What Is Van Life & Is It For Me?

Alpenglow Sports Van Life Tour

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Over the past few years, the concept of Van Life has become more popular. The “dream” for many is to hit the open road and explore the world by basing your life out of a van. It’s all the adventure & spontaneity you’d want while sacrificing the permanent home base. The opportunity to wake up wherever you want, doing whatever you want, moving on whenever you want. This wasn’t something I would even think of doing. And then suddenly out of the blue, my wife said “What do you think of trying the Van Life for an extended adventure?”

Not for me. Or is it?

I’ll be honest… from the surface I seemed skeptical. Based on what I saw, it wasn’t for me. I love having a comfortable bed, a toilet, a shower and clean clothes. Living in a vehicle, by definition, makes you homeless. The idea of being a smelly nomad wasn’t something I’d wanted to try. But then, she painted the picture for me… “What if you could use a van for a LONG road trip to say the Powder Highway? Chase the snow. Find the goods, visit cool towns and network with skiers/snowboarders all around North America.” Suddenly, I became more interested.

Van Life Rally – Exploring The Idea Further

Van Rally Alpenglow Sports Tahoe City California
Van Rally at Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City

The question was where to start? Sure, you can read about it and there are great articles explaining the negatives of living the van life to consider. We needed to explore the idea in person. Fortunately, van life rally’s are becoming more popular and one was coming up in Tahoe City, put on by Alpenglow Sports. These events are where local van-lifers allow us normal folks to tour their vans and hear about their experiences.

Customized Mercedes Sprinter Vans… The Way To Go

Custom Mercedes Sprinter Van Life RallyMost of the photos you see of “Van Life” on the internet are with the classic VW Buses or a hardcore 80’s van. Pulling up to the Alpenglow Mountain Sports van life rally, the first thing I noticed was there wasn’t a single one of those types. Instead, the parking lot was FILLED with Mercedes Sprinter Vans. They were taller, roomier and more comfortable looking. Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! On the outside they seemed similar, but once you took a view of the interior, that’s when things got interesting. Each one of them was designed for a different purpose. Some were custom-built, by companies like Outside Van®, while others were home-made by their owners. Some had showers, stoves and even movable beds on tracks to fit all their gear below. Heck, one even had an internet booster for those looking to work from their van! Now the off-putting characteristics didn’t seem as bad. My interest was suddenly piqued.

So, Is Local Freshies® Going To Live The Van Life?

One of the many reasons I married my wife was because she continually drives me out of my comfort zone. She helps me grow as a person and is always pushing me to do things I would NEVER do. And guess what? Every one of those times I thoroughly enjoyed it. Is the Van Life for me? Definitely not as a permanent residence, but as a tool to explore North America? Possibly. With my better half excited about the idea, we’re eagerly looking into it. Stay tuned as we research and share more about it. You never know… you may see a Local Freshies® “outdoor-adventure” van on a mountain near you!

Alpenglow Sports Van Life Rally Tahoe City California

For those looking into the #VanLife themselves, we recommend checking out one of these rally’s to learn more:

Freedom Vans – Bellingham Washington (June 2nd)

Alpenglow Sports – Tahoe City California (June 22nd)

Upslope Brewing – Boulder Colorado (July 28th)

Bristol Brewery Colorado Springs, CO (August 18th)

Homewood Resort California (September 15th)

JuneBug Retro Resort – Asheville North Carolina (September 22nd)


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