Play With Your Food

“You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together” -Anthony Bourdain

DSC_1728Anthony Bourdain nailed it when it came to food and travel: food lets us digest a culture, and learn its people. In the design phase of the Bluebird, we remember saying that we want a kitchen on wheels. And as we travel, each place we visit has a chance to digest our cultures as well. André’s favorite thing to share are crèpes — really thin pancakes, you might say — which were a childhood staple from when his mom wanted to indulge. From the classic lemon and sugar to a fried chicken wrap… it’s always fun to see what interpretations are born. Cooking for others, and each other, brings out our creativity beyond what we would do for ourselves individually. It is rewarding to serve one another, and we feel rewarded seeing folks come together around a little van dinner table.

We would now like to take a moment to shout out for our sponsor, Settlers of Catan. Thank you for supplying us with enough wood and brick to keep the van on the road. But really, games on the road are key. Sometimes Andre itches to move faster from place to place, and sitting down to a three hour game grounds him. So who can connect us to the Catan Athlete Coordinator? This has been a dream of his…

Backgammon is the other favorite. With an integrated backgammon shelf, this one has become a talking point with van neckers (those wonderful people who want to see in the van and ask lots of questions). Just like food, sitting down to a game of backgammon with someone shows you more about them — do they make choices based on conservative safety, or willing to take a chance to get ahead? Maybe a good tool for interviews once Joyful Vans is ready to grow?


Have Your Cake & Eat It Too

What do you need for the perfect road trip? Life is all about gear and toys. Gear enables us to push our limits and find our truths. What are you searching for? What do you need to get yourself there?

Don’t compromise. Don’t leave anything behind.

You know when you go on a trip with friends and you’re sure your ski boots were right there under your backpack? Where did they get moved to?

Two GIANT divided drawers keep your gear right where you put it.


The Bluebird

The Bluebird

DSC_4259Born in 2017 in the Wasatch mountains of Utah, this member of the Mercedius Sprinterus family has evolved to thrive everywhere from the high deserts to the cities of our great continent. She holds all the toys you would need to float a grand river, bike through a desert, and ride snowy peaks. She provides shelter from the wind and rain, shade from the sun, and warmth from the icy winter nights. Fostering a wholesome home environment, her kitchen inspires flavors that rival the selection of groceries her pantry holds.


The Bluebird is a 2017 High Top Mercedes Sprinter 2500 with a 144 wheel base and 10,000 miles on her. Her youth and her 2.5 years of warranty guarantee she will be with you for many adventures. The RV Queen bed in back is large, and can sleep two people and a dog comfortably. The kitchen is set up for collaborative cooking, with lots of counter space, running water, propane stove, and a 45 quart fridge. The driver and passenger seats swivel around to meet a dining table, and blackout curtains insure that light stays inside at night for a private, stealthy evening parked anywhere.


From the walls, to the curtains – The Bluebird is stacked with insulation! The curtains double as insulation, filled with Thinsulate (it’s what is in your Patagonia puffy jacket), so that the heat stays in when you want it and out when you don’t. The Fan-Tastic Fan and sliding kitchen window offer unrivaled airflow in or out, so that you stay just the right temperature as you sleep through the night (or hot desert day!).


If it is cold outside, the diesel heater control panel is within reach of the bed, and in 15 minutes will have you toasty warm. The heater is located under the passenger seat, and draws fuel from the main tank under the van. If you like, you can set the timer to turn the heater on at set times, so the van is warm when you wake up and when you return after skiing.

When you are in bed, all of your clothing fits just above your feet. Symmetrical cubbies allow clothing for two to remain organized and easy to find.


If you need a bathroom, there is a toilet stowed away. Pull out the waste drawer in the kitchen, and you will see trash, then recycling, and then a portable toilet. It contains the smell, and is easy to dump into a standard toilet when one is available.

In back, the “garage” under the bed is 36 inches high, with a bike bay wide enough for two. Just remove the front wheel, and play a little Tetris with your skis in the ski locker (190 cm skis? No problem! 200 cm skis? Maybe you need to upgrade…). Next to the bike bay, two 4 foot deep divided drawers give you ample storage for all your accompanying gear, and next to those even more cubbies let you really pack it all in.


The ladder on the back gives you access to the aerodynamic roof rack, as well as the 200 W of solar panels in case you need to brush off the snow.

A little about power…

Speaking of solar, your power is brought to you by Goal Zero, and wow can they deliver. The two 100W Boulder solar panels charge the Yeti 1250 Generator. That’s 1250 Wh, enough to power a generic household 100 W bulb for 12.5 hours, or enough to power the 1.5 W LED lights in the van for much, much longer.

The nifty thing about this generator is that is has plugs for AC 120 V, DC 12 V, and 5 V USB. The display also shows your input and output power so you always know what to expect. In case you need to power up on a cloudy day, you can plug into shore power at 120 V or into the van’s primary battery at 12 V as you drive.

For your personal lighting needs, you have plenty of options… The main lights are good for full illumination, but you can opt for a kitchen light, a bedtime reading light, and also LED strip party lights. These last ones can change color, and can even dance to your music.



Let’s Get Specific…

Here are some of the specific items built into the Bluebird:


Rear door ladder
Yakima Aluminum 70 inches Aero Bar Roof Rack and 42 inch Tracks
Back up camera
Door Stop to keep door half way open when needed


Whynter 45 quart Portable Freezer or Refrigerator
Atwood Stainless Steel 2 Burner Propane Stove with Regulator
5 Gal Propane Tank Storage with outside ventilation in case of leak
Stainless steel undercount sink with electric pump coming from 6 Gal fresh water tank and emptying into 6 Gal gray water tank
Replacement 6 Gal fresh water tank, for longer travel


Goal Zero Yeti 1250 (generator, inverter, and battery in one reliable and self regulating beast) with 3 USB outlets, 3 AC outlets, 1 12V DC car socket outlet,  and more
200w Solar on roof


RV Queen 5inch Memory Foam Mattress with 5 year warranty, 60in X 72in


Fan-Tastic Fan
Eberspacher Diesel Heater with High Altitude kit, control timer, and temperature sensor


Cabinets & cubbies over bed (great for clothing)
Cabinets over kitchen (great for food and dishes/cups)
L Shaped small cubbies along kitchen counter
Large corner cubbies under kitchen
Larger cabinets under kitchen counter
3 drawers in kitchen
Waste drawer
Cubbies in sliding door for even smaller things
Cubbies in back doors for gear
4 foot long and 16 inch deep gear drawers
Standing ski space for 3 or 4 pairs
Garage for 2 bikes
Custom bulkhead shelf over driver/passenger chairs
Table holder next to Fridge
Electronics cubby above Goal Zero Yeti


Driver and passenger seat swivel
Chalkboard on sliding door
Blue Stain / Pine Beetle Kill tongue and groove ceiling
Refurbished wood for cabinets
Blackout Thinsulate Curtains
Portable toilet