Joel at NCV is an HVAC Engineer by trade, having specialized in building efficiency through his 15 years in the field. He also is an accomplished carpenter and woodworker, designing and building custom furniture and unique solutions to building challenges. Ready for a change, he took a break from his HVAC profession to pursue his dream of adventuring around North America back in 2019. At the wheel of his first van conversion and with his pup, Linc, by his side, Joel left home on a grand adventure to Alaska. His travels through the northern US, Canada, and Alaska were a life-changing experience, and upon returning home after several months, it was his mission to share this adventurous way of life with others.
Building van conversions combines Joel’s experience with HVAC, carpentry, electrical/solar systems, plumbing, maximizing energy efficiency, and his general desire to fix or improve the project in front of him. After helping others build their vans on the side up until 2021, it was an obvious career choice when he finally decided to officially ditch the 9-5 desk job and start North Country Vans.
When not on the road, Joel is happiest working on a project. He has learned from building on various platforms to meet the unique needs of other vanlifers, living in a van full-time, and having explored many van conversions during his travels. Joel incorporates unique features to save energy and space in all of his builds, customizing each design to fit the van and the owner. NCV can work with any van and style, specializing in designs intended to maximize space and offer the maximum functionality for the van’s intended use – from having a dual purpose as a motovan to serving as a high-tech office for a remote professional.
Outside of working on a van or camping in a beautiful, remote location, Joel’s hobbies include carpentry, dirt biking, hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking/paddle boarding. He, Linc, and his wife, Shannon, are regular visitors to northern Michigan, and take every opportunity to explore other areas of the US and Canada in their two, unique camper vans.