Lonely Planet Writer

How one family transformed their weekends with help from their van

Travelling with a family brings its own challenges – but it also has numerous rewards. That’s why one doting dad takes his two young daughters on adventures in their converted van that they built together. Hollywood talent manager Sean Elliot, from Los Angeles, USA is divorced but wanted to create a lifetime of memories with his daughters Paige (10) and Quinn (7) when he saw them at the weekends.

This family travel together. Image by Sean Elliott / mediadrumworld.com

He bought a 2016 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter at Easter and refurbished the interior by June to surprise the girls. The girls named the van Moohah on the first day they saw it and the name stuck. Sean explained their input didn’t stop there. “I grew up in Montana, so a connection with the natural world and the environment is very important to me,” he said. “It’s also important for me to instill this in the girls. Paige loves rock climbing, hiking and camping. Quinn is our spirited bundle of energy with the most vivid imagination in the world. I wanted this to be something the three of us truly did together. When we started the build, I envisioned a dark and masculine, woodsy van. The girls, however, had other visions. My raw wood cabinets gave way to whites and pops of teal. Paige launched an Instagram campaign to rally for her #teamyellowfridge because I wanted a stainless steel fridge and she really had in her heart having a bright yellow fridge”.

Sean Elliot with his daughters in the van. Image by Sean Elliott / mediadrumworld.com

“Quinn saw rainbow lights on the exterior of building outside Disneyland and really wanted rainbow lights, so we incorporated those into the build as well. The process of this build taught all of us so much about each other. I really learned how to let go of my preconceived ideas and truly let them take the reins of the project. Moohah has become a comfy, cosy, beachy bohemian dollhouse on the inside and a rough and tough 4×4 powerhouse on the outside.”

The 2016 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter. Image by Sean Elliott / mediadrumworld.com

The family have clocked up 10,000 miles since August and travelled through the beaches and mountains of South California, Utah, Sun Valley, Idaho and Nevada among others. They hope to drive to Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Powder Mountain in Utah, Colorado and Texas
in the future. “We are weekend warriors so every trip is different,” added Sean. “My goal as a single father is to introduce the girls to nature, adventure, and different ways of doing things. Also, I know my audience. It is important that we keep trips spread out and bite-size morsels that keep us always wanting more. I let the girls control most of the agenda. I might say where we are going and then let the girls decide where we camp, what we eat, how we shape the trips. I love how the girls have stepped into their own as far as their tastes, their wants and their designs. They have a great eye for design and a great idea of function and what works and doesn’t.”

The family take weekend road trips exploring the US.

Get more information on their travels here.

By Mark McConville/mediadrumworld