Moira Hundley (aka “Mo”) is one of Ruffwear’s Customer Service Ninjas. When she is off duty, Mo can be found mountain biking, powder shredding, chasing Jada and off on ad-VAN-tures! (It’s a BEND-tastic life)

I am an outdoor explorer. An outdoor jack-of-all-trades if you will. I never thought I would be a van person. I mean vans are for soccer moms right? When my boyfriend, Colin, told me he had bought a 1988 Nissan Van from a traveling bike racer with a dog named Bruno, I was skeptical.  When he brought it home, I had to laugh! It was definitely from 1988.

Before I could stop her, my dog Jada jumped into the van and instantly bounded from front to back as if she was overcome with joy. She refused to get out and sniffed every nook and cranny looking anxious for adventure.

We rigged up the bike rack and took it out for a mountain bike shuttle ride that day. We were hooked on how fun it was to drive! Colin was convinced that this would be the ultimate vehicle to tote all our gear and Jada when we go camping.

Excited and inspired by a new project, Colin instantly went to work fixing it up to work for the three of us. He put a fun new fun paint job on it, a roof gearbox and gear racks for bikes and boats. He removed the rear seats from inside for optimal space and rigged up a holder for fishing poles and a mesh net for sun hats. Then, we started planning our first ad-van-ture.

Many trips and van-daptations later I learned a few key things about van life. With a little bit of carpentry work, a platform can slide into the rear of the van to give you not only a sleeping platform, but also storage space underneath for gearboxes. Gearboxes can hold backpacking and biking equipment, cooking tools and campsite necessities/accessories. Leaving us plenty of headroom for sitting up and getting in and out of the van. The platform also served as a great spot for Jada to lie down on while we are in motion.

A gearbox on the top of the van also makes room for folding chairs, canoe paddles and the firewood. (We would bring firewood with us but the small portable grill ended up being the clutch way to make dinner!) The van is great for a quick wardrobe change too, especially before and after bike rides.

The van also gave us the opportunity to bring all Jada’s Ruffwear gear! We brought her Mt. Bachelor Pad and Highlands Bed, her Singletrak Pack for mountain bike rides, her K-9 Float Coat for swimming and canoeing, her Web Master Harness for hiking, her K-9 Overcoat for chilly nights by the campfire…the list goes on and on!

She loves to ride in the van and sleep right next to her humans with plenty of room to stretch out! She has space to roam around when she’s feeling restless, and her Bivy Bowl full of water is easily accessible on the van floor and never spills. Jada couldn’t be happier that we decided to buy a van. It has inspired us to get up and get out on as many adventures as we can, enjoying our summer and new-found love for van camping. We have headed to lakes, rivers, many biking and hiking trailheads, and all with Jada in tow. Jada has gotten to use almost every single product I have from Ruffwear in one adventure or another.

Adventuring in the van has really made my summer. I am tan from the sun, dirty from the campsite, tired from the bike ride and ready to kick back in a chair by the lake with Colin and a cold beer. But the best part about it is my wonderful, happy and above all TIRED van-life lovin’ dog Jada!

7 thoughts

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  3. We bought our first minivan because we had small children. Fifteen years and three grown sized teen later, we bought another minivan primarily because we love to camp. And we have two mid-sized dogs. And my mom. And camping gear. No other vehicle can handle it all! Even an SUV, once it is packed for camping, doesn’t have space for the dogs to stretch out the way a minivan does.

  4. What a VANtastic blog post Moira! We had such a rocking adVANture in ‘Woody’ when we traveled the west coast in August. I never thought I’d be a van girl either. I was brought up to be a tent snob. But wow! Vans are rocking. Hey.. our Ruffwear order just arrived while I was writing this. Nice!

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