Van Porn: Syncrofest 2015

Title image: “Ralphin’ with Ralph” photo by Neil Rosales

The hills were alive with the sound of… 30 year old vans! Chances are if you follow someone who drives a VW Vanagon on social media, Syncrofest popped up in your feed last weekend, and is still making the occasional appearance.

Photo by Neil Rosales, vanlife alias @camperlifer

Syncrofest is a yearly meetup held in Hollister Hills, CA, that brings families, dirtbags, off-roadin’ hooligans, and more together for an extended weekend of campin’, wheelin’, and makin’ new friends. Although the event’s primary focus is 4WD Syncros, 2WD Vanagons as well as older buses are encouraged to join. The more the merrier… And dirtier.

Flashback: Two years ago, we made our first appearance at Syncrofest and were total newbs. Joe, myself and #tofutravels (our ivory-hued VW Westfalia, that looks like a traveling block of tofu) were outnumbered by OG vanlifers, among a few other youngsters (shoutout to @currentsea), and welcomed with open arms. We couldn’t wait to come back.

Fast forward to today, and this year’s Syncrofest was bigger and better than ever in its fifth year. The times have changed, and there’s no doubt that the popularity of #vanlife on social media has grown the reach of this once small meetup to a bustling group of over 250+ vans and their eclectic owners.

Photo by Neil Rosales, vanlife alias @camperlifer

On Instagram alone, vanlife has over 206k+ shares, and comically, the campground circle that we were part of was deemed the “Insta Camp,” a group of vanners who—you guessed right—were connected through Instagram. Shout-out to the crew: @liveworkwander, @vanofmydreams, @camperlifer, @syncronuts, @vancafesc, and more.

Whether you’re a full or part-time vanlifer, live in California, Maine, or are just passing through (there’s an award for the van who came the furthest distance to attend!), Syncrofest should be on your vanlife bucket list.

If you’re jonesin’ for an adventure like this but can’t wait an entire year, many van meetups are hosted in state parks and campgrounds across the country. Find upcoming events here, and find all the inspiration you need below.

On the left: @liveworkwander (winner of best 2WD Vanagon) and their van, Falkor

Vanlife stickers designed by @liveworkwander

About the author: Julie’s the Content Manager at Hipcamp. She’s a writer, adventurer, hula-hooper and self-described “die-hard bloody mary enthusiast.” Check out more of her adventures (and van photos!) over on Instagram @jollymurrell.

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