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Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:38 pm
by TopHatFox
Entertaining the idea of van living, or at least minimizing the size of my lifestyle further from a retrofitted dorm room / small apartment--there's likely a lot to learn by cautiously following more and more unconventional and "extreme" ways of living. Any resources or comments you all would like to share would be appreciated.

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One seemingly debatable question is whether van living is actually cheaper than small apartment living.

In a van, you must buy the van, pay for its insurance, outfit it as a living space, repair and maintain it, earn/purchase a driver's license from the government, potentially pay parking fees, buy gasoline for a relatively low mpg vehicle, and it's more difficult to harbor inexpensive traveling mediums--namely bicycles--and the equipment required to repair them. Total annual price: unknown at the moment.

In a small apartment, one pays rent, utilities, and can usually house bicycles no problem. Total annual price: ERE 21 day makeover apartment living would come out to $300-400 a month for rent, or $3,600 to $4800 a year.

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:38 pm
by sky
Do you plan to stay in a city, or are you able to travel? One cheap way to be a vandweller is to camp in national forests and BLM lands.

Here is the best resource that i have found:
http://www.cheaprvliving.com/
http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:57 pm
by WYOGO
For me this conversation is one of the few that is NOT all about the money.

If I personally cared little for the mobile life and the benefits it offers (ie travel, freedom, access to remote scenic places as part of life) I might agree that it may not worth the trade off financially.

The only way you could could come close to beating a equally frugal van dweller, is by not owning a vehicle or the associated costs in an affordable housing arrangement with virtually no transportation costs. Van dwellers can get costs to near zero in places with ample BLM, public lands and friends or relative options. Some of them move more frequently and at different speeds and lifestyles choices are highly variable depending on their personal resource availability at a particular time.

If you do not hear the beating drum of freedom played by the open road, I would consider this as a full time lifestyle very carefully.

Expeditionportal.com has many great ideas for mobile vehicles adapted to handle the challenge and adventure of life on the move.

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:51 am
by KevinW
http://www.stealthvandweller.com/

Some more pros for a van:
- forced minimalism
- forced energy and water conservation
- one thing provides shelter AND transportation
- flexibility (e.g. you can move for a job or other opportunity almost for free)
- already off the grid so halfway emergency-prepared

Pros for an apartment:
- cooking facilities!
- can pass for "normal"
- residential mailing address
- space opens up opportunities (e.g. garden, workshop, roommates, exercise, bulk purchasing, pets)

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:45 pm
by GandK
No book recommendations, but the next time you're on YouTube, do a search for van living and class B camper living. I've seen several good videos there on the topic.

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:38 pm
by C40
I'm your Huckleberry. PM me your email address.

The book you should start with is this:
Vanabode - Jason Odom -- (it is 100% a how-to book, and it has a VERY ERE slant)


THE OTHER BOOKS I HAVE:

The VanDweller's Guide - Romana Starfield (similar to the Vanabode book, with some more technical details on setting up a solar system and plumbing, but not as good overall)

Any Road will take you there - David Berner (haven't read it yet)

How to Live in a Car, Van, or.... - Robert Wells (Haven't read it yet)

Turning a cargo van into a road trip adventure vehicle - Roger Steen (haven't read it yet)

Wide-Eyed Wanderers - Richard Ligato (Ego from the forum) - This is a travel book, not much how-to

Drive Nacho Drive - Brad Van Orden - another travel book mainly

Walden on Wheels - Ken Ilgunas - Not much about how-to, more of a biography of his life up to van-living


BLOGS - the ones I read the most:
http://63mph.com/
http://www.tosimplify.net/
http://www.arestlesstransplant.com/
http://wheresmyofficenow.com/

BLOGS - others from my feed. Many I haven't read yet:

http://campervanculture.com/
http://www.drivenachodrive.com/
http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/
http://mobilecodgers.blogspot.com/
http://ouropenroad.com/
http://www.frugal-rv-travel.com/rv-blog.html
http://wheretheheartisusa.blogspot.com/
http://gypseajourneys.blogspot.com/
http://happynomadgirl.org/
http://johnnyvagabond.com/
http://www.ruinedadventures.com/
http://www.stealthvandweller.com/
http://tortugaplata.com/
http://www.vantramps.com/
http://www.wanderwith.me/


YOUTUBE CHANNELS - ones I watch the most:
https://www.youtube.com/user/WheresMyOfficeNow
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq4g9Q ... gG_fKEiHrQ
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHV7Bv ... xoo8yMRiLA

YOUTUBE CHANNELS - Others:
https://www.youtube.com/user/kelseyjoyy
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiyiTq ... LHz-juFxIQ
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwc-4z ... M2r_WFzrSQ
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1RNJS ... kQNZAdMKRQ (Conversion videos)
https://www.youtube.com/user/werkbook/videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/RubberTrampsReviews/videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/westfaliawanderings/videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVgr4n ... I5Q/videos

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:53 pm
by theanimal
Wow, C40! Thanks for posting that. Will be a great resource

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:19 pm
by jennypenny
C40 wrote:I'm your Huckleberry.
I love that movie.


Do you mind if I add your list to the wiki?

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:15 am
by C40
I don't mind at all

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:32 pm
by Ego
Good post about the costs of driving around the world in a van with C40 quality charts (almost).

http://www.drivenachodrive.com/2015/01/ ... the-world/

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:36 pm
by theanimal
Nice video on van life from The Atlantic: http://adventure-journal.com/2015/08/a- ... t-vanlife/

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:23 am
by SimpleLife
Following.

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:32 pm
by Ego
The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, A vandweller gathering each January in Quartzsite

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdLwDjIkAB4

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Fri May 27, 2016 5:48 pm
by Ego
A Franklin stove in a VW campervan. :shock:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SgR7rVHJsM

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Fri May 27, 2016 6:08 pm
by jacob
C40's journal.

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:18 pm
by Ego
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/03/fashi ... nomad.html

A Young Man Quits His Old Life and Goes West

Zach Both left his office job last summer, customized a Chevy van and hit the road. He hasn’t looked back since.

His online van dwelling manual http://thevanual.com/

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:42 am
by bryan
nice. here is the imgur from Reddit today: http://m.imgur.com/a/RijZM

how much would you pay for a slightly custom job like that?

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:52 am
by Ego
One of the dilemmas when designing a camper is balancing the amount of light with safety. A windowless van can feel like a coffin but a glass house can invite smash and grab theft. He created an interesting solution with those flip-up steel window inserts.

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:27 pm
by Ego
Van life article in The New Yorker. Actually more like a #vanlife article, but interesting nontheless.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/ ... a-movement

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:12 pm
by tommytebco

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:47 pm
by bryan
I had my own #vanlife pic posts on Facebook.. they showed the real life version of van life that I thought were interesting.

Summary:
  1. when Pokemon GO came out, I parked for the night at the centroid of multiple PokeStops
  2. yeah, lots of posts about parking/sleeping in seriously excellent (urban) spots..
  3. musings on toilets and bathrooms and "checking reddit" where most people just pee
  4. yeah, lots of toilet talk (and an occasional pic)..
  5. getting starbucks gold on lock for far too many years into the future.
  6. noticing overlap of (early) hours w/ retirees while at bars, libraries
  7. noticing how lame suburbs are for van living e.g. amenities, hours of operations, things to do
  8. public "struggle" with spending decisions. e.g. $3 versus $300 backpacks
  9. documenting some interesting social interactions
  10. air-drying some laundry at the park
  11. hobo-zen-den pics of the van interior or what my home-made meals looked like, e.g. peanut butter crackers and sriracha
edit: my profile pic is a cropped instance of 11: two of the most most important items for #vanlife (water and sleeping gear being right up there).

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:41 pm
by bryan
One of the better builds I've seen planned, executed:
Lee's Incredible Van Build. *FULL TOUR*


He plans on having videos of his own detailing build details and mentions he will have a workshop trailer and wants to help other folks w/ their van builds.

Technomadia channel also looks cool, helpful.

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:38 pm
by halfmoon
Ego wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:27 pm
Van life article in The New Yorker. Actually more like a #vanlife article, but interesting nontheless.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/ ... a-movement
This was somewhat depressing. I don't know what's sadder: the couple commercializing their dream or the Instagram followers idealizing it.

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:43 pm
by TopHatFox
Yeah, I agree: that article did more to depress me than anything else...

This is why I hate Pinterest and Instagram. They tend to idealize everything to the point where reality is never good enough, van life included. (For the love of all that is good, avoid the fitness or beauty sections in particular)

Re: Quality resources on Van Living? (Books are most useful to me)

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:06 pm
by halfmoon
Huh. I didn't even know that Instagram had beauty and fitness sections. So many undiscovered ways to achieve dissatisfaction.
bryan wrote:
Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:47 pm
I had my own #vanlife pic posts on Facebook.. they showed the real life version of van life that I thought were interesting.
@bryan, I'd like to read your take on van life, but I'm not a Facebook member. Is there somewhere to see it that doesn't require DNA registration? ;)