The idea of converting a van to a tiny home and travelling the country fascinated me years ago. Way back in the eighties, when my sister and I travelled together often, I had a rig like that. It was on a six cylinder Dodge chassis, with sofas that converted to beds, an ice box, a stove.
I reconsidered the whole idea several years ago, when I ran out of grandchildren at home and did not need a three bedroom trailer. I looked into a Mercedes camper van that could easily accommodate my loom and myself and my itch to travel. But oh, the expense. Even used camper vans were more than I wanted to spend for a reliable unit.
And then things began going wrong with me. I broke my leg. I broke my shoulder. This not only sidelined me; it challenged my physical ability. I have severe osteoporosis, probably genetic. In fact, my oldest daughter has suffered several broken bones in the last few years, and has the same diagnosis. So much for living on the road.
Then I discovered tiny homes, and in a lot more countries than this. I had fun on YouTube, finding them shown off, toured, self built, commercial, clever design elements. Their biggest problem, at least in this country, is zoning. When we built the storage barn on the property, to hold our weaving supplies, our building permit said it could not be converted to a residential building as septic would not be permitted. Yet its square footage exceeds many tiny homes.
After I'd looked at hundreds of tiny homes, I discovered van conversions. Hooray for YouTube and hooray for all those converters who made videos of their vans and travels and posted them. Then I discovered schoolies!
All sizes, all styles, travelling, travelling, boondocking, especially on BLM sorts of land in the west. Very little or none of that east of the Mississippi, but still ample boondocking opportunities, with most of the comforts of home. And there's always a campground.
My daughter called one day when I was engrossed in tiny homes over lunch. I confessed. She said "I love schoolies, myself!" We're both addicts.
Interesting research. You just need a "schoolie" with one of those handicapper lift ramps, just in case. Linda in KansasReplyDelete
so tempting although I have waited too long and gas prices are too high and the country is too insane- but the romance is still there, We can dream.ReplyDelete
I just heard that Walmart is going to sell tiny houses and tiny house kits. Skoolies are cool.ReplyDelete
My husband has two aunts who spent some years in an RV, traveling the country. I admire that. I am absolutely sure that I do not have what it takes to do it.ReplyDelete
I've watched lots of youtube about this because John and I are fascinated too, him more than me. He did a lot of boondocking on BLM lands in the Southwest on his 3 week trip. I'm not so interested in roughing it, especially in hot weather.ReplyDelete
Schoolies are so cool. They're blank canvases and can be so many things. The people who gut and remodel them are very creative, I admire that.ReplyDelete
You may recall that last year I spent most of my First Friday Filmclub moments sharing some of my favourite 'vanlifers' ... and I too am greatly drawn to the idea. I have my own design all sorted in my head. But yeah, the years don't favour us, eh. Watch this space though; not called Wild YAM without reason! And anyway, isn't it great to travel by proxy courtesy of all those tubers?!! YAM xx
I wrote about this on ly blog some time ago, fascinated by the single women striking out alone and traveling while working remotely. Schoolies are a special subgroup! I knew a couple who traveled all the time in an Adventure wagon, until they finally retired to a fixed abode. They loved it.ReplyDelete
Darn, you should have got on the road.ReplyDelete
I read an article about tiny homes once and yes, indeed, finding a place to settle them can be very challenging. The article also said most people who buy/build tiny homes only last 3 years in them and then go back to more mainstream accommodations.ReplyDelete
Are you planning a nomadic life in a school bus? it sounds like fun, but doesn't seem wise.ReplyDelete
I can totally understand what you are talking about here! I've spent some time watching many of those videos on tiny homes. It is amazing what some people can do with a small amount of space.ReplyDelete
I seem to be in the minority, but tiny houses are not for me. Nor a travelling life.ReplyDelete
I am solidly with you, EC. I will not do well if/when the time comes to downsize.Delete
We travelled in a panel van in 1976 a while back we did QLD but now I just to old but for anyone else who has the urge I would say go for it.ReplyDelete
My daughter and son-in-law just bought a VW camper and seem to be enjoying it. They rented one for an extended vacation in Europe many years ago, and I think they are trying to relive the memory.ReplyDelete
I would love a small campervan...to go round seeing all our family and friends..people don't say Come and stay with us any more, even before the past two years...and hotels are just so expensive even just for a bedReplyDelete
I am not an addict. I have friends who are and have built their own I could easily be persuaded.ReplyDelete
There were a couple of tv series of about Tiny Houses I really enjoyed…….following people making their own, then placing them more often than not on acreage one of their parents owned. They showed lots of ingenious ideas for solving the storage problem. If I ever downsized that small I’d need a gigantic shed on site as well for all those things I just ‘couldn’t live without’ 😊ReplyDelete
While a vacation would be nice, I do not think I could live permanently in such a small spaceReplyDelete
I am too old to travel like that. I like being near family and would not want to get too far away from them. I am not handy enough to be a camper! :)ReplyDelete
Tiny homes are great...for one person. I can't imagine what two people in one would be like, probably divorce city. Even if you shared it with a best friend there just wouldn't be any privacy or space to just be alone. Schoolies though, a home on wheels, better than a camper van. My daughter and SIL have an old hulk of a bus on their property, came with the property, and they talk about turning it into an extra bedroom with living space and a bathroom. All talk, they'll never do it.ReplyDelete
Your daughter should do the bus conversion and you could benefit equally well. It is amazing what people can do with small spaces to create a home on wheels.ReplyDelete
Jenny always had a hankering for a camper-van but I insisted on the comfort of hotels. Also there's nowhere we could keep it, as we don't have a garage or any spare outside space. And of course it would have to be maintained. But I know people who love touring in their camper-vans and much prefer it any other mode of travel.ReplyDelete
I love this tiny home sensation! If only I was younger…ReplyDelete
Intriguing for sure.ReplyDelete
While traveling in a van or RV sounds enjoyable, I don't think it would be something I would want to do now. I enjoyed traveling when younger, but now it's not as simple. Not that I've given up on it altogether, but tend to do it closer to home or within limits. But hey, I say go for it if it's workable.ReplyDelete
Well I think I will have to look into schoolies because Mrs. Shife are getting closer to figuring out what we want to do with our lives once the kiddos leave the nest. It would be pretty awesome to head south for the winter in converted bus.ReplyDelete
I can imagine the two of you in a schoolie. And Mrs. Fritz, 1 or 2. I'll keep track of you and cheer when it happens.Delete
My daughter and son-in-law recently bought a V-W camper van and they seem quite thrilled with it. Years ago they toured Europe in one and I think they are trying to relive old memories. I doubt that it will be the same; they certainly aren't.ReplyDelete
I would love to travel in retirement in something like thatReplyDelete
I have looked at quite a few tiny homes and also tiny apartments in Japan. They give me the shivers. I have a bit of claustrophobia, which might explain it, and also I have no interest in the travelling part of travelling (although there are places I'd go if I could teleport instantly). But I'm sorry you never got to do this, since it's something you were interested in, although the gas cost would be overwhelming right now.ReplyDelete