t need to be anything special as long as the vehicle has a capable 4×4 system, you can use it to go overlanding. Which brings me into the vehicles. Like I said nothing has to be special but special is what we are looking for and special is what I’ve found.
Photo by: http://www.Outsidevan.com
Outside Van is a customization specialist located in Troutdale, OR. They use Mercedes Sprinter vans as the platform to create some pretty wild creations. This van is their canvas and they use their limitless imaginations and yours if you want, to create the camper of your dreams. Me and my wife live pretty active life styles so this kind of camper makes sense to use. Outside Van specializes the designs towards people that like to go mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, atving, whatever outdoor activity you like they have a van that can accommodate you.
This list of options that can be put into each of their 48, that’s right 48 base models is limitless and overwhelming to list in this blog entry. Showers, solar power, beds, kitchens, storage, seating, winches, bumpers, whatever seriously whatever you can think of they probably have a model with it in it but just encase they don’t they will make one for you.
Pricing is where this vehicle either stays a dream or becomes your reality. Pre-made base models can run around $80k. This is a get you into a van as quickly as possible model or you can jump into models around $100k that are tailored more to your liking. Then there is the I won the lotto, money isn’t an issue anymore models that can put you well over $200k or even $300k for some models that have everything you want, probably so much in the van you can sell your house and live in it full time. Either way they have something for everyone. I’m currently in the “this van is still a dream” phase. But you never know maybe there is a lotto ticket with my name on it somewhere.
Check them out and spend the time needed to see everything they offer and let the dreaming begin.
Video by: www.outsidevan.com
Photo by: http://www.outsidevan.com
Photo by: http://www.outsidevan.com