from the van

from the van

anchor.fm/marty-benson
from the van - a podcast and video blog dedicated to examining the relationships people have with residential vehicles. Whether it’s full-time vanlifers, weekenders, or trailer nomads, I’m curious about the different permutations of the how and why. Plus, I also like drinking beer and talking about the conundrum of life.


- #43 Shane Dennis
Jan 14 • 48 min
Shane showed up in our hood while we were gone. He’s recently come out from New Jersey, and he’s living full time with his pitfalls Millie and Bucky in a giant Mercedes Sprinter that he converted himself. He’s been great to hang our with for the last…
#42 - Jarrod Tocci 2.0
Jan 7 • 91 min
Jarrod Tocci is a vanlifer, youtuber, and comedian who’s just finished his second van build. It’s a 2019 Sprinter with as many bells and whistles as I’ve ever seen in a DIY-ish camper van. He designed the van and did a lot of the work himself, but he got…
#41 - Greg & Jess
Jan 2 • 80 min
Greg & Jess quit their corporate jobs and moved into a Dodge Promaster on their 5th wedding anniversary. Now they’re working seasonally and traveling as much as they can while they navigate making van life sustainable in the long term. It’s been a real…
#40 - Megan Cable
Dec 24, 2019 • 75 min
Megan is a nomad accountant living in a converted Mercedes Sprinter. We met when she was between vans in early 2019, and we’ve been trying to get her on the podcast ever since. We kept missing each other, but winter in SoCal is where all the vanners flock…
#39 - Angela McCurren
Dec 18, 2019 • 63 min
Angela owns a house in Phoenix and lives part time in an old Ford Econoline van the rest of the time. We had a wonderful hang. We talked about the pursuit of a nomadic lifestyle, heartbreak, and trying to find a gig that fulfills. Though we had only just…
#38 - Ali Powell
Dec 10, 2019 • 53 min
Ali is a photographer, climber, and vanlifer who lives in Denver, CO in a Chevy G10 van. She is also the marketing director for the country’s largest climbing gym. Her forthcoming book, Heartbreak Roadtrip, promises to be a poetic exploration of the…
#37 - Alexa Glazer
Dec 3, 2019 • 61 min
Alexa Glazer came to Encinitas for a speaking engagement promoting her book “Livin’ the Dream.” She’s livin’ full-time in a Mercedes Sprinter and rolling from place to place for speaking engagements and adventures. We were stoked to get a chance to sit…
#36 - Ben Carter
Nov 26, 2019 • 78 min
Ben Carter doesn’t live in a van, but he is the Senior Litigation Attorney at the Kentucky Equal Justice Center. He deals with eleventy billion equity issues including affordable housing, which is quite relevant to the various minimal living movements…
#35 - Joel: Route del Sol
Nov 19, 2019 • 52 min
Route del Sol is a media company currently documenting the travel of two intrepid explorers. Joel and Keegan are driving from northern Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina in an electric camper van powered almost exclusively by a massive array of solar…
#34 - Bowen Dwelle 2.0
Nov 12, 2019 • 76 min
Bowen is a paraglider, kite surfer, and entrepreneur who moved into his minivan camper the day after the last time he was on the podcast. He and I both have the Mercedes Metris diy camper van, and we hooked up down in San Diego county to talk about his…
#33 - Becca & Jeremy
Nov 5, 2019 • 68 min
Becca & Jeremy spent the last couple of years living in a tiny house on Colette’s dad’s compound in Fallbrook, CA. Tim had a bit lot with space for another structure, and he helped them build a stand-alone loft studio / shed in the yard. They’ve since…
#32 - Teddy White 2.0
Oct 29, 2019 • 55 min
Teddy White is a career piano man who loves busking on his DIY 3-wheeled piano bike. He came on the podcast about 9 months ago to talk about his move out to California in a 90’s dodge van. Since then, he’s gotten a job in the bakery at one of our local…
#31 - Kamryn Naylor
Oct 22, 2019 • 58 min
Kamryn moved out to California from Alabama a few years ago. After being confronted with astronomical rents, she was inspired by members of the climbing community to build out a van and move into it. Today, she’s living with some friends of mine in a…
#30 - Johnny C
Oct 15, 2019 • 77 min
Johnny is a 65 year-old singer/songwriter who moved into his Dodge Promaster exactly two weeks ago. He’s got a broad range of stories, from dealing with mental illness, addiction, and several years previously living in a car out of necessity. Now, his…
#29 - Dave & Matt …vans
Oct 8, 2019 • 69 min
We were racing back to San Diego through the Colorado Rockies. I was looking for someone to ask for advice on where to go hiking and where to crash in the van. The local paper had a write up about these guys who are building out vans close to vail, so I…
#28 - Blair Bear
Oct 1, 2019 • 54 min
Blair has customized her Mercedes Metris as a weekend river surfing adventure rig. We were passing through Denver and had a good chat with her about this fascinating sport we’ve never tried.
#27 - Colette Hamilton
Sep 24, 2019 • 65 min
September 21 marked one year of Colette, Spin, and I living in my van full-time. We sat down to talk about her life and our experience making a life in a very small living space. We discussed our desires for the next van we’d like to move into and our…
#26 - D-Stroy
Sep 18, 2019 • 66 min
This is a different one! D-Stroy is an emcee who’s part of the Arsonists, a NY hip hop group that put out one of my favorite albums of all time. D-Stroy is of particular interest to me because he’s a super inspiring renaissance man, of sorts, who has…
#25 - Billie & Kaleb & Alex
Sep 10, 2019 • 38 min
Billie and Kaleb are a couple from North Carolina that we met at a van life meetup in San Diego last year. When we came to meet up with them in Brooklyn, they were trying to take care of an drivetrain issue with their friend Alex’s van. They took a break…
#24 - Ellie & Sandon
Sep 3, 2019 • 66 min
Ellie & Sandon hit us up on instagram as we were passing through Michigan in response to our story requesting somebody introduce us to some van life folks in Detroit. They’re finishing up their first van build in her father’s barn in Michigan. Soon,…
#23 - Russ White
Aug 27, 2019 • 82 min
Russ is an old college friend of mine who is a full time visual artist in Minneapolis. His work is beautiful, poignant, and filled with purpose. We were passing through the midwest and jumped on the opportunity to hang out and drink a couple beers with…
#22 - Skye Walker
Aug 20, 2019 • 74 min
Skye Walker is an Encinitas based muralist who is wrapping up his year-long Sea to Sea Mural Tour. For the last year, he’s been living in a 144” wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter, traveling from town to town painting murals for a variety of different clients.…
#21 - Larry Balma
Aug 13, 2019 • 74 min
Larry Balma is a legend in the skateboarding world. He invented the modern skate truck which revolutionized the speed, versatility and durability of the skateboard. I had the good fortune to get to meet Larry Balma through Colette’s mom, Patte. We had a…
#20 - Sylvia Maguire
Aug 6, 2019 • 59 min
Sylvia Maguire is a sassy older British lady who’s family friends with Colette’s family. I met her a dinner over at Colette’s mom’s house and she immediately started busting my chops. She’s enthralling and hilarious. Plus, you’ll enjoy trying to decipher…
#19 - Jenny & Alex
Jul 30, 2019 • 84 min
We met Jenny & Alex hanging out in the van at the beach. These guys are as excited about #vanlife as any folks we’ve met. They used to run a large furniture business in Atlanta, GA. Last year, they decided they needed a change, so they sold all their…
#18 - Brooke Sanchez
Jul 23, 2019 • 54 min
Brooke is a Texan we met at a 4th of July BBQ. She’s waiting tables around North County, San Diego after moving out from Texas and spending a year up in Venice Beach. She’s got a great attitude about pretty much everything, and she was a delight to talk…
#17 - Breanne & Lacey: @theladiesvan
Jul 16, 2019 • 61 min
Bre & Lacey are doing A LOT! These ladies started The Vanlife App, a mobile application that directs vanlifers to amenities, camp spots, and each other accompanied with a forward thinking, leave no trace ethic. They also run SD Campervans, a local company…
#16 - Mark Massara
Jul 9, 2019 • 42 min
Mark Massara is a pivotal California environmental attorney who spent years doing grassroots outreach and attending Coastal Commission hearings all over California using Chevrolet vans as transportation and accommodation. This guy is an absolute hero and…
#15 - Pilar & Carl
Jul 2, 2019 • 53 min
Carl Brown and his partner, Sean Donnelly, just released a fantastic film about the Young Marines, which happened to premiere just as we came into San Francisco. I met Carl Brown in 2007, when he asked to do a short MTV piece on the environmental campaign…
#14 - Bowen Dwelle
Jun 25, 2019 • 74 min
Bowen is a kite surfer, a paraglider, and an entrepreneur. We met through instagram when he reached out asking questions about the build inside my van. He has a Mercedes Metris too, and we connected over mounting for a couple of different pieces of…
#13 - Jess & Mike
Jun 18, 2019 • 46 min
Jess and Mike met on bikes! They’ve been living the full-time #vanlife for 2 years, and one of their vans was smashed and totaled by nature. She’s the C.O.O. of The Vanlife App, he uses his architectural background to influence the epic drawings he does…
#12 - Kensie & Joey
Jun 11, 2019 • 56 min
Kensie & Joey are a young van life couple living in a huge, 6-wheeled, Sprinter. Their build is awesome and they are too. He’s a swim coach and she’s starting a business. It’s so rad hanging around with these guys. Always positive vibes and excitement…
#11 - Moxi & Loon
Jun 4, 2019 • 50 min
Moxi & Loon is a killer loud rock band. I’ve seen them play at a few events, and their setup is as rad as their sound. Jake’s vocals and guitar are both amplified by his van’s solar system, so they just back their vans into a V, throw down a rug for…
#10 - Ryan Minarik
May 28, 2019 • 61 min
Ryan is a rad native Southern Californian who lives full time in a 4WD Mercedes Sprinter van that he built out himself. He’s also an entrepreneur running reformlife.com which is a company providing everyday and adventure gear specifically focused on…
#09 - Macey Hallstedt
May 21, 2019 • 65 min
Macey just happened to be parked next to us one day at the hang spot. She was chilling in her bed in the back of her SUV, and was super open and inviting. After a couple minutes chatting about her adventures, I suggested she check out the podcast and…
#08 - Heather & Anthony
May 14, 2019 • 58 min
Heather & Anthony are our full-time neighbors in Encinitas. They are a surfy couple with a 50 lb black dog working local jobs and hanging out in our favorite town. We’re basically the same couple in different vans. We have a good time hanging with them.…
#07 - Jarrod Tocci
May 7, 2019 • 65 min
Jarrod is one of the first van lifers I met after I bought my van. My buddy, Luis Perez, turned me onto his YouTube channel because he was obsessively watching Jarrod’s videos which delve into the logistics of living in a van. When I found out that he’s a…
#06 - Kara & Chris
Apr 30, 2019 • 34 min
Kara and Chris are a rad couple I met at a gathering in eastern Santa Barbara County. They’re pretty new to van life, but they seem to already have it pretty well dialed. We had a great conversation about their van life logistics and travel plans. Plus I…
#05 - Molly Mandelberg
Apr 23, 2019 • 44 min
Molly is a nomad and marketing strategist living in a Mercedes Sprinter camper van that she converted herself. I ran into her at a vanlife meetup, and we had an inspiring conversation about her travels, her work, and her optimistic world-view. Visit her…
#04 - Brie & Shawn
Apr 16, 2019 • 44 min
Brie & Shawn are a delightful couple from Oklahoma who are traveling with their two dogs, Milo and Jackson, living and working full time in their van. I had a great conversation with them at a van life gathering in the hills of New Cuyama, CA.
#03 - Teddy White
Apr 9, 2019 • 33 min
Teddy is a career piano man. He’s mostly played in piano bars and cruise ships, and his catalogue is like 400 songs. A year ago, he moved out to California in a dodge van that he coated in truck bed liner. Nowadays, he’s busking around San Diego County at…
#02 - Patrick McCormick
Apr 9, 2019 • 47 min
Patrick is really my kind of maniac. He’s a voracious student of life, a jack of all trades, and far more interested in living creatively than correctly. We haven’t lived near each other in about 16 years, but we make a point to get together and dither…
#01 - Julie & Heath
Apr 9, 2019 • 33 min
Julie and Heath travel around in a Dodge Promaster that Heath built out in 2.5 days. Like holy shit, my build took 30x that long. They’re avid climbers, and run a climbing gear distribution company. They’re all over the place all the time, and our…
#trailer
Apr 4, 2019 • 2 min
Here it comes: a podcast where I have conversations with people about their relationships with residential vehicles. Vanlifers, weekenders, etc. We’ll hang out, maybe drink some beers, and hopefully stumble onto something that you don’t mind hearing. It’s…