Our Story

The American Dream

Growing up in Boston, I was never really exposed to the outdoors. I had always been told that success was having a big house, fancy car and taking expensive vacations. When I started making a lot of money in my career and buying those things, I began to realize that the “American Dream” wasn’t fulfilling to me. In 2016 I went on a kayaking trip to North Carolina with one of my best friends, Eli Goldshtein. On that trip we stayed in an 8x10 plywood shack and kayaked from 8am to 5pm every day. I was happier staying in that shack and kayaking all day than I would have been staying at a five star resort. It was the first time in my life that I realized that success and happiness came from doing things I truly love and not from owning things.

Freedom To Do More & Work Less

I started to think about how I could do the things I love more and work less. I was working so hard in order to afford the waterfront condo, italian sports car and fancy dinners, but I realized that I didn’t truly want those things to begin with. If I wanted to live a life of working less and doing the things I loved then I would need to make some difficult changes. I sold my business, condo, cars, watches and everything else tying me down. By selling everything I was gaining the freedom to do the things I love and go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

Minimalist Lifestyle

Around that time I began learning about vanlife and knew that it was going to be the perfect way to see the country, while also living a minimalist lifestyle. Vanlife is all about trading a small amount of comfort for a larger amount of freedom. I did an incredible amount of research, took the plunge and spent the next several months building out a camper van. The entire process from research to planning to building took almost a year. Once the van was done I hit the road and spent over two years exploring the outdoors while doing the things that make me happy.

VanMakers Was Created

I returned to Florida in March of 2020 to visit family and friends, but ended up staying due to the Coronavirus lockdown. I had been talking with Eli and sharing my ideas of selling my van and building another van with all the knowledge I had gained from over two years living on the road. Eli, who owns a company that builds large scale production items for concerts and festivals, was looking for a way to keep his team of craftsmen busy since much of his calendar had been cancelled. The experience of building out the second van with Eli had been so enjoyable and successful that we both agreed that we should start a company and build vans together...and Vanmakers was born!
Josh Theberge
Founder, CEO

Josh has been a full time vanlifer since 2017. Aside from building cool things his hobbies include backpacking, camping, hiking, whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, canyoneering and mountaineering. In his spare time Josh volunteers for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, Anonymous for the Voiceless, Sea Shepherd, Ocean Conservancy & The Surfrider Foundation.

Meet the Founder:

Get to know the story behind Vanmakers.

Ready to get started?
Contact Us!

Get Started