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About Melissa Marsted

As founder and publisher of Lucky Penny Publications, I am honored to write about how we first started in 2008 and the paths we took to where we are today, and how the van came into my life! It really all began on the night of the Santa Barbara Tea Fire in November, 2008. My two boys, three pets and I lost nearly everything after having an hour to evacuate. After the fire a friend asked if I could do anything to start my life over, what would I do? Without hesitation, I wanted to finish self-publishing a children's book that I was working on. I set my intentions and within a year that book was finished at the end of 2019. In March, 2010 the iPad was released, and I had the idea to start an eBook publishing company. TEN years ago! In July, 2012 I was visiting a running friend in Park City and had the chance to run 18 miles only the mid-mountain trail. The last of the fire insurance came through while I was there and I set an intention to make an offer. My younger son and I moved into our new home in May, 2013. When I turned 50 in 2015 and became an empty-nester, I started traveling to the national parks to explore, and I started running ultra-marathons. I soon came up with the idea to write children's books about the national parks. I am finishing the seventh in our collection this spring of 2020. I bought the van to go to races and to explore even more, but I decided to stay home more often and rent the van at least two weeks per month instead of it just sitting in my driveway. It is an amazing opportunity to give others the chance to explore in a more healthy and safe way. Over the years I have hit road blocks but as a long distance runner I have learned to go the distance. There is no giving up! It's a time for us to believe in our dreams! That has always been my personal mantra so what is your dream? What have you been waiting for you? Don't wait as we know life is short. Act now! The universe has your back! Read books, get out in nature, stay healthy and have fun renting our van!!

Outdoorsy memberHost since May 2020


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Memories made on trips with Melissa Marsted's RVs

Marylia N.

5July 2021

The camper van exceeded our expectations! Melissa was great in communicating and giving us detailed instructions on the van. It was cozy and spotless. It was well equipped and with plenty of supplies. It was an awesome experience!

1 Photo submitted by Marylia N.

Ariel C.

5May 2021

Melissa is a great host! She knows the area and national parks well. She gave us some advice on overlooked trails and local eateries! Overall, the van is clean and perfect for a short getaway. We drove it through Zion, Bryce, and Arches.

2 Photos submitted by Ariel C.

Claire J.

5October 2020

I spent 10 days in Melissa's spotless and beautiful van. It came equipped with so many lovely and thoughtful touches like cleaning supplies, towels, cooking things, games and books. I fell in love with the Sprinter Van and it traveled well all through Utah. I never felt unsafe as a single woman. Melissa was very responsive leading up to the trip and even gave me some great suggestions. Her and her son gave me a thorough tour of the operational side of the campervan, which I appreciated as someone who had never taken one out for this long. Would love to use again in the future - couldn't recommend more!

7 Photos submitted by Claire J.

Gavin H.

5July 2020

I absolutely loved this van. It had a great layout with tons of storage and big comfy bed yet was nimble enough to get out into nature. Mechanically it worked great, all after-market systems worked nicely - only had issues with the built in stove but the butane camp stove provided worked perfectly as a substitute. This van has tons of charm yet is rugged and well equipped for outdoor vanlife adventures.

John B.

4June 2020

The van drives incredibly well and was spotless. Let me know day of that the stove didn't work -- had a portable available but would have been better to know prior.