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Her 8 Years of Super-Simple Van Life


No one would argue that vanlife isn’t minimalism, but Amanda takes simple living to a whole new level! About 8 years ago she decided that instead of working more to pay rent, she was going to hand in her keys and camp. Someone gifted her a van, and she never looked back.

Her van is incredibly simple — a tiny butane stove, no heat, and a small string of solar-powered lights — and those are the upgrades! But she’s perfectly content with her home and loves that she isn’t stressed about money. She does free things; she forages; and she doesn’t pay rent!

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Amanda’s Amazing Green Van

Her 8 Years of VanLife Instead of Rent Slavery 2

Images via Tiny Home Tours

Her bed is just the cheapest 2 inch foam she could buy.

Her 8 Years of VanLife Instead of Rent Slavery

Images via Tiny Home Tours

She keeps her fire extinguisher on the door so she could get out of her van and then put out the fire.

Her 8 Years of VanLife Instead of Rent Slavery 3

Images via Tiny Home Tours

VIDEO: Inspiring Solo Female in Eclectic DIY Camper Van

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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.
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Linda Baker
    November 10, 2021, 11:50 am

    Being a free spirit seems to work for her, but most people want some sort of reliable income, more comforts and social interaction. Good for her for finding what works for her

  • LargeMarge
    November 11, 2021, 1:26 am

    a)
    I mention this on conversion forums such as skoolie.net:
    * clear everything out of a bus or van (in our case, a commercial truck), toss in some car-camping gear, go have fun.
    .
    I strongly advise against customizing an interior prior to using the vehicle… travel inevitably changes us, the rig needs to organically evolve.
    .
    I suggest crafting full-size cardboard mock-ups of furniture and cabinets to establish access and interference, and window placement.
    .
    I strongly advise against drawing the interior conversion using two-dimension computer programming.
    .
    .
    b)
    As today’s video clearly illustrates, SIMPLER is BETTER.

  • Amy
    November 11, 2021, 8:48 am

    Why do the insides of the vans all look the same? Is there a way to have an upstairs and a downstairs?

    • Natalie C. McKee
      November 12, 2021, 6:56 am

      Not with a normal-sized van. At best there’s only enough headroom to stand up, so there’s no way to create a second floor or loft.

    • Lianne Patricia Mather
      January 8, 2022, 2:24 pm

      There is a popup tent you can put on top of a vehicle, I do remember seeing somewhere that someone cut a hole from the vehicle into the popup tent and used it in summer as a room for their kids, I never figured out how much actual laydown space the kids had with a hole in the floor of their tent…maybe they had a covered they could manage, the article didnt show that.

  • Theresa Perdue
    December 6, 2021, 1:43 pm

    Towards the end she said something about always having a months worth of food and that got me wondering if Canada has some kind of foodstamp program that she belongs to? I know that I couldn’t do that sort of lifestyle but that is just me. Goodluck to her.

  • Rusty
    January 8, 2022, 2:48 pm

    I like following Amanda, her videos are interesting, informative, beautiful, and real. Her lifestyle is free of materialism and fake impressions. Amanda is wonderfully transparent and fun to follow. Frank her sweet companion is amazing and well cared for. Her van is simple and comfortable. The nicest thing about Amanda’s lifestyle, is she is content with where she is and what she has.

  • Diana
    January 9, 2022, 7:25 pm

    Slave for rent! Omg your so right on. I have a friend who has spent thousands a year for what? To have a nice apartment or house that she has to leave and spent that money with nothing to show for it? My daughter is living in an apartment north Miami and they have owned before and should know how stupid renting is. I think rent is one of the worst things you can do. Yeah, buy a van or a car you can lay down in the back anything but renting! Good for you smart woman.

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