The Five Things Justin Does to Prep His Van for an Epic Snowboard Trip

The Five Things Justin Does to Prep His Van for an Epic Snowboard Trip

Way back in July 2020, just as the global pandemic was raging, my wife and I picked up our amazing Rack & Roll (Promaster) conversion from The Vansmith; we named her Theodosia. At the time we were excited about the prospects of taking long road trips and sleeping in out-of-the-way places…which we definitely have done a lot of. 

However, as Summer turned into Fall and then Winter, I found a totally new use case for our van: snowboard/ski trips. When “mad pow disease” strikes, there is simply no better ski lodge than Theodosia! After all, she’s got a ton of interior space to chill in, a fridge (for cold beer), and an entire kitchen to make sandwiches in. Did I mention that she also comes stocked with a kick-ass Webasto heater that I leave on ALL DAY?! Meaning, when I get back to my van for lunch or to make my way back down the hill, Theodosia is ready and waiting for me to slip out of my boots, into my toasty warm home-on-wheels.
Honestly, there is nothing better than relaxing in my own mobile slopeside home, while listening to my own music, drinking a cold beer, and eating a homemade lunch!

Here are the five things I do to prep my van for an epic snowboarding trip:

1. Securely pack my boots, board(s), and gear in the van’s garage. I keep all of my gear in a big Rubbermaid Tub or a nylon bag and use bungee cords to tie everything down.

2. Ensure my Webasto heater is ready to go. While Webasto heaters are pretty much bulletproof, to function properly they require at least a ¼-tank of fuel. Nonetheless, I always crank the heater to 11 before I hit the road, just to make sure it’s in tiptop shape. I always turn it off before I start driving. And then back on when I get to the slopes. Because these heaters literally sip fuel by the drop, even after an entire day of boarding, not only is my heater still pumping, my fuel level basically stays the same.

3. Ensure my chains are in the van and ready to deploy if needed. Even though my Promaster is a front-wheel-drive with monster all-terrain tires, when the snow is deep, it’s good to have extra traction, especially on icy passes.

4. Clean off my boot tray. While it’s simple enough to clean the inside of the van, stepping in snow puddles while in my socks sucks. 

5. Make sure my water tank is full (to fill my hydration pack), the fridge is stocked with beer, and my cabinets are stocked with lunch items. My go-to lunch is typically PB&J. But I have been known to put the electric kettle on and make myself a hot chili or soup, a la Patagonia Provisions… or even simple ramen.

As you can probably tell, I’m always stoked to talk about my van and the adventures we go on together. What’s so cool about owning a van converted by The Vansmith is that those adventures don’t stop when it starts snowing. In fact, they just start to heat up!

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Muhammad Sulman


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