Last Update: 2/24/2019

Top 10 Questions About Living in a Van

Van is camped with folding chairs and a tarp awning making everything comfortable.

People keep asking Vanholio and other fulltime vandwellers the same goddamn questions about vanlife over and over again. Here’s short answers ta the Top 10.

Now understand that these are just Vanholio’s answers. I gots my biases. Plus Vanholio is an OTR (on the road) vandweller. I’d do things different if I lived in a city.

Top 10 Vanlife Questions Answered

1. What kind of van should I get?

Vanholio’s got a Promaster City converted ta camper. That’s a bit small for most. Full-size vans is most common. But hell, I seen folks live in everything from Priuses up to buses, plus every kind a trailer or tent. What you need is ta keep the weather off ya. After that, it’s what you like and can afford. If you can work with what ya already own, that's what I'd do.

2. How do you heat and cool the van?

Vanholio’s goal is keeping hisself – his body – at a nice temp. Heat and A/C for a van is one way ta do that. Plenty a folks have ways. My ultimate climate controls is longitude and altitude. But I also use clothes, blankets, and acclimatization to keep warm; and good fans, ventilation, and moisture evaporation ta keep cool.

3. How do you shower?

First off, ya don’t need a shower every goddamn day, unless you’re gettin' truly dirty at work. But showers ain’t hard. If you ain’t got access at a gym or built inta your rig, ya can get showers at truck stops and campsites, use portable shower gadgets, or clean up with wipes or no-rinse body wash. Shit, at worse all ya need is a bucket, water, soap'n a washcloth!

4. Where do you go to the bathroom?

In the last year, I only had to shit in the woods about half dozen times. Mostly, I used regular public or business bathrooms, or else vault toilets in the forests. ‘Course as a male, pissing wherever the fuck I want ain’t an issue.

5. What do you do for money?

Besides a bit from bloggin', Vanholio does online surveys and has investment income. Lots a travelin' vandwellers got businesses or jobs they can do via internet, phone, or mail, or by settin' up shop here'n there. Others find temp jobs around the country. Really ain’t that tough 'cause vanlife is cheap (or can be).

6. How much does living in a van cost?

This is gonna depend on your tastes, but from all I’ve heard the average vandweller lives on $1,000 or less per month. Some far less than that.

7. Do you have a gun?

No. I ain’t opposed to folks 2nd Amendment rights, but personally don’t feel trained enough to use a gun right under stress. I do carry weapon-ready tools. But, but, BUT, my first defense is usin' my brain ta avoid trouble and avoid being noticed. Plus I got a Watch Chihuahua!

8. Do the cops hassle you?

Living in a van ain’t exactly illegal. But local statutes and nosy cops can make it hard. I avoid them places, and I'm damn sneaky when I can’t. Plus I move around, keep well groomed, and have a clean vehicle, so I don’t catch the LEO’s eyes.

9. Where do you park at night?

Since Vanholio is a traveler and prefers the wild, I usually camp in the backcountry of national forests and BLM land. But I’ve also slept in Walmarts and other parking lots, rest stops, campgrounds, RV parks, friends’ driveways, curbside, and behind abandoned buildings.

10. Isn't living in a van lonely?

Oh, hell no! First off, loneliness is a state of mind. Second, if you want society, it’s easy to find as much as you want, with a little thought. Even pussy or cock, or whatever revs your engine!

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Last Update: 2/16/2019

Choke Your Chicken in a RoadPro Stove

Cooking a whole chicken in an oven bag within a RoadPro 12 volt Stove

"Stuff it, stuff it in! Take it all, Baby! Cram that fuckin' chicken in your hole, choke it!" I screamed as the whole bird slipped inta my RoadPro Stove.

Been surfing the web for 12 volt cooking food porn, then found THIS. Dirty sonofabitch had crammed that super-sized chicken into that hot hole ... Mmmm. He'd put the bird into an oven bag and stuffed it into his RoadPro Stove ALL THE WAY! After 2.5 hours a workin', that bitch was hot, greasy and meltin' off the bone! My tongue was on the floor!

Days later, Vanholio was in some grocery store and saw they was pimping'whole birds, seasoned, with bread stuffing inside, ready to go. I bought one, about 3 lbs. Put it in a bag (with a little flour and air hole in top, per instructions.)

Got that plump chick home and prepped her real good. Gawdammit, then I fisted her inta that RoadPro Stove hole. Baked her for ... well, a long damn time, like 5 or more hours. Don't know why it took so long, probably the stuffing. But DAMNNNNN!
RoadPro Stove Cooks It All!

Tender, so tender... So soft ... So satisfied ...

Las Chihuahas and I ate half the chicken and most a the stuffing right away. Now I've got the rest cold and waiting for sandwiches, eating straight, cooking with rice, whatever. Wow! Just wow!

Only complaint is that you don't get the brown, crispy skin of an oven-roasted chicken. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But seriously, ya gotta try it. Choke your chicken into your RoadPro Stove. Roast it for 2.5+ hours. Eat like a king – King of the Fuckin' Road!

Special Note – Vanholio wrote this post back in 2015. Lots changed since. One Chihuahua, The Gimp, has passed on. Vanholio's been usin' a Max Burton Digital Stove to Go. But the principle's the same, the advice's still good ta go!

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Last Update: 2/10/2019

How to Shit in a Hole in the Ground

"Dig a cathole," they say, "When you're boondocking and there ain't no toilets around." But how? How you use that without gettin' shit 'n pee all over yourself!? Read on! Uncle Vanholio'll learn ya!

13 Steps to Shittin' Pretty

  1. Find a Private Spot. This is damn important, trust me!

  2. Dig a hole about 6-8" inches deep (15-20 cm). Vanholio prefers ta use a small mattock over a trowel 'cause it'll tear through rocky or rooty soil better.

  3. Take off your britches, underwear'n all. Maybe you got a way ta pull 'em outta the way, but Vanholio just finds this step prevents "mistakes." If you're wearin' a dress or kilt, I guess ya could hike it up.

  4. Line up your heels even with the front a the hole. (See where the sandals is in that photo above.) That'll let aim up your turds ta drop square inta the hole.

  5. Squat and shit. Ya don't even need ta squat all that much. Vanholio squats maybe as much as sittin' on a tall chair. Also helps ta pull your buttcheeks apart.

  6. Keep squatting and wipe. Have that TP handy so ya don't have to stand up. If ya stand, ya might squish the leftover crap onta your buttcheeks more.

  7. Dispose a the toilet paper: Option 1: Drop it inta the hole like you'd expect. Option 2: Put the used TP inta a ziplock bag ta carry to a trash can. That's what Vanholio does in arid places.

  8. Piss inta the hole, if ya gotta. Most nutrients that leave the body come out in pee. I figure that and the moisture'll help the crap break down quicker.

  9. Clean your ass. Having a clean ass is your No. 1 vanlife priority. There or back at camp, use some "flushable" wipes to make sure there ain't nothin' left in the crack. Get your whole nethers clean.

  10. Put on your britches. Or go commando. Your call.

  11. Fill in the hole. Maybe stomp on it after to squash that dirt down.

  12. Wash your hands. If ya ain't got soap and water ta spare, do like Vanholio does. Clean your hands with another wipe, then use some antiseptic gel.

  13. Enjoy the relief. Walk away. Sigh deep. Hell, smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

Honestly, ya get used to it. It ain't that bad. After years on the road, Vanholio don't see no need ta carry a tiny toilet with him. No siree!

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Last Update: 2/02/2019

Road Trip! Haida Gwaii, BC, Alaska, and Points North!

Vanholio's been thinkin' an' itchin' at the feet. Six months'n more Texas housebound's got him ready ta Go Big and Go Alaska! Plan is ta meander toward British Columbia and Alaska late March, early April. And he needs your help!

Check out the embedded Google Map below. Vanholio needs your advice on good places along the way. Don't mean tourist traps. I mean good free camp spots, cheap eats, little known side treks, hot springs and swimmin' holes for a bath, things like that.

And I ain't in no hurry, neither. Might take a month or more ta get up North.

"But Vanholio!," ya say, "You're missin' all the best stuff in the mountains and National Parks!" Well, first off, Vanholio's been ta all them parks.

Second, leavin' in spring, the notion is drive desert on the way up, goin' for sunshine and mid-50's weather. Mountains'll be too cold'n snowy that early. Might hit 'em on the way back south, though! TBD

That route there ain't set in stone none neither. It's a work in progress. But it avoids most big cities and interstates. And it keeps ta warmish high desert – Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, Inland Empire, and BC Interior. At least til the end.

Plans A, B or C?

At the end of that road, Vanholio's got a buddy with open invite up in the Haida Gwaii islands. Plan A after is a sidetrip ta Hyder, AK ta notch Vanholio's belt with his 50th USA state. Then it's back south one way or d'other.

But who knows! Maybe he'll hear the Northern Lights callin'! Plans B and C is up the ALCAN Highway or by Alaska State Ferry along the Alaska Marine Highway … Ya'll stay tuned!

So, ya got advice? Wanna hear it. Post in them comments!

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