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Experience Van Life Without Cashing In Your 401k!

Hit the road and sleep in comfort on your next adventure without breaking the bank!

By: Chris Engelsman + Save to a List

On a trip to Moab this past fall, my wife and I were meeting up with a bunch of friends to do some camping and mountain biking, but she wanted a better setup than a backpacking tent and sleeping pad, so a quick internet search lead me to Wandervans.

Wandervans has a fleet of Ford Transit vans (Ford’s version of the Mercedes Sprinter) with locations in Boise and Salt Lake City. A quick check on their website showed one of their vans was available during the dates of our trip to Moab and a few clicks later, the van was reserved.

We chose a medium Ford Transit 350 with V6 Ecoboost engine. That’s more information than you need, but I mention it because the engine was peppy and fuel efficient for a full-size van. Being a 350, the suspension was stiff enough so that it felt solid and could handle crosswinds – possibly better than my adventure Prius! The medium roof was nice, a bit more fuel efficient than their taller 6’6” medium version but being 6’2” the ceiling height was a bit low for me and fine for my wife. We don’t live in the van full-time or cook in it, so there was plenty of room.

Wandervans has outfitted the vans nicely. They are not overbuilt with cabinets and stuff you don’t need. Rather, everything they include has a purpose. The crown jewel is the queen-size memory foam mattress. They provide a fitted sheet, so we brought our comforter and pillows and slept like babies.

The sink is not large, but perfect for anyone not living full-time in their van. The sink utilizes a hand pump to draw water from a two-gallon tank and the water drains into a 2-gallon grey water tank in the cabinet below. Above the sink is an ingenious use of a pivoting car mirror - small but works nicely when washing up or brushing your teeth.

To keep your food and beverages cool, Wandervans provides a Dometic cooler (read a full review about Dometic portable coolers here) which is extremely nice. The powered cooler means that ice doesn’t take up half the space of the cooler, the temp stays the same, and you don’t have to drain water and run to the store for more ice.

Inside, along the sides of the roof are handy hooks to hang your packs and clothes and the curtains can be closed to block the windows to provide privacy when sleeping and changing clothes.

Beneath the bed, there is a ton of storage for luggage, duffels, and all of your gear. Wandervans provides enough camp chairs for the guests and a folding table which is nice. They also provide a two-burner Coleman cook stove (read review), but we brought our Eureka cookstove and their table was super handy.

Since we were on a mountain bike trip, it was nice that Wandervans has racks available. We were able to put five bikes on the rack and use it as a shuttle to the top of Mag-7/Gemini Bridges and the Dometic cooler provided a refreshing post-ride beverage!

We had a glorious week exploring Moab, cooking outdoors, mountain biking, and spending time with good friends around the campfire. If you are flying into Salt Lake City, or local, and want the van life experience when you visit the 5 National Parks in Utah, look into Wandervans – it’s an amazing experience.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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