photo (12) (Large)Living in a van and having adventures all the time is great. Except when it’s not. We just spent two nights living in the van in the parking lot of an auto repair shop in Richmond, California. My, how our fortune changed from free van camping by the ocean and mountain biking in a forest of redwoods to cooking dinner on our propane stove in a dirty, noisy parking lot in the California ghetto. The prognosis for the van isn’t good, either. One of Vanifest’s leaf springs was on its last leg, and when the shop took apart the front end one of the leaf springs completely cracked when it was removed. The shop is having trouble finding another one since Vanifest has a custom suspension and they are unfamiliar with the vehicle. I truly think they’re a competent shop doing their best, but our van is special. Oh, how I wish I were closer to my mechanics in Boise, Idaho at Oakley-Moody. They could always do anything for the van, but now they are too far away to help.

photo (13) (Large)The van has been making a banging sound since our Grand Canyon trip, and although a $1000 trip to a shop in Phoenix decreased the sound, it slowly returned and then became louder as we drove the coastal highway in California. By the time we reached Richmond where I was scheduled to take a three day sailing course, Vanifest was banging loudly on even minor bumps in the road. Driving through San Francisco traffic with the van making scary noises was distressing and we were very happy to arrive at the marina safely. We camped next to the marina, and the next morning took Vanifest into the shop.

I hope this story will have a happy ending.

To be continued…


Lisa Hackett

About the Author

Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m a tall, blonde superhero and I live in a van. I do it all. I rappel big waterfalls, drive from Idaho to Alaska solo, live and work in a van in the wilderness and dodge encounters with wolves and bears. Seriously. More

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m a tall, blonde superhero and I live in a van and on a sailboat with my superhero husband, Brian. I do it all. I rappel big waterfalls, scuba dive with sharks, dodge encounters with bears and wolves, and work remotely as a full time computer programmer.
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About the Van

Hi, I’m Vanifest. I’m a big, 4x4, off-the-grid van complete with solar panel for power. I'm a 2000 Dodge Ram Van and Lisa has had me since 2009. Read more about me here.


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