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How To Spend The Winter Living In A Camper Van

RVs October 24, 2017

Winter Living In A Camper Van

There are many places in Canada and the U.S. where the winter brings on very cold temperatures and storms. If we live in traditional housing we usually have a heatng system that keeps us warm and cozy. However if your housing is not traditional, such as living in a van, the winter can also bring on harsh circumstances. There will be questions that require anwering, such as, how are we going to stay warm inside the van, what are our options? The freedom of van dwelling does come with many perks, but it also comes with challenges, and the winter cold is one of the major challenges.

So how do you prepare for winter and keep warm in your home, if your home is a van. Van dwellers have become creative and have come up with many ways to solve this uncomfortable issue. Here are just a few ways you can stay warm in winters like Toronto, Canada and the far northeast and northwest of the U.S.

Insulation is the key

Insulating the van’s walls and floors is most important when it comes to preparing for winter and there are a few ways to get this done. Van dwellers in Toronto, Canada have chosen materials such as hay and straw to cover the outside of the van and this has worked to keep the natural heat inside the van during cold icy winters. There are also foil pans that adhere to the vans windows that block out much of the cold weather by sticking to the windows and windshields with plastic sucker devices, very simple to install. Bubble wrap also works well cut into the size and shape of the van’s windows. These options also provide some more privacy, which is simply a plus for the van dwellers during the winter months.

Another concern for van dwellers trying to get through the winter months is maintenance that keeps your van rolling. Before winter gets into full swing, you should get a tune up and make sure you’re not going to have any problems if you decide to travel. The van should have snow tires, and oftentimes, chains on the tires to get through really rough storms. Also you should have the right amount of anti-freeze mixed in with your water to make sure that the water in the engine area does not freeze up on you. Your oil should also be winter grade and any decent mechanic can help you winterize your engine and other parts underneath your hood that keeps you on the road.

Keep yourself warm by preparing to have the right kind of winter clothing. Heavy jackets and coats are needed, but also items like thermal underwear and warm boots and shoes that keep the cold and water away from your feet. Warm nighttime clothing is a must, such as warm footies, slippers, and socks. This is where thermal underwear will also come in handy, during those frigid nights. Some van dwellers invest in sleeping bags and other sleeping items used for camping outdoors. Hot water bottles which tend to stay warm for up 8 hours are great for warming your bedding before you settle down for the night along with wool blankets for extra covering.

Some Toronto area van dwellers have used these ideas and stayed comfortable in temperatures of -8 celcius, once it gets colder than that, van dwellers may have to spend a night or two at a hostel or hotel if it can be afforded. At these temperatures if your van does not have its own heating system and some do, it is safest to stay snuggled up until the temperatures mellow out. Also, even vans that came with a heating system must be running all night for the heat to stay on. If you do have a van that came with heating, the best thing to do is to run the van until bedtime, a couple hours beforehand to warm the area. Of course this also burns gas. So make sure, anyway, that your van stays filled with gas and isn’t on empty.

Preparation is also key. At the end of the summer season begin preparing for the cold of winter, because Autumn can also be very cold in some areas of Canada and the U.S. So don’t wait until winter arrives to run around and prepare, do this beforehand and this way if the temperatures suddenly drop, you have a plan to keep you and your van as warm as possible.

Source: Living in a Van in Winter

14621 total views, 14 today

He Bought a Used Ambulance, Turned it into his Home, and Drove South to the Tropics

RVs October 23, 2017

He Bought a Used Ambulance, Turned it into his Home, and Drove South to the Tropics

He has now entered Costa Rice with his DIY converted home-on-wheels he bought used of eBay.

We have heard of many vehicles being turned into homes these last couple of years, from vans to SUV’s to campers. But it is extremely creative to see an ambulance as your next home. Ambulances are often filled with so much equipment to care for the people who need medical help that it is hard to create a vision for yourself inside one of these very common vehicles.

It may be difficult to see an ambulance as a home but this gentleman certainly proved that it is not impossible. On the exterior it still looks like an ambulance, however, the space to hold his motor cycle on the back gives away the secret. This is no ordinary ambulance. Whenever you convert any vehicle into a dwelling space you must have an eye that sees things and space in a different way.

The interior looks very comfortable and the space is utilized well. There is even room enough for a pet dog to lie comfortably as he or she would in an apartment or house. The walls are used for a lot of storage. Items that would normally sit on the floor, hang on the walls instead, like his guitar. This method is used for many tiny house dwellers as well. The walls become a hanging storage area.

The bed and sofa are combined into a sectional that can offer another sleeping space at night or plenty of space for company during the day or an evening get together. The rear living space is separated by a curtain from the front driving area. So it feels like two spaces in one. The eating area has a beautiful wood table that curves to take up less space and it sits right in front of one end of the sofa/bed/sectional area where it is used for dining.

It takes a lot of imagination to complete a transformation like this one. As we stated, ambulances remind us of just about everything but a home and this one definitely fits the bill as one of the best and most creative transformations of a vehicle into a home, that many of us have seen.

9732 total views, 11 today

Safety Tips For Women (And Men) Living Alone In An RV

RVs October 23, 2017

RV safety

Alternative living styles are all the rage world wide. People are converting buses to mobile homes, the rise in the popularity of the tiny house, and converted vans and RV’s are all gaining allure as viable living alternatives. Couples, families, and women and men on their own are taking to these lifestyles. They give people a kind of versatility that they might not have if they lived more traditionally.

RV’s are emerging as a favorite choice for so many. And it is to those people who choose to go solo that this post is dedicated. Living alone and being on the road has all kinds of risks that living in community doesn’t. The adage that “there is safety in numbers” holds true here.

The video sourced here from YouTube will lay them out for you but I would like to touch on some of the ones that hadn’t even occurred to me.

Always give the impression that there is more than one of you living in the RV. You can do this very simply. When you go to sit outside and take in the sun and the beautiful views, put at least two chairs outside your RV. And put a jacket on the back of one of the chairs and a drink nearby. Next, when retiring at night and putting your muddy shoes out to dry off, get a second pair of shoes the size of a man’s hiking boot and put it next to yours. It’s such a simple thing but can really be a deterrent.

This may seem more obvious, but make sure you keep your mobile phone right by your bed, and that you have service where you are. And know how to describe your location so that you are easily located. Also be aware of other campers and  make sure you can reach them if you need to. Get a loud whistle to call for help.

And perhaps most important…get a dog! Apart from providing companionship,  a dog that barks when others approach your RV, is another great deterrent. Give your new friend some time to get used to the fact that your RV is your new home and his protective instincts will soon kick in. I guarantee that this one safety tip will make you feel comfortable if you are RVing on your own.

RVing on your own can be a very Zen experience and a fabulous adventure! Just stay aware of your surroundings and other people and take some safety precautions and just may have the time of your life!

156 total views, 2 today

Luxury RV Living

RVs October 23, 2017

Living an alternative lifestyle has become a world-wide movement. More and more people want smaller spaces, more simple living, less clutter, and most of all to be mobile, to be able to take their homes on the road. A tiny house on a trailer is one popular way to accomplish this, but no alternative is as popular as the RV.

Many people are reluctant to give up their creature comforts though, and as a result these folks go for bigger and more luxurious RV’s. If you have the money to spend, there is no shortage of luxury RV’s, and they can be as opulent as you wish them to be. You need not give up any of the modern conveniences to have a home to go. Your communal living space can be almost as large and comfy as in a traditional home. You can make your bathroom a spa to retreat to to pamper yourself. Your bedroom can be your own personal haven where you can unwind and rejuvenate. Your kitchen can have state-of-the-art appliances and be the hub of your home and your RV can be large enough for overnight guests and all types of entertaining.

Sit outside with your friends and family to enjoy the views you choose, or in inclement weather be cozy and dry inside your luxury RV. The images in our gallery are from Pinterest and can be enlarged on our site. The interiors are meant to excite and inspire, and give you some beautiful ideas for interior design. Source material is also courtesy of Pinterest.

1310 total views, 5 today

Winterizing for Van Dwellers

RVs October 23, 2017

Winter in a van

For some van dwellers, it’s been a lifelong dream to feel this free. You can live rent-free and travel if you wish. It has turned out to be a dream come true but there are things one must consider before taking on a life of van dwelling, and one very important thing is how to winterize your van, so you can stay warm  during the Fall and Winter seasons.

There are quite a few options for keeping your van in good repair and warm for the upcoming season, some a bit more costly and others go towards the frugal way. However, keeping warm is not a joke and you do want your methods and all your hard work and money to be sufficient.

First things first: Insulation

Most vans that are purchased as dwelling spaces already have some kind of insulation, check it out and make sure because you may fall into a case where you need to insulate more or replace torn out insulation. On Instructables.com there is a comprehensive instruction article on how to properly insulate your van for the Winter.

Make sure your van is in good working condition

Now is the time to check out all the mechanical stuff. Make sure that you have recently had a tune-up and an oil change before hitting the road in the Winter. Make certain that if your van has its own heat,  have the heating system checked out so you know you’ll be warm while driving. Check your anti-freeze levels and your battery so you don’t get stuck on some cold highway waiting for help. And get winter tires just in case you run into snow storms and blizzards.

Keeping warm at night

It is one thing to have a good working heating system while driving, but how do you keep warm at night or when you park for a day or two? You can use some warm night clothing, socks, slippers, pajamas, and good winter blankets. Getting a couple of sleeping bags is another great idea. They keep you warm inside and outside. A good hot water bottle works well to preheat the bed and/or the sleeping bag.

Gas heaters

There are compact gas heaters that many  people love to use on cold winter nights. One great thing about them is that they don’t require electricity. These heaters function very well so do your research to see which ones are in your budget and what size heater you will need to heat your specific van space.

Source: Living in a Van in Winter

By Kimberly Smith

130 total views, 2 today

Six Reasons To Travel With Your Tiny House

Tiny House October 23, 2017

Travel with a Tiny House

The Tiny House Movement is quite the world wide phenomenon. So many people desire to downsize and simplify their lives, live in less clutter and be real home owners. Owning the traditional sized home usually requires a mortgage and monthly payments, and with a tiny house you can own your own home and live mortgage-free. But one of the most attractive features of living in a tiny home is that you can put it on wheels and go when the mood hits you. Here are a few reasons why being able to travel with your tiny house is such an advantage.

  • You Do Not Want To Own Property

If living more carefree is your thing you don’t want to be tied to a piece of land. Property taxes and being stuck in one location mean you can’t just get up and go. Putting your tiny house on wheels is the only solution to this dilemma.

  • You Want New Views Out Your Windows

If you easily tire of being in one location and want to  see new places often, then having your tiny house completely mobile is for you. You can live in a tiny house community for a while, and then go more rural and solitary if you wish. Changing location is one of the most alluring parts of having your tiny house on wheels.

  • You Travel A Lot For Business

If your job requires that you be on the road for long periods of time the idea of packing and and unpacking constantly may not be too appealing. With a mobile tiny house you can take home with you and have all you need right there in familiar surroundings. That makes coming home from a difficult business meeting a time of peace and relaxation.

  • You Want To Avoid Zoning And Building Regulations

Your tiny house on wheels is not considered legally a house. You must register it with Motor Vehicles but you can manage to get around all  the municipality regulations of a particular town.

  • If You Like Meeting New People

There is nothing more stimulating to your mind, heart, and soul than engaging with all different kinds of people. If you enjoy good conversation and happy times with friends, having a tiny house that is on wheels so that you can experience a lot of different folk is just the thing. You might just make  casual acquaintances into strong relationships.

  • You  Can Easily Move If Necessary

If suddenly for some reasons it becomes a necessity for you to move, a tiny house on wheels makes that no problem at all.

When you travel with your tiny house you have the best of all worlds. You can visit new places, see new sites, and make new friends, with your home with you all the time. There is nothing quite like being in strange surroundings and still being able to come home whenever you want to. Traveling with your tiny house can be a real adventure!

1235 total views, 3 today

Adding Skylights To Your Home To Save Energy And Increase Natural Light

Interior Design October 23, 2017

No matter what kind of home you live in – traditional, Craftsman, a tiny house, modular, prefab – it doesn’t matter, we all want to bring the outside in. Whether you add indoor plants, weekly floral bouquets, or an indoor herb garden, bringing Nature inside warms your home and adds pops of color. Skylights do the same thing with the added advantage of adding window light and also saving you much needed energy. Just imagine taking a bath or shower in moonlight, or having your morning coffee in a beautiful sunrise. You can do all this indoors with added skylights.

Adding skylights also saves you energy. Using natural light cuts your energy costs, and adds to your overall energy efficiency. Also with an electric venting skylight you can create what is known as a “passive air conditioner” and keep your home cool during the hot summer months.

It seems that homes are being built more close together these days, and in rooms where there may not be a window, you can use a skylight to bring in natural light while still maintaining your privacy. Many bathrooms are built now with interior walls and no windows, so adding a skylight provides much needed light without compromising privacy.

It is quite liberating to keep off your electric lights because you have skylights in your hallway or kitchen. Even on cloudy days, the amount of energy you save with a skylight can be very considerable. And you can be outside while remaining safely inside on rainy days. Natural light illuminates even in inclement weather. There is nothing as lovely as feeling like you are outside when you must be indoors.

So adding skylights to your home can do double duty – you increase access to natural light while also saving energy. You can be part of the solution to increasing energy efficiency on the planet. So don’t add more windows. Add some skylights!

103 total views, 2 today

DIY Repair When Your House is a Van

RVs October 23, 2017

DIY Repairs When Your House is a Van

Van dwelling is getting more popular these days. It saves you from paying rent and mortgage and many other monthly bills that everyone is used to paying. It is also a way to freedom, freedom to move and go whenever you feel the notion. Van dwelling comes with a lot of perks but you must remember, that your new home is a vehicle and vehicle’s have issues from time to time. This is especially true because most van dwellers buy used vans that at some point will need mechanical attention.

Are you up for doing a little DIY repairs on your home? Well, it will be a whole lot cheaper if you could do some of the things that your van will require to keep it and you, on the road. Here are some repairs that are simple enough that even a novice can learn.

Checking your oil

Oil keeps any vehicle going strong. You cannot continually drive a vehicle without making sure that it has enough oil or that the oil is clean. Doing an oil check by simply lifting the hood, looking for the plastic stick that has an oil can on it and removing that stick to see how much oil is actually there, is one of the simplest but most important things you can do for your vehicle. If you look at the markings on the stick you can see at what level the oil is, and fill or add oil if needed.

2. Anti-freeze

If you are constantly on the road, particularly during the cold weather, anti-freeze is a fluid that needs checking. If you remember how to check the oil, you will see a cap that either says anti-freeze or look for the sketching of a picture of anti-freeze fluid. Remove and read the instructions on your particular brand of anti-freeze. Look in your manual, if it is still available because some anti-freeze needs to be mixed with water and some bottles come that way. Pour the anti-freeze in the correct section of the car and mark in a book when you refilled it so you will know when to check it again.

3. Tires

Always check your tires for low pressure and often the vehicle will tell you when there is low pressure, but if the vehicle is too old for that type of messages, check your tires when you check your oil. If one seems low, immediately go to a gas station with an air pump or a tire place where they can check all of your four tires and see if there is the right amount of air in all four. Make sure you know how to change a tire on your own as well. This will make things a whole lot easier; and get Triple AAA, for any road service needs in case it is nighttime or bad weather is occuring, and you simply need some roadside assistance.

1009 total views, 4 today

All About the Inexpensive Sears Mail Order Houses

Prefab October 22, 2017

All About the Inexpensive Sears Mail Order Houses

If Sears brought these back (for under $30k), would you consider buying one? Sears sold somewhere between 70,000 and 75,000 inexpensive homes through the mail-order Modern Homes program. 447 styles to chose from!

Most people are aware of the Sears company, selling everything from clothing to high power tools. But only a few may know that between 1908 and 1940 Sears sold mail order homes. It was quite a successful venture, with Sears selling 70,000-75, 000 homes during that time period. Karen DeJeet moved into her home approximately 4 years ago and found out about its unique history. It is still standing beautifully and it is one of the mail order homes from the Sears company. This made DeJeet very curious as to how many other Sears mail order homes were still around. It has become quite the hobby for DeJeet.

Obviously the homes took off, soaring with sales during the early 1900s, but if Sears began to sell these homes again under 30k, would you actually buy one? The reason we mention this number is because it’s the equivalent in modern-day dollars to the prices they sold them at a long time ago (you’re probably familiar with seeing old magazines with prices like $1000 and $1995). Except we averaged it out high, so the updated number would be less than $30k.

With so many people getting into the tiny house movement, dwelling in campers and vans, and making homes from shipping containers, a mail order house is not a far fetched idea. If it can be sold for under 30k, that in itself is a great marketing tool.

In these times, it is not unusual to buy unassembled furniture or many objects and projects that are DIY. DIY is now a hugely popular trend, so one would think that a DIY home would do very well in this housing market.

What was then Sears & Roebuck, designed 447 versions of this house, from your large luxurious family home to what would be called a tiny house today. There would be a design that would fit just about everyone’s taste and the DIY factor is getting less scary as time goes on. Also, if they were being sold for under 30k, it could be easy to pay someone for help, if you are not a DIY person yourself.

Certainly, no one really knows how well a product will sell until it is on the market, however with the way most people are thinking, a DIY mail order home from Sears would do pretty well in this current world economy.

by Kimberly Smith

43764 total views, 144 today

Build Your Own Solar-Power Workshop

Home and Garden October 2, 2017

Build Your Own Solar-Power Workshop

A lot of people are going solar-powered these days with their homes and work places. Here we show you how to build your own solar-powered workshop. There are a few good reasons why you would want to build a workshop this way, the most important is that in the long run, it will save you a lot of money. The task may sound daunting but with some good instructions and the right supplies it can be done by just about anyone.

Of course you will need to acquire certain tools to begin with:

A drill and drill bits

Measuring tape

Wire cutters

and a socket wrench

Plus you will also need a solar pathfinder

The list of materials needed to build a solar workshop is pretty extensive but they all serve a very specific purpose in this type of project.

  • premounted charge controller
  • 55-watt solar panel
  • junction box
  • 2″ lag screws
  • timer switch
  • 100-amp battery
  • overhead light fixture
  • heavy-duty DC fuse
  • heavy-duty welding cable
  • mounting hardware kit
  • DC inverter
  • rubber butyl sealant
  • 14-gauge electrical cable
  • silicone caulk

Once you gather your tools  and supplies you will need to make sure that everything is the correct tool and that all is working properly as it should. The first step is to connect the wiring to the juction box. At the junction box end, there should be a water tight connector. This, of course will protect this area from getting wet. Now you must strip the wires and connect the cable to your junction box. The red wire represents the positive and the black wire represents the negative. Connect wires to their terminal posts and tighten with a screwdriver.

Attach all mounting hardware to the panel. Once that is done, position and install your panel onto the roof of your shop. Route the wire from the solar panel across the roof and place it under the overhang of the roof. To pass the wire into the interior of the building you must drill a hole about 1/2 inch in size and pass the wire through to the interior. Secure the wire with staples and cover the hole with caulking.

Now it’s time to install the electrical panel and attach the panel wiring and connect the battery. Wire the inverter by  connecting two heavy duty cables from the utility box to the back of the unit, which should have two receptacle units. Connect the positive and negative wires to their terminals and then turn on the inverter to make sure that electricity is flowing.

Wire the interior by placing the light fixture on the ceiling. For more details and a step by step intstruction chart on how to build your own solar-powered workshop see DIY Solar-Power Work Shed here.

1864 total views, 2 today

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  • All About the Inexpensive Sears Mail Order Houses

    All About the Inexpensive Sears Mail Order Houses

    by on October 22, 2017 - 0 Comments

    If Sears brought these back (for under $30k), would you consider buying one? Sears sold somewhere between 70,000 and 75,000 inexpensive homes through the mail-order Modern Homes program. 447 styles to chose from! Most people are aware of the Sears company, selling everything from clothing to high power tools. But only a few may know […]

  • Winter Living In A Camper Van

    How To Spend The Winter Living In A Camper Van

    by on October 24, 2017 - 0 Comments

    There are many places in Canada and the U.S. where the winter brings on very cold temperatures and storms. If we live in traditional housing we usually have a heatng system that keeps us warm and cozy. However if your housing is not traditional, such as living in a van, the winter can also bring […]

  • Converting a Van Into a Home - She Downsized to Pay Off Debt

    Converting a Van Into a Home - She Downsized to Pay Off Debt

    by on October 2, 2017 - 0 Comments

    “My Car-Dwelling Life” is the only name we have for this brave young woman who decided to chronicle her life on YouTube. And why is she chronicling her life, well, she decided that her credit card debt was just too stressful with trying to pay rent and car payments plus insurance. Though she works full-time, […]

  • How Much Could it Cost to Live in a Van Year-Round

    by on September 13, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Van life is becoming a phenomena. People everywhere are giving up their mortgages to live in renovated vans. Those old vans who everyone thought had seen their day, are now being snatched up by your sons and and daughters with a sign hanging out that says,” home”.  There are also a lot of older adults […]

  • He Bought a Used Ambulance, Turned it into his Home, and Drove South to the Tropics

    He Bought a Used Ambulance, Turned it into his Home, and Drove South to the Tropics

    by on October 23, 2017 - 0 Comments

    He has now entered Costa Rice with his DIY converted home-on-wheels he bought used of eBay. We have heard of many vehicles being turned into homes these last couple of years, from vans to SUV’s to campers. But it is extremely creative to see an ambulance as your next home. Ambulances are often filled with […]