In a time when it seems like everyone with a circular saw is getting into the business of building vans I thought it might be helpful to share a little bit about the experiences that led me to this point. While pictures can tell quite the tale, a foreword to those images can help provide insight and confidence in the framework behind those refined surfaces.
Regardless of whether you're ordering a fully-built Sprinter van or a simple slide out for your pickup truck, your project is my priority. Every project has the potential to be life changing. To open the door to travel. To give you the freedom. To provide an escape from the status quo. To me, there's nothing more important and remains the reason I take on one customer at a time. To focus on you, your priorities, your passion.
The build concept is simple: Everything from scratch. No pre-fabricated kitchen cabinets. No mass produced, one size fits all, "vanlife" kit components force fit into your van. No matter the amenity, it will be custom built to fit your van, your layout, your needs. Want an overhead cabinet 3" shorter so you can fit a hanger for your jackets? No problem. Found a fridge you can't live without? I'll design your space around it. A van is a relatively small space to reside in and every square inch needs to be taken advantage of. So, instead of purchasing pre-fab, bolt-on equipment, everything is custom made to fit your van perfectly.
Many experiences in the past have led me to the design, structural philosophy and color schemes I put behind my builds. In the interest of brevity, please find a brief resume below as it pertains to the most important areas of van building.
From skate parks to speaker boxes, I've been building things out of wood from the time I weighed a tad more than a table saw. With a garage full of tools, a DIY attitude and, an older brother to copy and pester for decades, my focus has always been sturdy, functional pieces. "If you can't body slam it, it's not good enough" I tell my customers. That theory comes from building ramps, tree houses and furniture that would see abuse from an entire neighborhood of raving lunatics. Yes, Jenny, if you're reading this, I mean you. I carry that concept through every van as I imagine friends, family and fur balls happily bounding through the space, enjoying adventure on the road without a care in the world.
Before vans I had the pleasure of being the lead tech and system designer for a few of NYC and LA's finest Audio Visual companies. A passion and, quite frankly, a demand for clean, safe, sophisticated wiring practices has been ingrained in my work flow. From multi-floor conference rooms to designer homes in the Hamptons my experience with complex wiring systems is vast. A van is no different. Clean, concise, wiring doesn't just look good. It makes a system efficient, serviceable and easy to understand for the end user. Whether it be you or a rest stop mechanic changing a fuse, I constantly consider who may come into contact with your system. On top of that every 120 Volt connection is check and certified by a licensed electrician.
After high school I set off to the University At Buffalo where I obtained a Bachelors in Fine Arts. As a conceptual school, focus was not on artistic genres, per se, such as still life (drawing an orange with a desk lamp on it is pretty boring), but how to think critically about color, space and the importance of conveying your concept to the viewer. I see every van as a perfect opportunity to put that into practice. A small, refined, space that will become someone's entire domain. To fine-tune that idea isn't just fun for me, it's critical to the enjoyment and usage of the end user. To have every customer lay in their van and not just enjoy a comfy bed but, to feel truly at home, safe and, excited to be in their personalized mobile dwelling.
After a summer of cold showers, itchy hands and nearly plummeting to my death inside of a Toshiba factory, I learned a lot about the art of insulation. From R value to air gaps. From safety harnesses to... well, safety harnesses (you should really wear them) I learned not only how, but why proper material, placement and technique is important to temperature regulation in any space.
I have none. I've taken your money and your van to Mexico. Later losers...
As a small business I am personally responsible for every aspect of your van. From floor to ceiling, literally. And I don't just feel the weight of that, I thrive on it. There is nothing more important to me than giving you the build of your dreams. For you to open the door for the first time and have your jaw hit the floor. (Not the van floor. I just cleaned that you jerk.) And I think about that every day. What can I make just a little better than you were expecting? What feature can I surprise you with that will make your space that much more useful? I didn't start building because I saw dollar signs. I started building because I love it. I keep building because it challenges me and makes me happy. I'm in business because if I kept building and didn't make it a business I would have too many vans for one person. What I mean is that your project isn't just a paycheck and onto the next for me. It's a work of art I put my entire being into so that I can be proud of it when you drive it away.
While I know there are endless options in choosing a van builder I'd like to thank you for simply stopping by this site. To see the interest, excitement and encouragement coming from you all is truly up lifting. Thank you!
PEACE OF MIND
Your vehicle and equipment are fully insured when on DBR premises. Vehicles are always kept behind a solid, locked gate with 24/7 security camera surveillance.