When Custom Vanning meets Vanlife. Spectacular Happens

My two vans. One for vanning one for living
My two vans 💜💜

Being a custom van owner brought me into a world of not only some darn pretty vans but also the world of Vanning. A world where no matter what kind of van you have, it’s what’s in your heart that makes you fit in. I have owned a 2nd generation Ford van for over 37 years. The places it has taken me and the people I have met are spectacular. I believe that the years I spent vanning in my custom van greatly increased my success of living in my Roadtrek.

Van shows are the reason, but it’s the friends we will meet when we get there that brings us miles across the United States and Canada. Van shows are like camping weekends with hundreds of your favorite friends, a great party, and a beautiful show thrown in to ohhh and ahhh at on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Lost in New York

Lost in New York flyer for their event

Lost is a van show in eastern New York. I had never been, so I decided to travel to Greenwich, New York, to play with my East Coast friends and see some fabulous country. Nestled in and around the Appalachian mountains, this scenic little town is not to be missed.

This is 30 years for this show hosted by Concerned Vanners and what a magnificent show it was. Held every year at Washington County fairgrounds , this is a great venue for this event. There were so many vans I had never seen and new people I met. I also got to spend some quality time with some friends I had not hugged in a while. It was a most memorable event with good friends.

Some of the cool vans at Lost
Vans at Lost

The friends and the show are only one of the great aspects of vanning. Custom Van events happen in different places all over Canada and the United States. The places they take you to are places that you may not have not visited otherwise. There are also places to see while you are there and on the way back or there if you have the time. I had seen an attraction on Atlas Obscura that looked interesting, and since I was in the area, I went to check it out.

Lake George, New York

Lake George by the riverboats
Lake George, New York

Lake George is a tourist town sitting, you guessed it, on the side of Lake George. A beautiful little town filled with cafes, shops, and boutiques all along the quiet waters of Lake George. Along with the riverboat ferries docked along the shore, you will also find Lake George Mystery Spot sitting subtly by the lakeside. It is said that if you stand in a certain spot, marked with an X and face the Lake. When you talk, you will hear an echo. I had to go see if that was true.

When I came into town, it was Memorial Day. A little busy was an understatement. I decided to grab a campsite for the night and go the next day. Now, direction is not my Forte and the GPS took me to a boat launch. A nice gentleman who worked security there directed me to where I should have gone. When I arrived at the campground, the entrance was almost across the road, where I had breakfast in a cute little diner. There was no need for the 30 min drive if I had just turned left. Lol.

After a nice night in Lake George Battleground State Park, I was off to find the Mystery Spot. Driving into town was a lot easier than the day before. The drive along the lake with beautiful views and even came across the Million Dollar Beach. It was closed. It’s probably because it had a million people on it the day before. Ok, maybe not a million, but there was a lot.

Lake George Mystery Spot

I made my way to the Mystery spot and stood on the X. I started to talk and could hear not an echo of my voice but more like a vibration. It’s almost like I was standing in a tin can. But I was not. I was looking at a lake. I took one step to the side, and the vibration was gone. I stepped back on the X, and it was there. Very cool. Check it out on my YouTube channel here.

Vanfest 26

Vanfest 26 flyer
Vanfest 26 flyer

Vanfest is a show for both pick-up trucks and vans. I have been proudly part of the Vanfest family for 26 years. Helping to put on an awesome event with friends who I now consider family. This year was our biggest attending year with 488 vans and pick-ups through the gate. Over 200 of the prettiest vans and pick-ups that you would ever want to see.

Some of the custom vans and pick ups at Vanfest
Vans and trucks at Vanfest

Read all about the history of Vanfest on my blog Vanfest: Canada’s Premier Van and Truck Show.

Vanfest is held every year at Springwater Conservation Area in Aylmer Ontario. A wonderful little town along Highway 3. You can follow Highway 3 beside Lake Erie all the way from Fort Erie to Windsor. This scenic drive will take you through quaint towns and lakeside villages, allowing you to stop and enjoy the scenery all the way.

I want to make a special mention to my friend Debbie, who won Best of Show at both Vanfest and Lost with her van Slapshot. Cool chicks with cool toys. Awesome van. Awesome lady!

My vanning friend Debbie and her van Slapshot
Debbie and her van Slapshot

Vanamania 5.0

Vanamania 5.0 flyer

My next event had me going to Tweed Ontario for Vanamania, held by C’old School Van Club. This is the third year of this event, and it just keeps getting better. The event held at Trudeau Park on beautiful Stocco Lake is the perfect setting to see shiny vans on the beach. They had over 100 vans roll through the gate for the weekend. There were over 50 vans in the show, and they made for a beautiful cruise through town in the afternoon. It was a fun, well-run event held by a beautiful beach filled with all my favourite people. I had my book for sale on the beach. What a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Book signing and fun at Vanamania

Tweed is a great little town on Highway 37, north of the 401. It is rumored that Elvis has been spotted here. Lol. It does boast as having the smallest jail in North America. It is pretty little. Settled in a beautiful area, it is filled with tranquil waters and quiet forests for you to explore. A gateway to the north, there are many things to see while there.

A Stop Along the Way

My roadtrek in front of the billboard
My van as a Rockwheel Van!

I had a week between shows in roughly the same area. I just happened to have friends nearby that I had met through another vanning friend. I met Andy and Becky about a year ago, and we have been good friends ever since. Andy is building a private event park that is the creation of a very visioned man. Every time I go, there is something added or finished. It is exciting to watch the progress. Friends of mine, Yvan and Bev, stopped by as well. It was so fun playing bumper boats and getting to know them a little better. Wonderful people.

Playing bumper boats with friends
Bumper boats

One of the things that was finished while I was there was the Lottarock Billboard. A giant billboard you can park in front of and have your picture taken with your vehicle. It’s almost like you are now a Rockwheel van! I got to be first with my van. Woohoo! I love being a first.

Bogie Bash

Bogie Bash flyer
Bogie Bash

Bogie Bash is a relatively new addition to our Ontario show lineup, and I am so glad they joined us. The event was held in Burnstown Ontario, in a host member’s backyard for a back-to-basics good time. Hosted by Bogie Munsters Van Club, Bogie Bash is not an event you want to miss. I had gotten there a little late but had a great time while I was there. The band, the food, and the friends, all made for a wonderful weekend.

Vans and fun at Bogie Bash vanning
Vans at Bogie Bash

Nestled in Northeastern Ontario, Burnstown is a little east of Algonquin Park. Our largest Provincial Park offers camping, hiking, and biking in the northern Ontario wilderness. To the east is Carp, is where you can find The Defunbunker. A 1960 Nucular fallout shelter that should be a must-see on your travel itinerary.

What’s Next?

My next event is Boogie Affair in Greenfield Massachusetts in August. This will also be the first time I have been at this event. On my way I have plans for seeing a little more of Vermont and Maine.

If you were to pick one place in Maine that is a must-see, what would it be? Put it in the comments, and tell me why it’s your favorite. I may just have to visit while I am here.

Stay tuned for a Chipmunk Adventure in Maine. I can’t wait to tell you about what I found.

Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure. See you next time.


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