#TravelGoals: It's a Van Life for Some

#TravelGoals: It's a Van Life for Some
People are converting vans to full-time homes, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

From converting old school buses to living inside a Sprinter Van, many are road trippin' without a fixed address, choosing to remain travellers forever

Aashna Dhiman
September 23 , 2021
14 Min Read

Imagine waking up in a cosy bedroom with a tiny window that opens to a new view every day, or a travelling workplace where you do not have to compromise on your family/social time. Being on-the-go in converted vans and buses has taken off (did you know that #VanLife is a trending hashtag?). We looked around and found some of the most interesting ones. Here's to some travel inspo.

The Thompsons
Acing the design of house-on-wheels, Jeremy and Mira Thompson made a tiny house that has its own climbable living room, composting toilet system, and a DIY fireplace.

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A post shared by A Tiny Good Thing (@atinygoodthing)

To make most of the limited space, they have added a few convertible chairs and cabinets. Having a tiny tot at home also required Thompsons to design a wardrobe and kitchen table that fits the space and does not make it look congested.

The Vandog Traveller
After quitting his job in 2013, Mike Hudson purchased an old van from eBay, refurbished it into a small mobile living space, and called it a home that he would occupy during his journeys across Europe.

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A post shared by Mike Hudson @vandogtraveller (@vandogtraveller)

It took him five months to convert a junk van into habitable space and equip it with water, electricity, and technology. Whether it is using solar roof panels to power the refrigerator and cellphones, a foldable bed to sleep in, free Wi-Fi connections for work, or conserving water in tanks, the secret of Hudson’s off-grid life is to make most of the resources present at his disposal.

Read: A House on Wheels

The Lost Bells
Living out of a 250-square-foot school bus was a lifestyle that the family of five — Colby, Emily, Zoe, Crew, and Marley — happily adopted last year in August.

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A post shared by The Lost Bell Family (@lostbells)

To maximise their time on the road, the couple bought a partially furnished school van and converted it into a home that has everything pretty — from a tiny reading loft above the driver’s seat to customised bunk beds, and in-built storage racks to rooftop patio on the deck. Designed using a grey-and-white colour scheme, the layout of the house reflects a comforting vibe, and allow the space to stay illuminated during day hours.

Tio Aventura
After living in their self-constructed bus house for two years, Chase and Mariajosé shifted to full-time van life in 2020.

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A post shared by Vanlife | Mariajosé & Chase (@tioaventuravan)

Already experienced at vehicle conversions, the couple built their DIY home on wheels that also accommodates their dogs, Jake and Pablo. They have incorporated a freshwater storage system, electric induction cooktop, and a composting toilet inside the van. The highlight of their Sprinter Van is the three-in-one multipurpose area —living room, bedroom (includes Murphy bed), and workplace — that changes its role depending on the time of the day.

Read: Karnataka Launches Caravan Tourism

The Willow Tree
This 30-foot trailer is inspired by autumn colours, and belongs to Stephanie Cubes, a single mother to a five-year-old girl and a few fur babies.

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A post shared by Tiny House Dweller (@twogirlsandatiny)

From making her own kitchen countertops to getting a second-hand claw-foot bathtub, Stephanie was committed to including essential items without going down the expensive route. Adding to the charm is the queen-size bed placed upstairs with windows and a skylight which open to stunning views.

Navigation Nowhere
Truly defining his page name, ‘Navigation Nowhere’, Michael Fuehrer decided early on (in his graduation days) that he would live as an offbeat traveller.

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A post shared by Michael Fuehrer (@navigationnowhere)

With no professional help, Fuehrer and his father bought a school bus and converted it to a minimalist 180-square-feet living space. The moving house comprises a surround sound system, a solar power system, foldable beds, DIY wooden tables, large water-storing tanks, and a small rooftop deck. 

Read: 7 Stunning Roads Across the World

Going Boundless
Fans of tiny spaces and nomadic lifestyles, Robbie and Priscilla decided last year to explore places around the US and Canada on their customised skoolie.

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A post shared by Going Boundless (@going_boundless)

Accompanying them is Mr. Beebles, a pet cat, who has adjusted to the new bus life and is often found enjoying the views from its glass windows. Constructed according to their needs, the set-up includes a marine propane heater, quartz countertops, waterproof floors, a combo washer-dryer unit, and much more. They travel in their bus-turned-home for 8-10 months in a year and take a few breaks to fly abroad.

Read: Travel by Caravans in Uttarakhand

Divine on the Road
Working 80 hours in a week to leaving it all for full-time van life, Sydney Ferbrache is a solo traveller who has been living in her 2017 Ford Transit van for more than two years now.

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A post shared by Sydney Ferbrache (@divineontheroad)

Keeping her company are her two pet dogs, Ella and Pearl. With the help of van builders, Ferbrache designed her van and incorporated things that are important to her like bookshelves, a 6-foot long pull-out dining table, vanity mirror with lights, sliding pocket door,  a van alarm for safety purposes, a pull-out cutting board for the kitchen, and a 110-volt refrigerator for ice-creams.

Eamon and Bec
After living the van life for three years and travelling the world, Eamon and Bec had to abandon their second van in Africa as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the news.

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A post shared by Eamon & Bec (@eamonandbec)

However, the travellers bounced back with their third van last year in September. The van is equipped with self-lock drawers and a magnet strip for cutlery that stay put while driving. Unlike their previous vans, this time they got a composting toilet and an indoor shower that can be easily deconstructed after use.

Read: 6 Scenic Road Trips in India you Need to Take

Uphill Adventure
Friends in college and now engaged, Jess and Sarah (and pet dog) have been living off-grid in their tiny house built inside a 2019 Sprinter Cargo Van.

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A post shared by Uphill Adventure | Jess+Sarah (@uphilladventure)

To ensure that the place has enough ventilation and natural light, the couple chose a max air fan over a standard AC and carved out small windows on both sides of the van. Aptly reflecting the minimal lifestyle is the van’s layout that includes a stick-on patterned tile, tongue and groove ceiling, and tiny plant balcony. 

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