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Traveling While ‘Being at Home’ with Their Van

Do you love travel AND being at home? Alex and Megan had experience with international travel and outdoor exploration, but also love being home — so they decided to bring their home with them as they explore the world.

Megan had already built out a van when she met Alex, and since he converts vans as a side gig, the interior got an overhaul. At a “normal” van height, they had to get creative to make a functional space that they can’t stand up in — and the results are gorgeous! Read our Q&A with them after the photo tour below.

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Homebodies Hit the Road in Self-Converted Vans

They have a nice back deck to store extras.

Their conversion has a lower roof.

They have a simple water pump system.

They have a nice bed and some good cubbies in the back.

Look at this adorable micro woodstove!

Perfect spot to curl up with a book.

They have a small garage for extras and roof pods!

They can carry extra fuel on the back.

I love that the solar panels can chase the sun.

They even have an awning setup.

You can see the cabinets through the door.


What got you into tiny living?

Generally speaking, a desire to see more, do more and experience more. Neither of us love the idea of working our lives away. It wasn’t until we learned that if our basic needs in life can be satisfied the rest can be allotted to doing life giving things and living a tiny lifestyle facilitated that really well. Megan did a fair amount of international travel prior to us meeting and I have always been into vehicle assisted outdoor exploring. Both of us, surprisingly, are kind of home bodies, so the prospect of bringing our home with us on our travels really works well for us.

Did you build your home or buy it? How long did the process take?

We built out our van ourselves. Megan actually did the initial build out. When we met she had already done a few multi-month trips in her van by herself. When we decided to hit the road together I told her that the van would need to be a little more functional for us to live in it full time together. I have a side business building van interiors, so once I had cleared out my clients for the summer I tore out most of Megan’s van interior build and built a new layout that was a little more functional. The building process took about three weeks to a month with all the fabrication, extra electrical and mechanical items that I attended to. The van will be going through a full rebuild this summer as we prepare to do the Pan American Highway which I expect will likely take about 2-3 months total.

How has tiny living changed your life (for better or worse)?

I think, for both of us, tiny living has simply opened us up to more opportunity, more experience and, as cliche as it may sounds, more beauty. I’m a photographer and I always say to people, “you have to BE there to get the shot,” loosely meaning that you can’t really see, hear, feel incredible things from your couch. Not pursuing possessions and big careers and living with less has allowed us the time and flexibility to BE there for the experience. Living tiny has definitely made our lives more rich and fulfilling.

What’s the hardest part of tiny living?

There’s the usual creature comfort stuff like not being able to have a hot shower all the time, road fatigue etc. However, living tiny, in our case living in a van, is a double-edged sword. On one side we’re outside, adventuring, living it and it’s great. On the other side, the moving around, the activity, finding camp spots, preparing food in a small space seems to just take longer which eventually squeezes out the time that you have to take care of a lot of other life stuff, and suddenly you really don’t have as much time as you thought. Also, being sick in a van, that’s rough, being stuck in long stretches of rain, also tough.

What’s the most rewarding part?

Moments that you’re present for something that you know you would never have been if you were still living the way you used to. Also, tiny living community moments, when you’re surrounded by people of similar mindset for a short time and the experience has a richness that is unrivaled in any other circumstance.

Any advice for people looking to go tiny?

You’ll never be “ready” and your home, whatever it is, will never be “done”, those are fake words. I speak predominantly to those moving into a van, car or truck; if you’re trying to build the “perfect” rig and that’s something that is stopping you from getting underway with your travels, keep this in mind, 99.9% of people that I meet on the road have changes to their living situation within weeks of moving in. There is no such thing as a perfect build, so if you’re looking for perfection, you’re likely to do far less exploring than you had intended. I tell all my prospective clients, especially if they’ve never lived from a van before, take your empty van, buy a blow up mattress and a cooler and go live out of it for a few weeks, maybe a month, then come back to me with your desired layout. They never listen to me and come back to me with changes after their build or a whole new van. It keeps me in business, but at least I try. *shoulder shrug emoji**

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Our big thanks to Alex and Megan for sharing!🙏

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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.
{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Liz
    February 20, 2023, 7:54 pm

    Looks like you may have spent some time in the Arizona. It’s a pretty amazing place. Love the looks of the logs by your wood stove.

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