Story by Alex Embry |

February 25, 2021 |

Our inaugural class of Vanbassadors includes 12 vans, 19 adventuring folks and too many dogs to count. They are spread across the country from California to New Hampshire. They range from their 20s to their 60s and include full-time van dwellers, weekend warriors and everything in between.

Our Vanbassadors will not only share their adventures through blogs and social content throughout the year, but they will also host in-person meetups to share the stoke with as many Wayfarians as possible. Watch the Wayfarer Vans Fan Page for details on meetups being hosted in your area.

Class of 2021

Nick & Diana

Van: The Ponderosa, aka The Dodge Lodge
Vanniversary: Feb. 2019

We’re Nick and Dina from Carlsbad, California, and we call our van “The Ponderosa”, aka “The Dodge Lodge”. My wife and I are both very active people, and we love the outdoors. I work in Los Angeles and live in Carlsbad so three days a week I live in The Ponderosa but on the weekends it’s The Dodge Lodge, and we use it for all sorts of activities whether just a simple day at the beach, going away for the weekend or hitting the road for a nice long trip.

This van has changed our lives. It has opened windows and kicked down doors. There’s no place we can’t go, and away we will go! Here’s to all of us and getting outdoors…cheers to our fellow Wayfarians!

Neil & Eddie

Van: VanBulance
Vanniversary: Jan. 2020
Follow their adventures: Instagram

Hi, this is Neil. My partner Eddie and I are adventure seeking digital nomads based out of Southern California. For us the Wayfarer Walt kit was a no brainer decision offering quality, value and (almost) instant gratification. We knew after owning a high-maintenance RV rig and doing some historic home restoration projects that we wanted a simple camper van, and we didn’t have any desire to build it ourselves.

The Wayfarer Walt conversion has been the perfect canvas allowing us to customize into our off-grid adventure van dubbed the VanBulance. The VanBulance is well equipped with life-saving tools (food and modern conveniences) and quickly transports humans to treatment facilities such as beaches, mountains, lakes and deserts.

Dani Spires

Van: Walt Promaster 159”
Vanniversary: Sept. 2020
Follow her adventures: Website | Instagram

During the day, I manage a cross-functional website delivery team. Outside of work, I have a passion for cycling, holding a California State Championship title. When not riding, my biggest focus is supporting my wife in running her non-profit, The Farm Stop, which is focused on providing affordable quality food access to our rural valley. I use the rest of my “downtime” to spend time with my amazing wife, dogs Rugby, Marvel and Mabel, horses Kay, Mickey, and Pippy, and goats Fig, Cherry, Olive, Rosemary, Norma, Coco, Charlie and Cache.

I’ve been obsessed with camper vans for a few years after we had to evacuate for fires and pay for a hotel, and I saw it as a potential escape vehicle which is important to have during wildfire season. During COVID my obsession peaked, and I purchased a Wayfarer Van as a safe way to travel and explore. I couldn’t be happier with my van, the Wayfarer team and love all the adventures we’ve had together so far! I use the van primarily for day trips, but also have a few 2-3 week road trips planned for this year!

Kobi Cook

Van: Walter Promaster 136″
Vanniversary: Oct. 2020
Follow his adventures: Instagram

I picked up my Wayfarer Walter in October of 2020. I was transitioning out of the military when I realized that I wanted to get a financial head start in my new life as well as have an opportunity to travel endlessly. The van allows me to pursue the activities I love all while going to college online. Some of my favorite activities include surfing, snowboarding and riding my motorcycle.

Rick & Rachel Mason

Van: Walter Promaster 136″
Vanniversary: Jan. 2021
Follow their adventures: Rachel’s Instagram

We’re a husband and wife team (and crazy dog parents) who love exploring the outdoors! We are Colorado natives currently living in the middle of Wyoming. We previously owned a travel trailer but felt it just wasn’t the right fit for what we like to do – get out of town on the fly! We knew immediately a Wayfarer Van was the answer because of its simplicity and affordability. It is the perfect conversion allowing us to customize it for our needs.

We love trail running and mountain biking, and during the off season we cross-country ski every chance we get. Rick is a locomotive engineer, and I stay at home, taking care of our house and two dogs, Winnie and Norman. The railroad industry offers very little routine, so when Rick is going to be home long enough to go on an adventure, we need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice! We love the Wayfarer community for the family feeling we get from other Wayfarians on social media, and we look forward to sharing our experiences with others so they too, can become a part of the Wayfarer family!

Johnny Battle & Karina Erbert

Van: Walter Promaster 136″
Vanniversary: Aug. 2019
Follow their adventures: Johnny’s Instagram |  Karina’s Instagram | Johnny’s YouTube

The van to us is an experience-mobile. We never wanted another material possession to take care of, but we love where it takes us. Sometimes we don’t know where we’re headed, but the van takes us there. It’s almost like it has a mind of its own. One of the greatest things about the van is that it is so mobile. We can move about so freely without having to worry about getting back to the campsite in time to cook dinner. We can cook dinner, sleep, or take a shower wherever we are at that moment. We love how free it makes you feel.

We love biking, hiking or kayaking, and it’s a real treat having all that gear for all those sports with you at all times. We have no intention of living in the van…it’s just a tool that allows us to explore as much as we can. We are van weekenders!

The Golden Gals – Mary, Bria and Stardust

Van: Tiny Red
Vanniversary: Jan. 2020
Follow their adventures: Instagram

I’ve had my Wally, “Tiny Red”, for a year now, and we’ve traveled to 12 states (and found 19 waterfalls) already. Several of those were on our trip to Colorado Springs and back for the quick installation of our conversion. I have owned a number of different styles of RVs in the past. This has given me a great appreciation for Tiny Red. I love the fact that it can be my only vehicle that is as easily driven in a city as on the highway, it gets 28 miles to a gallon on the interstate and it fits in my garage. There is a real advantage not needing to go to a dump station or a propane supplier.

I have had a ton of fun making it work for me. My modifications have included a small cassette toilet, an additional cabinet, a tiny sink with a pump, a slatted ceiling, and coverings and upholstery and make it feel more homey. I have also figured out a portable heating and air conditioning solution, if needed. I consider it a travel van; a great way to see the country with my two golden retrievers. We are avid hikers, but also enjoy walking around historical areas of various cities. Our goal is to travel and camp nine months out of the year. We are from southeast Wisconsin, so we are a pretty hearty threesome.

Joe & Allison Kallo

Van: Sam
Vanniversary: July 2019
Follow their adventures: YouTube | Adventure Instagram | Photography Instagram

Our first date was driving cross country to the great state of New Mexico on a quest to climb the state’s highest mountain, Wheeler Peak. On that trip we took a bunch of photos, hiked ourselves senseless, and slept in the back of Joe’s truck which he’d converted into a sort of makeshift camper.

Twenty-five years later, we’re still out there hunting adventure, only with longer hikes (we regularly cover ultra marathon distances on foot), bigger photos (Joe now is working on large format photography, Ansel Adams style), and a much nicer rig: our Wayfarer van named Sam, who has been part of their family for two years. When we are not on the road pursuing one adventure or another, we both work in educational technology at the University of Chicago.


Van: Pearl
Vanniversary: Nov. 2020
Follow his adventures: Website | Instagram

Pearl and I met at a Chicagoland car dealership, she didn’t know it at the time but I was already dead set on bringing her home and converting her to a Wayfarer Van. A camper van had been a longtime dream, and while a career in history hasn’t paid very much, it does afford an ability to stay employed on the go. This meant combining the relative affordability of the Promaster City with the turnkey conversion that Wayfarer Vans offers was a no brainer for this cheap, antsy, but not technical minded individual.

My background in history lends itself to travels, discovering histories and mysteries alongside exciting adventures, and sharing them with my audience on social media and my website. It is often the case that the places that attract us have long attracted others, I find it incredibly exciting to do the long form research on the internet, in books, and at local libraries to discover that history when visiting a new place.

Sandy & Bj

Van: Walter Promaster 136”
Vanniversary: Sept. 2020
Follow their journey: Sandy’s Instagram | Bj’s Instagram

We picked up our van in September of 2020 – it was one of the only good things about the year! We got the van because we wanted to travel more, but were over the tent thing. Plus, it just feels safer! We like the Wayfarer community because of the sense of camaraderie, and we spend quite a bit of time on the Wayfarer Vans Fans page on Facebook.

I’m a retired scientist who spends a fair amount of the year judging beer around the U.S. and internationally. I have used the van for a few judge trips so far, and plan for more. Bj is a coffee shop/roastery co-owner and has been watching van life videos for quite a while. I had talked about an RV, but when she told me about camper vans, this made much sense for us. Our goal is to visit as many national parks, national monuments, and state parks as we can.

Rodney and Alice Hendrickson

Van: Wally Promaster City
Vanniversary: Oct. 2017
Follow their journey: Instagram

We purchased our Promaster City in October 2017 and within two weeks we had our Wayfarer conversion installed. Alice and I have been active tent campers our whole adult life. However, I had always wanted a very small campervan since seeing a VW campervan ad inside the back cover of the 1985 Rand McNally Road Atlas.

Becoming Wayfarians has allowed us to spend more time camping. We have made it a point to spend at least one weekend in the van each month. Our longest trips have been three 18-day trips. We have now been to all of the lower 48 states. One of the things we enjoy most about the Wayfarer van is that other than clothes and food, it is always packed and ready to go. Most of our camping trips have been to national parks, state parks and national forests. We also are both avid cyclists. The Wayfarer Van has made an excellent home-base for weekend and week-long cycling trips.

Rodney and Alice Hendrickson

Van: Ice Climber
Vanniversary: Aug. 2020
Follow their journey: Dave’s Instagram

I decided on building out a van after a long period of reflection regarding what I want out of my life. I was very thoughtful in my reflection and went through a period of deep research into small homes, tiny homes, various campers and trailer options. I ended up with a van for a couple of key reasons. I needed a new vehicle for daily use and I needed flexibility. I decided on a Wayfarer Van after many hours of research and reflection on what I really want and need. The modularity was ultimately the No. 1 driver for my decision. I have made numerous upgrades along the way and have many more to come. The Wayfarer conversion has allowed me the ultimate flexibility in making my van my van!

I am a well-traveled adventure-minded person who loves the outdoors and outdoor activities. My van is named “Ice Climber” as that is one of my favorite winter activities. My van has enabled more adventures and more fun for my many outdoor passions such as snowboarding, camping, climbing, mountain biking, paddling, and many more.