Channel Your Inner Uncle Rico With This Sweet Van

"Back in '82, I used to be able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile."  Photo: Fox Searchlight

As Uncle Rico used to say, "Might as well do something while you're doing nothing". Taking his advice to heart, I spent this morning cruising Craigslist junk and I came across a low-mileage1969 Ford Econoline mini motorhome. You'll likely remember these mini RV's with the fiberglass high-top, curtains, and classy furnishings. They were all over the place for about 20 years...and then they disappeared quicker than Dad's leisure suit. How does shag carpeting and vinyl swivel buckets suddenly stop appealing to the masses? Beats me, man.

When this white and blue beluga whale-looking tenement on wheels appeared in the online classifieds, It piqued my interest because if it was good enough for Uncle Rico to live in a van, then maybe he was onto something. Come on, this baby has a sink, a stove, and only 73,000 miles on the odometer. The ad also touts a new carburetor, battery, master cylinder and brake lines, so the Econoline appears ready for a weekend at the lake. Take a gander. 

She's not much of a looker, but with a few gallons of orange paint, a trip to Hobby Lobby and a few footballs I could take state!

I mean I could fix it up good. I know you're thinking: "Boy,'ve lost your mind. You have a wife, a house and a nice life, why would you want to throw it all away to live in an old van?"

Because deep down inside, there's something appealing about a man driving a 3/4 ton box who has the spirit of a nomad and the mustache of a felon. 

Photo: Fox Searchlight
Uncle Rico drove a Dodge Tradesman Saratoga RV in the cult film Napoleon Dynamite, and his character bounces in and out of the film just as he bounces in and out of reality. He's stuck in the past. While trying to recapture his youth, he travels the back-roads of America in a mini motorhome and sells Tupperware bowls to make a quick buck. He's an entrepreneur with a wounded soul, but he's got everything he needs in a single place. That's called being efficient. He doesn't ask for anything, (except a time machine and a "do-over" for the year 1982.)

The best part about living in a 70's van home? You have an instant reset button for your daily life. If things don't work out in one town, then you bump the starter and put that beast in DRIVE and get the heck out of town. Sometimes quickly.

With our complex lives nowadays, a little simplicity would be a refreshing change of pace. I think we could all take a page out of Uncle Rico's book. Quit your job. Sell your Lexus. List your 4000 square foot McMansion on Zillow, and tell your kids to pay for their own plastic surgery. Its time to get back to basics.

All a man really needs is a van...and a dream. I've already given you the van.

Photo: Fox Searchlight



  1. If coach would've put me in, we'd be champions.


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