Tired of all the misinformation on #vanlife?

Photomike

White Turtle Adventures
I am on many forums and groups about #vanlife #tinyhomes #buslife #ambulanceconversions etc.

I cannot believe all the misinformation that is out there. Some of the misinformation is done by accident. But just as much, if not more, is put out there by people that are trying to sell a product. It seems as Instagram has picked up on these movements that it is the blind leading the blind more and more and many of the newbies are very gullible.

I teach photography and since our fun with Covid has happened I have started to do more of my teaching online and I have started making videos as well to still be able to teach my students. Then the other day after typing my ten thousandth response to "What do I use for a toilet" and my millionth response to "Is it safe to sleep in bear country in a van"? I thought why not put it into some videos. I want to do something to help those that are considering getting into an alternate home or lifestyle before they make mistakes that may cost them a fortune.

So why I am I qualified to do this? Well I have spent a good part of my past 55 plus years outside for work and pleasure. I have hiked, canoed, kayaked, rafted, climbed, cycled & camped. I have probably spent more days outside then many in these movements have been alive (someone said the average age of a #vanlife person on Instagram is 20 and it is dropping - scary to me). I do not sell anything nor am I sponsored by anyone, I just want to get the basic information out there that is majorly lacking in these movements.

So if you are interested my videos are on my Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLod-4CkDF7aPD_x7sfRiFKVf1TtnJH5sx
 
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mobydick 11

Active member
So I have checked out your videos . It looks like you will be helping out some new comers , people hoping to do van life . I have subscribed and will follow along .Best of luck to you . O and i like your van build ,you have what you need and nothing more.
 

mobydick 11

Active member
So I have checked out your videos . It looks like you will be helping out some new comers , people hoping to do van life . I have subscribed and will follow along .Best of luck to you . O and i like your van build ,you have what you need and nothing more.
 

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Photomike

White Turtle Adventures
So I have checked out your videos . It looks like you will be helping out some new comers , people hoping to do van life . I have subscribed and will follow along .Best of luck to you . O and i like your van build ,you have what you need and nothing more.
Thanks, after having all the luxuries in a couple of my units and having to do the upkeep I prefer basic and simple.
 

rruff

Explorer
Thanks, after having all the luxuries in a couple of my units and having to do the upkeep I prefer basic and simple.
I resonate with your approach. I spent 13 years fulltime vagabonding on a very low budget, and feel that 99% of "stuff" is not worth the trouble, let alone the cost. No heat, no AC, no running water, no toilet, no shower, no fridge (or cooler), etc. Never missed them.

I get the impression that most vanlifers "camp" in town or cluster in nature spots. They don't really want to get away from it all...
 
I am on many forums and groups about #vanlife #tinyhomes #buslife #ambulanceconversions etc.

I cannot believe all the misinformation that is out there. Some of the misinformation is done by accident. But just as much, if not more, is put out there by people that are trying to sell a product. It seems as Instagram has picked up on these movements that it is the blind leading the blind more and more and many of the newbies are very gullible. .. ...
and you are surprised by this . . . ?
 

mobydick 11

Active member
Thanks, after having all the luxuries in a couple of my units and having to do the upkeep I prefer basic and simple.
They say a build is not complete until you have used it for a year and taken out all the things you do not need . I sort of got lucky as the camper i have been building out ,i needed to use before it was completed. After just spending 12 nights in it I realize the cabinets and cupboards i was going to install are not needed . I would much rather just have the bit of open space .May be that is a good lesson .once you have your bed ,toilet and sink .Go use it and see what else you really need .
 

shenrie

^^^ hates cars
^^^ totally agree. we purposely did a very minimal build, basically a bed then camped out if it for a couple of seasons. around 30-40 nights a year. the plan changed a lot from our original vision. we kept a list of things we deemed mandatory, wants, and easily live withouts.

then life happened and kicked us in the face. we’ve been broke af and wife is now disabled since early 2017. we still get out at least 2 weekends a month and throughly enjoy our minimalist build best we can. now we typically get 50 nights a year in it even without all the fancy stuff (we still plan on building it out, just not an option atm) you see all these nice builds with.

we’re just lucky we got our van before the vanlife hashtag bs was invented. there’s no way we could afford what we have now if we had to buy what we have in this day and age. I feel sorry for everyone having to pay double, sometimes triple what I remember paying for items we were able to purchase prior. van builders are definitely getting while the gettings good.
 

Choff

Adventurer
I have been Vanning since the 70's and still do!!!, my wife and I still sleep in our conversion van when we travel. Yes I am old, 66 years.
Love the simplicity of the van. Some of the vans I see on this site are way over done !! and then they sell it? for $100,000
The van we have now is a 2005 AWD GMC , it is my 6th van !! with 221,000 miles on it and still going strong. I have no intentions of giving up the van life.
OH, YA Bought the van for $24,000 back about 13 years ago. Think I got my money's worth out of this one.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
I think the worst offender of all, is Sabrina Horel with that blue VW Bus and her Wxnderbus channel on Youtube. There's just no way that was true, or even possible.

If her or "Jeemee" were independently wealthy being financially supported by their parents, stayed in hotels, AND they had a truck and trailer to tow their bus from one photo spot to the next, I would have been more inclined to believe it.

It is quite telling, that right after the new owners took possession of it (following the "raffle" scam), it caught fire. Now THAT's reality...

 

Photomike

White Turtle Adventures
I think the worst offender of all, is Sabrina Horel with that blue VW Bus and her Wxnderbus channel on Youtube. There's just no way that was true, or even possible.

If her or "Jeemee" were independently wealthy being financially supported by their parents, stayed in hotels, AND they had a truck and trailer to tow their bus from one photo spot to the next, I would have been more inclined to believe it.

It is quite telling, that right after the new owners took possession of it (following the "raffle" scam), it caught fire. Now THAT's reality...

I think 75% - 90% of the Instagram van people are fake (I may be high but don't think so). I have seen the same person in #vanlife posts then post in other hashtags completely opposite from a vanlife lifesyle. . Same 20 year old, wearing the same expensive clothes, in amazing locations proclaiming the benefits of this lifestyle. Problem is that they are selling this fake life to others and then when others get in it they are not prepared!

I like the van the guy is in and narrating. Reflectex taped to the van, stuff stuffed everywhere. That is more like van life!!
 

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UHAULER

Explorer
^^^ totally agree. we purposely did a very minimal build, basically a bed then camped out if it for a couple of seasons. around 30-40 nights a year. the plan changed a lot from our original vision. we kept a list of things we deemed mandatory, wants, and easily live withouts.

then life happened and kicked us in the face. we’ve been broke af and wife is now disabled since early 2017. we still get out at least 2 weekends a month and throughly enjoy our minimalist build best we can. now we typically get 50 nights a year in it even without all the fancy stuff (we still plan on building it out, just not an option atm) you see all these nice builds with.

we’re just lucky we got our van before the vanlife hashtag bs was invented. there’s no way we could afford what we have now if we had to buy what we have in this day and age. I feel sorry for everyone having to pay double, sometimes triple what I remember paying for items we were able to purchase prior. van builders are definitely getting while the gettings good.
I am thinking of going back to a very basic cabover campershell on my f250. Our trips are short, 2-6 days. Our last trip we went up to the Oregon coast, spent one night in a casino parking lot and two nights camped on my friends property, so we had a real shower and bathroom. We like checking out little towns and eating out. Our fridge was mostly full of drinks. The shower in our trailer is so small it's almost useless.We don't like real cold so we don't camp where we need a furnace. Didn't use the microwave. Only used the 3 burner stove to heat water for coffee, Never needed the easy bake oven.
For us I think it needs to be quick and simple. Rather than spending thousands building out a fully self contained camper and all of the hassles that go along with it, we would be fine going to a campground, Hotel, Motel, for a real shower/bathroom every so often.
For our life, a sprinter or Transit would be the perfect size but are WAY out of our price range.
 
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