High top and Converted interior
Following his two first trips with his Ford Econoline, Lucien has a custom made metal top added to his van by mr Rousseau, a local craftsman. The result made the vehicle way too heavy. He needs to go for a fiber glass top solution.
It is through an investment club called “Sopel” that Johan Roy, Raymond Moisan and Lucien Barbeau meet. All three own and are fans of recreational vehicles. They then get together as associates to have a mold made to make fiber glass tops that they get made by Mr Morin, a Beauce area craftsman. According to Lucien, this is the moment their business really started. They then get these new fiber glass tops made and installed by a subcontractor in Saint-Henedine in Beauce area for their own vans but also for the customers they are starting so serve, one at a time.
1971. Lucien then replaces his first van by a 1971 white and green Dodge that he buys at mini school bus manufacturer located in Drummondville. Lucien gets a fiberglass top installed and then entirely converts the interior. He returns to Mexico for five weeks in autumn-winter 71-72 and this time Johan who has also built himself a new camper travels to the same destination at the same time. These trips are initiated at the end of November as the first stop is always to visit the famous recreational vehicle trade show in Louisville, Kentucky.
Lucien is helped by Johan, addressing a flat tire in a Mexico desert.
1972. The following year Lucien changes again his van for a white and green 1972 Dodge Fargo. He buys this van at a car dealership called Vincent Automobile in Grand-mere (in the centre of Quebec). Again the vehicle is entirely converted. In Autumn-winter 1972-73 Lucien and Helene return a third and last time to Mexico et are again accompanied by their daughters, this time for six weeks.
Strategic Storage. When Lucien and Helen head for Mexico at the end of November 71 for many weeks with their children it will allow Lucien to validate life on board with four persons. The bed located at the front of the top is still only for a single person, one of the children sleeps in a hammock hanging over the driver and passenger seats. The camper proves roomy for storage as Santa Claus has wrapped all Christmas presents before leaving home and these are never found by the children during the first month of the trip!
Virginia Beach Spring 72. I am the one wearing the red coat. I vividly remember that cold afternoon because of that coat. It was made of a very stiff vinyl that became surprisingly rigid when temperature dropped. It is thanks to having a camper that we made this trip as it would not have been conceivable to camp with a tent at such low temperatures. The camper substantially extended the travel season for our family. Ah! I liked that camper and those orange-yellow curtains! by Nathalie Barbeau 2018
2002. Thirty years after having bought his 1972 van Lucien decides to set himself a new challenge: learn to fly a helicopter. He then starts a second manufacturing adventure: making helicopter tow carts. He buys one of his first helicopters from m. Denis Vincent who is from the Grand-mere region. Evidently, Lucien asks if he remembers Vincent automobiles and discovers that he is with the son of mr Vincent the car dealer from whom he purchased his van in 72 when he started his first manufacturing adventure with Campwagon!