Local globetrotters help travelers find their “starry nights.”
Tiphani Davis and Jesse Holbert are adventurers at heart. After taking numerous trips throughout the country, sometimes renting camper vans and seeing the trend grow, they realized the missed opportunity for West Virginia. “We thought: ‘Why is it not here in West Virginia? Maybe we should be the ones to start it,’” Davis says.
As avid explorers, the couple have seen how expensive even small trips can be. They knew that whatever they created needed to be affordable and accessible. What they came up with was VanGo camper van rentals.
A camper van is essentially a tent on wheels—just a lot sturdier. Davis says it handles more like an SUV than an RV, which can be significantly larger and more difficult to drive. “With our travel focus being in Appalachia, we know the roads can be kind of scary to drive, especially with bigger vehicles. We wanted something people felt comfortable driving.”
Davis and Holbert bring their own experiences to their business. A trip to the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands led to the clever name, an homage to the artist that would go on to inform everything from the names of the vans to their unique paint jobs. Morgantown’s own Eddie Spaghetti designed and painted the masterpiece on the van they call Vinny. Vinny’s siblings—Theo and Pearl—are to follow suit, bringing a bit of beauty to the asphalt and supporting local artists.
Vinny is the first VanGo van to travel Appalachia, and Theo and Pearl will hit the road this summer. The Ford XLT E150s have been newly renovated: Each sleeps up to five people and includes a camp kitchen, a seating area that converts into a queen size bed, and a rooftop sleeper—plus the self-sufficiency that lets you avoid traditional campgrounds if you so choose.
Want to get on the road, but don’t know where to start? West Virginia Tourism has some pre-planned road trip routes and planning tools available, but Davis is always quick to suggest Seneca Rocks to VanGo renters. “It’s a beautiful area with camping spots right next to the water. A perfect place for hiking and exploration.”
Queue up your John Denver and visit VanGo’s website to start booking your next adventure down our country roads.