Everything you need to know about living the #vanlife.
It's that time of year when people dream of hitting the road and going camping if only the rain would stop and the mosquitoes would go away. We thought about doing a roundup of some of the different ways to camp that we have shown on TreeHugger over the years and found an astonishing number of posts, probably because of our continuing obsession with small spaces, and because some of the designs are so clever.
Known as an icon of durable design in the world of recreational vehicles, there are plenty of vintage Airstream trailers out there that are still on the road. Many have been updated, whether as stylish off-grid homes or offices that travel around, or as more permanent digs for people who want to go mortgage-free.
Of all the vintage trailers that are out there, Airstreams are probably the ones that have the biggest mystique surrounding them. Their silvery, bullet-like exteriors are eye-catching, but also known for their durability, and old Airstream trailers have been turned into everything from office spaces to full-time residences.
The cost of home ownership, as well as the cost of living, has grown significantly in the last couple of decades, and in today's uncertain economy, young people are finding it especially difficult to make ends meet. Some are finding it much easier -- and more sensible -- to challenge and transform their own expectations of what their 'dream' lifestyle looks and feels like.
For many of us, the idea of a whole family travelling together seems like something reserved for a precious few weeks during the year, when there's no school for the kids, and mom and dad can finagle some time off from their busy jobs. It's one of those modern paradoxes where one stresses out to make time to go on vacation, and then while on vacation, one is rushed to pack all that 'relaxation' in.
The quintessential family road trip takes on all kinds of forms: it can be done with a simple tent, or with a camper or perhaps a larger RV. For Shelby and Tyler Kregel and their young daughter, their year-long road trip is being done with a converted short school bus, which is their home on the road as the family tours the country, going from one art show to the next, exhibiting and selling Shelby's art. Watch this wonderful tour of their small but cozy dwelling on wheels via Tiny Home Tours.
The popular stereotype of the van-dweller enjoying the "van life" is probably of someone of a younger vintage, who might choose to convert and live in a van to cope with high housing costs or realize a desire for a minimalist lifestyle, or for more travel opportunities. Despite the stereotype of fancy-free youngsters bucking social expectations to 'settle down', there are also more mature van homeowners who are adopting this lifestyle for numerous reasons.
The "van-life" notion of living comfortably while hitting the road is resonating with a growing number of people, both young and old. But for many of us who might dream of creating such an ultra-mobile tiny home-on-wheels, the idea of doing a van conversion from scratch can seem daunting.