The Van is Done

Quick update. The van is done. There are no further show stoppers that would prevent me / us from moving to a nomadic lifestyle.  Many small issues, but nothing mission-critical.

The electrical system is complete. We have 700W recharging 428Ah, fans and fridge running 24/7, and rarely do we ever get below “full” (12.84V) overnight. I’ve never seen it get below 12.6V except when the induction stove is running; after which it returns to higher levels in due course. Continue reading “The Van is Done”

Van Build Progress Update

Progress on the van build has been slow but steady. I’ve been working on this thing for about a year, and it’s almost done. Progress has been stifled somewhat by a combination of scheduling conflicts, extreme weather, and the laziness that is inherent to all computer programmers.

This update is for those of you who do not follow my build on YouTube. I update that far more often, for some reason.

Looks like my last update was in February. I was working on the superstructure at the time. I have long since finished it, including the dinette and side cabinets. Continue reading “Van Build Progress Update”

The Wisdom of Walden, Part 2

Continued from Part 1

Revisiting some of my favorite passages from Walden, and explaining what they mean to me.

“When he has obtained those things which are necessary to life, there is another alternative than to obtain the superfluities; and that is, to adventure on life now, his vacation from humbler toil having commenced.”

Live below your means – way below. Most of us in Western societies spend every penny we earn. Few save much if any, and almost nobody would entertain the thought of living as if we made a fraction of what we do. If we can easily afford a $2000/mo apartment, we figure that’s what we need to live in.

Many vandwellers have gotten the idea: They’ll stay at their job, making say $2000 a month, but they’ll only spend $500 of it. The rest goes right into savings. These people don’t necessarily have a problem when they lose or quit a job, knowing they’ll be just fine. It’s a term you may have heard called “F.U. money”.  Whether you live on minimum wage or have a six digit income, your expenses can remain constant and low. Continue reading “The Wisdom of Walden, Part 2”

The Wisdom of Walden

I speak, of course, of Thoreau’s book, which may as well be the Bible to vandwellers and boondockers.  I’d like to revisit some of my favorite passages, and explain what they mean to me.

“But men labor under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon plowed into the soil for compost. By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool’s life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before.”

Men labor under a mistake. Time is money. You don’t pay for things with dollars; you pay for them with hours of your life. Every dollar earned and spent is for that much of your life you should rightly have had to yourself. But instead you decided to trade it away. And for what? Usually, for creature comforts and luxuries that only take you further away from Nature – From how we were meant to live.

Almost every cent is wasted on fleeting moments or things that will become garbage. The money you spend on air conditioning and entertainment may as well be burned. You can adjust your climate by traveling to where it’s nicer, and you can entertain yourself with a book. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of free (or no-cost-added) books just a few clicks away.

In the end, you can’t take any of it to your grave. You’ll just leave a house full of garbage to your children. It’s more a mess to clean up than it is an inheritance, and they’ll be remembering you with every trinket they sell or throw out. The pain is extended at least until the estate is closed. By living a minimalist lifestyle, you can save them that; and you can save yourself the waste of collecting the trinkets in the first place.
Continue reading “The Wisdom of Walden”

2017 GMC Savana 3500: My New Van

I haven’t been posting much lately because I actually picked a vehicle, started the modifications to it, and started going on camping trips to prepare for the Van Life. But I feel bad for disappearing all of a sudden, so here’s the van.

It’s only been two months, but I’ve gotten a fair amount of work done, and the wife and I have gone on a few dry camping trips. Not proper dispersed camping / boondocking, as we’ve been in campgrounds; but no hookups.  I think I may have to ease into boondocking over time; my experiences in the backroads have not been great so far. Continue reading “2017 GMC Savana 3500: My New Van”

Rubber Tramp Rendezvous – Burning Van

You’ve seen this, right?   It’s important to me that you’ve seen this.

All videos are the same moment, from different angles and with different lengths and qualities. Try to spot the videographers from each other’s shots!

And yes, the “Here we go” lady is audible in every single one.

 

Somewhere in the middle of the song, Jamie decided to cut to some Skrillex stuff, so this one doesn’t have the whole song; but he got some wider shots to show more of the area surrounding the event:

Bonus drone shot that I can’t confirm because they replaced the audio with different recorded music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEU2Gd0y3eo

Lyrics – From https://hobolawyer.travel.blog/2017/02/02/on-the-road-again/ :

In our vans again. Just can’t wait to get in our vans again. The life we love is in the desert with our friends. And we can’t wait to get in our vans again.

In our vans again. Goin places that most haven’t been. Goin places we may never go again. And we can’t wait to get in our vans again.

Rubber tramps again. Like a band of gypsies we go down to Quartzsite. We’ll see Bob again. We’ll share our tales at campfires in the night time. Warm fire time.

Well our vans are small. We have no spaces left upon the wall. But they’re are homes and we’re happy as can be. Our vans are how we’re living oh so free.

Burn that van again. Like a blazing symbol it lights up the night sky. And we all will cheer. Because simple pleasures seem to be the best ones with good friends.

Burn that van again. Just can’t wait to burn up that van again. It marks the end of our stay here in Quartzsite town. But next year we’ll be coming back again. And we can’t wait to get in our vans again.