How often do we get to experience the lives of our heroes? To live where they live, drive what they drive? Not often. But if your personal list of idols includes Oscar award-winning director and mountaineer Jimmy Chin, well, it’s your lucky day: Chin has partnered with car-hire service Turo to make that scenario a reality and give you a chance to live your best #vanlife.
Starting today, Jimmy Chin is offering his 2012 Chevrolet AWD Express adventure van up for rent on Turo’s site. As a mountaineer and adventurer, Jimmy not only lived out of this van for years while hiking and climbing for his own expeditions; this van also served as his home while shooting and directing the Acadamey Award-winning film Free Solo. featuring climber Alex Honnold’s untethered climb up the notorious El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. This van, shall we say, has walked the walk.
The Chevy Express left the factory stock in 2012, just like all its identical siblings that went on to be a plumber’s van or a church shuttle. But this van was destined for a life of adventure. The Chevy has been highly modified to sustain life on the road: It has a pop-top camper which stores a double bed — reminiscent of the old pop-top VW Westphalias, the archetype of the adventure van genre. It has a second double bed in the main cabin, allowing it to sleep four comfortably. It’s also fully kitted out with solar power panels on the roof and a propane stove in the kitchen. Of course, it has all-wheel-drive to handle any road or trail conditions, giving the operator the confidence to get out there.
Out of dedication to Jimmy’s desire for people to use this van for exploration and adventure, he offers a variety of outdoor adventure gear options to go along with the van and its temporary pilots: climbing rope, shoes, helmets, sleeping bags and hiking packs. The van is located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, so there are plenty of great places within driving distance to use all those pieces of gear.
Perhaps there’s no one better to sell you on not only this rig and what it can do than the man with the van himself: Jimmy Chin. “Taking time to travel for sports like climbing and surfing is the perfect way to reconnect with nature, to be with your family, and to just exist outside,” Chin said in a statement. “It’s also a lot of work and money to maintain the vehicles you need for that lifestyle year-round. Booking someone else’s on Turo makes a lot of sense. It’s more sustainable, more affordable, and a cool way to find that perfect car or van to fit the adventure.”
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