A little about Jess & Ryan

Jess has always had a passion for experiencing life in as many ways as possible. While growing up, road trips and living through experiences was at the forefront. After her college studies, she towed a pop up camper with her SUV and traveled all around the US for a few months. It was then that she realized life on the road was something that brought her great joy.

Ryan has lived all over the US and abroad. He cherishes all of these places for helping shape him into who he is today. Ryan fell in love with getting outside through exploring the Sonoran Desert with his college buddies. He has a sincere interest in ancient civilizations, which kicked started during his time in Egypt. He then fell in love with philosophy while living on the coast in southern France.

When Jess and Ryan first met, they immediately felt the resonance of their shared interests; live music and exploring the world. However, the thing that really sealed the deal was when Jess expressed her interest in vanlife. Ryan loved the idea and they sought to make it a reality over the next several years.

Their first pass at vanlife started in 2016 when they flew to Orange County, CA to buy a hightop '89 Chevy. They drove it to their home in Cleveland over a few short days, then quickly got to work on building it into their weekend adventure vehicle. Over the next few years they traveled all around the northeast.

Their second iteration of vanlife started with a new van buildout in 2020. They sold their first van and bought a RAM Promaster. Jess loves the planning, engineering and design processes. Ryan loves the challenges and small victories that each new task has to offer. They both enjoy the “zen-like” experience that emerges while doing this type of work together. Their process helps them be in the present moment, which provides them mindfulness and clarity.

When their RAM Promaster build was complete, they sold their house and hit the road for 3 months with their dog, Lola. During their travels, they were able to reconnect with old friends and make wonderful new friendships as well. They experienced some of the most majestic landscapes the US has to offer and encountered all sorts of wildlife they’d never seen before. Their time on the road helped them get to know themselves better and strengthened their bond as partners.

Jess and Ryan feel humbled by their adverntures and the personal growth they experienced while on the road. This made them eager to enable others to have the same sort of adventures. Their gratitude for their experiences combined with their love of the work is the core foundation for Top Notch Vans.

Their mission from here on out is simple. Help people get out and adventure.