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Van Fest USA Florida 2024

A Van Festival!! Wow. We should have done this a long time ago!! What a long weekend of fun, immersing ourselves in the van life community and showing our DIY van we built 100% ourselves.

This was our very first van festival even though we have had our van for three years now. Now we really wish we had gone to one a long time ago. There was some live entertainment, vendors, trivia and were even lucky enough to witness our first rocket launch in person at nearby Cape Canavarral. Our favorite part though is that we met so many amazing new forever van friends!! What an experience connecting with those from all walks of life, knowing we really aren’t that crazy and not alone in our similar van life journeys.

Our purpose for traveling to Florida in January was to meet van lifers, show our van to see how we compare to others and share our van life journey to inspire others. We accomplished just that!

We set up our tiny home on wheels for the weekend to invite patrons, other van builders, van lifers and everyone in between. We made business cards to pass on with our website for anyone who wants to keep in touch or see our van build and travels. The best option for same day business cards was Walmart photo center and I opted for wallets which come in twos.

Mr. Knightley was the knight in shiny armor to a lot of guests and inspired many, gaining 17 votes for best in show, although falling somewhat shy of the grand title. The first day, we didn’t really understand how the voting process worked. It was certainly uplifting for those who oohhhed and aahhhhed over our build and our somewhat unique, creative solutions for such a small van and living in it full time.

Why is our camper van build different from others?? One, we have a standard queen-sized bed that does not require climbing steps to get up into. Most van builds have their bed over a “garage” area for outdoor equipment for bikes, other adventure gear, dog beds or camping items. We opted for a bed that is at a bench seat height so that we can convert the area to a 6 person dining area. Our storage is mostly above and there’s more storage under the benches and in the cubby boxes beside the bench back rest, all of which is easily accessible from inside the van.

Check out Jeff Wagg’s podcast Built to Go! We are mentioned in episode #197. It was so fun to get to know him and see his fun camper van converted from a former ambulance!

We were so lucky to get to observe our first rocket launch as the venue was right near Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canavaral.

I captured Gary capturing the rocket launch up atop his RV. Follow him on Instagram

We came away feeling even more lifted up by our hard work and ingenuity knowing those who understand the process agree we have a unique, livable, beautiful camper van build we did 100% ourselves. We know that we gained a lot of our own ideas by watching others and we loved being able to help and inspire many with the van life spirit for their own journey!

We’re so grateful for the opportunity and the amazing new lifetime friends we have made.

Follow these new, amazingly awesome fun friends on Instagram, Jamie and Lisa, Steve & Audra

We have been caravanning around Florida with them. What a way to experience the joy of van life. They are are also both on YouTube Steve & Audra have a great traveling channel. They built their Ford Transit and went full time about the same time in July of 2023 when we did. Jamie and Lisa have been full-time in their van, Gertie, since October 2020 in their upfitted 2017 Sprinter Campervan. We love these friends!!

We fit all six of us in our 19′ 8″ van for meals and conversation.