Two Roads, One Van
FreedomVanGo was born out of the deep desire of two leading van builders to provide the best custom van solutions in the Southeast. In 2019, Grant Wilson of VanGoOutdoors and Freedom Conversions merged to form FreedomVanGo. Here’s our story.
Grant Wilson & VanGoOutdoors
Grant Wilson began tinkering and building things at a young age. He started doing custom automotive work about 20 years ago. He has a diverse background in making vehicles go faster and perform better with an emphasis on practical design. He built the world’s first V8 Exomotive Exocet. He’s designed and built winch mounts and lift springs for Offroad Subaru. He served in the United States Air Force and organized drifting events in Saudi Arabia and across north America while he was maintaining airplanes overseas. He played a key role in launching the drifting movement in Pensacola. His passion for faster, more-capable vehicles spawned into an interest in custom camper vans. Grant started VanGoOutoors in 2017 in St. Augustine, FL. He quickly became one of the most well-known faces in the custom van industry and has been regarded as one of the top van builders in the Southeast. His style has appealed to people in the van life movement who seek value, function, and quality in their custom camper vans.
Jennifer Drawdy had a life-saving surgery in 2013 which required the removal of part of her colon. Much like people afflicted with Crohn’s Disease, colitis, or those recovering from colorectal surgery, Jennifer requires frequent access to a restroom to get through each day. Clint Drawdy, Jennifer’s husband, searched several months for a simple, effective vehicle with a bathroom that Jennifer could drive every day in the same way that she would any other vehicle. To the surprise of the Drawdys, there were no solutions that made sense. So they created their own van with a bathroom.
Clint Drawdy and his longtime business partner, Chad Perce, partnered with a few of their closest allies in business to launch Freedom Conversions in Jacksonville, FL in late 2013. Since then, Freedom Conversions has been retrofitting Mercedes Sprinters with full bathrooms designed to make life easier for people who use the restroom frequently or wish to have more access to a restroom while traveling. When faced with purchasing a full RV or some other vehicle that may be just too big to drive every day, the Freedom Conversions solution has made since for families, long distance travelers, and people with unique medical needs.
People started asking Freedom Conversions to build vans that were more oriented for camping. The Freedom Conversions team was looking to provide better solutions in the camper van space and connected with Grant Wilson, who was located 45 minutes south of Freedom Conversations. Very quickly, the leaders at both businesses saw an opportunity to serve their customers better by joining forces. In August 2019, Freedom Conversions and VanGoOutdoors became FreedomVanGo.
Today, FreedomVanGo serves people from across the U.S. and Canada who wish to travel and live without limits in camper vans, vans with bathrooms, and more. We’re a team of tinkerers and doers who work late, have spirited conversations, and pour our hearts into every project, all for the sake of producing the best vans and gear for our customers.
Partner & Operations
Personal Slogan: Delivering a dream
Dad: Always willing to lend a hand. Chad has done it all and run it all. He has grit, passion, leadership, and a dream. With his entrepreneurial spirit and love for ideas that disrupt the market, Chad has successfully started and run a multitude of businesses, but more importantly, he is a loving family man with a passion for helping his church and community.
Chad is excited about the team — well family — they are building at FreedomVanGo. He believes his team can help people achieve a vision they’ve been dreaming of for a long time.
Personal Slogan: First world problem solver
“I just like building stuff. It’s fun.” Grant is an out-of-the-box thinker, creator and builder, who has worked on everything from C130 engines to scooters. He has been doing custom automotive work for 20 years. He has a passion for tinkering with things and making them run better, faster, and more efficiently.
He loves to push boundaries and has a respect for others who have creative ideas that serve a purpose. His goal is to bring back making things by hand, and he wants to help people accomplish building things on their own. Overall, Grant says he wants to encourage people to do cool stuff.
Personal Slogan: Create new purpose
Creating something useful, something where people can jump-in, go and live — that’s what Christopher’s purpose is. He wants to see people go live out their adventures.
Christopher went to school for business administration and worked with a marketing firm managing different size accounts. However, he always loved building and working with cars. Now, his hobby is his job. He has a passion for building things from scratch and creating something truly different that serves a unique and valuable purpose for someone. It’s his art.
Personal Slogan: Help people get where they want to go
Daughter, student, artist, videography, outdoor enthusiast — the list goes on. As a student studying Fine Art at Samford in Alabama, Averie is striving to start her career as an artist. She loves being in the shop with the guys videoing their projects and being surrounded by all the creative energy. She says she loves the history of this business because it comes from helping a family enjoy a higher quality of life.
Her vision is for FreedomVanGo to continue to grow so more people can have the vans and products they want to help them get to where they want to go.