Updated: Jun 10
No postal address
Keeping a close eye on resources
1. Limited space
We had been downsizing houses for about 3 years when we decided to hop on this a Vanlife, yet, we still struggled with the lack of space. The biggest reason for that is that being weather dependent we need to have big puffer jackets as well little short shorts, the nights can be really cold so we need a big duvet but we don’t need it when it’s 40C during the day, living outside we also want to be able to enjoy the weather when we can and so have our bikes, even thinking of getting a kayak etc etc, so you guess it the problem is where to store all our seasonal gear, so that we can enjoy fully living in a van !
Let me tell you we do a lot of periodically reorganising !
💭Do a lot of brainstorming and use 200% of the space ! For example wall pockets or all small items like keys, head lamps & so on, hocks for sunnies or hats, adjustable furnitures (Can the table be used as a day bed? Can it be removed ? Can you create storage in the couch or underneath the bed?). Remember that what ever storage solution you create if it’s not practical, it won’t get used & if something doesn’t have its own spot you will just have to move it about 15 times a day.
👉🏼 Our biggest problem with space is ... that we do NOT have head space 😲
I know, it’s really surprising because:
It’s used to be an Australian School Bus in the 80’s ... I guess kids are small ^^
When you look at it from outside it looks like we do, but the floor is so highly up, that we only have head spaces on the front door’s steps
So let’s just say that after 5 months with no head space, it can be frustrating & yet surprisingly we tend to forget every now & then & knock our heads off while jumping out of bed in the morning
2.Weather Dependent 🌦
Having to spend a whole week inside because of an extremely cold & rainy week is one thing when you live in a home & another while you live in a van, you will quickly loose your mind, especially if like us you are two in such a small space, you’ll get sick of each other’s, bored & in serious need of a stretch.
💭 A few things you need:
Invest in a Gazebo(& at least 2 walls) or an Awning !! Not only it will provide shade in the summer but in them cold rainy day it could save your marriage ! Having an extra room (with head space) gives you the opportunity to stretch, smell the fresh air, engage with nature & allows you to give each other’s some personal space !
Get a little Transcool Unit for scorching hot summer days, especially if like us, you don’t have air conditioning
Buy that shower pop up tent if you have an outdoor shower connected to your Van! Having outdoor showers is great in a hot summer day, but on a cold winter one it’s completely different.
Invest in a good selection of books & board games
Make sure to bring all kind of clothes from waterproof jackets, boots, jumper to cropped tops, short shorts & flipflop
👉🏼 Our problem with the weather is actually with Hot weather since 40 years ago, when the bus was built, there was no air conditioning... so when it’s 40C in Australian summer we really feel like we live in sauna on wheels.
3. Mechanical Issues ⚙️
We bought a 40 year old Australian School Bus, let me tell you it certainly comes with its faire share of surprises.
Because it’s so old it’s always a struggle to find the parts we need to keep going. The best tips we can give you if you have a older vehicle like ours is to first go exploring around home to test your vehicle & once on the open road carry parts that might come in handy in case something breaks in the middle of nowhere!
Daniel has a little YouTube channel where he documents all mechanical issues (link in bio)
4. No Postal Address 💌
Oh gosh no postal address is doing my head in so badly at the moment.
We have decided to buy Nala a carrier that can be fixed onto our push bikes, so that she can come with us on longer adventures.
Unfortunately it’s not the kinda of things you find easily in the backcountry of Australia ... & the ones especially designed to carry pets are a lot safer options that ordinary ones... so we had to buy it online, it got shipped to some family in Perth & when we will settle for a while it will be shipped to us. So we might actually get in a few months ...
I guess it would be a lot easier if we had family scattered all around Australia as we would then have many address to use for us to receive things ...
💭Have you also been struggling with that ?
Do you have any tips ?
5.Keep a Close Eyes on Resources 👀
Living in a Van you will gain so much Freedom, but it doesn’t go without some strategising. It’s comes with the constant need to keep a close eye on your resources: Do we have enough water?
Do we have enough Electricity/ Gaz ?
Do we need to empty our black & grey water tank ?
There is absolutely nothing worse than setting up camp for 3/4 nights & realising on the first night that you have to leave the next day to get water & so either leave your buddy behind to keep your gazebo, chairs & so on or put everything back inside ...
💭Always carry extra Water & Fuel !!
Not only that but keep an extra couple of litters inside, hidden somewhere just for emergency
👉🏼 FUN STORY:
At the beginning of our travel we had to cross the Nullarbor (longest straight road in Australia). We knew we needed to carry extra fuel & water as there was nothing for days along the road.
We had to enough water with us to get to a free water tank (which we research online) to fill up then, when we arrived there, the ceiling of the tank had so many holes in it, it basically looked like a streamer ... Obviously we decided not to use that water as we did not know what kk d of things could have entered the water & did not really fee like drinking the juice of on old carcass .. so we rationed our water even more (it was a week where the temperature was above 40C) .
Later on, we saw a sign for a Farm Stay, we thought “Gold we gonna be able to fill up our water supply” & we did just before leaving the next day, only to find out that what the sign “ Bore Water” actually meant that being so close to the ocean, the bore water was actually Salty... We were still in the middle of Butt Fuck Nowhere under a 40+ C day & now had ocean water in our tanks ... We made it that day to a town called Ceduna & booked ourself in for a night @discoveryparks , emptied & rinsed all our tanks before refilling!
Ceduna Parks is still our favorite campground even after 5 Months on the road, not only because of the great location on the foreshore & amenities but because of everything we had been through before finding it .