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From Homeless to Van Life and a Camper

Vanessa had a rough childhood and lost sight in one of her eyes at the age of 12 due to abuse. Later in life, she found herself homeless, and #vanlife was her ticket out of that life. As her YouTube channel has grown, she’s increased her income enough that she was able to purchase a vintage caravan to turn into her stationary home in an RV park.

The spot comes with a fenced-in backyard, a shed, and a very low month-to-month rent, giving her a whole new life. You’ll love the way she styled the caravan, using low-cost materials: “A can of spray paint will take you a long way!”

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She Has a Van and Now Some Roots

Blinded at 12 – Her Camper Conversion 3

Images via Tiny Home Tours

All the artwork in the camper was done by Vanessa.

Blinded at 12 – Her Camper Conversion

Images via Tiny Home Tours

She has a private fenced-in backyard.

Blinded at 12 – Her Camper Conversion 4

Images via Tiny Home Tours

VIDEO: Homelessness To Living Tiny – Her DIY Camper Renovation


  • Vanessa was homeless, but with some inheritance money, she was able to purchase a van and get off the streets.
  • After being featured on Tiny Home Tours, Vanessa had enough income to buy a vintage camper and start making it into a home with “roots” at an RV park.
  • She only spent $3,000/year on rent, and has a fenced-in backyard that is everything to her now! The space also came with a shed, which she will turn into more living space in time.
  • Vanessa made the conversion happen using spray paint, peel-and-stick tiles, and a lot of ingenuity.
  • She still has her van, which allows her to travel when she needs to. After a rough life growing up, she’s so relieved to have a safe space that’s all her own.

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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.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Sue Roberson
    February 3, 2024, 4:51 pm

    Oh my word! This is stunning! I thought at first it was a decorating site. Vanessa, your home is so lovely. Kudos to your
    determination, drive & talent! I would live there in a heart beat…

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