Creating a Tiny House on Wheels – A Low-Cost Conversion Van Redux

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Creating a Tiny House on Wheels – A Low-Cost Conversion Van Redux

Van Life - The Beginning

A couple years ago, my mother and I went together to buy a conversion van. I had enjoyed a conversion van of my own before — until a driver decided to barrel down in a school zone where several parents and I were waiting to turn in to drop off our children.

My van (containing my daughter and me) were the THIRD vehicle in line of FIVE that he destroyed when he decided to crash into the back end of the line at an incredible speed in his big truck. I found one of my earrings in the back floorboard — that’s how hard we were hit! My daughter and I were ok, other than lingering neck and back issues, others, however, weren’t so lucky.

My van, unfortunately, was toast after that. I couldn’t even drive it. It had to be totaled. My adventure-mobile was gone. It took a few years before I found another cool conversion van and joined forces with my Mom to buy it through a friend.

Since that time, I’ve had BIG plans to take off and adventure in it. HUGE plans. But, life kept getting in the way. Sure, we took a few trips, but they weren’t big adventures. Certainly, none of them were “tiny house” type adventures.

For the past several years, I’ve put vanning ideas on my Pinterest board. I’ve watched YouTube videos of low-cost conversions and high-ticket options. I’ve dreamed and dreamed… but continued living a normal life.

Recently, I decided that I’m not getting any younger, so I took the plunge. I took the van to my mechanic and asked him to permanently remove the back seat. That thing was *supposed* to fold down into a comfortable bed. It did fold down… I’ll just leave it at that.

It also took up a good portion of the floor space. Now, with that bench seat gone and the two captain chairs gone (leaving only the two up front), I have some room to play.

Being budget-minded, I wanted to see what was possible without a huge investment of money. So I started trying to figure out what I needed and what I could live without. To do this, I purchased a few items, but not many — and I decided to “dry camp” close to home to test the systems and see what would work and what was a lost cause.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll share my findings — my solutions — and the cost for those. Enjoy!

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