Happy Monday! It’s been some time since I last updated you on our travels. We are currently West of the Salton Sea enjoying the beautiful views.
Things seems to always be changing and we keep going along with it. Over a week ago, we put our travel trailer home in storage and moved into our van. The full mobility of the van living was so exciting to us that we are giving it a try. We’ve been driving around Southern California and chasing the good weather.
Our friend, Kevin, visited us with his van. Together, we explored & hiked Joshua Tree National Park. My knee has been tolerating some short mileage days, WAHOOOO!
So what about this van living thing?
About that, well… it’s really tiny but we’re managing. Our current build isn’t ideal for full-time living so we’ve added some temporary things (storage) to make it easy to live in here. We call it our ‘debugging’ phase. We’re mainly trying to work out a what we need and what we can do without. Our priority is to ensure Bryan and I have workstations so we can accomplish our work. Everything else comes second. We are returning to Wisconsin for the summer and I will have the proper tools to rebuild the van to our needs.
We are still working out a few logistical issues such as water, shower, bathroom etc… Our experience with the RV gave us great knowledge to help with most of the logistics.
Water: At the moment, we have 9 gallons of water stored in the van. We refill at water stations, RV dump stations or spigots outside of businesses that allows it.
What about going to the bathroom?! We get that question a lot. Thankfully, our years of backpacking has trained us on LNT (Leave No Trace) principles. Where we can, we walk out of sight, dig a hole 6″ or deeper, do our thing and cover it back up. There are also public restrooms as well if we are out and about. It has happened where it was impossible to dig a whole, or to find privacy. For those rare instances, we have a 2.5gallon portable toilet.
For showers & laundry: We have a gym membership that has over 1,500 locations across the US. There are public showers such as truck stops, sport complex etc… We also have an outdoor camp shower. Once a week, we head to a laundromat and do our laundry. It’s not as bad as it sounds, since we can hang out in the ‘house’ while we wait for it.
Food: We go to town every few days to resupply as we do not have room for bulk storage. We have a small cooler and must replace the ice every 2-3 days. This is a temporary setup as we will be purchasing a 12v portable fridge by Summer. Our target is to be able to stay park at a campground for a few days. This will give us more time in the evening to go explore and hike the area.
Electricity & Solar: Right now, we have (3) 100w panels, 200ah deep cycle battery & a 2,000w inverter. On our second day, we blew a power outlet as we drew too much power so we upgraded to a 2,000w inverter last week. In the rebuild, we will likely incorporate another panel & battery to ensure that in the event we get some multiple cloudy days, we have enough electricity reserves.
Right now, it just feels cluttered as most things must be set on the bed before departure. It’s all part of the process and we’re looking forward to rebuilding the van! We’ll share interior photos this summer… Can’t wait!!!