Last Update: 4/24/2017

#Vanlife Still Good After Two Years?

Man crammed among belongings falling out of back of van. Van life! #Vanlife!
Question van life noobs and wannabes ask: Does anyone still do van life after a couple years? How long does anyone wanna live in a van down by the river?

First off, there’s tons a van lifers out there who’ve been doin’ this for decades. Most a them aren’t social media sensations. That’s why ya didn’t know about ‘em.

But Vanholio can only speak for Vanholio. I been doin’ this for two years now, give’r take. And I’m sure as hell set to keep on rollin’!

What’s Still Great About Van Life


My chief hope for van life turned out real good. That’s livin’ in the peace an’ quiet of nature. Still love that. As a tyke, I never did wanna come home from campin’. No I don’t ever need to.

The lifestyle is also sustainable cheap. Base expenses are around $500 a month (of course I spend more than that with luxuries.) That means less workin’ for Vanholio, and more time in nature

And while I ain’t travelin’ as much as Year 1, I still get to see lotsa cool shit.

What I Didn’t Expect About Van Life


I kinda wish I’d gotten a 4WD. Vanholio likes boondockin’ way back there, and he’s scraped up the bottom of the van more than a few times. Expensive repairs, too.

Learned, too, that I don’t need near as much shit as I bought. Just like backpackin’, less is more.

Another thing I learned is I like havin’ a job. Last couple months, Vanholio’s been workin’ as a US Forest Service volunteer. It’s nice havin’ meaningful work and relatin’ to coworkers and the public. Miss home a bit, too, from time to time.

All in all, van life is the life for me. Even if most of it ain’t all that more excitin’ than any other life.


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

Also See ...

Top 10 Questions About Living in a Van
#Vanlife, the Bohemian Social-Media Movement (New Yorker)
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Last Update: 4/10/2017

Bad Luck Comes in 3’s – No Joke!

Bad Luck Comes in Three’s. Break a Match!

There’s an old sayin’: Bad luck comes in three’s. Well, last Friday, Vanholio done found out that's true for hisself. And sweet van life is no protection. Dammit.

First thing …


… in the mornin’, I went to get a pill from the new bottle of my prescription. But I couldn’t damn well find the bottle! Musta thrown the fucker out. Gettin’ a replacement prescription sorted out between the doctor and pharmacy took nearly all day. Not to mention a 50 mile drive into Walmart.

Second thing …

... a fellow asked Vanholio for change to a $20. Went for my billfold, and it turned out I’d dropped my wad a cash somewhere. That wad was somewhere between $50 and $60! Fuck me!

Third thing …


… was losin’ my MiFi somewhere. I think at the Walmart when a bundle of shit fell outta the van in the dark. But oddly enough, discoverin’ that a bit later didn’t even make me mad none. I just sighed and went to bed. Day over.

Some days it just don’t pay ta get outta bed. Seriously.



PS – Sorry for slackin’ on the posts lately. Vanholio’s been workin’ a van life seasonal job that’s got him plumb wore out most days. But that’ll be over end a the month. Thank God!!!

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

Also See ...

Buying a Van First Was a Huge Fucking Mistake
Digging Myself Into a Hole – Literally
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Last Update: 3/31/2017

10 Worst Things About Van Life

Van upside down in Chinese restaurant store front. Van life!

Look at van life Instagrams, and you’d think it’s all a rolling bed a fuckin’ roses! Well, down by the river’s got it’s bullshit, too …

10 Ways Van Life Can Suck Bigly

  1. Gas – And by “gas,” I mean flatulence. Even a full-size hightop is a small space when ya been hittin’ the garlic.

  2. Indie Hipster Girls – According ta redditor Tired_Thumb, hot hippie chicks in Portland and such places’ll hook up with ya just for a #vanlife selfie. Terrible! :-P

  3. Sex Killers – “If the van is a-rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’.” Well, in Vanholio’s experience, a van telegraphin’ sex is a turnoff for most gals.

  4. Noisy Neighbors – Unless you’re boondockin’,, traffic, people walkin’ by, and the like are loud and fuckin’ annoying. That’s why Vanholio don’t like Walmart campin’ all that much.

  5. Wet Weather – First off, when ya get into the van all wet, ya get water over everythin’. And nothin’ sucks big donkey balls like steppin’ out into a thunderstorm or blizzard ta take a pee at 3 am.

  6. Breakdowns – Most folks think vandwellers are homeless. But when your van’s in the shop, ya really feel that way.

  7. Honey-Do’s – Got all kinds a little custom features in your build? That’s all fuckin’ great until they break. Then it’s up ta you ta get around ta fixin’ ‘em. That includes trackin’ down parts.

  8. Gift Gaffs – What do family and friends buy for the van life nomad who ain’t got room for nothin’ nohow? Consternation abounds.

  9. The Man – Bureaucrats make dealin’ with feds, states, and even private businesses a pain in the ass when ya ain’t got no fixed address. But there are shady workarounds ...

  10. Idle Hands – When you’re livin’ van life cheap and ain’t workin’ too hard, ya get lots a free time. But what then? Leisurely livin’ ain’t as easy as it sounds.

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

Also See ...

Shit in Woods Goes Gross to Nightmare
How I Got REAL ID With No Fixed Address
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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 ...


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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, m.facebook.com. 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. News.google.com 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! Cashedview.com 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
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