We recently caught up with Tim and Barb, who own Timiled, a Mercedes-Benz 144 which was custom build by Outside Van in 2019. Read more about their story below.
OV: Tell us your story! How did you end up with a van?
The van was a dream of ours, when we decided that we wanted to simplify our lives. I was working as a teacher and therapist in a Pennsylvania school district. Tim owns his own business, and still does. I felt like I was working a lot and had gone through lots of changes in my job, from when I first started it in 1991. Our school district had gone through a series of furloughs, and I wasn’t furloughed, but my class sizes greatly increased and so did my work load. I loved working with the students, but I was done with the politics of education. Our son had started college, and had moved out of our house. We had a 3000 sq ft house, and with both of us working a lot, we felt like we only used our kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. The weekends found us driving to locations to mountain bike ride or snowboard in the winter, and we both realized we wanted more of that in our lives. We also realized we wanted more freedom in our lives. We also started exploring different states where we could make our lives more authentic, to the way we wanted to live. We decided Bend Oregon was the place we wanted to call our hub. We purchased a very small space that had a two car garage. Our total living space is 500sq ft, so we are very intentional about living a minimalist lifestyle. We knew we only wanted a small space as our hub, so we could focus on traveling with a van. We knew we wanted a sprinter van and we were set on a 2018 model. Tim really liked that year van. We started a conversation with Outside Van, because we had been very impressed with their builds. We then talked about what we wanted in a van, and then we began the design process. Since we were living in Pennsylvania, we did all of our designing with Nick of OSV, through phone conversations, online screen shares on the computer, and lots of emails. It was like designing a house, picking flooring, and counter tops, etc.. the whole process took almost took a year. The excitement of retiring for me in June 2019, us moving to Bend Oregon, and then in August 2019 driving to Portland to pick up our van, right before my 50th birthday was just so unreal!!! And seeing our van for the first time was a day we will always remember. It was beautiful, and just perfect! We called it Timiled, and our definition for that name became: The vessel that will enable us to drink from the Soul of the World, as we live out our dreams.
OV: Can you describe a typical day when you’re on a trip in your van? Is there such thing as a typical day? What are some memorable places you’ve been?
We travel a lot with our van. We have been to over 23 states, since we picked up our van in 2019. The van makes it easy for us to get away spontaneously or on a very detailed planned trip. A typical day in the van starts with us waking up and making coffee. We travel with our two small dogs, who love to be in the van. Depending on where we are staying, the day will consist of exploring the area, usually on mountain bikes or hiking. Our van makes it easy for us to disperse camp or use a campsite. After we are done exploring for the day, we will cook dinner in the van. We throw down some incredible meals in our van, like carnitas served over polenta to Cioppino. We even celebrated New Years Eve in the van, and made the Western Pennsylvania tradition of kielbasa over sauerkraut. We have stayed in our van in every season, including in a blizzard at the bottom of Mt Bachelor. We once found a dispersed camp site in the middle of the night in Capitol State Forest in Washington. We had no idea that we would wake up to the most amazing sunrise, overlooking Mt Rainier in the morning! It was breathtaking. We have taken our van to Oatman Arizona, a ghost town that is populated by burros. We have gone to Joshua Tree, and ridden our bikes right outside, in a conservancy area that allows bikes. We stayed under enormous red wood trees in Big Sur, and drove the next day on Old Coast Hwy! We were very excited that we had a 4×4 for that road. Our van has also allowed us to ride our mountain bikes in some incredible places; like Red Canyon right outside of Bryce, Moab, Fruita, Bentonville… just to name a few. We have driven the entire California and Oregon coast on Hwy 101. We have also driven Old Route 66, having an opportunity to view the old neon signs frozen in time. It’s hard to say what is our most memorable trip, because we have had so many. I would say driving across country and back allowed us to see so many things, and experience so many different cultures and environments of the different states.
OV: What is the #1 favorite thing about your van?
The number one favorite thing about our van is that it’s totally equipped to make our traveling experience so comfortable. We can also carry all of our gear, to do anything that we possibly want everyday. I love how comfortable the bed is, and the stereo system is amazing! We love to listen to music, because it certainly adds an exciting element to the adventure. I also love the openness inside our van, that makes having meals or relaxation time really nice.
OV: How does your van improve your daily life?
The van has improved our lives 100% in every way, because it is a catalyst to helping us live the life we dreamed. We are adventurers and wanders at heart, who love to see the beauty of our world, in so many places. Timiled is our vessel and has changed our lives!