What do you do when you’ve already built skateboard ramps in your front yard, the furniture for your home, and fixed up a classic Ford Mustang? You convert a Sprinter van for living on the road, of course.
Brooke and Natalie are two freelancers who also compete in mountain bike races. After traveling around the Western U.S. in their Subaru Forester to attend various events, they realized they needed a more comfortable and safe place to eat, sleep, and store their bikes and gear. They also wanted a camper where they could just turn around in their seats and their dinner would be available right behind them.
The popular Mercedes-Benz Sprinter commercial van was the answer. The women picked up a 2018 Sprinter in Idaho and have converted it into a little home-on-wheels. They also gave it a name: Addie the Adventure Van.
Brooke says they chose a van because she didn’t want to have to back up a trailer. In addition, the van would contain all they needed inside so they wouldn’t need to access anything from the exterior.
The van’s former owner had done some work to the interior to make it livable, but Brooke and Natalie decided to redo most of the interior over again. The van has a kitchen along one side that includes an induction burner and a sink. The sink is supplied by two five-gallon water tanks.
Natalie is an experienced builder who has designed and built bike and skateboard ramps and made some of the furniture in their home. They even used some pallet wood at their house for some of the van’s interior details.
Upper cabinets are covered with sample pieces of wood flooring. Food is stored in a Dometic fridge that sits on a drawer with lockable rails.
The raised queen-size bed has a custom mattress and covers up a storage area that fits several mountain bikes. Each of the bikes sit on a custom made drawer with slides that can hold up to 400 lb.
The bikes are easily accessible from the rear of the van. The back “garage” also stores racing and climbing gear, clothing, and tools. Other storage includes cabinets above the bed and a seating area next to the kitchen.
Power comes from two 200-watt Goal Zero solar panels on the roof. These connect to a Yeti 1400 Lithium Power Station. The power station offers plug-and-play connectors for various devices and appliances.
The women plan to work on the road and will use it to charge laptops and cell phones. The Yeti will also be used to power a flat-screen TV for work and for watching Netflix on the road. If extra juice is necessary, the van also has a shore power connector on the outside.
To stay warm in the mountains, the women installed an Eberspächer heater. Built in Germany since 1977, these heaters run on existing diesel engines or a vehicle’s cooling water system. The heater in Addie is located under the swiveling passenger seat. It can be adjusted with a remote control.
When they are not racing down mountains or working, both Brooke and Natalie plan to write e-books on how to live and work on the road. Brooke’s book will focus on how to cook and eat healthfully in a van.