Van life is booming in Colorado as housing costs climb and work-anywhere appeal grows |

Van life is booming in Colorado as housing costs climb and work-anywhere appeal grows

Jason Blevins
Colorado Sun
Darla Letourneau, of Florida, puts on gloves inside her new Ram Promaster converted van as it snows outside Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at the Dave and Matt Vans’ warehouse in Gypsum, CO. Letourneau traveled from Florida in a rented car to pick up the van in Gypsum.
Photo by Hugh Carey / The Colorado Sun

GYPSUM — Darla Letourneau is ready for an adventure of a lifetime.

“This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this by myself,” the 72-year-old Floridian said as she circled and studied her brand new Promaster van, custom converted by Dave & Matt Vans.

Letourneau is planning to spend the next half a year traveling across the West. She spent months searching for the perfect campervan to carry her far and wide.

“This is my dream,” Letourneau said. “After this past year, I want this trip to restore my faith in humanity. I want to connect with people and have an adventure.”

Adventure-seeking roadtrippers like Letourneau are spiking Colorado’s booming van conversion industry. A few years ago, there were a handful of Colorado companies converting cargo vans — like Mercedes Sprinters and Dodge Ram Promasters — into adventure rigs. Today, there are dozens, most of them formed in the past two years. It’s a roaring industry, built largely around the go-anywhere, work-anywhere van life ethos that swept social media in recent years. And the van life phenomenon exploded last year as the pandemic sen more urbanites fleeing to the lonely hills.

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