Van Vice Issue 101

Ford e350 van life





Caitlin Ehn and her partner Alan Decktor’s year 2000 Ford e350 was built out from just a shell interior to a rugged hit-any-kite-spot dream machine, as she explains in the return of this semi-regular series.

WORDS: Caitlin Ehn


Ford e350 van life


The van already had the Quigley 4×4 conversion but was completely gutted inside when we bought it, so was perfect for a build. We took it to Sportsmobile to have the pop-up top installed, but other than that we built everything on it ourselves, from bumpers to cabinets.

It’s such an ongoing process to try to optimise space in such confined quarters, especially when you’re packing for multiple sports. We designed the back quarter as storage, specifically for kiting, with places to hang wetsuits, harnesses and kites. We left a long storage that runs underneath the downstairs to put our boards, including surfboards. We added a fridge and as many cubby holes as possible, but basically we just stuff everything wherever possible.



We built a box on the outside that sits underneath the bike rack for the stove, tools and our stinky bike shoes usually live back there, too. The van is actually easy to park, but the only problem sometimes is when we have the bikes on the back – as they sit so high they have a tendency to get hooked up on trees, street signs etc. We can also throw the coffin box on top for a ton more storage and the bigger boards ride up there. We also fitted solar panels to the roof, so we can be self-sufficient for long periods of time and we actually just got back from a couple months down in Baja!

We live in a small town called Sandia Park, New Mexico, in the mountains east of Albuquerque. We have to travel a lot for wind and water and we’ve been all the way up to Whistler in Canada and down to La Ventana, Baja Sur – which was a real adventure, but no problem for the 4×4. We also take the van to Hood River each summer and stay for about six weeks.



My favourite thing about van life is the ability to drop the top in the morning and just go wherever we want, depending on the conditions. Similarly, at the end of the day, if you’re tired you can simply pull over and sleep!

At the moment we just use a portable Coleman stove, which works fine, but we want a permanent stove inside, so that’s the next job! 


Check out Lionel Hatch’s van conversion: Van Vice issue #96


Van Vice will be returning to our new digital platform as well as print soon! If you haven’t checked out our new free issue, read it here now! 

Kiteworld Issue #106 - kitesurfing magazine

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