Interview: Campervan Trip Engagement to Van Owners
When we first announced that we’d be selling some of our used campervans, we posted a photo of “Foxy” taken on a road trip that Kelly and Nick went on in March. We received a message shortly after from them saying that photo was taken when they got engaged at Red Rocks! A few weeks later, they purchased Foxy as their first “home.” Read their heartwarming interview about how it all happened below.
How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip? Where did you go?
We wanted to cover a lot of miles + see a lot of things, and having a home on wheels made that possible. We were “off-peak” and so renting a campervan from Escape in March was about the same price as just doing a rental car. Our route was all about the parks – we started off at their campervan rental site in Vegas, spent our first night in Red Rocks Canyon (more on that in a sec), followed by Death Valley, Joshua Tree, and Lake Mead.
Tell us all about the engagement!
We got up early after our first night in the van to catch the sunrise at Red Rocks. (Proof: see that amazing photo of Foxy!) Nick was waiting for the perfect moment and managed to last until the second scenic overlook before he popped the question. We had hiked up to the top of this rock formation and that’s where he proposed.
It was 7:05 a.m. and basically no one was in the park yet, so we unabashedly yelled into the canyon below “WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!” 15 Mins later when we were drinking the hidden champagne Nick had packed, a hiker found us and said “Congrats, I hear you’re getting married!” having heard our yell echo through the canyon below.
You ended up buying the campervan you got engaged in. Had you ever done a campervan trip before? What were your thoughts on the experience? What made you decide to buy Foxy?
We LOVED our first campervan trip with Foxy and came back raving about the experience to anyone who would listen. We took another Escape Campervan trip this fall to Acadia National Park in Maine. On that trip, the idea for Project VanPlan emerged. We were loving the flexibility and lifestyle. We came home and basically the next week we saw Foxy up for sale. It was like it was meant to be!
The appeal of vanlife is that it’s flexible (you can do it longer than tent camping), it’s fun (you don’t have to cower over a Jetboil in the wind, you can make a proper meal), it’s great for all weather (rain doesn’t ruin the day), and it’s easy. We love being able to be a car (move around easily and pay less at campsites) or an RV (camp anywhere!)
What are you looking forward to the most about being campervan owners?
Hitting all the national parks! We’re planning most of our routes around that goal.
One thing we’re doing a little different as van owners is to skip the home base. Instead of parking Foxy at our home (Brooklyn, NY ain’t cheap!) we’re storing it at cities along the way. For example, she is currently in Vegas and we will pick her up in December to hit five national parks and eventually make it to Austin for NYE. Then when we fly back to Austin in February for a wedding, Foxy will be there waiting and we can drive her somewhere new! The benefit is that we don’t have to start and end at home, giving us more flexibility to see new places in a short amount of time. (And storage isn’t bad because it’s easy to find promo deals with 1-mo free)
Any tips for traveling in a campervan as a couple?
It’s better than traveling alone!
It’s a small space, so we communicate A LOT. We have a system for checking in with each other. Someone will shout “Needs Check!” and we do thumbs up, sideways, or down. Our consistent categories are always “Hunger,” “Bathroom,” and “Energy,” but sometimes we’ll throw in silly categories too. For example, “Smores level” or “scenic overlook level.” We find this ensures we’re both aware of how the other is doing. If any of the three basic needs are thumbs down we move into “critical response mode” and try to solve them. Also, our general rule of thumb is “Never show up hungry.”
Any campervan trip honeymoon plans? ?
That would mean we need to plan our wedding first, but we’re too busy planning our next van trip!