Full Time Vanlifers! We're Getting the Hang Of It.
Day Fifteen The start of Week 3. I can tell the honeymoon is starting to be over because I'm noticing the annoying things about unconverted-van van life. Like how we have to organize at least once per day. No matter how many times we organize, everything is where is doesn't belong quickly. And how many bungee cords we have to use in order to keep things in place when we are driving. And how inconvenient it is to bungee and un-bungee every day. I guess not moving around so much would solve that problem.
We had apple slices with peanut butter, almonds, walnuts and raisins. Yum!
We received our quote for solar install - over $14,000 hahahahahaha OMG they must be on crack. Who gets a $27,000 Ford Transit and puts a 400watt, $14,000 solar system on it?
Today we found a fast food place that was allowing dine-in so we hung out there for a while and got some work done.
Day Sixteen We were missing Love's so we went there last night then went in to town for laundry and groceries this morning. The RV guy gave me some tips on fixing the uneven overhang on the floor.
And... and I used a power tool for the first time today!! I'm not good at it, but hey, it's an accomplishment. I did even out the overhang but could not get a straight cut on some planks that need to be skinny to fit in the final spaces on top of the plywood.
We used real electricity (as opposed to our portable power pack) at the RV space so Katie could use our single burner and pan, and make a yummy dinner of chicken and veggies with garlic bread.
We stayed at the RV spot.
Day Seventeen This is currently more of a "living in a van" diary than a van life diary. We may have become stagnant here, but for several good reasons: - RV Guy has offered to help us put up the walls tomorrow. - We can't ask for better than this location. The weather is great, there is a lake, the prices for food and gas are reasonable, people are friendly, and there is always somewhere to park. - The weather in other places gets cold overnight, so we don't want to move forward without insulation. - We need this time to stay put in order to focus on work and schoolwork. I can't do work while I'm driving, and keeping Kate on task while I'm focused on the road is difficult (to say the least!). - We have enjoyed exploring the local scene, including the mundane things like going to the bank and the post office. - And because full time van life allows the vanlifer to come and go and he or she pleases. If we like a place, we can hang out for a while; if we don't, we're outta there. We just so happen to like it here a lot.
Now, the bad side of why we might be staying: I tend to get paralysis of analysis. That's what kept me from buying a van for years. That's what kept us not moving forward with our van build for several months after purchase. (Plus, work was super busy for a while there.) I'm curious if the wonderfulness of this place is making me avoid the Great Unknown of what comes after this. We already went to Kingman for one night then hightailed it back here. What if we get to our next place and it sucks? What if there are no places to park overnight? What if it's too cold for our set up?
See... anxiety-filled questions that really should be a part of the great adventure. But they might be the lingering reason why we haven't left yet. Honestly, the best way to find out is to wait until after tomorrow. If RV Guy is telling the truth, we will have walls- and therefore insulation- so the issue of cold overnights will be resolved. Day Eighteen We finished the flooring! This involved using the jig saw again. I (Mel) got better at it and was able to cut some odd pieces for the final finishing touches. Next, stuffing the cavities with Havelock wool! (Maybe tomorrow??)
We made dinner for RV Guy and he told me I was a stress case, so I guess I'm not as happy and free as I thought... or else I was just really worse a few weeks ago, before van life started.
But dinner was good.
RV Guy didn't help with the van. He was not feeling well.
Day Nineteen We got the Havelock wool insulation stuffed into all of the cavities and little holes today. It was a full day event. We made sure we had every little crack and crevice stuffed with fluff -even the doors. We have long insulated curtains that cover the back doors and windows, but insulating the actual doors can't hurt.
We still have leftover for the walls. That will be a chore for a different day, when we are ready to put the real walls up.
It was nice to have somewhere to work rather than the Home Depot or Staples parking lot with all the lookie-loos. (Yes, we realize that unloading the contents of our traveling crack house onto the pavement and working in the far end of the parking lot is ghetto fabulous, but we didn't really have a choice until RV Guy showed up.)
And, then to have a hot shower, just a short walk away! After we cleaned up, we had dinner and chocolate strawberries for dessert. We feel spoiled.
It is dark, almost bed time, and we are sitting in our van- not cold! With the temps in the 40s outside, we are normally layered and in our sleeping bags just to stay warm. We are only partially done with insulation and we can tell a big difference already. This is so exciting!!
Thinking back to the pre-purchase freak out, it's hard to imagine why I would have been nervous about this new life. We are having such a great time, enjoying the work it takes to make it happen, and are happier and more peaceful than ever!
Day Twenty Last night was fiercely windy and colder than it has been since we've been here. We got that insulation in right on time.
We didn't have time to work on the van because we had work and schoolwork to do. We both got a lot done on that end of things. It was busy. Maybe because yesterday was a holiday.
We enjoyed homemade Taco Tuesday, watched some hilarious Tim Hawkins, then went to bed. Still happy and very thankful for van life.
Day Twenty One Today was nice and sunny but the cold wind made it an inside day. My guess is that it's the polar vortex from the Midwest blowing in. (Prayers for all who are affected by this mostly unexpected freeze.) We both hunkered down and got work done during the day then settled in early at night.
Single mom and kiddo set out on a nomad, van life, roadschooling lifestyle. Watch the beginner diy van conversion, first time homeschooling, first time build, first time on the road experiences, and newbie family van life adventures unfold.
We will share van life travels and tips to encourage other people to get out and explore the open road.