Photo: Greg Heil

Even though my girlfriend and I bought a fully-converted van from Dave and Matt Vans, we’ve still invested some serious time in setting up our storage and getting it dialed in for our specific uses. In particular, our under bed storage area came as a totally blank slate, requiring us that to take it from the top and spend some time thinking about how to maximize the storage space, fit all of the adventure gear we need, and still be able to access certain things on a regular basis.

Then we had to think, “Ok, what type of adventure gear…

It was the amount of space and freedom I needed, at a budget I could afford

Photo by Caleb George on Unsplash

Do you want a change? A really big change?

Maybe you’re forced into something because you’ve lost your job, or your landlord gave you notice and you have to move. Maybe you just want to downsize.

A year ago, in June 2020, I was forced into change and I found a fun and exciting solution! You too have options. See how to make them work in your life below…

When I found out that I would lose my career/job and thus my income and my apartment, the first thing I did was panic.

Being solution-oriented, I went from panic to list-making.

I love lists.

On my list were all the options that I could afford.

List #1

  • Move further…

Maybe it’s about defining what community truly means to you.

Photo by William White on Unsplash

On the road, off the road, traversing the world…

The first question about community is: What Does Community Mean to You?

Because it means something different to each person. Some people define it as a group of like-minded people (ie: writers, artists, rock climbers, etc.).

Others define it as a group of close friends. Some define it as family. I have asked myself this question a lot recently.

In a few vanlife documentaries, people claimed the only downside to vanlife was a lack of community.

One person in the documentary defined community as — when people in your neighborhood know your name.

Like the local coffee shop owners, etc. And when you frequent these places you’re able to talk to the people who work there. I…

Photo by Johannes Hofmann on Unsplash

Vanlife may not be for you, but that doesn’t make it stupid

It seems like six months can’t go by without a major magazine company running a thinkpiece that either satirizes or openly criticizes people who enjoy #vanlife. Here’s one from January 2021, right in the middle of the pandemic.

The one thing that’s consistent about all these pieces is the author of the piece (who is not a #vanlifer themselves) invariably misunderstands what #vanlife is about.

Journalists Have the Wrong Mindset — They Erroneously Expect a House on Wheels

Invariably, they conduct their “test” of #vanlife in extraordinarily luxurious camper vans rented on their behalf by their magazine. We’re talking 2021 extra-long wheelbase Mercedes Sprinters with 500 watts of solar panels, full showers with…

Licensed from Adobe Stock

You can spend as much or as little as you want

Today we are going to be tackling the question:

What’s an average or ideal cost range to have when looking for a van?

People often ask me that question thinking the answer as simple as saying “Oh, $10,000!”, and they’re surprised when I launch into a 45-minute explanation of various van models and mechanical failure rates and conversion philosophies.

So unfortunately, I do not have a canned answer for you. Your ideal cost range is going to depend a lot on your priorities and your ability to do work yourself.

I say ability, not willingness, because most people who live…

A lovely (and expensive) interior van shower. I never owned a shower at all, let alone one like this.

The biggest “problem” with living in a van isn’t a problem at all

Living in a van is a lot like living in a house. You still have to go to work, you still have to pay your bills, and you still get to lie awake at night after breakups eating ice cream and watching Netflix.

There are a few differences, though. Like how the first thing people say when they find out you live in a van — the very first thing, always — is to ask you where you pee and poop.

“Look, I know we just met and all,” they say abashedly, aware that they are asking a complete stranger…

Photo by Marcos Ramírez on Unsplash

Unless you’re rich, it just isn’t worth the money

No doubt about it, this is an opinion piece. And like any opinion piece, there are going to be people who have different opinions. But my opinion is this: putting a microwave in your van is a dumb idea. Unless you have a lot of money, which most #vanlifers do not, it simply isn’t worth it.

To explain my position, I first need to teach you about how electricity works.

All electronic devices have a wattage, a measurement of the amount of electricity a device uses during operation. All batteries are measured in terms of watt-hours, which is the number…

Photo by Livin4wheel on Unsplash

A discussion of the financial, practical, and ethical considerations

Several years ago, I was a member of the #vanlife community. Like the people in those Instagram photos, I traveled up and down the US in an old camper van. My van was a ‘97 GMC Savanna I affectionately nicknamed Rover 2, after Mark Watney’s rover in The Martian.

It was the happiest time of my life. I’ve literally never been happier.

I would have done it forever, but Rover 2 was a money pit and I knew I needed a better van (and a higher income) if I wanted to have any measure of comfort and stability on the…

Photo by Nick Dunlap on Unsplash

There are bugs everywhere, I can’t defend my home, and there are entire cities that ban overnight parking

I spent two years fantasizing about the #vanlife before I joined, and in that time I swear I read every article, saw every Instagram post, and watched every YouTube video in existence that mentioned #vanlife. Now I’m living the dream. While I wouldn’t trade it for the world, there were some things no one warned me about…

1. Wasps (And Other Bugs) Are Everywhere

I don’t know what it is about a camper van, but if I’m in an area where wasps exist, they always get into my van. …

Living the #Vanlife

Stories about building and traveling in a camper van

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