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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Tuesday, December 18, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Going Mobile

A visit to SYNC Vans

While we’re cruising down the road, exploring the incredible national parks throughout the West, we’re occasionally hit with a serious case of vehicle envy. Most rigs we admire are vans, all cozy and dialed in. 

During our stay in the beautiful Sun Valley area, we discovered a van conversion company doing super stylish build-outs. SYNC Vans in Hailey, Idaho, has only been around a few years, but the small operation already has attracted fans across the United States. 

“People fly in from all over to pick up their finished vehicles,” said Josh Shetler, who founded the company with Jay Sfingi, who worked as an architect before SYNC Vans transitioned to a full-time operation a couple years ago.

“We spent a lot of time working things out on our own before selling to the public,” Sfingi explained. 

What sets this van-conversion company apart from others is the upscale-looking interior used to turn the vehicles -- typically a Mercedes Sprinter van -- into a homey space. We also love SYNC Vans’ streamlined process for getting the ball rolling. The company’s website guides potential customers through the purchase in three easy steps: Choosing the vehicle, the finishing details and choosing the floor plan. 

For instance, The Atlas package includes a long list of features such as heavy-duty insulation and sound dampening, a folding bed for easy storage, a heating system and a ceiling fan, a custom countertop that looks as if it belongs in a dream kitchen. The upholstered walls and ceiling also have an upscale feeling. It’s definitely not typical of other van conversions we’ve seen.

The best part of this whole process? Your van is finished in four months. That’s half the time taken by most other outfits we’ve talked to in other parts of the country. 

The price? A SYNC Vans build-out costs around $32,000, which doesn’t include the cost of the vehicle, of course. Add approximately $45,000 for a high-roof Sprinter, and -- gulp -- you’re looking at about $80K. However, that’s a whole lot cheaper than the Hymer Aktiv the Winnebago Revel, both running into six-figure territory. 

We’re definitely thinking we want to eventually head in the van direction at some point. Who knows? SYNC Vans offer a great option.

Winterizing tip

Last week, we asked for advice on how to best get an RV ready for the big chill of winter. Thanks to Stephen Aspinwall of Spokane County for this tip: “The shore water connection has a one-way valve that may be concealed by a rubber washer integrated with  a fine mesh screen,” he writes.

“After pumping your fresh water system with rv antifreeze, take out this washer’s screen and push in this valve  to allow water to escape and avoid a possible freeze point.” 

Thanks for the tip, Stephen. Any other winterizing tips out there? Send them our way. 

This week’s Going Mobile Question: Where should we go in Mexico? We’re looking ahead to finding some warmer temperatures as the snow starts to fly and we’re wondering about heading south of the border for a couple of weeks. Write to us at goingmobile@spokesman.com

Check us out on Instagram: We’re traveling through the West right now. Check out our progress on instagram.com/ourgrandtour, where you’ll find lots of photos and videos, courtesy of Leslie.
 



Leslie Kelly
Leslie Kelly is a freelance writer.