Camper, RV, Mobile Home, Van, #vanlife... the names are all different, but the mentality is the same. The trend of owning a home on wheels is ever growing these days. And why not?! You get to really immerse yourself into the land and culture. You get to slow down and see the "in-betweens" vs. just the final destination. It sounds pretty darn great.
It sounded so great that back in Fall, 2017, we (Amanda and Larry, Seek co-founders) had to jump in on the movement. We became the proud owners of a 2015 Ford Transit diesel high roof with the standard 148" wheelbase length! Since then, we've shared occasional #vanlife post or story on Instagram. We even started "Van Conversion" blog on seekdrygoods.com that details out our entire van conversion build. However, we haven't shared much of the fun stuff. The main uses for the van are for weekend/holiday adventures as well as for Seek events. That being said, we do still have a home base where we live full-time.
And with all that, here's the Seek Van Tour!
I'll keep things pretty high-level (if you want more details, check out the Van Conversion blog OR comment below with any questions)....
The van was completely gutted when we bought it, which made the initial work pretty easy. In the first month, we gave it a thorough cleaning, installed a fan and side window, added an insulated floor and built a lofted bed. We then set up a makeshift table and drawers for temporary use, which allowed us to use the van through the remaining Fall and into Summer to test out where we might want our final fixtures, light switches, etc.
By Fall 2018, we had run all of the electrical work (lots of wires for lights, fans, and future things we may need), installed a roof rack and 2 solar panels, ladder, added new speakers and digital stereo with back-up camera and enjoyed countless road trips. We again paused on doing more work for the Winter months (Wisconsin is SO COLD), but started the finishing touches in March 2019: full wool insulation, cedar paneling on walls/ceiling, built-in cabinet with locally sourced black walnut counter top, stainless steel sink, stone backsplash and a cabinet along the driver's side wall. We still need to finish the back doors, but will get to that in 2020!
Right now, the van is about 90% finished. It took many hours, a few arguments (and make-ups), a broken thumb and lots of sweat/tears/laughs to get here. We are really happy with how it came out and are still finding little projects and adjustments (because that's what makes it fun, for us anyway!). Next up are rear and side-window insulation covers.
Since we got the van in late-2017, we have been to 19 states, driven over 15,000 miles, attended various van meet-ups/outdoor expos (like the Midwest VanLife Gathering and Dayton's Outdoor Experience) and spent countless days/nights enjoying our little home on wheels. We can't wait for what next year has in store!
Are you looking to buy and convert a camper van? Do you have a van and have any recommendations for us? Comment below and let us know your thoughts/questions!
Check out our Van Conversion blog for all the build-out details!