Relay Tips: Van Decorating 101

The one way to stick out as a Ragnar Relay newbie is to have a lame van. Yup, you read that right.

You do not want to be the odd van out and show up to the starting line with a plain, white van. BORING!

Ragnar Tough Chik

Here are my van decorating tips & lessons learned from relays past:

1.) You have your team name… Run with it! Make funny slogans and get creative! Combine that with the location and the options are endless.  Oh, and you can make it hilarious without being gross and using profanities. Just saying.

Lessons learned: The somewhat cleverly inappropriate slogans for Napa Valley may even get you featured on Ragnar’s Facebook page! Thank you, thank you very much!


Ragnar Napa Valley

2.) Magnets are your friends. Magnets are an awesome way to tag your fellow vans… Don’t be a jerk and use stickers. It’s also an easy way for you to decorate your own van with your team name, logo, slogans, etc.

Lesson learned: Take those giant magnets off your van if you are traveling on a major highway… they fly off! And, take them off if you make a pit stop to sleep… not cool when people steal your giant magnets but it happens.  Below are a few of my favorite magnets from Ragnar Napa Valley!

Ragnar Magnets

3.) Invest in quality markers and fill in all the blanks!

 Lessons learned: Not all markers are created equal. Some markers are really difficult to take off; some barely show up on windows. Do your marker research! I think these happen to be the most awesome markers.

Ragnar SoCal

4.) Gone with the wind. If it isn’t super secure on your van, consider it gone.

Lessons learned: For Ragnar SoCal, we thought a fringe skirt around the van would look amazing. Oh, it did. We used painter’s tape to secure the skirt but that clearly wasn’t enough. We lost a majority of the fringe on the drive to the starting line and that left us with a someone naked van. Hello, we looked like newbies. Womp, womp.

Ragnar SoCal

5.) For the artistically challenged, use stencils. For Team Tough Chik, one of our teammates created stencil chiks to use. This was genius! It saved us a ton of time when it came to decorating and was an easy way to have great looking chiks each and every time!

Lessons learned: Have plenty of stencils to go around and create them in different sizes. This allows everyone to be an artist!

Ragnar SoCal

 BONUS Lesson:  Have a designated clean up crew. After running all the miles, the last thing anyone wants to do it clean the van.  Give thanks to your teammates that are returning the van and taking the extra time to make it boring again.

 V_Napa_Ragnar-174 V_Napa_Ragnar-176

Thanks Val & Jeff!!

What are some of your favorite relay race van decorating tips and tricks?



  1. This is great to know, in case I ever do get to run Ragnar. Who would have thought that it's more than the running LOL?
    My recent post weekly recap: 11/9 – 11/15

    • Ragnar is a ton of coordination before the race! Your captain really has to be on top of it, especially if you want to "glamp" and stay at hotels to try and get some real shut-eye after your night legs!

  2. Yes! Love this! We had so much fun decorating our van for Ragnar!

  3. Leslie @ TriathleteTreats says:

    Great post!! Do you know how much you paid for the magnets? Where did you get them?!

  4. aixcasa says:

    That's so great! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

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