Jeff has been a traveler for the majority of his life. He has made any excuse necessary to take a trip, regardless of the distance or lack of planning. He was born into a New England family that loved camping and the outdoors. His first trip was at 5 weeks old, a fact that his mother swears set him on this path unbeknownst to him. His father was a professional guy but a reformed hippie of sorts. He had a career as a computer programmer but his obsession was old Volkswagen buses. Due to this love for old vans, summers were spent exploring the back roads of New England camped out in VW buses. Vacations were always road-trips… putting lines on maps all over the east coast and beyond. One of the most memorable trips was his first cross-country adventure. His father bought an orange Volkswagen bus (a Bay Window Riviera) sight unseen from across the country. The family flew west to California and picked up this bus that would be home for the next two months. His father drove the long way home, nearly 6,000 miles and they explored many backroads across the west, stopping at national parks and scenic camp sites along the way.
Fast forward to adulthood…
After moving to San Francisco from Boston to chase warmer weather and find endless places to ride his skateboard, he soon got fed up with paying the rent prices and opted for a less conventional option to be able to stay in California. He purchased an old Chevy van and began building, to give himself a place to lay his head, but still afford to take more days off for adventure.
The decade to follow would be a whirlwind of cross-country trips, traveling east to west and back again numerous times. The van’s interior would adapt with his lifestyle changes. Full-time travel had always been a goal and obsession. After meeting his now-wife, they traveled east together. A few years into their relationship, life on the road became a reality, and the two (along with their rescue pup) hit the road traveling from the east coast and pointed themselves south and then west. They spent nearly two years exploring North America together, spending time in the mountains and deserts of the US. The van was constantly updated, as he learned more about vans and what was possible with design and accessories. There’s a steep learning curve that comes along with this lifestyle, and finding creative solutions is a necessary endeavor. Jeff has always found ways to keep travel comfortable but not overly complicated.
Days into yet another long trip, Jeff had the realization that maybe he should spend some of this energy and enthusiasm helping others to come up with creative ways to live and travel in their campers, whether it’s just for the weekend, or for more extensive full-time travel. His first hand experiences in traveling long-term, and knowledge of building campers from start to finish, makes him a valuable resource when it comes to designing and building a custom camper. Hilltop Van is the product of years of travel, hundreds of thousands of miles logged, and endless hours of learning and tinkering. We’ve finally quenched our wanderlust enough to settle down and set up shop in Plymouth, MA. We’re excited to make your next adventure ours!