When we sat down after our 2021 event season, our goal was to go to new places and meet new people so we could expand our horizons. This year we did exactly that! As most of you know we spent the first part of this year traversing the west. We hit Adventure Van Expos in Cali and Oregon, attended the first ever Overland Expo Pacific North West in Oregon, and finished our west coast run at Adventure Van Expo in Eagle, CO.
We started our season in SoCal for Adventure Van Expo San Juan Capistrano then traveled north for AVE Placerville. California brought us new friends, new customers, and closer relationships with our partners and vendors. For starters, we want to give a huge shout out to our followers who came out to see us.
While we might be based in Florida, we have many people out all over who are customers and supporters. We even got flagged down by other Ekko owners during our travels! It’s always a great feeling when you can skateboard down the beach and get recognized by fellow “Ekko Owners and Wannabes” facebook group members. Besides the excitement of awesome conversation, it was a great example of how close the van life community is.
Besides our customers, we had the opportunity to meet other builders and vendors as well as grow our existing relationships with our current partners. We had a great time exploring California and finding local builders who are cranking out amazing vans. For example, our new friends at Doho Vans are creating beautiful vans equipped for rugged camping but styled with a relaxed, SoCal vibe. We were also able to build new relationships with vendors such as Roambuilt who make epic sprinter exterior parts that we are excited to start having in stock for sale and builds!
Most of our vendors and partners are based in the west and for once we got to see them in person. We got to hang out with our friends from Owl Vans, who were kind enough to let us crash their space with our Ekko and trailer!
Next, we headed further north to Oregon for AVE Hood River and Overland Expo PNW! Hood River was our first stop and we had an amazing time with vendors, builders, and customers alike. We spent our time at the show helping others find the best parts for their builds, giving electrical advice, and just swapping adventure stories! Our customers came to us in search of large products like Owl Vans and Victron parts, while others were excited to find lights, Terrawagen gear, or Blue Ridge Overland Gear. Regardless of the size of the item, we were happy to support everyone in whatever they needed to get their rig one step closer to perfect! The shows also had an abundance of DIY build-outs we got to check out. From cozy rigs built for full-time travel to epic off-road capable beasts that are built for roads less traveled. It was a showcase of the diversity of van building!
There were an abundance of builders in Oregon that we got to hang out with as well. Some we know and some we got to meet for the first time! Outerspace Vans Supply, Limitless Vans, Van Specialties and Just Roaming are some that we have gotten to know in the industry, but finally got to spend some time with!
Much like California, we got to hang out with some old friends in Oregon. Adventure Wagon was kind enough to let us keep our things at their shop in Portland and it was awesome to get to know them more both at their home base and at the show. Van Compass made an appearance as well, and it was great to spend some time with the crew that create our most popular suspension upgrade, the 4.3 Suspension Kits. Terrawagen also invited us to their place to check out their production which was super satisfying to watch! Others we got to spend some time with include Goal Zero, Roam Built, and Vanmade Gear who all make awesome products we are proud to offer all of you. What makes this industry great is that not only are companies producing top-of-the-line gear but they are run by incredible people who are worth supporting right here in America.
The next stop was the very first Overland Expo Pacific Northwest. The most popular overlanding expo in the US has officially made its way to every corner. To be expected, the community showed up for this event. From the big names to the small builders, everyone was excited to attend. Most everyone from Hood River essentially caravanned up to Bend, so the van life community was representing! We’re excited to see this branch of OEX grow, and we are thankful we got to be a part of its maiden voyage.
Right after PNW, we booked it to Colorado! This was familiar territory for us and we were happy to be back for another Adventure Van Expo. Between the beautiful backdrop of Eagle, Colorado, amazing attendees and familiar faces, our last stop of our west coast adventure was great!
On to the Next:
Our west coast tour has come to an end, but we’re super thankful we got to hit the road this year and we will be making our way back for 2023. But our year isn’t over yet! We still have our side of the country to tour around this fall. We have two more shows left in our 2022 season in Tennessee and Virginia! Make sure to come see us to celebrate a fun year full of travel, community, and epic van parts!