Van Dwelling Page

"The Turtle"

The name that friends and family assigned to my home on wheels. It's small and cheap and gets about 3 times the gas mileage as the big rigs.  Also allows me to go where a lot of others can't do to its small size. Yet still contains all the necessities I need. My monthly expenses our around $125 a month for High speed Internet, Phone, Netflix, Insurance, and tabs. Gas is dependent on travel winter months are spent in the warm southwest hardly moving at all. Summer months are spent at cool higher elevation and moves are more frequent. Then theres food, wobbly pops,water, and entertainment. Entertainment is usually free provided who your neighbors at the moment. Only had to pay for water once in 3 years and it was 50 cents for 40 gallons.



Where the name comes from:)

Key to the electric system. The 210 watt  solar panel attached to the pop top and mated with a 250 amp hour battery. Provides enough energy to run the Refrigerator, Tv, Ps2, Laptop, Lights, Water pump, and a fan all night.

Refrigerator

Water spout and filter. Hooked to a 40 gallon tank..


23 inch flat screen and Ps2 and what appears to be my finger.:)
 .
Outside looking in. TV swings out 4 entertaining

 The heater which is a rarely needed.
 The Stove top, crock-pot and make shift oven. When grilling over the fire isn't avail

The Microwave :)

and of course to top it off a queen sized bed. With Candy the Navigator relaxing comfortably.

33 comments:

  1. i really like you sense of humor, specially the microwave and the wobbly pops :)

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    1. LOL Thanks John. Hopefully see you at the RTR!

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  2. Where is your 40 gal water tank located? Inside or underneath van?

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  3. 40 gallons! That's massive! We're huge and have just a 65 gallon tank.

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    1. Lol! I just revisited this, and it's funny how I upgraded to "Spud," the Wonder Prius at 51 mpg (but ver low water storage).

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  4. Your van is awesome. I love the set-up. (Including the PS2. Nice.)

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    1. Thanks Diana! Gotta keep my ps2 for the rainy days!

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  5. Love your ideas and sense of humor. I see you have a blue eye/brown eyed husky also. My boy Tater is 9 but thinks he is a pupppy. What is a wobbly pop?

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    1. Thanks again:) Candy the navigator is almost 14 still acts like a pup whens its cold out at least. Wobbly pops are beer lol

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  6. p.s can i come and stay with you on holiday?

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    1. Lol Sure just make sure you give me heads up so I have time to clean

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  7. Really really nifty. I love all of these clever off the grid ideas. Like the above commentors I also love your sense of humor. I chuckled at the "microwave" bit. :)

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  8. Hi! Im new to the off grid, about 2 wks now. Im hanging around mostly Mc Donalds and big motel parking lots but will venture from Indiana to Ft Myers, Fl the first of the month when I get paid. For now Ive got a white van and so as to NOT be noticed Ive got 3 different sets of magnetic signs with business names on them to make the vehicle look different. Ive been eating for free at the motels during breakfast too. Ive never been caught yet but if Im ever asked, I would simply say that I didnt think I could check in until 10am. In that case I simply just pay the $60+ and stay a well deserved night. Breakfast is served from 6am to 9am with a shift change at 7am. Some here will say Im a thief but in all reality its just a dollar $ breakfast. I actually do stay and pay at these places so I dont actually feel bad about it. I find that hospital parking lots are safe to stay at as well.

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    1. hospital cafeterias can sometimes be cheap and good with a decent portion

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  9. water tank. is it a bladder/pillow or solid poly? any other info would be great. thank you billy

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  10. This is just amazing. You are living my dream! I posted your site on my GoFundMe (www.gofundme.com/alishasdreamvan ) so I hope that's okay.. Alot of my friends are confused as to why my dream is so "weird", and everyone seems to think I'm going to living in a minivan or something, and not a decked out van with actual living amenities.. So I wanted to show them your page. Safe travels!!

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  11. Havent heard from you in a while. Are you still van living?

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    1. Yep still living it up. Still posting just gotta click the home button at the top of the page

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  12. Thanks for the peek into your van! Gives me lots of ideas for my own one day!

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  13. Hey! I'm just beginning my project to convert my van into my home. I was just curious how much the solar equipment was and how installation went? Any other tips or advice welcome as as well, thank you!
    Future van dweller Ang.

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    1. Hello, If I were to build at todays prices would probably around $900 for a setup like mine. Installation is pretty simple just need need to run wires from the panel to the controller, and from the controller to the battery, and then from the battery to the inverter.

      Id also recommend a smart converter which charges the battery efficiently from the generator when you run into cloudy days. Prolly wouldnt need one if your being super energy efficient but seeing how a rely on my solar to run the fridge 24/7 a back up is always good. Any more questions feel free to ask!

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  14. Hey there! Great place :) I've been thinking of the same sort of lifestyle come summer (cause I'm in Alberta and it's freezing!) but I am curious of a few issues I may have.
    A) do you work? Or have you saved a bunch of money and are travelling
    B) how does it work in the summertime with the dog? As I have a do as well and am curious if it would be possible to just live as normal ? Just smaller area.
    Here people freak out about dogs being left in a car (any time of year hot or cold short periods or long periods).
    My game plan was to stay in Canada at my current job until around October then head south and travel through the states but would be worried leaving my dog in the car in hot hot weather like that. so just curious how you deal with hurdles like that.
    Thank you in advance
    - Cassandra

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Hey Cassandra, I have some investments that I been living off of for the past 6 years.

      I spend my summer's up around 10000ft so days above 70 degrees are kinda rare. Doors are open and she is free to run about the forest. When I do need to head into town for supplies I go very early to avoid any heat.

      As far as leaving her in the car in hot hot weather id never consider doing it anything above 75 outside and I keep a close eye on the temp inside the van.

      Basically I try to live at 70 degrees here in AZ that's pretty easy to do.

      Yes it's very easy to live just as normal in a small space. I do the same things as people with mansions I just don't have to get up and work to pay for it all. Hope that's helps!

      Good luck on your adventure! If you have any other questions feel free to ask

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  15. What model is your van?

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  16. Hey, great to find your page! I'm also a full-timer in a tricked-out van. Just wondering, how do you get internet and all that for $125/mo? Verizon kills me. I especially resent Verizon when I'm spending most of my time in canyons where you can't get cell signal...But what you do get in the backcountry is better than internet anyway LOL...I'm going to get a satellite phone for emergencies, I think. I've run into a couple of people who were lost, or said they were, and I'd be happy to dial 911 for them..it would be better for them than being eaten by my Malinois copilot 😉

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    1. Thanks! Prolly about 165 now. Page is pretty old. Still grandfathered in under a old Verizon plan just cant ever renew it. Insurance is only 10 a month for the camper, and Tabs are a $1 a month if you buy the 5 year sticker here in AZ. I get 4G high speed internet every where I go yagi antenna work wonders

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  17. I've just purchased my van to outfit for travel. Started a blog too, came across this one getting ideas for power and essentials. Check out my blog if you'd like! www.lifesadvanture.com

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