This Van Life

Coeur d’Alene couple fill niche with quality, insulated van window covers.

For a long time, Coeur d’Alene locals Dave and Kelly Dutro made a name for themselves by sharing their passion for trails through Trail Maniacs ( But This Van Life, their vehicle window cover business, has quietly taken over a corner of the outdoor recreation market that was in dire need of diversity and competition. 

Dave’s family moved to Idaho when he was 12 years old, and he has lived in Sandpoint, Orofino, and Coeur d’Alene over the years. “I’ve always loved the outdoors,” he says. “When I lived in Sandpoint, I was always trying to get my friends to ride our BMX bikes to Schweitzer.” Over the years, Dave has pursued road cycling, mountain biking, hiking, skiing, triathlons, and trail running, and he and Kelly actually met on a trail run up Canfield Mountain in Coeur d’Alene. “We came up to the viewpoint,” Dave recalls, “and she was right behind me. I thought, man, she can run, and she’s cute!” Ten years later, they’ve run together through events, business pursuits, and many outdoor adventures.

Soon after they started Trail Maniacs, they bought a 2011 Mercedes Sprinter Van so that they could stay at events and haul their gear. While testing it in Montana, they had to stuff blankets onto the windows to try to keep the van warm. After some research into van window covers, they found the only companies offering covers were quite expensive, not made in the US, or were not insulated. So they decided to make their own.

This Van Life started with Kelly’s mom’s sewing machine under a carport in their back yard with the intention of simply meeting a personal need. After Dave used his first commercial machine, his brother-in-law convinced him to put the covers on Etsy, where they quickly sold. The years 2020 and 2021 were overwhelmingly busy for Dave and his team, but they’ve now leveled out to a steady production pace and make custom covers as well as standard covers for Mercedes Sprinter vans and Dodge Promasters.

Why choose This Van Life for your adventure van window covers? “We make them here in North Idaho—your money stays here,” says Dave. “And I honestly think we make the best covers out there. We’re the only ones that have an affordable, quality, insulated magnetic cover that folds up and stays in place, even in big windows.” Check them out at

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