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“It’s men in their thirties with huge beards, and they’re pretty much all stay-at-home dads,” he said.“Their wives work office jobs and they work on the vans so the family can go out and vanlife on the weekend.”Part of the fun of vanlife, Sitner theorized, is the old-fashioned, analog pleasure of tinkering.“There are now professional vanlifers,” Huntington told me, sounding slightly scandalized.Vanlifers have a tendency to call their journeys “projects,” and to describe them in the elevator-pitch terms that make sense to potential sponsors.After the couple returned from Central America but before they bought a van, King registered a Web site and set up social-media accounts.“The business part of me knew there was potential,” she said. And it was going to look great in the photos.” That winter, while living in New England, he and King bought a cream-colored 1987 Vanagon Camper from a woman in upstate New York for thirty-five hundred dollars. They called it Boscha, because it sounded like the name of a German grandmother.
King, a telegenic former business student, had quit her job at a Sotheby’s branch when she realized that she was unhappy.
When the waves were choppy, the three congregated in the resort’s hammock zone, where the Wi-Fi signal was strongest.
One afternoon, Huntington listened to the couple have a small argument.
Lucas Valdes, the owner of the California-based company Go Westy, a prominent seller of Volkswagen-van parts, compared vanlife today to surfing a couple of decades ago.
“So many people identify with the culture, the attire, the mind-set of surfers, but probably only about ten per cent of them surf,” he said.