Weekend trips in the van: travelling through Canada with Le Loup Gris in the Sprinter.

Spending time together outdoor strengthens the bond between Yan Tremblay and his sons. Leaving their day-to-day lives behind, let the boys and their father concentrate on the essentials and their incredible experiences on Canada’s roads.

Vacation time means van time.

Yan Tremblay has a broad grin on his face as he sits at the campfire with his boys. The soft crackling of the burning wood blends in with the relaxing sound of waves. The father, his sons and this unique bond – it all comes together on this evening. The new month brings the beginning of the vacation season. This means van time for the Tremblays. Once again they enjoy getting together in the summer. Meanwhile a necessary ritual for the Canadian family: They escape from their day-to-day lives whenever the opportunity presents itself. With their Sprinter 2500, the three men can head out to all the places that represent free time for them.

Yan Tremblay and his two sons on a hammock

Shared road trips have brought the family even closer together.

They had to make the dream of a camper van come true.

In the past, this kind of close bond was not always possible. “I used to have two jobs and I was always on the road and busy,” says Yan Tremblay, referring to his time as a fireman with a second job. The good relationship with his children suffered. Talking with his son, Loan, provided the inspiration: the four-year-old complained to his father that he never spent time with the family. “I asked him what he would like to do,” says Yan Tremblay. His son wanted his father to make a long-standing dream come true: to build a camper van and then travel. Two weeks later, they owned a van and drove to Newfoundland.

This big step was the start of a new family ritual and the future nickname of the Tremblay Formation. By chance, Yan discovered the “Loup” (Wolf) on the rear of the camper van after he removed the van’s old sticker. “We thought it was funny and left it there. Since then, we have been known as ‘Le Loup Gris’ (the gray wolf) because our converted van was gray,” reminisces the leader of the travelling pack from Montreal.

My youngest son recently said the most incredible thing. He said we should sell the house and live in the camper van instead.
  • Two boys standing next to a campfire
  • A father, two sons and a dog run along the shore of a lake
  • Two Sprinter park in the nature in Canada
  • A father, his sons and a dog sitting on a stony beach. They look out over the vast ocean

Conversion on their own.

In 2015, the first van was followed by a second with all-wheel drive. “For the tough Canadian winter,” as the eternally young father explains. The new camper needed to meet all of the needs of the essential Tremblay trip. Yan Tremblay carried out the entire conversion himself – apart from the electricity. Vague dreams gave rise to the first drawings and then everything followed in a cascade. “Windows, fans, insulation, reinforced flooring, heating systems, interior fittings and roof carriers,” he says, describing the major steps of the conversion. I am proud of the fact that 90% of the wood in the camper van is recycled,” says Yan Tremblay, who was often reminded of his own father as he worked. From his father, he once learned what it means to make lasting things with his own hands.

Yan’s five most important insights into the vanlife:

  1. You discover what it means to live in the moment.
  2. You can escape from your daily grind.
  3. You will have to face your fears.
  4. You learn to develop your full potential.
  5. You spend a lot of personal and valuable time with the people who accompany you.

From father to son.

This enthusiasm for craftsmanship and sense of responsibility toward nature were major parts of the way Loan and Lenny Tremblay were raised. Without any further prompting, the boys grab bags and pick up the garbage on a beach before they start to chop up the wood for their campfire. Yan Tremblay is proud of his boys.

From father to son – Yan embodies this way of life with deep conviction. The van is the product of this philosophy. “My youngest son recently said the most incredible thing. He said we should sell the house and live in the camper van instead,” he says. Then he is still and suddenly Yan Tremblay’s special grin is back again.

A man sits on a steep slope. The slope leads down to the sea

Yan Tremblay is happy that he can share his passion with his two sons.

A boy chops wood on a stony beach

His sons learn to work with their hands the way Yan Tremblay once learned from his father.

A man sitting in his van talks with the father and son as they sit in their own van

On their road trips, the Tremblays meet other travelers with similar stories.

The image focuses on a man and two children seen from within a Sprinter

The Sprinter parked protectively near the Tremblays. It is more than a camper for the family.

Two men and two boys are sitting next to a camp fire at a stony beach

Canada’s picturesque panorama is the family’s constant companion.

Photos: Go-Van; JF Lefebvre

More Links to explore: go-van.com – @Instagram; @Facebook

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

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