Is living in a van worth it?

As all my readers know I own two homes. 1: My sprinter van. It’s an older class b motorhome. 2: My vacation home that my family lives in. It’s tucked into the Utah mountains. You may think this is backwards but in fact I live in the van more then my house. So I refer to my van as my permanent residence. I’m on a kick lately blogging about the Perks of living in a van. 1-6 have been posted. If you are curious go check it out. I’m about to rave about #7… COST!!! Besides the bottom line. Which is simple. Homes across the United States cost well into $200,000. If you want a nice home in a good suburban area with space, a yard, parking and good schools your looking well into the $3-400,000 range. Ok schools might be a stretch for this topic but really good schools mean great neighborhoods. A new top of the line amazing trouble free van. Equipped to handle life is $150,000. I bought a used one. Like most people buy homes. For $27,000. Find a home for that price. I get to choose my neighborhood daily. If I don’t like it tomorrow I move. Let’s face it home loans are for 30 years. Come on folks most marriages don’t last that long anymore. You think your neighbor you’ve never met is a 30 year match. Ok let’s move on to maintenance. Let’s suppose you bought a condo downtown. Your commute is on foot. Your cost is at that $150,000 mark. We will forget the cost of monthly dues. We will call them security, warm and fuzzy, someone else’s problem dues. This year I have repaired my furnace, my entire kitchen from an ice damn, my A/C, sprinklers, planted plants, installed gravel, replaced a water heater. I’m looking at a new roof in the next couple years. In my van I replaced break pads, fuel filters, air filter, battery’s. It’s ten years old. It’s the same age as my house. My furnace is fine. I do need another water heater. Not because this one failed but because it sucks. Ok now compare… I know your smart. It doesn’t. I am in California in a parking lot brake pads are worn to nothing. I’m thinking I am putting money in this again. Then I remember it’s the cheap house. My kid just broke a window. My brake pads $25. My window will be hundreds. I know your are saying a roof on a condo is part of the dues, yes but the water heater isn’t nor is the furnace, A/C or broken window. Now you say where is your yard and space. Well $80 and I got a National Parks pass. Is your yard as big as the Grand Canyon or as cool as Mount Rushmore or as pretty as Zion. If you’re trying to say well I have to stick around for my job. Well do you get the weekends off? Because you don’t have a lawn to mow any more. Go find bliss. I advise anyone thinking about this. If it’s even remotely doable, DO IT!!!Perk 7: cost!!!!!!!

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Little things make the struggle worthwhile. 

My job requires me to work 8 days on then 7 days off. There of course are Holidays and vacation that change the amount of time out at work. Most of the people in this field of work choose to stay in hotels. Generally 2-3 guys per room. If they do three they will bring a cot or air mattress. The cost is then split and becomes affordable to manage. The snoring not so much. I decided that there has to be a better way. If you have read my earlier posts you know I’m now living in a class B motorhome. It’s a sprinter van. The cost really isn’t any better sometimes it’s even more costly to maintain and drive about then three guys in a Camary getting rooms. So why do I go through the trouble of finding spaces to park and dump my tanks and worry about propane and battery levels and how I’m going to watch the game while they all lie on their beds and zone into the grand television? That is why I’ve started this blog. A way to journal the perks I have because of my living arrangements. So tonight as I am cooking dinner once again I am reminded at how great my life is. In my van I have a two burner stove and a sink. I also have a microwave and a mini fridge. Tonight’s dinner was seared Ahi Tuna on a bed of rice served with sautéed mushrooms onions and green beans. Pretty hard to get that on our budget living in a hotel room. This week I also ate salmon twice, three lobster tails, artichokes, asparagus, zucchini and squash. Many meals I’ve had the pleasure of making for myself. Spending a fraction of what most my coworkers end up spending on fast food trying to fill their guts. I cook on cast iron pans or my BBQ that I bring along as well. So my dishes stay minimal. My water consumption is a bit high because I eat a lot of vegetables which do require a little washing. The desire to live out of the box is real for me. Next time you see some poor schmuck living in his van trying to be left alone in a parking lot don’t call the cops. He is probably just a good ole boy trying to get by like the rest off you. We’re not all creepers. 

Perk 6: Food is incredible when you have the means and tools readily available in your van just like a regular home. 

Off again

Hello again. I’ve had some time off of work. Mandatory vacation. I had to use up my vacation time or it would be scheduled for me. I chose fall break because my kids had more time out of school and for the first time in years I was home for Halloween. It was amazing! This has been one of the best falls I’ve enjoyed in years. The colors have been incredible. The weather has been warm for the most part. There have been a few storms. Just enough to remind me that winter is coming. I love the winter so it’s putting a smile on my face. My vacation home sits just into the Utah mountains in a low valley. We get enough snow to play but nothing like the skier infested peaks that surround us. Of course I call it my vacation home because it is where I spend my days away from work. I live in my van while at work. This makes me a “Vandweller” for just over half the year. I consider it full time since I spend more time in the van then my conventional home. As the days fly by and my time at home with my family dwindles to a crisp end. I find myself antsy. I have no desire in going back to work. Don’t get me wrong I love my job but it is a job none the less. I love my home as well but I am a gypse soul. I desire travel, adventure, exploration. I need to see the world around me and being cooped up for days gets me feeling restless. I’m excited to get back in my van and spread my wings. I can’t wait until I retire and get to chose where I take myself. I hope my wife joins me for more adventures at that point. Now she stays at home and takes care of my life while I’m away. I couldn’t do this without her and I appreciate how understanding she is. So tomorrow I will climb back into my tiny home and drive away again. Sacramento California is the destination this time. I hope to see some family that live in the surrounding area but with the long hours I work probably not. I’m so close to so many amazing places while in Sacramento but will not have the time to visit. It’s such a tease. That is why I can’t wait to retire. If I get the chance to find some fun. I will make sure I update my blog and let you all know. Enjoy life friends and keep living or you will start dying.