"I wanna hang a map of the world at my house. Then I wanna stick pins in the locations that I`ve traveled to.
...But first I have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won`t fall down."
-Mitch Hedberg

Monday, March 1, 2010

Flash the Van

What’s the best way to see New Zealand? Backpack? Hitchhike? Kiwi Experience Tour Bus? Nope. The correct answer is from your very own 1987 Toyota Townace Super Extra– “Flash”.

Here’s what he’s packing:

*Manual Transmission with a little bell that rings when we hit 105 km/h
(a blazing speed of 65 mph)

*Back seating area with a hinged panel that folds down into a bed
*Electric chilly bin (cooler) that we plug into the awesome set-up that Pete built for us
*Back pantry area for food and stuff
*Fold-out table for eating and games
*2 fold-out chairs
*2 plastic bins for our clothes
*Curtains everywhere (thanks Jude)
*2 sunroofs
*Gas cooker with two ranges
*1 pot, 1 pan, toast rack, a bunch of dishes, and cooking stuff
*Spice rack
*Electric Kettle
*5 liter water pump for brushing our teeth or rinsing off our feet and stuff
*Wash bin with biodegradable soap
*Febreze (nobody likes a smelly home)
*Tape deck adaptor for our ipods
*Computer desk
*Game center with cards, Backgammon, Knucklebones, and travel Settlers of Catan
*Solar powered Christmas lights
*Desk lamp
*Mosquito lantern
*6’ surfboard
*Acoustic guitar
…just to name a few things…

Pete rigged Flash with two batteries – one for the car and another that charges while we drive. Then he hooked it up to a monster inverter that charges our laptops and chilly bin. It’s awesome.

We bought him for $3,000 NZD and spent a few bucks buying lumber, bedding, knick knacks, the chilly bin, etc. and outfitting him the way we liked, but the grand total with registration, Warrant of Fitness, and a handmade super van was $1,500 USD each. Pretty sweet, eh?

It was awesome building the inside ourselves. When we started we just had an empty van, so looking back now, we’re really proud of our work (carpentry is hard). Flash is our home on the road, and he’s taking real good care of us while we explore New Zealand.

Quick Travel Tip: Live in a van. Seriously. It’s awesome.

The best part is that strangers initiate ten minute long conversations about how awesome our van is every time we open up the back to make a sandwich. And we make a lot of sandwiches.

Click the photo below to see the complete awesomeness of Flash


  1. I hear a song coming on titles "Flash." Shawn, any beats yet?

  2. Haha, will work on something. It's hard to write fast paced stuff, and Flash would need some metal for sure.

  3. this is so great! i wanted to get something similar for our road trip across the US, but this is a much better version! good idea and happy travels

  4. Thanks Anch,

    I'm actually thinking of building a better version when I get back to the States. If I do, I'll swing by and take you for a spin.