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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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Why DIY when You Can Buy a Camper?

RVs October 2, 2017

Why DIY when You Can Buy a Camper

Camper living is becoming one of the most popular ways to have freedom and save money on rent and mortgages at the same time. It is simple enough, if you have a nice budget to go and buy one already remodeled and decorated for traveling and living, so why are people choosing to buy old campers and redo them on their own? There are quite a few reasons for this choice and we will explore a few. Buying an old camper give you the option of putting in it all the things you desire and though at the end of the remodel, there may be a significant budget spent, the owners will have exactly what they want and need personally for their living and traveling space.


Buying a camper already set-up for living and traveling is definitely the easier way out most of the time but you need money and or loans up front to aquire such a camper. When you choose the DIY method you get the fun of being creative and imaginative about what you want the camper to look like inside and out. Money is spent in smaller amounts at a time, than all at once. DIY methods give you the opportunity to save and make money in between projects. You can rip everything out and begin from scratch, that’s the first step. There are many salvage yards that have the supplies you need for pennies on the dollar and some materials you can actually acquire for free.

Creative Decorating

You may, of course, find a new camper that is to your liking, but the best way to get the vehicle and home of your dreams is to do the work yourself. Personally you may prefer or even need items in unusual places, whereas, if you purchased a new or used camper, the kitchen will be where it was originally planned to be. No one is going to spend money on a new or used camper that is already complete to rip it apart and redo it all over again. The budget would need to be pretty large and it really doesn’t make any sense. Buying an old camper that needs stripping gives buyers the chance to create something that they have always wanted or needed. Maybe it is more convenient for a particular person, couple, or family to have their kitchen in the rear of the camper. Choosing the DIY option would be the way to go.

Freedom to Travel or Remain Stationary

Many new campers are built for travel only. Families would only use them in good weather during certain seasons of the year. A live-in camper has certain needs that will keep the owner or owners more comfortable in bad weather and during the cold winter season. For example, in a DIY version you may choose to have a different heating system than one that comes from the factory. You can rig up a heating system that can run at night, while the camper engine is off so that you can be warm and cozy on those winter nights or seasons when you are not on the road. Remember, this is not just a travel vehicle, it is also a home. This is one of the main reasons why it is better for many people to purchase an old camper and remodel it themselves, they know what they need to be comfotable on and off the road.

Free of Loans

Unless you choose to get loans to remodel your camper, you can buy an old camper without loans to repay and use the money you have saved. Loans are simply another stressful thing to think about. Also, you require former good credit to take out a loan for any purchase and a lot of Millenials are choosing this way of life. They may already have school loans and may not qualify or want other loans for a vehicle purchase.

All in all, DIY is a way for your creativity to flourish and with it you can have the camper you choose. The one that is flaoting around in your mind, not necessarily one that is sitting on a camper lot already done and decorated. There are other additions you or your family may need like items for the physically disabled. These additions can be very expensive when buying a camper off the lot, when you can learn to create ramps and other needs for the physically disabled on your own for much less money. Creativity is the key for most people who choose the DIY method.

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Too Cool for School: 6 Very Cool Bus Homes

RVs September 13, 2017

Too Cool for School 6 Very Cool Bus Homes

If we’re not hearing about fabulous tiny homes, we are now hearing about homes made from school buses. We’ve seen the humble version and even those are amazing. It is difficult to think about turning a school bus into a home. But when we think we have seen it all, someone uses their imagination to come up with something we’ve never seen before.

Here are 6 very cool bus homes that were built from a spark of imagination and some interesting materials. These bus homes are luxurious, intriguing, and can be used as muses for those thinking about transforming a school bus into a home. You can do almost anything you can think of and make it gorgeous. Some look like buses still and that’s pretty cool, while others you may not believe were ever school buses at all. Either way, they are all fun to view and tour.

Here are 6 of the coolest school bus homes we’ve found on the internet today:


This schoobus home designer decided to make the kitchen the center of attention. It is truly a dreamy chef’s kitchen fully equipped for all your gourmet meals.


This home owner uses color to brighten up this schoolbus house. It is a bit retro in style and the mix-matched pillows really do the trick in the “living room” area.


The wood in this schoolbus house gives it that cabin flair and a very natural look for camping and traveling. The furniture and appliances are minimal which makes the wood stand out beautifully.


This schoolbus home’s owner has used the sides of the bus to line everything up in a row. This way the center of the bus is uncluttered and used as space for walking. This is a very modern minimalist look.


This schoolbus home is very traditionally decorated. It is almost like walking into your family’s living room space in the suburbs. With a beautifully luxurious and comfortable looking sofa, this schoolbus will make you feel right at home.


This home has a country flair to it. This owner transformed a schoolbus into a traditional home with wooden accents and all that comes with a home in a rural area. The kitchen is beautiful and well-equipped for those who love to entertain. It is basically a country home inside of a bus.

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You Can Convert Double Decker Buses Into Two Story Homes

RVs September 6, 2017

With the recent popularity of living “off the grid”, and the global excitement over the Tiny House Movement more and more people are searching for different kinds of alternative living. Living more simply, being more mobile, and downsizing their lives are the desires of these folks. The school bus has emerged as a favorite new option. You are able to have all the comforts of a small home and tour the country at the same time. And the cost of a school bus conversion is not prohibitive.

Some school buses and city buses as well have been turned into amazing dwellings and bus living can be a whole lot more than giving up space. Some people live very glamorous lives while living in a bus. You can have more than just basic needs, and you can either hire a contractor to refit your bus or make it a DIY project that you and your family can work on. A used bus can cost as little as $3000, and you can spend less than $15,000 to do the refit depending on what you want in the way of conveniences and what materials you choose to use.

A lot of people want to live “green” and put solar panels on the roof of their bus and compost their plumbing. This way they feel closer to the planet and a part of the climate crises’ solution as opposed to being a part of the problem. As with RV living, you can travel and have real adventures on the road all while taking your home with you. And families can also live in buses and other mobile dwellings with ease and fun.

In the UK a young couple bought one of those famous double-decker buses and converted it to a two story home for a community of professionals.

Just like the tiny house, you need not give up any creature comforts while living in a bus. You can have a full bathroom, more than one bedroom, a spacious kitchen with plenty of counter space, and lots of storage with your furniture doing double duty.

The images below are courtesy of Pinterest and are meant to spark your imagination, and show you that bus living is a wonderful experience. Living in a home on wheels is unique and not for everyone. But if you love to travel, see new sites, and meet new people, and want your home to travel with you, living on a bus could be just the thing for you.

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Really Cool Beds for Van Dwellers

RVs July 6, 2017

You may be wondering where and how, those who live out of their vans sleep comfortably. You may also be someone thinking about buying a van to convert into a living space and wondering what options you have for bedroom furniture. It takes no genius to realize that it would require a genius to put a full bedroom in a van, so what are the options for van dwellers once nighttime rolls around and it’s time for sleep? Well, there is always the floor, but no one wants to do that long term.

We wanted to inspire you and spark your imagination by giving you some really cool options for how to sleep comfortably as a van dweller. Some of these options are beds you simply place inside your van space and others will have multiple uses. You can also get crafty and build the kind of bed that would fit perfectly in your van space, but not everyone has that kind of time, talent, or interest.

Below we share some pics that should motivate you to think outside the box when it comes to beds and bedding, while living in a van.

The Simple Solution

You can go the simple route if you’re not hard to please and you’re also an easy sleeper, by purchasing a few crates and a mattress and throwing the mattress on top of the crates. It’s simple, quick, and most importantly economical.

The Futon

The futon is another great and simple solution. Many come with their own wooden or metal frame that can be propped against the wall during the day with a few reinforcements to keep it from flying around when you’re driving.

Go Totally DIY

If you have any building skills at all or are a quick learner. you can build your own bed from your own specific measurements. Many van dwellers do this and they don’t mind having their bed be the center of attention when they have visitors.

The Multi-Purpose Bed 

Stores like Ikea and other home stores sell economical crates that can be used as coffee tables, dining tables, and side tables. The great thing about using crates is that they can also be used for storage. You can place the crates where you want in any design you want, L-shaped for example, put your mattress or futon mattress on at night or use as a sitting space during the day with pillows and accessories, so it can act as a sofa as well as a bed.

Try an Air Mattress

Air mattresses are not the lumpy cheap plastic things they used to be. Although, you can still find that kind if that’s all your budget can allow, but there are excellently made air mattresses out there on the market today that sleep just as well as any decent regular mattress.

The Loft Bed

Some van dwellers are savvy enough to build a loft in their van and a ladder with just a few steps and throw a good mattress up there in that space. It’s out of the way and the rest of the van can be used for living and dining space.

Below are some examples of the bed solutions we talked about and more, in our gallery.

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