Monday, May 17, 2010

Finally a vandweller

Effective May 15 I became a full time van dweller with a 2nd homebase of a family members 2 room upstairs for watching the cats while I am at work, storage, or for those times when I want to sprawl out and be social. So the house is now out of the picture. Thus far we are 3 days into van dwelling and I must say I actually like it, its like being in a cocoon. I used to have the bed on one side and my stuff on the other but its been redone so the bed roll is down the middle, the clothes, linen bins, folding chair and food storage is one one side and the hygiene, potty, cat supplies and duffle bags are on the other. Their litter box is in the passenger seat foot well (converted a plastic blue tub and put a hole in the top). Their carrier with bed is on the passenger seat at night and in the back during the day. My slider door quit working so I counted it as a blessing and look at it as a giant box in the rear. As for the bed in the daytime I fold the roll in half with the pillows on top so its like a couch at the back of the van.

Never before could I say everything is truly in arms reach. I get off of work, change clothes and wash up, drive to my night spot, settle in for the night, get up and go to a peaceful park, go to the bathroom and change, take a walk, come back, change and wash up (shower), Then I pull out my cooking supplies and make some eggs and TX toast over the grill. Eat and clean up. Then either read a book on a nice day or stay parked and open the tailgate, walk the cats, take a nap or do whatever, and be free. Its simply nice to have everything in arms reach and no utility bills. Planning on getting a fantastic fan installed soon and a spare battery but so far so good.

 I have been part time doing this now for a while but now its actually a van home and a 2nd place thats storage and an address. No longer do I have to report "home" to visit the cats, pay a petsitter, or do laundry, cut the grass, be home for some repair this or that, or dump my income into a house that is far from work and hardly seen. Now I simply know the cats have a babysitter when I am not in, my bills are no more than a storage unit and I have somewhere to go if it gets to cold and a stable place to get mail. On my days off, I can explore the area (with money I didn't have before), take the cats (whether permitting) and most everything I own (except for a few furniture items) is in the van. 

I am still working on new places to park, still debating over a bed frame (being lower to the ground is more stealthy even though I have curtains in the back) I haven't figured out how to put curtains to divide the front from the back and not draw attention. And I love the flexibility of rolling up my bed, grabbing a duffle (always packed) and the cat carrier should the van need a tow. I can also if needed take my things out or stack most in the front passenger seat and directly behind if I need to haul something or add a seating arrangement. 

There has been some debate over getting a travel trailer which was the plan until I got a room rental. But either way with a fantastic fan and a source of portable power, we should be able to hit the open road and boondock with just the van. I feel a travel trailer wouldn't be stealthy so we would need a campground, an additional storage trailer would also draw attention and since I like to stay in one place a few months to get to know the area, I would rather live with less and call it a day. And while I am saving up money to travel I am in the process of getting a CDL class A, selling off the furniture items and finishing the van remodel.

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