What an absolute whirlwind August has been. If you don’t follow us on Instagram or YouTube it might come as a surprise that we are currently fully living out of the van. Yeah, that escalated quickly. Allow me to try to wrap up this insane month for you in as short of a time as possible.
At the beginning of August we were starting to get a little concerned about getting the house rented in time. I had already given my notice to work that I would be leaving the last day of the month, and getting the house occupied was the only thing keeping us from experiencing, as my dad said, “failure to launch.” After debating for a few weeks we finally decided to allow the rental company to put the house up for a year lease instead of the 9 months we had originally planned. That meant we were fully committing to 1 year in the van. THE NEXT DAY, I got a call that the house was rented. We were completely blown away, grateful, jumping for joy, ecstatic. Also, pretty much panicked to get the van and house ready in time. In short: Shit just got real.
If you’re reading this, that means we reached 100 subscribers on our You Tube Channel and our link isn’t 50 letters long and hideous anymore! Woo! We wanted to sincerely thank each and every one of you for following along with and supporting us as we push for our dream to become a reality.
Plumbing, ya’ll. Plumbing was a little scary. Luckily, before Zach had to go full-fledged plumber in the van he was able to get a little bit of experience by working with my dad to put in the outdoor shower at the house. To be honest, though, he still had to figure a lot of it out by just getting his hands dirty. I wanted to go into depth about everything we did with our plumbing system since we are now celebrating the fact that we have a working shower!
Do you ever feel like your life is just a whirlwind of events and you’re stuck trying to catch up all the time? Same. Especially lately between the van build, trying to get the house ready to be rented for the winter, working full time, traveling overseas for another job, all the while trying to find time to workout, eat well and enjoy summer a little bit. Woah, writing it out actually makes it seem even more overwhelming.
Having a toilet in your van is a game changer. We brought our Nature’s Head with us since we weren’t sure where we would be sleeping overnight and wanted to have a place to pee just in case it ended up being some random parking lot. It was amazing. We didn’t have to look for a bathroom all weekend, and could even just stop on the side of the road and go to the back to pee if we had to. I honestly don’t know how people van life without a toilet at all. I’m already spoiled and don’t even live in it full-time yet.
I feel like I haven’t updated you all on the van in forever, and now that we have it back from Register’s all painted we are starting to make progress waay faster, so I am definitely overdue for a van post!
Back up… painted? Yes, we decided to do a full-body paint job on the van. Yes, it was expensive. Yes, it was 100% worth it. I did talk a little bit about this on the Living Without Walls Instagram, but I have the space to go a little more into detail on here. So, for starters when we bought the van this is what it looked like (not including photos of the 8,000 motocross stickers baked into the paint on the back):
You don’t really notice that it’s been raining every weekend until you want to re-do the seal on the Maxxair fan on the van so you can put floors down and it’s been a month and there’s literally not been a 48 hour stretch without rain. Do I sound a little crazy? I feel a little crazy. I want my floors! Getting the floors down feels like a huge step because it’s something that you can actually see completed and makes the van have that liiiiitle bit of a feeling of a house rather than a giant metal box. I’ve been distracting myself by trying to finalize plans for the layout of the inside.
We picked the van up from the mechanic yesterday! The last person we took it to in Charlotte before coming home after the hurricane told us that we would probably need a new transmission soon, so we took it to a dealership in town who has a mechanic specializing in Sprinters (D&E on Market St).
Zach’s been working pretty hard on the van, even though we’ve had some RIDICULOUS setbacks (I’m looking at you Florence). It may not look like much, but it’s pretty important to get all this little stuff right before we start really building. Having a house that leaks or is rusty would be pretty…uhh not pretty. Also he’s not bad to look at. Check it out!
Here’s some links to the stuff we used or showed in this video. We love buying from Amazon because when we’re ready to start on something we can usually get the supplies we need before the weekend. Just a quick disclaimer that if you purchase something through these links it can actually help us build our van by earning us a small commission, but don’t worry – it won’t cost you anything extra!
This is the Maxxair Fan we went with. We did the deluxe because it has a rain shield, which means you don’t have to freak out if your fan’s open and it starts to come down. It also comes with a sweet remote. Which is actually kind of silly since we will be able to reach the actual fan from the bed, but hey A REMOTE, GUYS!
For installing the fan, you’ll need the following supplies: Butyl Seal Tape and Sealant which we definitely recommend learning from our mistakes and just buying it online. We were all like, nah we’ll just find it at Home Depot. Not.
You can find the Rattletrap here. This stuff is legit. It made our van go from sounding like a filing cabinet on wheels to basically not sounding like much of anything. If you watched the video you’ll see that it comes with a little roller that’s pretty helpful for installation as well.
Most of my friends and family are well aware that I’ve been on a mission to live in the mountains for quite some time now. Every time I take a snow trip I start planning a way to be there full time for winter. As a matter of fact, when I met Zach in April I was in the process of cleaning my house out and getting it ready to rent out for the winter – the plan was to move to Colorado in September of 2018. After a few months of spending time with him, I decided to put that plan on hold to see where things went. Obviously it’s going pretty dang good. One random weekday, Zach picked me up from work for lunch and I just randomly showed him a picture of this couple that I follow on instagram that live full-time in a converted van. We talked about it kind of casually during lunch, but then both thought about it for the rest of the afternoon at work (in other words I spent the entire day on pinterest looking at van pics…duh). By the time I got home and it was brought up again I think we both knew that it was something we were both suuuper into.