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Home > Archive: December, 2016

Archive for December, 2016

Choosing a vehicle

December 21st, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Once again, Snafu cautions to take baby steps, and I completely agree. However, as far as baby steps go, the first is always the biggest, and in my case, no truer words has been uttered. That's because in order to vandwell, you have to have a... van.

Now, if you are already driving your ideal vehicle for this endeavor, then this isn't a problem, but for most, including myself, it means finding and BUYING a vehicle, which is a serious purchase no matter how you approach it.

In keeping with the sage adage of baby steps, I've decided to keep things super simple and super boring. I am also going to follow a well-worn path already tread by others, particularly by Mr. William Myers, who wrote a book entitled, "Convert your minivan into a Mini-RV Camper".

Ok, the bottom line is, I am going to throw a bunch of recommended camping gear into the back of a Toyota Sienna. That's it. Easy peasy baby steps. At best, this is a great starting point that actually has been tried and true to work. At worst, things fail miserably, but the good news is I will still have a reliable minivan to drive the family around, and have some extra camping gear to boot in case I am able to take a road trip. Bonus is that his recommendations does not require me to do any type of screwing, sawing, nailing, or wiring to start out.

Now, the reality of all this isn't lost on me in that I'm basically committing myself to be a homeless man living out in a van down by the river. There is nothing glamorous about this. However, I prefer to think of this as a continuing adventure and self-experimentation to push my own boundaries and comfort zone, and hopefully find a better a stronger and happier me in the process.

I mean, no matter what happens, this will always be one of those amusing, "Ha ha, hey remember that time when that crazy guy Tabs did that?" moment right? Or, like my closet escapade, which seemed so crazy at the time, succeeded so famously, it is now my daily routine. I mean, who really knows, but I say let's go find out!

The roadmap to the road

December 15th, 2016 at 06:02 pm

Wow, ok didn't expect to get much feedback to be honest. I mean, talk about some late night ramblings on a strange topic eh? There's a lot more I want to say about this, so I am going to answer them here instead of in the comments.

But first of all, I'm still serious about this. I've already made up my mind. Things are already in motion, and a roadmap is being developed as we speak.

Anyway, to answer CCF, renting my house is definitely an option, though it would be less than ideal compared to selling it outright. Of course, if renting is the best offer I can get for now, then by all means, I will go with that.

Snafu brings up some great points, and please by all means, don't be shy about bringing up constructive criticism. I'm not going to get to where I want to be in life by dismissing reality. (Don't comment about Trump... don't comment about Trump.) I don't know if you already know this but the house is already fully paid for. So yes, although I will probably still take a loss, the final calculation will never be upside down somehow.

And yes... I am already prepared to take a loss. However, I would still like to avoid that if at all possible. That is why, again, I don't think I will be turning this around overnight. Instead, I am willing to give it two years to see if I can't get a reasonable price for it.

Two years is also roughly what I am thinking it will take to be completely ready, tested, and experienced enough to set out on my own... which leads me to the next topic.

Yes, RVs are ridiculously expensive. Ridiculous. Even greatly used RVs can cost as much as $50k or so. Forget that sass. I've already decided that I will build my own RV. Yes, the end result will be nothing as glamorous as a real commercial RV, but I think I can actually get it done with a $20k budget (vehicle included).

Still, think of the hilarious pictures and the misadventures I will be able to share with you guys on here. (Think ugly art class ash try from junior high on four wheels.)

As for parking and such, no worries. Remember, I am still a member of the law enforcement community. These things are generally governed by municiple codes, and all it would take is one phone call for me to get most of what I would need to know to stay legal... and I've already researched this on my own as well. I even know a Deputy that builds his own personal teardrop campers and does this.

Without a doubt though, there will be challenges. I know this isn't going to be easy, I know it won't be glamorous or glorious either. What I am choosing here is a path of austerity and perhaps even hardship. I know I am not going to impress anyone. All I know is I want to be honest with myself and the way I want to live life while I am still alive and able....

I know I am not the only one who has ever felt the gravity of mortality, the loosening of the mortal coil, and the lingering pang of regret of a life not lived. I am not just doing this to save money. I also want to live until I die. The great irony in all this is that, on our bad days, we often retreat to the places where we call home, right? Well, I don't know where my home is. I live in a house but it's not a home. I think I can build one though, so I can be closer to the mountains and the oceans that I can take solace in. I want to go home too.

Finally, yes PatientSaver, I agree with your advice. As you can imagine, I've been a lurking member of these vandwelling forums for years now actually, and have read several books on it... to the point that that is the vast majority of all my Kindle recommendations, except for ones about solar power or aquaponics haha. The true test will be when the times comes for me to put theory into practice and actually build and then test living in my new "house" on wheels.

I hope things work out, but if it doesn't.... Worst case, everything falls apart, but hey, I am still in a fully-paid house, with a fully-paid van to drive around. I'm OK with that.

I'm serious this time

December 12th, 2016 at 04:58 pm

Those who remember me will probably remember how much I wanted to live in a more mobile lifestyle, perhaps in something like a tiny house or RV, maybe traveling a bit, definitely sizing down and minimizing cost.

By next month, it will mark one year that I've owned a house. And much as I enjoy its modern conveniences, not a day goes by lately that I do not dream of just packing it all up and heading for the mountains. I've tried this home ownership thing. It's nice... but I don't think it's for me.

Do I have Gypsy blood in me? I don't know. All I know is that property taxes are ridiculous, and while I'm at it, so is paying utility bills and insurance and HoA for a house I barely use.

I don't like the cost of it, and I don't feel like I belong here either. In a strange sort of way, I feel like a caged animal, yearning to be set free. I'm a man with a house but not a home.

I know nothing is going to change overnight but... I'm going to start shopping around for a more appropriate vehicle I can travel in.

As the title says, I am serious this time. Now I need to just Do It.