I wanted to reach out to our community and have everyone take an hour or so to do one very important thing. Take photos of your Vanagon/Bus. I'm NOT talking about photos of your Van in front of a cool waterfall or in an awesome campsite like what's shown in the header image above. I mean plain, generic photos of your van all by itself. Nothing else.
I can't count the number of times someone has reported their van stolen but only had photos of the way the van USED TO LOOK and not how the van looked when it was stolen. I've gotten photos of a van and notes that read "Here's photos of my van but it looks different than what's pictured. It now has RMW bumpers, a Swing Arm, Gowesty 16" wheels, a Thule roof top box, an ARB awning and tinted windows." Not good. Not good at all.
So my suggestion is... take current, detailed photos of your van. Just in case. These photos will come in handy if your van is ever stolen and/or if you need to file a claim with your insurance company for an accident or something similar.
I took a few hours to get my van all cleaned up, drove it down to an area cul-de-sac so I could easily take photos around my van without having any distractions or obstacles in the photos. If you don't have an area free of obstacles in your neighborhood, you could easily drive down to an empty business park or warehouse in order to find some nice wide open areas.
Taking good clear photos of your van is a great help to us in case your van is ever stolen. I'd suggest taking a photo at every corner and of every side of the van. If you have a Westy, you can do this with the top down, then again with the top up.
These are a few sample photos of my van so you can get an idea of what I mean. For a Stolen Van Report, these three photo examples are all that's needed but I'd suggest to take more photos of your van for your own records.
I keep a specific folder on my phone that includes all of these photos that I have taken of my van. They're easy to get to and they're always on me. You can opt for this method and/or store them online in a cloud service so that you can easily retrieve them if necessary. Having them readily available is a major plus if the day ever comes where you need to report your van stolen. Having them on your phone or in the cloud is much better than having them buried away on a hard drive someplace at home.
Stay safe out there!