For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged altruistic behaviours. Now more than ever, community and belonging means everything. It’s these small acts of kindness that help people to cope on a day-to-day basis. So what does this mean for successful country musicians Eric and Kalsey?
About Eric and Kalsey
Let’s face it, the pandemic has hit everyone hard, including those in the music industry. Eric and Kalsey had big plans for 2020 – he was preparing to go on a 60-date arena tour across Canada and she was getting ready to record her next studio album. But this quickly came crashing down, and the pair were left thinking ‘what do we do now? How are we going to make money for the next 2+ years?’. Well, they learned to adapt to ‘the new normal’.
Following much consideration, the pair decided to move out of Nashville. They sold most of their belongings, including their 2 cars, and instead bought a Ford Transit van. They had a vision – they wanted to use their new home on wheels to spread positivity and entertainment to people across North America. How? By taking their music on the road!
- 2020 Ford Transit High Roof Van with Extended Long Body
Kitchen and Appliances
- Norcold AC/DC Fridge– This fits a good amount of food, allowing Eric and Kalsey to go off-grid for several days at a time. It also has a small freezer component.
- Blanco white sink– Eric and Kalsey put homeliness at the heart of their van designs. They initially started thinking about silver and bronze sinks, but eventually settled on a classic white. It’s large enough for them to bathe their dog, Luna, when they don’t have time to take her to be professionally groomed.
- Butcher block countertop
- Butcher block cutting board– The pair specifically asked their builders to save any offcuts from the wooden countertop so they could make a matching cutting board. The board fits perfectly on top of the sink cavity to provide them with extra space for cooking.
- Queen-sized bed – Eric and Kalsey also travel with their dog, Luna, so it was important for them to ensure they each have adequate space to sleep. They didn’t want to go through the hassle of having to cut the mattress to try and make it fit. Therefore, they opted for a full queen-sized, forward-facing bed. To prevent the mattress from sliding forwards while the van is in motion, they also included a wooden end piece. This creates a visual separation between the bed and kitchen/living space.
- Outdoor shower
Power and Electrical
- 6 x Batteries– Everything inside of Eric and Kalsey’s van runs off electric. They didn’t want to incorporate propane for two reasons: cost and convenience. Typically, propane is more expensive to run. But they also didn’t want to worry about having to fill up their propane while on the road. Conversely, their 6 aH batteries provide them with all the power they need.
- Alternator– If necessary, this allows the pair to charge their batteries by driving.
- 2 x Solar panels – These are located on the roof of the van above the drivers’ cabin area. This leaves plenty of room at the back for their performing stage.
- Inverter– This is for their stove and water heater.
- Control panel– This sets out how much power is in their batteries, how much water they have left, the amount of power being generated by the solar panels etc.
- Standard plug sockets– These are located at the back of the van next to the bed so that they can easily charge their phones during the night.
- LED spotlights
- Reading lights
Heating and Cooling
- 2 x Maxx Air Fans– These fans have 10 different settings – they can either push air out or pull air in. They work really great in conjunction with the windows, together they create a nice breeze throughout the van.
- S-Bar Heater– The outlet for this heater is located underneath the passenger seat.
- 90-litre water tank
- 12v water pump
Cabinetry and Finishes
- Pull-out coffee table– Eric and Kalsey are both huge coffee drinkers, so this small table gives them the opportunity to sit back, relax, enjoy a nice hot coffee, and admire their surroundings.
- Pull-out dining table– This pulls out from underneath the mattress. It is 4ft long and can hold up to approximately 200 pounds. Here, Eric and Kalsey can sit comfortably, do their work, eat etc. In the past, Eric has used this table to do some vocal recording.
- Wooden bench– Like the table, this bench is 4ft long, which means it’s big enough for both of them to sit on. The base is actually a storage cupboard where they keep their clothes, shoes, laptops etc.
- Champagne bronze door handles
- Cedar wood tongue and groove panelling– Eric and Kalsey opted for a wooden interior as they wanted their van to feel like a log cabin. They chose Cedar wood because it’s light and helps to brighten the space. It also smells really nice.
- White overhead cabinets
- Tinted windows– These help to maintain privacy.
- 2 x CR Lawrence Bunk Windows– Located on each side of the van next to their bed space, these two windows allow the pair to admire their surroundings from the comfort of their bed.
- Trailer hitch– This is necessary for when they’re playing bigger shows that require a lot of kit. They can simply hook the trailer to the van and drive away.
- Aluminus ladder
- Lockable storage cavity
- Custom-Made Roof Rack– Eric and Kalsey plan to travel around North America playing gigs and providing light-hearted entertainment. To do this, they needed a stage to perform on. Where better than the van the eat and sleep in? Fixed to the top of their van is a custom-made aluminium frame with carbon fibre grate. Unlike other roof racks, their rack can withstand approximately 600-800 pounds, which allows them to climb up with their instruments and perform full-length gigs. They also incorporated a railing system to ensure it feels safe while they’re up there.
- LED stage lights– As well as adding to their stage performances, these lights also act as a security feature. They’re located all the way round the perimeter of the van, and can light up around 30 yards. So if someone is trying to break into the van while they’re inside, they can switch on the lights and scare them off.
To see the full tour of Eric and Kalsey’s van, check out my YouTube channel: