Simplicity. Happiness. The freedom to travel while still feeling at home.
It all doesn’t sound like too much to ask, does it? Sarah and John didn’t seem to think so, and they’ve proven that Vanlife is for people of all ages and all walks of life, as many have, time and time again.
We caught up with the nearly retired, New Mexico-based couple recently and they shared their story and what inspired them to adopt a new way of life in their sturdy B-Adventure van, lovingly named “Seymour”, who has most certainly given them an opportunity to see more!
So, what made you two want to test the Vanlife out in the first place?
“Our kids are spread out from British Columbia to Minnesota, and it seemed like an interesting and adventurous way to see them much more often.”
What made you decide on a camper van, instead of a RV?
“We’re simple people, without excessive needs. We didn’t want anything huge to travel with and we love that with our B-Van, we drive it like a car, and we can park it in classic parking spots instead of just RV parks. It’s a Ram ProMaster 2500 159″ WB, not the largest model of the series, so it’s perfect for us!”
Which B-Van did you decide on?
“We love the B-Adventure because it’s perfect for our needs. We don’t live full time in it, it’s basically for our travels, we’ve had it for almost a year now and have gone on a few trips spanning from one week to a few months. Our next roadtrip should take 2 months!”
Where do you sleep and park?
“It varies, we have around 10 apps that helps us, from Hipcamp, The Dyrt, Campendium, etc. We also meet some of our friends on the way and switch it up with Airbnbs and campgrounds. We’ve even slept in a rest area off the highway once, we apprehended a bit but once we put the fan on….it just felt like home. We felt disconnected from the surroundings and comfortable and safe.”
What recommendations would you give to future Vanlifers?
“Don’t wait, just go for it! (Yolo.) There’s so much to do and enjoy, and this (Vanlife) is really worth it.”
Sarah added, “What helped us make up our mind was renting a van for a few days to try it out and see if it actually fit our needs. We rented a basic camper van, and decided that’s what we wanted. It was tough to find the right van builder, so we looked through Conversion Trader. We wanted something new and not used, because we don’t know what issues former people would have with their vans. But more importantly, we needed to trust the company builder, which is a huge thing for us.”
What made you decide on Bemyvan to help build your home on wheels?
“It’s not just about the product. The human dimension behind is very important to us! In our case, we discovered one of Bemyvan’s beautiful creations on Conversion Trader, and when we got in contact with Ben (one of the co-founders), well, we knew this was the right place to get our van built out. We really appreciate the quality of the human interactions with this company. You feel in trust. The van feels very safe, secure, and you really feel like you are at home when you stay in it.” Check out our Virtual Van Builder, here!
Another recommendation for future Vanlifers they generously shared:
“Go and talk to other Vanlifers! We have a few friends in New Mexico where we live who own vans too, and we spent a lot of time checking out their vans and hearing their feedbacks. It’s important to see what others have – this helps to make up your mind on what build fits best for you. For example, we travel with our two little dogs. They each have their own little beds in the van. It’s been lovely. One thing though we found out was important, more important for the dogs than for us humans, is the AC. A fan is practical, but an AC, when you have to leave your dog for any reason in the van, is essential. You want to ensure your pet is safe.”
We recently published an article on Pet Safety in the van as well, that you can check out here.
What made you fall in love with the B-Van design?
“Compared to most camper vans, Bemyvan has this design & style that makes you feel right at home. The interior makes you feel secure too. We also appreciated that it’s suitable for going off-grid. What’s really nice about it too, is that we don’t need to plan 100% our travels and places to stay beforehand. Of course we know some places we’d like to stay and visit. Like Joshua Tree forest for example, not the National Park but the one in Utah we really like going to.”
What’s your favorite way to travel?
“What we love about traveling with our B-Van is being able to not plan everything beforehand and give ourselves some slack. We love the freedom. Being able to feel it out, stop anywhere we feel like if we feel tired, and not having to worry about where we are going to sleep each night, thanks to the B-Van.
The battery setup and the solar panels make our van completely autonomous, which ensures a comfortable home for the night or anytime (fridge, AC, etc.).
We also don’t have to think in terms of destinations exclusively. Not having to drive like 10-11 hours to get to see one of our children, but space it out to how many days we want, less driving, and taking the time, to travel, to live, to enjoy.“
What’s been a key memory from Vanlife thus far?
“We happen to live nearby a big fire that happened a month ago in New Mexico, and we had the alert that we may have to leave our house. In 30 years, we’ve already been in that situation twice. Well, this time, it was nice to know we had the B-Van. Because we knew that if anything happened to our house, we would at least have a safe home to escape with!”
Less Stress. More Freedom.
There are countless reasons to adopt the Vanlife, these two usually being at the top of most’s lists – but there is a reason, a season, and many roads we can all take to end up here!
It’s a wonderful lifestyle, and it makes us warm inside to hear more stories like Sarah & John’s come to life. Check out more stories of our B-Vanlifers below: