How we came about living in a van

The Dream

2017-11-08
Our flat in all its glory.

It all started around Spring-Summer last year (2018). Kat and I were happy living in a rented flat in her home town. We had the usual routine of dealing with our daily errands and work, then once Kat came home we would cook and eat together, then settle in for a night of playing computer games and binging Youtube. It is during one of these Youtube binges that Kat first stumbled upon, and quickly became obsessed with ‘#vanlife’ videos, a community of folks on Youtube who [mostly] live in commercial vans that have been converted to liveable campers to travel. As Katie’s interest peaked we decided that at some point in the future we would give it a go for ourselves, and left it at that for the time being.

The Prep

Around mid October 2018, with the lease on our flat coming up for renewal at the one year mark, we decided that we would move into Kat’s parent’s house and save up the ~£1k/month we would normally spend on rent and bills for our van and its conversion for a good 6 months. With the help of my father we hauled all our furniture to my parent’s place in Suffolk (my home county) and got settled in with Kat’s parents who kindly offered us a room with cheap rent.

The Dog

03-12-2018
Waddesdon Manor Christmas Market. Our first trip out alone with Freki.

About the same time we moved into Kat’s parent’s house our good friends Max, Sophie and Lizzie (they live together) had two huskies, Freki and Eski, previously bred from Sophie’s husky Silver, dumped on them. At almost two years old they were full of energy, messy as hell and just a real pain to look after. Very quickly they needed some assistance and among others I was pleased to step in and help, and before long was spending the majority of my time round theirs. The naughty pups gained a place in my heart, and Kat took a particular shining to Freki so some weeks in we decided that we wanted to adopt him, but we couldn’t take him back to Katie’s parents. Although it was way ahead of all our plans it was time to kick start #vanlife! With Max’s help (and expertise on vehicles and engines) we started looking at second hand commercial vans from various sellers pages around the web and in about mid December we found the one, an extended long wheel base Ford Transit. We stuffed it with some insulation and threw some sleeping bags on the floor so we could take Freki off Sophie’s hands and take the van to spend Christmas at my parents. After Christmas we left Freki with the guys again for a holiday we had previously booked over New Years, but once we were back Freki and I were living in the van full time!

Steady Progress

29/01/2019
Things were very basic when I moved in. I was sleeping on the pile of sleeping bags for some time!

Moving into the van so much earlier than we’d planned left us in a little bit of a pickle and as a result construction has been much slower than we expected, but it hasn’t stopped us. Since moving in we have been making steady progress on our van build, which I plan on documenting in upcoming posts to this blog. In the coming weeks Katie also plans to move in to the van full time so stay tuned from posts from her too!

Any posts made on this blog will be announced on our joint Instagram account which Kat manages, so make sure you follow us there as well!

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