Welcome to our blog!
In full disclosure, writing is not my strong suit so please forgive me. Anyway, here it goes…
Jakob and I were living in NYC when we decided to embark on this adventure of outfitting a Sprinter van and traveling to Ushuaia, Argentina. In early February, we left our jobs and have been pretty busy since then working on the van and sorting out logistics.
Leaving our jobs was challenging for both of us. We were concerned about the implications to our future careers as well as relationships we’ve built with our colleagues – even though ( rationally, I think) an experience such as this will only help develop invaluable skills, and that our colleagues and friends would be happy to see us start an adventure like this. Either way, once we no longer had formal commitments to office jobs, the reality of this trip really began to sink in and we were anxious to get our van and depart! Our plan was to stay with Nikki’s family in State College, PA to work on the van, but we first wanted to visit Jakob’s family in Germany. Before leaving the States we found a van, for a good price, and were ready to buy. Unfortunately, after a 10 hour trip to pick up the van and paying for a full inspection, the seller realized that he actually did not have the title, which would take up to 2 weeks to receive. Our hope, which disappointingly did not happen, was that we’d return from Germany (a few days short of a 2 week trip) and would be able to pick up the van with the title to get started right away… but we were kept waiting. Once we got back to State College in early March, we were anxiously awaiting the moment we could go get the van until Nikki’s mom calls one afternoon saying there was a Sprinter for sale at a local dealership. We quickly jumped into our car and shortly after returned with our Sprinter! So we could finally get our hands dirty. Until the next morning when I wake up to Jakob staring at me with shear terror in his eyes saying ‘I think we bought the wrong van. The van we bought (2008 NCV3) takes ultra-low sulfur diesel – which they don’t really sell south of the US.’ Nice. We figured that bacon, eggs, chocolate chip pankakes and coffee would help us solve the issue. After breakfast, we started researching the ULSD issue, and can now probably call ourselves experts on the topic of diesel quality by country as well as diesel particulate filters. We’re taking this van to South America!
We’re working on updating the webpage and will include much more detail on the work we have done on the van. In the mean time, as far as the interior goes we’ve thoroughly cleaned the van, sound proofed, insulated, installed a new floor with paneling, partially done with the wall paneling and have the bed and storage frame set up. We’ve also installed a roof vent and passenger window, fixed the head light, fixed rust spots and made window insulation/privacy ‘curtains’. We’ve also bought quite a bit of equipment and materials that we will use as we progress, and will include in the “About the Van” portion of this website.
More to come soon!