What inspired you to hold a van meet up?
The Go-Van van dwelling community has increased pretty quickly lately and I wanted to meet as many people as possible that we were already following online. We also wanted to organize a van meet up where all type of vans were welcome and the response was way above our expectations.
Tell us about planning the gathering.
My longest collaborator Jason showed me this unique spot in Saint-Raymond-de-Portneuf about 45 minutes from Quebec city a few years ago and since that day we kept that spot in mind for a meet up. I've been filming all over the country this summer and one day Jason told me we should do it this upcoming fall, kind of a last van gathering before the weather gets too cold. He took care of talking to the owner of the open field and I took care of doing the Facebook event and finding a few cool brands to support the meet up. What always amazes me with this community is how supportive they are. We had people bringing generators, music instruments and helping us with several aspects of the event to enhance everyone's experience over the weekend.
How many people showed up and how many vans?
We had almost 100 vans from everywhere in Quebec and even the Bodes Well traveling family from California.
What activities took place during the weekend?
Beside the music and the vanlife mingling going on around the bonfire, this destination offers really great hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and paddle boarding. I'm happy a lot of people took advantage of the area, the weather was great so it really helped to go on some adventures. We also did a few contests such as a best summer #vanlife photo, the CV joint challenge or the best van conversion. Kids were playing around or watching the horses in the nearby field, and dogs were relaxing on the grass.
Did anything surprise you from the event?
What struck my mind was how this event was different from the usual van gathering, and it's probably because I've never attended such event myself! I realize that many people who came don't really attend the usual Westfalia meet ups and enjoyed the fact that everyone was welcome at El Campo. There's really a modern #vanlife movement out there and we're proud to be a voice for these travelers and alternate living enthusiasts.
What's next? How can people find information for the next gathering?
We'll organize the event next year, we're still looking for a place on the East Coast because we'd love the event to be nomad just like us.
Photos: Eric Gagnon