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Personal Chef Has Spent 4 Years in Her DIY Van

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After a decade of chef work in kitchens with long hours, Nikki met her now-wife who was traveling the world internationally. Burnt out and inspired by her freedom, Nikki decided to leave that life behind and join her wife in a year-long van conversion! They put nearly 80,000 miles on the van in four years.

About a year ago, the couple decided to get separate rigs and still caravan together, that way they could enjoy exploring together but have a little more personal space. Nikki has made some adjustments to the cozy cabin-like van she calls home, including adding an oven, so she can bake pizza. Enjoy the tour of her awesome space below!

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Cozy Cabin Van Conversion w/ Rooftop Deck

There are two benches across from each other and a fixed bed.

About two years into vanlife, she added an oven so she can bake pizzas!

The fixed bed is super comfortable.

VIDEO: VanLife as a personal chef! She’s lived on the road for 4 yrs


  • Nikki has been working as a chef in the food industry and was burnt out! When she met her now-wife, she’d been traveling internationally for a few years, and that inspired Nikki to make a change. They bought a van and spent a year building it out.
  • The bus was originally a prison transport bus, so they gutted the entire thing in an effort to revive the spot.
  • The couple traveled in the same van together for about 3 years, but then decided their marriage would benefit from a little more space. Her wife got her own rig, and now they caravan together with their own spaces.
  • Because Nikki works as a personal chef, she wanted a kitchen with a real stove/oven and a huge pantry space to keep all her ingredients!
  • She does have a hidden toilet under one of the two benches in front of her fixed bed. There’s a pull-out table that creates a dining/work space.
  • A rooftop deck provides a spot to do meditation.

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

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