Mike grew up backpacking and car-camping, splitting time between a 21' Class C Toyota Camper and a 1973 Westfalia Bus.
He's and avid maker and photographer, and has a day job as an Embedded Software Engineer for medical devices.
Prior to meeting Mike, Kimberley had done practically zero camping. She now is a seasoned overlander and glamper. By day, she's a university administrator. By night, a covert beer enthusiast. @EatDrinkVanWoman
Annika has been adventuring almost since the day she could walk. She did her first serious overlanding before she was 3 years old! She plays flat- and banked-track Roller Derby, and enjoys photography and hiking.
When in doubt, Choose Adventure. That's the motto Mike, Kimberley, and Annika try to live by. We're on a mission to pack the maximum number of experiences into our lives. We are not full time adventurers, but that's no reason to let life slide past one weekend at a time!
Below, you'll find a broad collection of details about the van - many of which may be helpful to other budding #Vanlife and DIY and campervan builders.
Vandalf the Beige - 2003 Chevrolet Astro Van AWD
Mike started the Astro-Overlander ("Astrolander") project in 2009, just after Annika was born.
Given that Kimberley hadn't done much camping, and that we'd be travelling with a toddler, comfort and convenience were a primary concern. The Chevrolet Astro was chosen as a happy "middle ground" between the iconic but aging Volkswagen Westfalia Buses and Vanagons, and the large and expensive Sportsmobiles and similar modern adventure vans.
Done almost entirely as a DIY "Home Build", Vandalf has been the ultimage budget solution and brought us much joy!