Last Update: 3/24/2017

Buying a Van First Was a Huge Fucking Mistake

Old VW van in wrecking yard. So much for van life!

When Vanholio started van life, he blew a wad on customizin' the "perfect" van rig. That was a fuckin’ mistake! Shoulda saved my money and bided my time.

Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Stupidity

"I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes." — Henry David Thoreau

Shoulda heeded them words. But nooooo, Vanholio wanted ta be like the cool van life kids, the ones on YouTube an' such. He saw it in his mind’s eye: that ideal van that’d drive him ta Utopia in comfort an’ style.

I tell you what, Vanholio spent near $35k cash ta build his dream van! For once in my life, I had the money'n time ta do a project just like I wanted, no compromises. An' by golly, sound thinkin’ weren’t gonna stop me!

Now, I’m happy enough with Buttermilk, she does alright. But as I’ve been out on the road, I discovered I way overspent on solar an' other crap. An’ buyin’ a new van off the lot? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Dammit, if I had that $35k still an' invested, that’d be another $2,000-3,000 yearly income. Or ta translate, I’d have near 4-6 months base expenses covered.

Hit the Road in What You Own Already

I shoulda left town in my old Honda Civic. It ran good. An’ my buddy’s’n I coulda converted her in a weekend for $200 or so. Shit, all ya really need is comfortable-enough bed’n ta keep the weather off ya!

Or hell, I coulda bought a used Prius an' been done with it. Them little cars’d do Vanholio, minimal as he lives. An' cheap as he is, the mileage is fuckin’ attractive!

Or maybe I shoulda gone the other way! I’ve pushed Buttermilk into 4WD-only situations. Learned I really like goin’ way back in the boonies. On do-over, maybe Vanholio’d get an SUV or a pickup with a camper top. Used, a course.

Don’t Buy Till You KNOW What Works for You

Ya sure as hell don’t need the perfect fuckin’ van life rig. Just get the fuck out there in whatever ya got! Save your money. Figure out what you really need. An’ if your old car don’t cut it, then get your dream van life rig. Whatever the fuck that may be, van or not.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

6 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Van Life Rig
Can I live in a ____________ ? (Rolling Steel Tent)
Traveling in a Prius (Cheap RV Living)

Read More »

Last Update: 3/17/2017

Slow the Fuck Down to Reduce Roadkill

Roadkill fox on pavement, a van life feature
Goddamnit, I hate seein’ smashed animals on the road. Wanna hunt a critter? Fine. But cut them roadkill numbers down by not drivin’ your van like a fuckin’ maniac. Ain't van life all about takin' it easy, after all?

Critters Can’t Avoid High-Speed Vans

Got ta thinkin’ about this shit just before Christmastime when I were headed inta Texas. Along the Lone Star State's western highways, I was seein’ more roadkill than I’d seen in months. It was a fuckin’ massacre. Why? Seein' that kinda shit's one a the worst things about being a van life nomad.

I think it was how fast Texans drive out there. Ain’t no critter got a chance when a car’s zipping at 80 mph. How could they? Could you?

Keep It Below 55 MPH

Graph: Roadkill by posted speed limit in Yellowstone
Roadkill by posted speed limit in Yellowstone 
Yellowstone National Park looked at the problem and found that between 45 and 55 mph is when the roadkill numbers spiked (see graph).

That feels about right ta Vanholio. Where I’m at now, in high desert, there’s a shit-ton a rabbits and jackrabbits out at night, besides deer and free-range cattle. Ton a roadkill rabbits, too.

Noticed that when I keep my night speed around 40 mph, I don’t even come close ta hittin’ ‘em. Plus last night I had plenty a time ta stop for a calf in the road. But when I go the posted speed limit a 55 or 65 mph, seems like I’m always about ta crunch a bunnie.

What’s Your Need for Speed?

Why are Americans so greedy ta get where they’re goin’? Slowin’ down is good for your nerves. Plus it saves ya gas money. You’re less likely ta kill a critter by accident, too. An’ if the critter’s a deer or hog, you’ll save your van from expensive repairs, or worse.

Jesus Fuckin’ Christ, just relax an’ take your goddamn time already! Especially at night when the critters is out.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Save Money, Gas, and Globe – Slow Down!
Eating Roadkill Rabbit Down by the River
Rise in Roadkill Requires New Solutions (Scientific American)
Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Reduction Study: Report To Congress (Federal Highway Administration)

Read More »

Last Update: 3/07/2017

How Bitcoin and Blockchain Cryptocurrencies Work – in Plain English!

Images of chains made by blue digital dots
Vanholio's been hearin' about Bitcoin, Monero, Litecoin, Dash, and the blockchain rest of 'em years. But no one could explain ta him how this shit works. Till now!

Thank God, too! Vanholio's sore from takin' it up the ass from banksters an' their fees, and havin' the Gov'ment look over his every bit a business. Really sore. Plus this kinda tech is a boon to workin' digital nomads, in vans or not. Now the only trick is findin' clients and stores to do business with ...

Check out this Dash School video series below by journalist Amanda B. Johnson. The first three videos explain blockchain-based cryptocurrencies in general. Then in the last three, she pushes her favorite, Dash.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Read More »

Last Update: 3/03/2017

10 Trims for Lean, Low-Bandwidth Web Surfing

Man uses knife to trim excess fat off ham
Slow internet got ya down? Trimmin’ data cost? Common van life complaint for nomads and rubbertramps. Try these 10 hacks for better performance. Also try these 5 Chrome extensions I posted about before.

1. Use HTML or POP Email

Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook/Hotmail all got light versions that is HTML only. They can all also be accessed via a POP/IMAP email client for offline readin’.

2. Load Mobile Versions of Websites

Accessin’ mobile websites takes a lot less data. They’re made thataway! Two ways to do this. Easiest is put an "m" in front of the URL, for example, If that don’t work, trick the website inta thinkin’ you’re a phone usin' an extension, like User-Agent Switcher for Google Chrome. Not all sites gotta mobile version, but if they do, you’re in like Flynn.

3. Use Web Apps Offline

In a backpeddlin’ move, lots a web apps got offline access. Here I’m thinkin’ a Google Docs and Zoho, for example. But lots others do this, too. Look ‘round, dammit!

4. Use a Newsreader or News Aggregator

RSS newsreaders ain’t as popular as some years ago. But they’re still out there! In one screen, ya can see the latest from all your favorite blogs and websites. Vanholio uses Minimal Reader with images turned off – FAST!

News aggregators is almost the same thing, but not quite. They’re websites that pull together headlines tweaked your interests. Saves surfin’ time and data. is one example, but there’s tons.

5. Get Your Daily News and Blog Updates via Email

Lots a news websites got daily email digests ya sign up fur. Plus there’s special news digest services out there, like Daily Digest and Need2Know. Also, Lots a blogs got automatic post emails, so ya don’t have ta pull up the site.

Location of cache page in Google Search
6. View Cached Webpages

When ya search in Google, there’s usually a pulldown by the links in search results. That’ll let ya see a cache of the page, pulled from Google servers. Faster access. These can even be viewed text-only for true zippity-do-dah! is a search engine just for cached pages.

7. Post and Comment on Social Media via Email

Most a your big-time social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, etc. – let ya post, comment, and see others’ posts and comments via email notices. Much less data than goin’ ta the site, particularly if you’re doin’ HTML email. Check your prefs an’ dig around.

8. Use IFTTT or a Social Media Manager

IFTTT (If This, Then That) picks up the slack where your social media won’t let ya work ‘em through email. Vanholio posts a ton a shit by sendin’ an email to IFTTT, which then does the post for him. Plus IFTTT can do a TON more shit. Ya can also use a social media manager, like HootSuite.

Motion Picture Video Resolution Chart 9. Watch Video at Low Resolutions

Know those damn quality numbers on YouTube? Well here’s a fact, they multiply, not add. 720p is 4 times as much data as 360p, for example. So for all video sites with some kinda quality settin’, watch on the lowest ya can stand. And hell, if it’s all talk or music, ya can rip it to MP3 for download.

10. Download Video and Audio for Later Use

While YouTube, SoundCloud, Vimeo, the rest don’t like it, ya can download audio and video content when you’re at public internet (or a family or friend’s house). Then enjoy it later – without burnin’ your data up!

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

5 Chrome Extensions to Accelerate Your Web Browsing
View Your Snail Mail Online From Anywhere
Read More »

Last Update: 2/28/2017

First Step to Van Life? Trash Your Junk!

Can't start van life till all this junk in this junky garage is trashed!
Every journey starts with a single step. For van life, that step is trashin' all your crap, you fuckin' hoarder. Here's how to do it right!

Vanholio can't take credit for this one. Hashtag Van Life posted it first, and they used the method from some Ted Talk video. Seems sound.

Here's the steps as Hashtag Van Life put 'em:

  1. Pack up all of your belongings as if you were moving (clothes, kitchenware, towels, electronics, toiletries, etc)
  2. Continue to live in your home for 3-4 weeks
  3. Unpack only the items that you need
  4. Donate or sell everything that is still in boxes

Check out the video below, and check out Hash Tag Vanlife for other cool ideas. Their Twitter kicks ass, BTW!

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Is Van Life for You?
Top 10 Questions About Living in a Van
Hashtag Van Life (website)

Read More »

Last Update: 2/24/2017

All the Whores I Knowed Before

German street hooker bends down to talk to client in car. Photo by Ralfdix, (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Ever wonder what visitin’ a hooker is really like? Vanholio relates his experience with eight prostitutes on three continents. 99 percent true! Only the names been changed. Not exactly van life, but it’s travel and exploration.

It’s all in Vanholio's short new ebook, All the Whores I Knowed Before. You’ll learn how things work on the US streets, Nevada, Austria, Malaysia, and Thailand. I cover the legal and illegal. Plus talk a bit about the touristy parts a them places and what else I were up to.

Read it!
Chapters include:

Ch. 1 – The Driveby Hooker
Ch. 2 – Doublemint Fun
Ch. 3 – Jawhol, Frau Linkmeyer!
Ch. 4 – Everyone Loves a Happy Ending
Ch. 5 – What's Your Lucky Number?
Ch. 6 – Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Ch. 7 – Scotch on My Rocks

Get All the Whores I Knowed Before at, Smashwords, and other ebook retailers. Most'll show ya a sample.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Trim Pot Harvest to Keep Van Life Rolling
The Honest Courtesan (blog)
Read More »

Last Update: 2/21/2017

5 Chrome Extensions to Accelerate Your Web Browsing

Donut King deliver van shoots down the road at high speed due to flaming jet exhaust out of back
For van life digital nomads and rubbertramps, internet data speed is a problem. Either we’re budgeting data to save money or we’re dealin’ with a shitty slow connection. These five extensions will speed things up.

Vanholio uses all five extensions together, so he can vouch. But they got cousins in the Chrome Web Store that do about the same. I bet there’s similar for Firefox, Safari, and other browsers.

5 Data Saving Chrome Extensions

Adblock – Does just what it says. Supposedly the most popular Chrome extension of all time. It don’t block everythin’, but it blocks most.
Data Saver – This here Google-made extension shrunks, e.g., “optimizes,” the web pages you’re pullin’ on Google servers. Cuts Vanholio’s data 5-10 percent.
Disable HTML Autoplay – I fuckin’ hate it when videos just go off by themselves. This extension cuts that bullshit out.
Ghostery – Ton a sites these days shove extra trackin’ code down your throat. Helps them, not you. Kills privacy. This’ll stop ‘em.
Text Mode – This keeps all images and video from auto-loadin’, leavin’ a box where they was. If you wanna see the image after all, you can click on it to reveal.

All these five extensions have options to turn them off on pages you wanna fully load for one reason or other.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

How to Read Your Mail Online Anywhere
How To Make Google Chrome Faster? (QD Tricks)
32 Hidden Chrome Features That Will Make Your Life Easier (PCMag)
Read More »