You live in a van?

I guess this is a FAQ part 2 of sorts! Going on our 9th month as full-time vanners, we still get a ton of questions and for the most part, pretty happy sharing our story! A couple months back I had asked for folks to ask us anything about our #vanlife…here are the questions + the ones we get when telling someone for the first time:

Q: Where do you guys park?
A: We have our 3 go to spots (thank you to our vanlife families!) We have had some serious support from a handful of friends letting us be neighbors! Mommy Lou has been added to our list, she’s given us the invite to stay through next summer. We typically park on the street and if it’s free, the driveway! 

Q: Have you installed a bidet in the van?
A: Ummm, no. A water bottle does the job 🙂

Q: Where does everyone sleep?
A: It depends on how late Tara will be with her homework, usually Teren and I sleep in the back since we’re ready for bed by 9pm. 

Q: How do you and Terence get alone time?
A: We make it work, haha!

Q: Do you guys ever plan on getting back in a house?
A: Nah, I (we) really love living in the van. Don’t think I could ever go back to living in a house. It’s super freeing to not have any financial obligations, commitments, yard work, etc…plus this whole minimalist living is pretty amazing. 

Q: Where do you keep all your bikes?
A: In our mini-van. We ended up trading in our Honda CR-V for a Dodge Pro Master City. It’s big enough to keep a couple bikes, a couple bins of seasonal clothes and the kids sports gear and equipment. Terence ended up trading in my mountain bike for a cross bike for himself, I gave a former teammate my track bike, sold my cross bike…which leaves me with just my road bike. Terence on the other hand has 4 bikes (I think!)

Q: How do you guys fit clothes for all four of you?
A: We don’t own much. I probably have 30 things to wear which includes my workout gear, work clothes, and shoes. I’m always getting rid of stuff! We do have a bin in the mini-van with our winter stuff (sweaters, jackets, etc…) try to keep the essentials and must-haves versus the wants. 

Q: How do you guys shower? Do you have a bathroom?
A: Yes, we have a bathroom with a toilet and shower. Teren is probably the only one who really uses the shower in the van. Tara and I take our showers at LA Fitness. Which works out in the end because it forces us (ME) to workout and keep my fitness 🙂 Terence takes his showers at work. 

Q: Does it smell like a porta-potty in your van?
A: C’mon! No, it doesn’t smell like a porta-potty. It smells like our home. There are chemicals and RV stuff we use so it prevents the black tank from smelling. 

Q: Do you guys work?
A: Terence never stopped working, he’s been at Children’s for 12+ years. His schedule is fairly flexible and works remote when needed. I was laid off at the beginning of May this year and been working on my consulting business which is going well! And…I recently accepted an offer with a dental start-up company. I wasn’t really planning on doing anything full-time like this but the opportunity found me and things just fell into place. It’s a remote, wfh position, which is AMAZING and perfect. 

Q: How are the kids doing with it?
A: They’re doing good! Tara has totally embraced van living and minimalism. The same for Teren. I mean, as long as his XBOX is connected, he’s fine. He’s been pretty open about our future plans for van living and next adventure so I would say that is a good sign. We’ve been parking the big van at his school and at first thought the kids would make fun of him but totally the opposite! 

Q: Do you guys have any road trips planned?
A: Both kids are back in school and in full swing with sports which means trips are on hold until the holidays and summer! The one pending road trip we have will most likely be late November/early December – getting a one way ticket to San Diego and picking up our new van then driving it back to Seattle!

That’s it for now until the next post!

She’s crafty

Almost been a week at our house/dogs sitting gig. Tara is Auntie Christy’s to be closer to school. Thanks Malia for driving her to school and back from practice. We miss her. But we will get to see tomorrow at her game. Teren has been sleeping inside to be with the dogs and his xbox. We’ve been in the driveway. It got so much better after we put blocks on to get Vanessa leveled.

So there have been talks of down sizing, yet again. Honestly this van was a gateway. I wanted the best I could get so that the fam would transition smoothly. And we have….we survived winter, spring, summer (kind of, we were in a lake house :), now fall and we figured a bunch stuff.

Why down size?

  1. So we can fit in more places and spaces. At 8’x25′ it can be tough.
  2. $$. Our current van(s) we pay a monthly payment. We want to be free of that.
  3. Moving parts. This LTV has a bunch of them. There are just parts on this rig we don’t need or use.

We had been interested at Van Do It after seeing one at Giant Bicycle festival. We talked with the rep, Dennis. Visited the van picked out the parts. We were actually going to thru another round of parts picking and they writing a deposit. Except….

I saw a post on IG that Van-Craft had two vans coming up for sale. They sent me the builds. I forwarded it to Almie. Well as luck would have it Almie would be in San Diego and their office is Oceanside. I said go check it out. She did a shop tour today and really liked what she saw. After her and I talked on the phone while she was in the parking lot and me at work, it was decided a down payment would be placed. I reached out to these guys in February 2018, inquiring on what they had, but instead we went with Zach at that time.

2 months or so….we will be moving again!!

If you are in the market or know someone who is for an RV/class b+ van I have lightly used LTV Serenity

I am savage…you fold a bed?? Don’t know what your talking about Your dad is doing it 85% of the time, what a savage.

One of the many selling points of VanDoIt. The bed

Selling point on Van-Craft, simplicity.

New season

So it’s been almost 2 weeks since we left our house sitting gig. That was a tough move back to the van move stuff wise. We (some of us) accumulated more stuff than what we had before. Both kids have been back in school, full swing. School work and sports. New teachers new teammates. We all are busy with a bunch of new stuff. Almie got a new job!! My office got relocated and moved to a newly renovated space in Bothell. Almie’s cousin came up to visit and she got to check out the van. We spent Labor Day hanging at my parents house in Bremerton organizing our “storage”. We did an emergency trip 2 days later to grab some of our documents. Hung out with Kevin this past weekend for his bday, drank and ate way too much. Almie got to talk van and life at Anjo’s bday party, too bad I couldn’t make it. Our October house sitting gig got cancelled but our mid September gig is on. During that 2 weeks Tara will be staying with Christy and Ben, she called them her host family, to make her commute to school/soccer easier. Since our gig will be in Lynnwood it will be hitting that Seattle traffic. Today I got a new bike. I traded Almie’s mountain bike and got a gravel bike. I plan to race ‘cross on it. I chatted on email today to a coworker about vanliving. I hope she gets inspired and reaches for her dream of owning a tiny house. We love telling/talking to new people about it. Almie got a chance to meet DeCastro’s neighbors, who have graciously allowed us to park while they go on vacations. Tonight we are staying at a new location! Usually when we hit a new spot you get a little of that uneasy anxious feeling. Not right now, fam is knocked out snoring. The Sy family and Mama Lou are very generous. They even offered to let us stay till next summer!! While it would be too easy to do that, we will keep it moving as to not go off our plan of frequenting the same place for too long to not overstay our welcome. We finally got to try some Salt and Straw ice cream. Part of our window in the back fell off when we driving. Getting a replacement has been a pain in the ass. Hope to get a new window as it’s starting to get colder and rain is coming. We are working on getting a new van. I think Vanessa got mad and decide to “lose” part of the window.

Moving day from my building of 12 years. 🙁

Can you find the missing piece?

She has decided to donate this shirt she got from SU when she was like 10. Congrats child on becoming your HS team captain.

Somewhat organized “storage unit”. Goal is get this way way down by next summer

My little dudes 1st day of 5th grade