Big Trip Begins

We are departing for our biggest #VanLife trip to date! We are heading for an extended trip around Europe! The idea has been floating around since last year. I read How To Live in a Van and Travel, which is all about a guy that was unhappy with being tied down to work, trying to earn money to buy stuff he didn’t need and the general daily grind. He gave everything up to live full time in a self-converted van on a very tight budget. He’s driven tens of thousands of miles and done some amazing things. The book inspired us to so something similar…

We’ve been preparing for a while. Mostly to make the van as comfortable and practical as possible while we are away:

  • Solar – so we can stay away from electric hook-ups if we need to
  • MiFi – for the internets!
  • Underslung gas tank – frees up some internal space and gives flexibility
  • Underslung water tank – stop and go convenience
  • In-dash SatNav – instead of relying on a phone on suction mount, the van now has a Sony XAV-AX100 head unit that displays my phone’s Google Maps on to a large touch screen. I also upgraded the horrible speakers with some nicer JBL components.
  • Insulation – the original conversion just had a few bits of rockwool shoved in panel gaps. All the doors have now got 16mm of closed cell foam with a reflective backing. It’ll keep us warmer when its cold and cooler in the beating sun. With the added bonus that it’s now slightly quieter when driving.
  • Battery monitor – So we can be confident how much juice we’ve got left
  • Interior remodelling – The rear passenger seats were ripped out and replaced with a self-built shelf unit with a flip-out table. Chair storage. And we’ve made the rear lounge a permanent bed area which has made the garage area underneath more practical.

We’ve got a detailed plan for where we’ll be for most of the next week and a very rough sketch for where we’re heading in the next 6 weeks, but we are largely winging it. Keep watching for updates.

Leave a Reply