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Erykka

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Hi all! Been watching TV more than I ever have, since I was recovering from a decent crash. Now I'm back to work, I can't get van life out of my mind. It's went from silly day dream, to a firm plan. I'm physically still recovering, but I'm working out how to make it happen. I find myself downsizing everyday. two bedroom rental trailer I am in currently...now only has stuff in the kitchen and living room, very little in bathroom. I'm trying to get my kids to take their storage things lol. I'm using the time to learn solar/shower ideas, as these are my two main wants. But yesterday I told my brother my plans, and I realized it is going to happen. Slowly, but surely... I'll be seeing you out there!
 

tx2sturgis

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Errykka welcome to the forum...we hope you stay around and let us know how it's going....and feel free to ask any questions you may have.

We wish good luck for you!
 

Erykka

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Hi all! Been watching TV more than I ever have, since I was recovering from a decent crash. Now I'm back to work, I can't get van life out of my mind. It's went from silly day dream, to a firm plan. I'm physically still recovering, but I'm working out how to make it happen. I find myself downsizing everyday. two bedroom rental trailer I am in currently...now only has stuff in the kitchen and living room, very little in bathroom. I'm trying to get my kids to take their storage things lol. I'm using the time to learn solar/shower ideas, as these are my two main wants. But yesterday I told my brother my plans, and I realized it is going to happen. Slowly, but surely... I'll be seeing you out there!
The TV I was watching was YouTube van life videos lol I just saw what I wrote... Thanks for the welcome 😊
 

eDJ_

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Welcome to the Van Living Forum :) It all starts with a dream...unless someone gives you an old cargo Van for graduation. (as in my case at least) But I've condensed years of experience into the two websites below for all other newbies who are breaking into this lifestyle. The first one to get a beginner's rig together. The second a portal of links and specialized info that can be used for planning ahead or using once out there for one's safety, comfort, and convenience. All the Best !
 

Erykka

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Welcome to the Van Living Forum :) It all starts with a dream...unless someone gives you an old cargo Van for graduation. (as in my case at least) But I've condensed years of experience into the two websites below for all other newbies who are breaking into this lifestyle. The first one to get a beginner's rig together. The second a portal of links and specialized info that can be used for planning ahead or using once out there for one's safety, comfort, and convenience. All the Best !
Thanks!!
 

Erykka

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I really feel motivated now. I watched Bob with the cheap RV living YouTube video on ltva, it's a relief to know that I have a place to go. My worry had been finding a place to kind of loiter, and get used to van life. I'm not antisocial, but more backwards shy, so driving around seeking a night spot was on my mind. The more I learn, the better I feel that this is a good decision for me. I'm still debating on types of solar, stoves, so many little things, but I'm blessed with the time to tweak all of it. Outside of my comfort zone, asking coworkers if the know a welder, or have tools I can borrow. Most of them didn't know I could speak, haha. This is already good for me
 

bullfrog

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Plenty of room on the BLM lands as well if you really want to hide! Lol!!!
 

Erykka

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I've sorted out my shower slash diy compost toilet slash mini washer area. Willing to have mini bed, heck, I'm 5'1, so Im wishing I had discovered van life years ago, lol. As I crawl all over every van I see up for sale, and watch my mechanic friend crouched over and banging their head....I think I was made for this! Everything seems to be lining up like it's meant to happen....I know the solar/electrical is going to be my kryptonite.....
 

eDJ_

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In my original rig I just had an aluminum frame cot with green canvas set up traversing across the rear wheels. It had a simple 3 inch thick foam mattress and sleeping bag. The foam mattress made all the difference in cold weather. (couldn't sleep on it without that insulation in cold weather). My present rig has a bathroom cabinet for the kitchenette. The marble top wasn't on it when I got it (free to haul off) so I made a top of plywood. I have a couple of stainless basins (similar to what you would find on a food table at a buffet at a used restaurant supply place cheap) My two burner propane stove is simple camping equipment. I'm working on the plumbing so it will have running water.

You can find used bathroom vanities at Goodwill or other recycle places for cheap. Often free to haul away in your Van at building sites where they are flipping houses.
A simple two door cabinet is all you need for this. Canned food, cleaning products etc can stow in it along with utensils.

Kitchenette Cabinet

Speaking of finding a place to park/sleep at night.....here is a photo of the USA after dark from space.

image
 
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maki2

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If you want to learn how to install solar and electrical begin with the basics. Go to a hardware store, a neighborhood sized one, not a big box store. and get a pair of wire strippers and crimping pliers. Also purchase some stranded wire not too thin and not too thick you want it to be pretty easy to crimp so maybe 16 gauge is a good size to begin with. Get some terminals to crimp onto the wire that are the right size for that gauge of wire. Ask the clerk or manager to show you how the tool works and what a good crimp looks like by having them make a few samples for you to keep. Then go home and practice stripping and crimping connecters onto wires.

After that you can experiment with a very basic circuit, the kind that is in
a flashlight. These baby steps and a few additional more baby step lessons get the physically connected images locked into your head and that creates the road maps in your brain that makes following instructions for hooking up things like soar panels and controllers seem way less overwhelming. Just watching videos is not enough, getting your hands involved in the learning is essential for forming those neural pathways. It takes mind and body both to develop confidence as the work requires both thinking and doing.
 
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Tony's Dream

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Welcome! Just like you, I took my dream and made it a reality too. I am not full time, I simply like taking trips of 10-15 days. Without a plan, a dream is only a dream. You are heading in the right direction. Good luck and keep us posted.:p
 

Erykka

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In my original rig I just had an aluminum frame cot with green canvas set up traversing across the rear wheels. It had a simple 3 inch thick foam mattress and sleeping bag. The foam mattress made all the difference in cold weather. (couldn't sleep on it without that insulation in cold weather). My present rig has a bathroom cabinet for the kitchenette. The marble top wasn't on it when I got it (free to haul off) so I made a top of plywood. I have a couple of stainless basins (similar to what you would find on a food table at a buffet at a used restaurant supply place cheap) My two burner propane stove is simple camping equipment. I'm working on the plumbing so it will have running water.

You can find used bathroom vanities at Goodwill or other recycle places for cheap. Often free to haul away in your Van at building sites where they are flipping houses.
A simple two door cabinet is all you need for this. Canned food, cleaning products etc can stow in it along with utensils.

Kitchenette Cabinet

Speaking of finding a place to park/sleep at night.....here is a photo of the USA after dark from space.

image
That's awesome! I'm trying to work with mostly what I have, but you have great ideas. I had a thick foam mattress, just cut it to fit the sledd totes I have, bed for now. will reinforce with some plywood when I come across the scrap lol. I have about 10 milk crates I'm thinking dresser/counter...maybe. I have a small kitchen island that may be narrow enough for van, I have bungees now that are on it to hold stuff on shelves, again looking for scrap lumber to close in down the road.
 

Erykka

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If you want to learn how to install solar and electrical begin with the basics. Go to a hardware store, a neighborhood sized one, not a big box store. and get a pair of wire strippers and crimping pliers. Also purchase some stranded wire not too thin and not too thick you want it to be pretty easy to crimp so maybe 16 gauge is a good size to begin with. Get some terminals to crimp onto the wire that are the right size for that gauge of wire. Ask the clerk or manager to show you how the tool works and what a good crimp looks like by having them make a few samples for you to keep. Then go home and practice stripping and crimping connecters onto wires.

After that you can experiment with a very basic circuit, the kind that is in
a flashlight. These baby steps and a few additional more baby step lessons get the physically connected images locked into your head and that creates the road maps in your brain that makes following instructions for hooking up things like soar panels and controllers seem way less overwhelming. Just watching videos is not enough, getting your hands involved in the learning is essential for forming those neural pathways. It takes mind and body both to develop confidence as the work requires both thinking and doing.
Thanks, that's a great idea! I will probably be starting with just a small jackery until I get in it full time. Then I can afford to save and put in the system I want. But I will start practicing, hands on is better learning for me, just didn't think of it!
 

Erykka

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Welcome! Just like you, I took my dream and made it a reality too. I am not full time, I simply like taking trips of 10-15 days. Without a plan, a dream is only a dream. You are heading in the right direction. Good luck and keep us posted.:p
Thanks for the welcome, I hope to be full time and rolling by September at the latest, I really want to do six months travel and six months back up here working, and gardening the spring/summer so I have plenty of veggies to store and dehydrate so I can do it all over again, haha. That's my plan, so far. It's constantly evolving
 

Erykka

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I pretty much had a wake up call when I had this wreck. I didn't do anything wrong and yet almost lost everything since I was out of work. Went back to work a little bit earlier than I should have, but eviction notice will light a fire under ya lol. I'm just never going to get in that situation again if I can avoid it, honestly. And paying crazy high rent seems ridiculous when I can travel and still be comfy (with careful planning) without killing myself at work forever. I'm so glad I ran across a lot of really great sites and helpful folks. My lil super condensed story, lol
 

wb8vyn

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Hi all! Been watching TV more than I ever have, since I was recovering from a decent crash. Now I'm back to work, I can't get van life out of my mind. It's went from silly day dream, to a firm plan. I'm physically still recovering, but I'm working out how to make it happen. I find myself downsizing everyday. two bedroom rental trailer I am in currently...now only has stuff in the kitchen and living room, very little in bathroom. I'm trying to get my kids to take their storage things lol. I'm using the time to learn solar/shower ideas, as these are my two main wants. But yesterday I told my brother my plans, and I realized it is going to happen. Slowly, but surely... I'll be seeing you out there!
Me too.
I'm really old. Today was the day I finished my solar set up. Not sure It's going to be enough but I think so.
I've been making my own meals here in my camper trailer. Lots of failures (yuk). but you can't hurt hamburger enough to call the health department.
Like you, down sizing is hard to do. I can still walk around so that has to be good. Of course I can't find anything till I'm not looking for it and then there It is.
Still on my todo list is where do I go from here and how do I get there AND what do I do when I do get there? Where ever THERE is.
The picture shows me and my wife - Well she up and died on me - no warning- She just up and died and left me here to do all those things like keep me organized and fed and dressed and stuff, lots of stuff.
So, now like you, I am off, well not mentally off, just off to a different place off.
The thing that has me worried, (actually scared) is where are the grocery stores and how am I going to do laundry. I've already got the shower figured out and didn't drown but I did forget my towel and now I can't find my clean sox. Do I even have clean sox? I can turn my underwear inside out but can you do that with sox?
I write to you to encourage you along your way to what ever you plan to do? and wherever you plan to go and do it
All I know is that I'm headed south. and maybe west with lots of questions and no answers. (yet).
If you see an old guy wandering around in dirty sox, That'll be me.
 

Erykka

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Me too.
I'm really old. Today was the day I finished my solar set up. Not sure It's going to be enough but I think so.
I've been making my own meals here in my camper trailer. Lots of failures (yuk). but you can't hurt hamburger enough to call the health department.
Like you, down sizing is hard to do. I can still walk around so that has to be good. Of course I can't find anything till I'm not looking for it and then there It is.
Still on my todo list is where do I go from here and how do I get there AND what do I do when I do get there? Where ever THERE is.
The picture shows me and my wife - Well she up and died on me - no warning- She just up and died and left me here to do all those things like keep me organized and fed and dressed and stuff, lots of stuff.
So, now like you, I am off, well not mentally off, just off to a different place off.
The thing that has me worried, (actually scared) is where are the grocery stores and how am I going to do laundry. I've already got the shower figured out and didn't drown but I did forget my towel and now I can't find my clean sox. Do I even have clean sox? I can turn my underwear inside out but can you do that with sox?
I write to you to encourage you along your way to what ever you plan to do? and wherever you plan to go and do it
All I know is that I'm headed south. and maybe west with lots of questions and no answers. (yet).
If you see an old guy wandering around in dirty sox, That'll be me.
I guess you could wash out the Sox in the shower.....or go for sandals and heck with the darn Sox... thanks for the encouragement and enjoy your travels! I'll keep an eye out 😉
 
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