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Living in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion


This is the story of Kate and Ian and how they’re living and traveling in their 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion.

We wanted to minimize the amount of stuff that we owned and travel while we’re young and able. We started this trip with the goal of seeing all of the 48 contiguous states. We had originally planned on only traveling for a few months, but we’ve had such a great time with this we are now planning to travel much longer. We’ve just passed the one year mark and we have no desire to turn back now.

On their website, they even show you how to live in a van if that’s something you’re interested in doing too. Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thanks!

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion

Kate and Ian Dodge B1500 Van Life Conversion 001

Images © Parked in Paradise

Kate and Ian Dodge B1500 Van Life Conversion 002

Traveling in a van will open you up to a ton of new experiences and you can do more in just a few weeks than many people get to do their entire working career.

Kate and Ian Dodge B1500 Van Life Conversion 003

Kate and Ian Dodge B1500 Van Life Conversion 004

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 001

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 002

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 003

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 004

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 005

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 006

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 007

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 008

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 009

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 0010

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 0011

Couple Living and Traveling in a 1996 Dodge B1500 Van Conversion 0012

Images © Parked in Paradise

Interview with Kate & Ian

What are your names?

Kate & Ian

Where are you from?

Phoenix, AZ

How did you first become seriously interested in tiny houses?

We first became interested in moving into (and traveling) in a campervan in 2014. We knew that we weren’t ready to settle down in Phoenix and we wanted to take the time to see the country before we decided where we wanted to settle down. We ended up spending about 2 years planning our trip and 6 months building out our camper van before we hit the road.

What type of tiny house do you have or are you working on?

We currently live in a 1996 Dodge B1500 van.

Why did you go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of it for yourself?

We wanted to minimize the amount of stuff that we owned and travel while we’re young and able. We started this trip with the goal of seeing all of the 48 contiguous states. We had originally planned on only traveling for a few months, but we’ve had such a great time with this we are now planning to travel much longer. We’ve just passed the one year mark and we have no desire to turn back now.

It was surprising how comfortably we adapted to the van life and I can’t imagine living any other way at this point.

How long did it take you to finish your van conversion?

We spent about 6 months building our van. We were both working full time during this process so we were only able to work on it during weekends and 1-2 hours on the weekdays.

Did you do it yourselves? Who helped? And if you don’t mind sharing, how much did it end up costing?

We did the build ourselves with quite a bit of self-research. The van was purchased off craigslist for $3,200 and we put ~$5,000 worth of work into it.

How did you figure out where to park to sleep?

We currently camp out on BLM land, National Forests, and State Parks

What’s been the most challenging part about living out of the van so far?

When we first started living in a van we had not built any bug nets. Insects were a huge issue at first. Since then we’ve made a few upgrades to mitigate the mosquitos and things have been much smoother since.

What benefits are you experiencing after going all in on the van life?

We definitely appreciate the little things more. I never would have thought three small boxes of clothes would be too much, but I still feel like I own too many things. If we were to move into a larger space in the future I think I would continue to have a very minimalist approach. I value trips and adventures much more than purchasing items now. It’s given me a much different perspective on life.

What helpful piece of advice would you give to others who are interested in going tiny or living out of a van?

I would say definitely go for it! I haven’t met too many people who have regretted the decision to try van life, even if it’s just for a few months. Traveling in a van will open you up to a ton of new experiences and you can do more in just a few weeks than many people get to do their entire working career.

Do you have a website, blog, or social media pages where we can connect with you and follow along?

Our website is a great resource for anyone wanting to learn about starting a van build: https://www.parkedinparadise.com/

We also have active Facebook and Instagram accounts:

https://www.facebook.com/parkedinparadise/

https://www.instagram.com/parkedinparadise/

***

Learn more:

Parked in Paradise | How to Build a DIY Camper Van ConversionFacebook | Instagram

Our big thanks to Kate & Ian for sharing!🙏

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

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