Vans & Van Life Thread

His name is Stanley, he is an original 1976 E150 Chateau 351w, converted by Turtle Top from the factory and purchased in Aberdeen, SD. Around 125k miles on it and everything is original for now.

Canvas pop top so you can stand up and take your sweaty cham off.
7 ish Gallons onboard water
Small galley sink
20 gallon frame mounted Propane tank
Twin Burner Stove
Secondary Electric system (Still have some checks before I’m confident enough to connect a battery)
AC/DC Fridge (I use it as a cooler)
Bed with slide out extensions to sleep two
Bed converts to bench seat
Closet for my race kit
Tons of storage
dual gas tank ~12 mpg
Dark tinted windows
Full curtains (in Wolf print of course)
Swivel captains chairs
No shoulder strap seat belts
3 speed transmission (Top speed is 70, barely)
Bitchin’ sound system

Traded it straight up for a non-running 49cc scooter and $100 cash a couple years back when my buddy was moving. It was in rough mechanical shape but solid body and conversion still.

It didn’t run when I got it but I’ve been methodically replacing all the wear parts. Cleaned up the fuel system, new fuel pump, new carburetor, New Ignition System, new calipers, rotors, drums, and pads, Added a receiver hitch for the bike rack, new tires and fluids all around.

It’s really fun van, a true pleasure and very engaging to drive on the twisty roads in the Black Hills of SD, as long as you’re not in a hurry and cool with going 45 up any large hill. So far it has been super reliable. I drove it to the top of Casper Mountain (8k feet, central Wyoming 500mile round trip) this summer. Hoping to cruise it all the way to Yellowstone and the Tetons this year.


So sick! :trophy:


That is a bitchin van. :beer:


So sweet!

Alternatively: If Vans made a SPD shoe I’d most likely be really into it. Fashion of an Old Skool/Sk8-Lo but pretty stiff and with an SPD. I’d love it.


Great Van. Thanks to Chad fo the thread. Hope to see other examples and inspiration here.

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ForestyForest has some great content on youtube. I look forward to his videos each week.

I have a camper van in the works. I have grand visions in my head of how it will allow my family and I to drive all over the country and hit great MTB spots. Reality probably will be different :rofl:. But still fun.

Here’s a great resource of looking if buy/build/enhance a van.

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Not quite as much character as Stanley, but our Promaster is working well for us. We use it for day trips. Two bikes fit on the pull out shelf without taking off the wheels. 4 bikes if you pop off the front wheels.

Fridge, microwave, toaster oven, espresso maker. Wireless phone charger, solar panels, enough battery to run the microwave for 20 minutes, 20 gals. fresh water. 6 gallons hot water. Interior shower (standing in a dog washing tub), pull out shower off the back to wash bikes, air compressor, etc, etc.

No bed and an emergency only toilet.


That’s one nice beast. I’ve seen it rolling the hills. I wouldn’t have the patients or talent to do that work. Guess that’s why I wrote a check for ours.


Looks like you have it dialled, nice and clean setup! The shower and hot water would definitely be a plus.
I wish I could fit my expensive bikes in my cheap van to keep it more lowkey but it’s too small to fit them inside!

I’ve been dreaming of living the van life for around five years - one day perhaps.

For now, I just look on in admiration here:

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Yup. Same here. Getting a Ford Transit built into a camper. Will be ready in June. Just about in time for Summer trips. I’m looking forward to it, but it was a lot on money - I hope it was the right decision :grimacing:


Wait. Not everyone wants to spend 600-800 hours over two years on their van? I’m shocked. :slight_smile:

When you get that Transit, we all want to see picts.

Check back in 5 months :grin:


That setup is sweet Doc!
is it 4 wheel drive?
Pop top?

4x4 Sprinter low top with a pop top. Insulated enough with the propane heater we can winter camp.

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This is my van. 1989 VW T25 (T3/ Vanagon). Few things make me as happy as cruising and camping in her. (Cycling being one!) And of course looking after her is a hobby in its self.


That thing is sweet! Is that a bed up top?

Above the cab is a cupboard, middle is open (option to cover for a bed, or standing room) back is the back half of a bed/ storage.

High tops aren’t the most fashionable, but definitely the most practical of the options.

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Hi there, TR Forum.
I am currently in the planning phase of a Van, that I will use for carrying bikes around Europe, since basically any non-work travel I have done in the past few years included carrying several bikes. I have now had it with doing that in my car. Having the bikes on a trailer means all the bikes are exposed the whole time and I just don‘t have enough space for bikes in my trunk.
Also, when I travel to events, I usually need quite a lot of stuff, including tools, spares, a turbo trainer etc.
That lead me to the idea of building up a Van, that I can use to carry around all my stuff, that I can use as a HQ for events and bike travel, and that I can sleep in, in case it is necessary.

I have seen several people building up Vans for cycling on the internet, some that I liked, others that I didn’t like.
I will share my current plans here and the process of building it up in this thread, but also want you to share your ideas, maybe existing/ planned similar projects, and other input.
Looking forward to what you have to say.

Edit: this has now been moved to this thread that I didn’t find before. Still the same purpose, just in case you are wondering about my wording.