Adventures of RadVan Western Colorado

Ever since we took a road trip through Western Colorado in 2010, we had been planning a return trip for epic mountain biking, hiking, trail running, and camping.

RadVan 1.0

The Sprinter would be our second campervan. I did a DIY Ford E-350 conversion. RadVan 1.0 was awesome, but our gear intensive recreational life filled our Ford on road trips.

RadVan 1.0 in Arizona

We needed a van that we could store bikes, surfboards, skis, and a host of other outdoor gear inside without feeling wedged into the van. I found a fair deal on a used, partially converted 2014 Sprinter 2500 in the SoCal desert and flew into Palm Springs to pick it up on a scorching 113F day.

With only a month before our 24-day Colorado road trip, I slammed the basics into our new sprinter. Windows, panel bed from Overland Sprinters, RB Components headliner shelf and rear door storage, interior bike storage for four bikes, MaxxAir fan, basic walls, temporary cabinet and basic electrical.

For our trip, we only knew our first destination, and date we had to be back. The rest was all made up day by day.

Our first stop was Steamboat Springs where we stealth camped in Town for a couple days before heading out to Buffalo Pass and Rabbit Ears Pass where we dispersed camped, rode bikes, and hiked.

RadVan Adventures in Steamboat Springs

Next was Breckenridge, where we marveled at the leftover mining history on the trail network outside of town.

Riding the Continental Divide Trail

Our next stop was the Vail/Frisco area where we had several epic rides, mostly above 11,000'

Miss Daisy, Van Spaniel

We rode the Monarch Crest, near Salida. A shuttle dropped us at Monarch Pass and we rode 34 miles on singletrack back to RadVan, ending with nearly 20 miles of singletrack descending.

Riding the Monarch Crest on the CDT

Our next stop was Aspen, then Crested Butte. Aspen was, well- Best people watching ever! OMG, plastic surgery runs rampant in the town. So many size zero women with massively inflated collagen injected lips and stretched faces. Some of the most self centered image conscious people I have ever seen. It was great. So many of them seemed so unhappy too. Aspen was just gorgeous. Despite the busy downtown fashion show, more than two miles from the trailheads, we rarely saw anyone.

Maroon Bells
Girl, dog, van. Cottonwood Pass, CO

After two days in Crested Butte, we wrapped up our trip with a couple days in Fruita. We went from the wet lush forests and meadows of Crested Butte to the desert in 1.5 hours.

We pulled in at night on a random BLM road and woke up in the desert!

The contrast and riding in Fruita was great. We swam in the muddy, mighty Colorado, and had two great days of riding.

And that was a wrap for an epic summer road trip.

RadVan did great, and spending 3 weeks living in it solidified our design needs. On to completing my dream build over the course of the winter. Thanks for checking it out.

Created By
S. Lengyel


All images copyright S. Lengyel 2016 and may not be reproduced without express written permission.

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