It didn’t take Tyler Karow long, once he finished at University of Southern California, to figure out that he was going to have to find his own path in life. He tried putting his degree in civil engineering to use in conventional jobs, and he enjoyed a position working on modular housing to make homes more affordable. But the mainstream 9-5 world was never a good fit for Tyler, and his true love is climbing. He’s been organizing his life around that passion for the past five years. When he’s not climbing, Tyler is working hard to build his own company, Truckee Van Co., which he started with the help of an interest-free business loan from Hebrew Free Loan.
Tyler didn’t start climbing until he joined a gym in his twenties, but he’s made up for lost time since then. With the help of his construction engineering know-how and a lot of YouTube videos, he built out his van to create a customized living space that became his primary home. He then quit his job and spent the next three years living out of his van and traveling around the world to climb some of the most iconic peaks and walls on Earth.
Tyler has found a huge community of people doing the same thing, and he’s made lifelong friendships. During his time on the road, he has traveled through Chile, Argentina, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Spain, and Kyrgyzstan, among other places. Tyler has scaled El Capitan in Yosemite National Park 16 times via 12 unique routes, and he’s ascended all seven summits that appear on the Patagonia clothing logo.
Eventually he ran out of money and came back to the Bay Area, deciding it was time to start a business that resonated with his passions. Tyler’s first idea was to prefabricate tiny homes, but the amount of capital required was more than he could come up with. Then he started thinking about the van he built for himself, and how it has allowed him to live the life he dreamed of. So Tyler partnered with a good friend, Mats Allen, to start Truckee Van Co., and turned to Hebrew Free Loan for support.
“The interest-free business loan from Hebrew Free Loan not only helped me launch my business, but gave me validation on my business plan and the confidence to drive it forward. It was great to know that the Jewish community offers so much support for young entrepreneurs.”
They are working together to custom build vans that function as real homes, whether the occupants are on the road full time or simply adventuring for a weekend. Tyler and Mats committed to high-quality craftsmanship, top notch materials, and thoughtful design that transform the vans into comfortable homes with a spacious feel. They’ve completed five vans so far, some of which are currently for sale on the Truckee Van Co. website.
Eventually, Tyler hopes to transition into building prefabricated tiny homes he can sell on a larger scale. For now, he’s excited to keep growing Truckee Van Co., offering others the chance to live the van life and pursue whatever adventures their hearts desire.
And of course, he’ll keep on climbing every chance he gets. Click here to see videos of just a few of the hundreds of climbs Tyler has undertaken over the past five years.