On this “episode” of 67 Designs Customer Spotlights, where we share the stories of some of our customers, we get to know Rob Spencer. Born and raised in southern California, Rob still loves living there. With its temperate climate and abundance of public lands, it’s an outdoor enthusiast’s dream locale. Currently a philanthropist in the outdoor space, Rob makes the most of his time enjoying all nature has to offer.
Proud owner of: 2021 144 MB Sprinter Van 4x4.
Featured upgrades: Rob’s van is outfitted out with the following gear...
- AFN 4x4 bumpers
- Superwinch 12k synthetic winch
- Factory 55 Fairlead and Ultrahook
- KC Hilites Flex Era 4 lights for front bumper
- KC Hilites Flex Era 3 lights for A-pillars
- KC Hilites Cyclone V2 LED Amber Rock Light 6-Light System
- TerraWagen 907 Sprinter Snorkel with Prefilter
- TerraWagen Mondo Mudguards
- 16” Black Rhino wheels
- BF Goodrich 265 KO2 A/T tires
- Front Runner Outfitters roof rack
- Sunflare 260-watt solar panels
- Owl Vans side ladder
- Owl Vans rear tire carrier
- Owl Vans K2 rack with Monster box
- Dometic 100L fridge
- Radius Outfitters gear loft
- Radius Outfitters trash tube
- Radius Outfitters clothes bag
- Radius Outfitters gear boxes
- 67 Designs SprinterRail with Universal for Phones Device Holder
- Goal Zero 6000x power bank
- Lost Hiway Customs living area (including pedestal sink with 25 gals of water on a foot pump, outdoor shower, custom sized bed, matching 2-drawer cabinet mirroring the sink, and 2 upper cabinets)
Customer of 67 Designs since: 2018.
Inspiration for buying his van and living the outdoor adventure lifestyle: Rob bought his first Jeep in 1993 and has owned one ever since. His affinity for the Jeep brand, what it represents, the unmatched capability, and sheer fun of exploring with that type of adventure vehicle has always been at the forefront of his adventure lifestyle. However, as he got older he began to think more about comfort and convenience. Advancements by many manufacturers provided several different options for his next great adventure rig. After careful consideration, he ended up buying and outfitting his Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van. The unmatched comfort on long trips, coupled with the convenience of being fully self-contained was too good to pass up. It may not be as fun as one of his Jeeps, but whatever it lacks in fun it makes up for in comfort and awesome camping experiences.
Early adventures: Rob has a rather unique story and it played an integral role in his journey to this adventurous way of living. He’s previously owned a martial arts gym, ran a team that located runaway and/or trafficked kids, started a blog that grew into a long career in the outdoor space, and most recently has founded and operated a couple of philanthropic ventures. His professional career coupled with all the time he spends outdoors has created this life of adventure. Rob had this to say when asked about what he likes to do in his spare time. “Spare time is something I don’t really buy into. A long time ago I learned that living a life you need a break from probably isn’t for me. I know, my way of thinking probably isn’t the norm, but I live a lifestyle that I love and when you love the life you live, spare time tends to just be time.”
Recent adventures: Rob’s recent adventures have taken him from Utah and Arizona, up the infamous Highway 395 into the high Sierras of California. While very diverse, each place was just as beautiful as the next. He believes there’s so much beauty to explore in the southwest region of our country.
Most memorable adventure: The most memorable overloading adventure trip has to be Utah. Rob’s explored the state many times and continually marvels at the unique terrain. While Moab is an outstanding place to wheel, nothing was more beautiful than the rolling red sand dunes just outside of Hurricane. Floating through miles and miles of beautiful, untouched sand only to abruptly end at one of the most beautiful views from what seems like the edge of the world was simply amazing.
Upcoming adventures: Rob’s next adventure coincides with yet another passion project – the launch of a YouTube Channel for his latest philanthropic endeavor Exo Apo. Part of the process includes a regular cycle of hitting the road to capture some of the greatest yet slightly off the beaten path landmarks. He looks for places that share the local culture and heritage, places that we as Americans often skip right through without giving them a second thought.
Dream trip: “I’ve been so blessed to have seen amazing places off the beaten path all over the country. Open trails, the beauty of the sun as its rises and sets, wildlife, climates, and terrains - all different, all beautiful.” But of all he’s seen, one place he’s not been able to get to yet is the Alaskan frontier. Spending time exploring such a beautiful, raw place would be a dream come true for Rob. Other places he’d like to explore are some of the culturally and historically significant places the great founding explorers wrote stories about.
Off-road community involvement: Being an outdoorsman at heart, Rob was able to leverage his passion into a professional career in the outdoor space when he launched his blog over a decade ago. From covering the industry from a media perspective to working with clients in their transition from company to lifestyle brand, it was a rewarding experience. While he'd developed not only a large audience through the blog but also many strong relationships in the industry, he felt it was time to make a change. Rob transitioned to full-time philanthropic projects with Project Heal the Land. Rob’s goal with this non-profit is to get people out into nature, with a focus on keeping public lands open while building a community of likeminded offroaders that value and practice responsible land use.
Notes from the writer: Many years ago, Rob was in a car accident that took his memory. Having come through some intense early endeavors, he found himself a “very callous shell of a man.” The traumatic brain injury left him with no sense of attachment. From that point he began to spend a lot more time in nature - caring for nature and becoming more aware of and responsible for the part he could play in making it better and more sustainable. As humans we have an innate desire to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Rob discovered this is where he fit naturally - in nature. It's been his efforts there that have contributed to more growth and healing. “Through time spent in reflection in nature, we are to be a part of this ecosystem not a consumer.”
Check out his work here:
- Instagram - @advrob
- Project Heal the Land Instagram - @wearephtl
- Exo Apo Instagram - @exo.apo
- YouTube - @exoapo
This Customer Spotlight by Tricia Soderstrom.
This series was envisioned and created by Kate Della Pietra in the summer of 2020 when she worked for 67 Designs as a marketing intern.