This is the story of how a husband and wife quit their jobs, sold their stuff, bought a van, and converted it into a DIY RV.
Now they’ve been traveling in it for about 6 months while maintaining a travel blog called Get Some Adventures.
After they’re done traveling, they plan on buying land and building their own tiny home. Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!
Couple Build Their Own DIY Sprinter RV to Travel in Full Time
Images © GetSomeAdventures.com
Images © GetSomeAdventures.com
Lee and I met in 2006 and started traveling. We loved traveling, but it wasn’t just traveling, it was adventure traveling. Our trips consisted of four days on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, backpacking through the German and Austrian Alps and three weeks in New Zealand. Kelly got a promotion and was now running the entire outpatient surgery center at Emory Johns Creek Hospital and my tree business was doing great, however, every time we went on a fantastic journey we had to come home and jump right back into the rat race and be stressed out. Our wanderlust was never-ending.
The idea that we should work 5 days a week to try and enjoy 2 was not the life we wanted to live. I was tired of constantly listening to my friends saying they couldn’t do anything after work or even on the weekend because they had work deadlines or didn’t have money. This bothered me to no end until I just told Kelly one day I wanted to sell everything and travel the world.
I had seen the Sprinter van a few years earlier and thought to myself “That would be awesome to just travel around in one of those on adventures”. When I decided to get out of owning a business I bought one! 2015 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 170″ wheelbase stripped out cargo van. My brother is a master carpenter and Owns MegaTrend Designs in Houston, TX. He offered to help me build it so in November of 2014 I drove it out and we started working on it. After a few trips home for the holidays we finished on February 2nd. We live in 75 sq feet. Designing and then building your home is exciting and rewarding. So now Kelly and I have our new adventure home to go travel and explore.
While in the process of building our new home we were selling everything we owned. We sold our cars, put our house on the market and if it didn’t fit into the van it was sold. We have 1 drawer if clothes each and we share a small closet.
On March 31st Lee sold his tree company and we paid off our house. I put in my notice to resign as a Manager of Surgical Operations and May 15th was my last day of work. Our adventure started May 16th 2015 and 6 months later we are still living our tiny home life happily and debt free.
Life in a 2014 Freightliner Sprinter Van is not perfect but it is spectacular. It has been 6 months on the road and I love our life in a van. There is the simple joy of not having to set up an alarm to get up for work. The sun shining in through the gaps in the blackout shades awaken us gently each morning. I am often asked if I miss working in the hospital, how do we live in a tiny space and how do we stay married. The answer is no I don’t miss the hospital. I had a great job as a nurse manager, however the stress, politics, and endless surprises are no match for a life of travel and adventure. Living in a van requires certain adjustments but is completely manageable. And as to life on the road with Lee, every marriage can benefit from the strategies we use to support and build our relationship.
Van life is not for everyone, but Lee and I love it. However, I have adjusted to our new lifestyle more easily then my husband. I don’t let the small stuff bother me like traffic or bad drivers. He gets irritated if there is roadwork and we have to wait. But I think, “Who cares, we have nothing but time.” More often, I get irritated with him and his inability to chill. He still has this go, go, go mentality. This is what I wanted to leave at the office. Out on the road, I prefer to take it a day at a time.
The van lifestyle requires adjustments. If you live in a van you can say goodbye to your daily shower and hello baby wipes. With only a 22 gallon holding tank and a 6 gallon hot water tank, showers are a luxury. Our shower is also an outside shower, so weather impacts availability. Everything we own is in the van. We each have one clothes drawer and share a small hanging clothes closet in addition to 3 pairs of shoes per person. The funny thing is; we do laundry every 10 days and never run out of clothes.
The hardest part of Van life is finding a place to camp each night. We love to boondock, parking free anywhere without amenities except those in the van because it is free camping and it allows us to camp in beautiful places without large crowds. These first 4 months on the road, we have been moving camp almost every night without knowing our next camping destination. It really tests your relationship when it is getting dark, you haven’t had dinner yet, and you don’t know where you will be camping. It is hard finding BLM (Bureu of Land Management) land and National Forest lands to boondock in or near our destination. It is especially challenging on the east coast, it has been easier out west with the exception of California.
We have set a budget and have been sticking quite close to it. There are always those unexpected expenses like a flat tire that tips the scale in the wrong direction. Our biggest expense living in Georgia was eating out and drinking beer. Eating out was not just a meal it was beer, appetizers etc. Since we have started our journey on the road we have eaten out 4 times. This saves us a lot of money and calories. We actually prefer to cook, we feel better and it’s better for you. I was pleasantly surprised at how little we could live on and still be happy.
The van life allows us to visit some really stunning places and make some amazing new friends while reconnecting with old friends. However, it has also makes me realize that I don’t want my world to get too small and travel is the key to expanding my horizons.
Life is what you make it. Trying new things and visiting new places allows me to grow as a person and be a better person. I realize what is important in life and where to focus my energy. The actions and decisions of others are their own and not my business. So, as we travel the country in the van I smile like a child on Christmas morning waiting for the next gift this beautiful world will unwrap before my eyes.
Learn more: http://getsomeadventures.com/
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I love this story. I see intelligent people doing this more but, with a little more glamping style. As tiny homes become more inviting and people understand that no one can afford anything anymore and most of us aren’t happy we will seek to live this way. I’ve been homeless and I realized that I don’t need as much as I think. We have been conditioned to want more so that spend money we don’t have.
Minimalist lifestyle is the beginning to an end of the end to usher in a new way of life which is a resource based society. Too bad I won’t see it in my lifetime to the world undone like never before.
Funny thing with all the fear of zombies and/or apocalypse you’d think people would prepare to live this way.
Thanks for sharing.
I don’t think it’s a lack of wanting to. This blog and other sources get people thinking about it as a doable thing. Most of those with the income to do this have to work. So many areas, like mine, really don’t allow for such a freestyle way of living, especially year round. My main barrier to actually doing this near where I work is zoning rules. I am willing to buy some land, but the smallest residential building area allowed around here is 700 square ft, not tiny home dimensions. Part of my attraction to living tiny is the ability design superior mobility into the home. Taking some lessons from turtles and snails seems like a good idea to me. I could ask for a variance, but it costs several hundred dollars just to apply, and I can’t afford to spend that much on a “maybe”.
The post above mentions BLM type locations. I think going off the grid in such place would suit me well. I am near one, but being a single woman, it is probably not the safest option. I don’t need/want someone to protect me so much as the wish/right to be left alone when I have clearly said as much, but that is a subject to be explored elsewhere.
Oh well, I keep looking and change is inevitable.