Who hasn’t dreamt, at least once, of cashing out, buying a van, and hitting the open road? “Live simply” is what we romanticize. We’ll pack only what we can fit into approximately 50 square feet of living, rolling, shag carpeting-covered bliss. Even if it’s not a forever thing, living on the road is best attempted right now – in the warmth of summer.
As your friends, Ibex wants to enable this dream, without letting you cross that fine line between boho adventurer and creepy dude in the scary van. There are lots of mobile living options to choose from today. Take the quiz below to find out the best option for you and learn what your ride is announcing to the world.
1. I currently drive:
a. An American-built sedan
b. A two-door Toyota truck
c. My bike
d. A 2014 Audi S7 in phantom black pearl
2. My travel companions will be:
a. My family, my retired spouse, and/or my twin Westie dogs
b. My bike and a good friend from time to time
c. Just me and my music, bro
d. My significant other when s/he can get time away from the firm
3. My road trip heroes are:
a. Any families out living the dream… together
b. My mom and dad
c. Uncle Rico from “Napoleon Dynamite,” and Matt Foley, motivational speaker
d. Professional, extreme athletes
4. I don’t know why, but when strangers see me they:
a. Are as friendly as can be! Strangers are just friends I haven’t met yet.
b. Have two reactions. It seems like most people just want to hang out and talk. But, others pat down their wallets and avoid eye contact.
c. Grab their daughters and take a defensive stance
d. Huh? Who cares what strangers think of me.
5. Of all the National Parks, I’m most excited to see:
a. The glory of Mt. Rushmore!
b. All of them, as long as it’s not tourist season
c. Any of the 268 National Parks that don’t charge an entrance fee
d. Denali because it’s the highest. Death Valley because it’s the hottest. And Wrangell St. Elias because it’s the biggest.
6. I’m happy to spend time:
a. Leveling out for a camp spot
b. Rebuilding my engine
c. Drinking beer to pass the heat of the day
d. Double timing my TRX workout
7. I would define my general vibe as:
a. Pretty darn-tooting enthusiastic for life
b. Chill, never in a hurry
c. Born in the wrong decade
d. Driven to succeed and to have fun
8. The best road trip movie of all time is:
a. National Lampoon’s Vacation
b. Easy Rider
c. Into the Wild
d. Little Miss Sunshine
9. I’m most likely to document my road trip with:
a. A spoken captain’s log into my voice recorder
b. A written journal
c. A haiku
d. Instagram selfies
10. The max length of time I could live on the road is:
a. A few weeks. My lawn is not going to fertilize itself!
b. About a year, as long as I wasn’t moving too fast or too much.
c. Indefinite, considering I live in my van now.
d. I’d love for it to be longer, but I only have two weeks of vacation saved up.
That does it. Tally up your responses to figure out the best “live-in” vehicle for your personality. If you answered…
Credit: Bradley Gordon/Flickr
Mostly A’s: A full-on, bus-length RV or one of those “Tour America” rental campers is the ride for you. Those babies are sweet nowadays, and you’ll be the toast of the campground with your “world famous margaritas” and Pictionary open invitationals. You have a content life outside of your RV, but nothing s-p-e-l-l-s freedom like turning over that key and spending time with the people you love most in this world: your family. That said, you’ve been at this game long enough that you appreciate the creature comforts and the space of hitting the road in the relative luxury of a full-fledged recreational vehicle.
Credit: Markus Spiering/Flickr
Mostly B’s: Start your search now for a classic Volkswagen Westfalia, bonus points if it’s a Syncro (4WD). Start searching because the once ubiquitous van/bus/camper/utility vehicle is now harder to come by than a unicorn surfing a double rainbow. Oh, there are plenty around, but their numbers are trumped by the hordes of “Westy” enthusiasts that troll the Internet non-stop for the latest in retrofitting and rehabbing. Even as the Westfalia enjoys resurgence after resurgence, the driver profile remains consistent: someone who is relaxed traveling well below the speed limit (especially with any semblance of an incline in the road), someone who loves the simplicity of having a van “packed and ready to go” on the fly, and someone who is willing to spend more time and money on the van while it’s parked in the driveway than they ever will spend on the road.
Mostly C’s: Doin’ it disco-style with a retro-fitted Ford Econoline or Dodge full-size van, circa 1970’s. Hipster or not, you embrace irony on the same level you embrace comfort. The once tacky shag carpeting and airbrushed van art has a certain charm and appeal to you now. Over the decades, vans have endured an inconsistent welcome in our society. Some years they have been the epitome of cool, whether driven by a rock band, the edgy outsider, or the outdoor enthusiast. Some years, vans are a symbol of a life off the rails. Regardless of era, no daughter has EVER been allowed to ride in a van without serious parental concern. Thanks to Chris Farley, an entire generation aspires to live in a van down by the river. We’re willing to bet, though, that the toys, bikes, kayaks, and camping gear stored inside the van total far more than the cost of the van itself.
Credit: Mike & Steve Mestdagh/Flickr
Mostly D’s: A Sportsmobile. While these 4WD “super vans” are undeniably cool and we all secretly want one, Sportsmobiles make no apologies for their “ultimate” status. If you’re behind the wheel of one of these bad boys, you’re confident and un-phased by jealousy. Truth be told, the van is a little audacious, but hey, so are you! The fact that it’s built to go anywhere is the very reason you’re attracted to this vehicle: You work hard, play hard, and have earned the bank account to make it all happen. Ironically, most Sportsmobiles you see are always pristinely clean. Whether that’s due to the over-achieving nature of the owners or to the fact that they never leave the driveway is something we’ll never know.