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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Let's Talk Vandwelling

When you say vandwelling, most people get really crazy ideas about your lifestyle.

I have MS. Living in a van makes me self sufficient and I'm able to do everything I need to do to take care of myself.

I generally travel at the pace of an arthritic turtle. Rarely do I do long trips. I meander here and there. Sometimes I'll actually visit what most consider a tourist attraction.

Usually I prefer to boondock on public lands such as national forest or BLM land. I've stayed in New Mexico state parks, both with and without hookups.

I have an older Chevy Mark III conversion van. A conversion van has a rear seat that makes into a bed..a camper van has a stove, sink, and a bed. Cargo vans are usually empty inside and have no insulation.

I use an Ozark Trails two burner propane stove for cooking. I also own a Coleman dual fuel 2 burner stove. That uses either Coleman fuel or unleaded gasoline.

Yes, I have a potty in the van. I can recommend a lugable loo toilet.

I have pretty much the same things you'd have in a tiny studio apartment.

Having an apt quickly wore me out. It was too much keeping up with cleaning. Smaller space means better organization and less cleaning.

My Chihuahua Mona also prefers a van to an apt. She can see all around her, enjoys traveling, and right now she's gone back to the bedroom to take a nap.

The lower stress life makes it easier to manage my MS resulting in lower medical costs. Yes I have Medicare but that doesn't mean I need to spend lots of times at the doctor or hospital. Actually the Dr at the last emergency room visit was pleased to know that I planned to go out to my van and go to bed. He released me rather than keep me in the ER for observation. We simply informed security I'd be spending the night in my van. Security walked me out and helped me in the door. I locked the van and went to bed.

I'm the girl who when I leave the spot I was parked in is absolutely clear.

I have a blog devoted to teaching those new to the van life how to be respectful responsible travelers.

I absolutely respect other's property rights. I own land myself. Yes, I'm low income. I get a minimum social security disability check. My vehicle is always legal, plated, registered, insured. I pay pretty much all my bills online or through automatic deduction.

So the next time you see someone sleeping in their vehicle, not all of us are homeless, drink, or do drugs. I rarely drink and don't even like taking aspirin.

I love watching videos, reading books (both paperback and on my kindle). I make and sell jewelry. I enjoy watching nature.

I'm not homeless, I'm houseless by choice.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Great Van Search

I had found the perfect van. We agreed on a price. I just had to wait until last Wednesday to pay for it and pick it up.

Wednesday came. I was nervous and excited. He pulled up and I was really happy...until he told me his room had fallen through and he couldn't sell it.

Thus starts the great van hunt and scrambling. I live and travel in my van full time. My current van sits unable to move due to blown motor.

So...I started looking on craigslist. LOL.
The dodge ram van had a small engine, transmission leak, oil leak, and stunk of cat piss. It was $1000 for van known to be problematic on transmissions and no power.

Next up was a Chevy van with no posted price. It was a 1992 so off we went to go look. Busted up trim, white smoke puffing out of the exhaust. Nope...that's water pump, blown head gasket.

So far two vans and neither even made it to test drive.

Beautiful Ford 4x4 pickup. I haven't seen it since the owner is working hour and a half away. Apparently he's not real motivated to sell it.

So..I finally got to test drive an astro. Drove nice but when looking underneath it...water leak. And it was water not antifreeze. And rusty where it had been dripping for some time.

Today's hopeful entrant is a 2000 Chevy 20 Mark III conversion. I swear if it runs drives and stops, needs nothing more than a radiator...it's coming away with me.

Sacrilege...this Ford tough girl has been looking at any van that runs.

I'll update you all when there's more news.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Update on Van Down

Woooohoooo
For about the same price as parts only, on Wednesday I pick up my new to me van.

New van is 1986 one ton hightop van with Onan. generator,refrigerator, running water, low mileage, 351 Cleveland engine. $1500. Dependable.

It's actually going to be the same price or cheaper than replacing engine in my conversion van.

To all those who helped, I'll be repaying the loans one or two people a month and the pay it forward money as much as i can as fast as i can. I'm very grateful and humbled by all you wonderful people.