How To

Volkswagon Bus Camping and the Journey to Burning Man

The Art of building the Perfect Home on Wheels in preparation for Burning Man


For Coulson Rich, camping is indeed a lifestyle. “When I bought my bus, I was no longer comfortable paying rent. I wanted to live in my bus and have the freedom to move around and see the country.” Rich says he spent six years in his early twenties living out of his 1972 VW bus.  He customized it with cabinetry, wood floors and upholstery. His first jaunt was a three-week trek from Seattle to Maine. He has since driven across the country numerous times and rebuilt the engine of his bus three times.

VW camping for seven years Coulson Rich and his dog Atlas are preparing for Burning Man 2012


Rich  has recently upgraded from the smallish VW bus to a GMC diesel cargo truck he converted into  “the diesel daemon” which will serve as both workspace and home for him and Atlas, his 170-pound dog.

Rich has been attending Burning Man for many years now and he and his fellow welders have studio facilities where they are prepping their inventions like the “jenk cart” [pictured right] this vehicle throw flames and can be easily towed by bicycle, car or human. Rich says that last year he helped friends make a giant 42’ giant metal scorpion. Rich is now working on making a motorized version of his jenk cart. This model will be engine powered. With two months to prepare,  Rich says, “I have a lot of work.”  But when it is something you love is it really work? Rich and Atlas can cast off lines and travel life’s road together. “I want to move around and go places whenever I feel like it,” he says.§

July 2012 issue: Off the Beaten Path


This story is from our July 2012 issue. Also visit Happy Backbacking in Utah, Happy RVing in Utah. Or buy this issue for just $2.99! Special offer get all the best of Utah Stories road trip and small town issues for just $3.99! (three issues).

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