We are super stoked to be able to catchup with our friend Kodee who is wrapping up a very cool van build. Kodee's sprinter started life as a Redbull branded Mercedes Sprinter!
Tell us about yourself?
I'm from Toronto and (sadly) a die hard Leafs fan. I have a dog named Ru who is a potcake from Mexico. Other than Ru, a few of my favourite things are live music, light beer, and being outside. Growing up I was a part of the Canadian National Team for soccer and I played for the University of Wisconsin. After university I got into triathlons and ended up completing a half and a full Ironman in 2017. I've always loved to build things, my granddad was a bricklayer by trade, and I started small, building things like desks and storage units and eventually moved on to building a camper in the back of my old Ford Escape. This build has really put my skills to the test and I've learned so much along the way! I'm currently based 2 hours north of Toronto finishing up the build living with my girlfriend but my plan is to take the rig to BC. (Squamish and Powell River being my 2 main destinations to spend time with family!)
Ever gotten stuck?
Most epic stuck/breakdown/wrong turn happened in March 2020 when I rented a van from a friend of mine - we travelled around northern Ontario. Being that it was the beginning of the pandemic there were no campsites open and you couldn't use bathrooms anywhere! We found a site on iOverlander that I thought would be good... not sure if I missed this part in the notes but the road leading to this campsite was definitely built for 4x4 vehicles. It was a single track road which meant we couldn't turn around. We drove for about 30 minutes at <10km/h because it was SO brutal (potholes, puddles, rocks etc). We finally came to a clearing and saw some nice folks 4 wheelings, they told us there was no exit the way we were going. So we turned around - the trip 30 mins back on the same road was no better and both of us were extremely carsick and upset by the end.
Any advice to someone thinking of getting into a custom adventure vehicle?
My biggest piece of advice is don't plan for anything! I also highly recommend sourcing your parts early. I started acquiring parts for the build in October and didn't purchase my van until April. This allowed me to get lots of stuff second hand (fridge, tools, drawer slides etc, take advantage of sales, and source lots of good wood. The build will take 10x longer than you think and you likely will not get things right the first time!