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Getting started

Getting started it easy; it doesn't require money, skills, or fancy equipment.

the mental preparation

the build

It doesn't take much to get started. There are a few reasons for this:

  • it is common wisdom in the vandwelling community that it is cheapest to “start with what you got”. Have a car, or pickup, or van, or something else? Start there.
  • real world testing will realign one's daydreams with reality. You can start with an overnight in your driveway, then an overnight somewhere else. Weekend in the driveway, weekend somewhere else. Maybe a weeklong jaunt.
  • building a van or car out is an iterative process: do something, try it out. Change it, try it out. Rinse and repeat.

a literary example

In Blue Highway, the author described his functional gear like this:

I had what I needed for now, much of it stowed under the wooden bunk:
1 sleeping bag and blanket;
1 Coleman cooler…;
1 Rubbermaid basin and a plastic gallon jug (the sink);
1 Sears, Roebuck portable toilet;
1 Optimus 8R white gas cook stove (hardly bigger than a can of beans);
1 knapsack of utensils, a pot, a skillet;
1 U.S. Navy seabag of clothes;
1 tool kit…
images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com_images_i_41cxhukxjsl._ac_us218_.jpg In modern terms this might be:

  • bed platform, sleeping bag
  • water for drinking/cooking/hygiene
  • utensils
  • propane camping stove
  • a couple change of clothes (especially socks and underwear)
  • a pee bottle
  • trash bags and a bucket.

survival build

You are suddenly homeless, are outrunning a hurricane, etc.

minimal + power

images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com_images_i_41f1ofkacul._ac_us218_.jpg If you want to charge phones or a laptop, it is easy to pick up a lithium "power station" and charge it when you stop for a sit-down meal, coffee, or anywhere else with an electrical receptical. This type of unit charges very well from an outlet, ok from solar, and poorly from a ciggy lighter socket unless you are driving.

A backpack and extension cord come in handy for smaller units; you can put the battery in the backpack and run the extension plug to the wall. No one needs to know you are charging a pack.

Larger units will be able to power CPAP and similar devices.

rv/build/minimal.1578255969.txt.gz · Last modified: 2020/10/11 19:48 (external edit)