Who are you? What do you do? Where do you live? What makes you happiest?
Andreas Massitti, I'm someone who loves making things in simple terms. For the past 6 years I've been fortunate to call building and designing Sprinter Vans with Plai Vans in Canmore Alberta work. I grew up here and have been lucky to spend several winters living in BC chasing deeper snow than back home in the Rockies. I'm happiest when I get to create and make things I get to interact with or, get the joy of seeing others interact with and experience the finished product.
Describe your vehicle: make, model, etc.
My truck is a 1997 F250 Heavy Duty, with the first generation 7.3L Powerstroke engine. I was fortunate to purchase it off the son of the original owner with only 156,000km. There's a laundry list of things I've done to it at this point, as maintenance was needed I've simplified, and updated things to my use.
Describe your favourite feature of your vehicle.
Favourite part of the truck is overall its simplicity, everything you need, nothing you don't! Although I think my back and body would say it's my Scheel-Mann seats. They're completely adjustable orthopaedic seats, after installing many into vans I caved and am so glad I did!!
Best location/adventure you've ever had with your vehicle?
I have a hard time singling out the best location or adventure with this truck.. As I write this and reflect, it's taken me all over British Columbia and Alberta's backcountry, right through to the states and some magical evenings on the Oregon Coast. For me it really is a vessel to experience the world around me and create memories with my friends and family. Errands in the city, drive-in camping, backcountry skiing, or long road trips I honestly couldn't choose. I'm grateful for the places I've experienced in this silly old truck.
Most epic stuck/breakdown/wrong turn?
Most epic/worst breakdown I've ever experienced was with this truck.. February of 2023 I was on a road trip down to Rossland and Nelson with my partner at the time and as we get to the bottom of the hill into Rossland BANG!! My turbo blew up.. After getting towed to Nelson, I somehow managed to get a brand new turbo from Vancouver to Nelson through a few friends making the trip in 36 hours in one of the biggest snow storms of the winter.. AND found an uncommon but crucial tool in the local parts store bargain bin. After one amazing storm day at Whitewater and catching up with my cousin and her husband. I managed to get my turbo changed, engine clear of debris and back up and running.. in the home hardware parking lot next to the airport. Never have I been so worried with helicopters landing and rotor wash..
Any advice to someone thinking of getting into a custom adventure vehicle?
I've built a lot of crazy vehicles over the last 6 years and always come back to the same thing. Less is more.. unless you really need it. My point being its really easy to see things on the internet and go crazy. Start with the basics, go enjoy it how you want to, and with time you'll know exactly what you need and what you don't. Regardless still have a rough plan think ahead, when you do make modifications you have to consider how they effect your vehicle as a whole. And as always, buy once cry once.
Anything else to add?
At the end of the day these things are all about getting out and enjoying your environment with your friends. Your vehicle, gear, etc. is just to enable it, the perfect set up doesn't come together right away. Go out and have fun and with time you'll figure out what suits you!