…but I’m living in a van now. #vanlife beetch!
If this is news to you then I’d be willing to bet you’re not following me on social media because – while I’ve been neglecting the blog lately – my Insta has been getting lots of love. I’ve got a story highlight on my profile so that you can catch up on all you’ve missed.
I’m in the process of editing a video tour of my old apartment which I moved out of officially on October 3rd. However, I moved into the van about a week earlier making my vanniversary August 28th. Since its going to take a hot minute for me to finish that apartment vlog, I thought I’d address some of your burning questions here:
1.) I am still working a full-time, in-office job which I still thoroughly enjoy and I have no plans to change that. I know the nomadic life is most often synonymous with van life, but for now, my van is essentially an apartment on wheels which I, more often than not, choose not to drive. Once my internet is all set up, I might start back up on work-from-home days in the van. And who knows? Maybe one day I can get work-from-home extended from Tuesday/Thursday to 5 days a week and then I could start traveling while I work. But I’m not going to complain about having to spend 8 hours a day in an air-conditioned/heated space with microwaves, running toilets and lightening fast internet.
2.) Speaking of driving, I still have my Civic and use it to run errands and commute everyday. Really, the van doesn’t move a lot! This has turned out to have a lot of pros and cons. As a pro, I can show up somewhere to do something questionable (like dumping a jug of urine) and no one thinks anything of it because I’m in a car instead of a hippie-dippie camper van. A con that I’ve yet to hear any van vloggers talk about so far is mice. I suppose none of them are ever anywhere long enough for mice to find them, but after being woken up by rustling in the middle of the night, I invested in some mouse traps which have yet to catch anything. Everything edible is in glass so maybe mice are smart enough to know there’s nothing in the van for them? Either way, it has definitely been an unforeseen challenge.
3.) For those of you who are curious, I’m in a 1997 Volkswagen Eurovan Camper. While I would have loved to do a full sprinter conversion, that just wasn’t feasible with my level of funds, experience and time. The camper van already had a full kitchen and closet as well as propane, water and grey water tanks. All I really did before moving in was rip out the old car seats that folded into a bed and replaced it with a pull out sofa bed I made. This better utilizes the space inside the van as well as provides much needed additional storage underneath for my clothes.
4.) Now for the question you are all wondering; where do I pee? The first purchase I made after buying the van was a Natures Head Compostable Toilet. So, yes I have a toilet in the van. But, no it’s not a traditional house or rv toilet. I don’t have to worry about a black tank or messing with chemicals, and so far, even though I haven’t even bolted it to the floor or vented it yet, it works great with minimal smell. The only smells I’ve dealt with so far are #1 and not #2. That was just because I let the #1 jug sit for weeks waiting for it to fill up before dumping it instead of putting it on a schedule where I dump it every week regardless of how full it is.
5.) I guess along the same line of thought as toilets, you’re probably wondering where I shower. This is the only question I don’t have an ultra creative, in-van solution for. In fact, I’m taking a page out of all the full time van vloggers books and showering at the gym. The difference? Instead of paying $20 for a Planet Fitness membership, I’m showering in the gym at work. This has worked out great so far, but if it ever gets awkward or I start traveling then I’ll just pick up a Planet Fitness pass and join all the other van dwellers who awkwardly head straight to the shower without picking up a single weight.
6.) Final question I’m assuming you are thinking since I get it in person all the time. How are you going to stay warm? Well, the van was built with a propane furnace which I have used once now and am happy to say works incredibly well. Coupled with my super warm duvet, I foresee nothing but toasty warm nights. A deeper level question that you might not be thinking since you don’t have to worry about this kinda stuff is, how am I keeping the van from freezing? I don’t feel safe leaving a propane furnace running while I’m at work since it’s literally an open flame dealing with a combustible fuel. I think I found a marine space heater that is made specifically for what I need and I’ll let you all know how that works when I get around to ordering. We have at least another month before freezing temperatures here in Utah and maybe another month after that before daytime freezing temps. The better question you should ask is how I stay cool in the summer. I haven’t quite figured that out yet as I’ve tried everything obvious. As a result, I’m spending a lot of time in Starbucks and shopping during the heat of the day which is mostly on weekends since I’m at work during the weekdays. This may sound inconvenient but so far it isn’t because I do still have a considerable number of projects which have required me to spend a lot of time shopping for the exact right part. By the time I finally get some leisure time, the 80+ degree temperatures should be LONG gone and I won’t have to worry about that until next summer.
So that’s that! Comment your remaining questions below and I’ll get to it in a future Q&A video or blog post. In the meantime, look out for my upcoming apartment tour and then I might have collected enough footage to do a van renovation video after that.