Hi, I’m Chris Corkins, and welcome to Intrepid Overland!


I’ve been known online for years as “tencentlife” by lovers of VW Vanagons. In 2007, building on my decades in engine building and automotive service, I started Vanistan, offering upgraded wasserboxer engines and exclusive accessories to raise the fun factor of this unique and popular platform, especially the amazing Vanagon Syncro all-wheel drive van.


I’ve always loved challenging offroad driving and multi-day camping trips in rugged, remote country, an activity that’s now called “overlanding” ( we used to just call it car camping! ). A big part of the fun of overlanding is customising your rig to suit your own style of travel, and that’s where overlanding intersects with something I enjoy just as much, developing elegant, functional vehicle accessories.


In summer 2017 I closed the engine building side of Vanistan in order to concentrate on my new accessory control system, Redshiftt, built around a wireless remote control innocently hidden inside a handsome replacement gearshift knob. This patented system will be adaptable to all kinds of vehicles, putting control of any electrical and pneumatic accessories right in the palm of your hand.


With a new line of products aimed at a much wider community, Intrepid Overland was born. The site is divided into two areas, the Vanistan Shop offering products which are exclusively for VW T3 Vanagons, and soon, my new line of Redshiftt products that can be used on all types of vehicles.


Please check in from time to time, and watch the blog for new developments and occasional tech articles and essays.


I am located off the grid in enchanting northern New Mexico, near the historic Spanish village of Abiquiu and the beautiful Chama River valley.