It’s that time of year again. Time for nomads, wanderers and adventure seekers of all kinds to reunite under the banner of #vanlife for the third annual Asheville Van Life Rally in Asheville, North Carolina.
Back by popular demand, the third annual Asheville Van Life Rally is being held at one of Asheville’s hottest new spots, the new Wedge Brewing at Foundation, on Thursday, September 28 from 4 to 10pm.
The event will feature live music from Pleasure Chest & DJ Marley Carroll, along with art installations and outdoor brands, but most of all, the Asheville Vanlife Rally is an opportunity for fellow road life warriors to spend time together, swap stories, exchange ideas, dream out loud about future adventures, geek out on each other’s vehicles, and celebrate van life on full display.
As in years past, the event can be attended free of charge, but donations benefitting Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity are encouraged.
The Asheville Van Life Rally will also present an opportunity to catch up with the Live Outside and Play Road Team, fresh off a stint of vanlifing out West, who will be displaying their adventure rig and all the great gear that makes their nomadic adventure lifestyle possible.
To get in the van life spirit, we caught up Chris Steuber of Ujoint Offroad. A two year attendee of the soon to be three-year-old event, Steuber creates custom 4WD van conversions, and he’s using the 2017 Asheville Van Life Rally to launch his new camper van fleet.
- Chris Steuber of Ujoint Offroad
We wanted to find out how long Chris has been interested in the adventure van lifestyle, how he got into converting regular vans into road worthy 4X4 machines, and pick his brain about some of his earliest conversions.
BRO: How did you get interested in the van life lifestlye?
CS: As a kid I would always sketch van interiors for camping and carrying musical gear. When I saw my first 4×4 van my passion was taken to a whole new level. I have been obsessed with 4WD vehicles since the blizzard of ’93!
BRO: When did you begin modifying vans?
CS: I bought my first 4×4 van when I was 19 years old. It took me 3 years to take it all apart and get it back on the road.
BRO: Had many people been kitting vans out with 4WD suspensions systems before you got into it?
CS: Nobody had ever offered a do it yourself 4×4 van conversion kit until I did. At that time there were 3 or 4 converters in the U.S. They all offered basic conversions with limited performance.
BRO: Tell us about a typical uJoint Off Road custom van.
CS: We build and provide parts for a wide variety of Ford vans that get used for everything from campers to hauling families, contractors, etc. We’ve been helping convert vans for over 10 years and have over 450 units built around the globe.
BRO: Can you tell us about your first rig?
CS: My 1st van was a major project that taught me a lot! Especially what not to do. I drove it to California, began working in the off road community and replaced that 1st van with a brand new E series van in 2005.
BRO: What is the longest amount of time you’ve spent living out of one of your conversions?
CS: 2-3 weeks total.
BRO: Where are you based out of?
CS: We’re in Fletcher NC
BRO: Any tips for would be vanlifers?
CS: Get the best rig you van depending on your budget and needs!
Come hang out with the Live Outside and Play road crew and the Blue Ridge Outdoors team at the third annual Asheville Van Life Rally, and for more inspirational stories about people living the #vanlife dream click here.