Awesome Van Converted Into Off-Grid Home for only $5,500 (including purchase price)


Hey guys, Jenna here, and it’s time for another video tour
and this week it’s a special video tour because visiting me is Dylan. He just did a video tour of my
tiny house on his YouTube channel, but today we’re going
to go through his Van. Previous to living in a van, I
did three months in South America, then three months in the US backpacking,
and while I was in South America, I met this guy named Alex and he
had a big 177 wheelbase sprinter. We started talking and we went and we
climbed this volcano and we camped out for a while. Whenever I
came back to the States, I wanted to continue traveling but
didn’t know how I was going to do it. And so the idea of living in a van, it seemed like the most
reasonable and feasible option. So this is Gladys. She’s a 1994 Chevy G20 that I
converted into my mobile home and I’ve driven it literally from coast to coast, had it for two months before I renovated
it and lived in and out of it with nothing in it. That really made me understand
what I need in this space. I have like a decent
background in construction. I did it for awhile with my dad did home
remodeling with him and so like I have a basic understanding of construction. I took it out to where it was just a bare
empty metal box and then built it up. I’ve got R13 insulation for
the walls and then this is Cedar, which is nice. The subreddit van dwellers is like super
helpful if you’re trying to get into van dwelling, there’s so
much information on there. I have these folded up towels to kneel
on because that’s hard and it hurts. Do a lot of squatting, a lot of
kneeling and occasionally I’ll stand up. I don’t do that much because I can’t, a van like this is definitely
suited for shorter people, but if you’re into the
van, I feel you can make it work. That’s just kind of like what the whole
lifestyle is about is just making it work. That one here and
another up here so I can hook that anywhere
and just watch some TVs. You got the full set up
dude. I got the hookup. I’ve got a gallon of propane back here, which the hose runs up
to here to my stove. I’ve got a three burner stove. I only
ever use one burner at the time though. This is the first cabinet I’ve ever
built and so it’s not that nice. This is the second one. It looks a lot
better. Um, just food stuffs up here, I can carry seven and a half gallons of
water. This is two and a half gallons. And then back here I’ve
got a five gallon jug. So I can go just about a week or a week
depending on how conservative I am. completely off-grid cause I can get
about a week’s worth of food in my fridge and all my other food
stuff is in this box. I’m considering switching to like a DC
compressor fridge and putting that right in between those two chairs
and then changing this
section into another cabinet. And then that would allow me to get rid
of this box and put all my food in there and have the fridge there.
But I haven’t done that yet. This curtain goes across here for
whenever I’m stealth camping and these are fantastic. Then I’ve got the bed, which I want to redo these
cushions wasn’t the best design. Um, but it works. It’s
comfortable. And then this sets up into a couch, like for whenever I have guests over.
So living in a van, there’s some things you have to figure
out. One of them is the bathroom. It’s really easy for guys. This
is a pee bottle. That’s great. Restrooms are everywhere. Like almost
every single store has a restroom. Gas stations, like if you’re afraid of
public restrooms, you’ll have issues. But if you don’t mind public restrooms,
they’re everywhere. And then showering. That’s different. Um, a lot of people
have gym memberships. They do it that way. Uh, I, I don’t have a gym membership so I just
like bum off of friends whenever I can. It’s just like, Hey, you have a shower,
can I use it? And they’re like, yeah, for sure. My job is online. I do
like everything I do is digital. And so for internet I do
a lot of coffee shops. I work a lot in coffee shops and then
I also have an unlimited data plan with T-Mobile that I use and
I do a lot of tethering. It’s nice to be able to be
completely mobile, go off grid, go into the woods and still be
able to work and make money. This is like the solar system area. Um, my batteries are a little bit low
cause I’ve been in Oregon and it’s been raining for the past couple of days. But down in here are my two batteries. I’m not a professional
electrician, but it works. You got the two solar panels. Each of them are a hundred
watt solar panels. 200 Watts of solar comes
into my charge controller. And then that goes into the battery. And then over here I’ve got an inverter
for the fridge cause that’s actually a freezer. And the reason I did that
is because I found this on Reddit. If you do a freezer it has more
insulation and then you run it to here. And then right here is
a temperature probe. So that goes right in there and that’s
the probe and that has a relay which cycles on and off this inverter which keeps that at the
temperature for a refrigerator that’s like a $250 set up opposed to a DC
compressor fridge is like 600 bucks. The vast majority of us
in the van life community, we um, we have like a pretty low bar for comfort
and our whole goal is to like be out in nature and be able to travel and
move and do the things we want to do. Whether that’s like adventure sports,
like climbing, kayaking, whatever. That’s like the main goal
of life for most of us. And so the van is just a
way to facilitate that. I’ve got snowboarding stuff along with
mountaineering stuff in this section. This is like my climbing section.
I’ve got my crash pad, uh, the little bit of climbing gear that I
have along with my larger backpack camera equipment, skateboard, uh, laundry stuff, just, just the, all
the stuff you would have in a garage. A common question I get is like
how much did this all cost? And I paid two grand for, the
van itself was 65,000 miles. It was kind of a steal. And then the whole inside setup costs
me about three and a half grand. So you know, about five and
a half grand for my house. And then with maintenance and whatnot
on the van through the past year, I’ve probably spent a thousand
or 1500 from oil changes to, I’ve had to do some work
with the axles and whatnot. So altogether we’re still
talking less than 10 grand. The most I’ve ever spent on gas in a
month is like 500 bucks, which is a lot. But that’s still less than
most people pay in rent. I don’t have to worry about
electricity or water or you know, all, all of the other things
people worry about. I mean I would honestly
rather live in a house, but I can’t live the life that
I’m living now in a house. It’s definitely a super cheap lifestyle
and it’s just like very much meshes with who I am as a person for the rest
of my life. I’ll always have a van. I’ll live in a house at some point, but
I’ll always have some sort If you guys like this video, make sure to like share and subscribe
and Dylan what is your YouTube channel? My channel is just my name. He
just did a video of my tiny house. So I’ll put a link to that in the
description. And until next time, see you guys later.

100 comments on “Awesome Van Converted Into Off-Grid Home for only $5,500 (including purchase price)

  1. You are probably already aware, but some people engineer their vans to have the roof extended. Maybe that is an option for you down the road so to speak. It is nice being able to stand up. I got myself a 4X4 truck and a camper. I love it. I live in it in the Summer. The camper was free and my truck was less then $2000.00 and I have a home.

  2. I road tripped in Colorado for a month and lived out of a rented SUV. Complete last minute trip, woke up and within 30 min I was on a plane. Anyway, I showered at apartment complexes and just walking in to the lobby like I was a resident. Never was asked who I was.

  3. Nice van. Mine's a very primitive 93 Chevy G20. Have had a lot of issues with it, but keeping fixing things…needs a lot sill! "That's what the whole van lifestyle is about, making it work". True true.

  4. easy-to-make that type of roof retractable just by hinging it on one side and you could put a hammock on either side as well for guest ?

  5. It's always nice seeing him being interviewed instead of him doing the interviewing. Thanks for sharing, Jenna S.

  6. Love this dude, & I also love your vids. Thanks for posting this one, gives me a ton of ideas for when I start hacking into the van again when we get back to CA!

  7. I am soooo impressed with the video u made on ur friends channel about ur tiny home. My friend and i are going to do something like this someday . We are both two smart cookies but im sure we can only hope to do as great a job as u have.
    Every single idea was magical, in my eyes. Thank you for the inspiration!
    God Bless

  8. Getting ready to start my new life im excited to get going on it im in Illinois but im ready to go were its warm in the winter Texas im thinking south Padres island im so ready got a badass tent system that a buddy built a platform for it connects to the back of the van open doors and it folds down in place in about 5 min to do everything thats to even set up tent the platform is 6×6(im only 5'8") made out of aluminum so its real light its my bedroom if i dont feel like setting it up i got 2 other twin beds i can use but i usally do use it cuz it is so easy to set up well i wanna wish everyone good luck and god bless in your travles

  9. Famous last words: I'm not an electrician but it seems to work. 😁 (I'm only playin w/u bud – great job. U should be mucho proud of yourself).

  10. Just found your channel. Big fan of Dylan and Gladys and can't wait to binge watch your tiny house videos! Keep up the great work! #BBHugs

  11. you can't have a phone that's connected to a network and be off grid lol. only complaint other then that dug the video

  12. i love my van and im thinking of getting another one as the one i have has too many problems and its currently shaking lol adn I always loved that idea of making the van like a home although I would not be to that extreme as I would just want to use it to drive away sometimes and still have some comfort of home in there. pretty cool stuff man

  13. hi Dylan looks like what I wanna do with my van anything I should know? are you happy with it? I plan to get mine set up this summer

  14. Hi, I arrive here thanks the wideo that this guy made of you… I really like bought 🏠!!!! My best wishes for you bought. Grestings from Chile, and I hope you came to visit my country and my city Valdivia, if you came write me.. greetings ( sáludos)

  15. What model was the pee bottle? lol. Just kidding! Cool you guys did vids of each other’s dwellings!!! Love both of the vids! Cheers!!!

  16. Is there a forum for tiny homes or living tiny home style to help tiny home dwellers that may not have the cushy jobs of Internet stuff and we have to work manual labor jobs to survive which facilitates not having the luxury of money to do a whole lot of things but where groups could get together trade help do things like that for others in the group I live in a 1976 Chevy School Bus does not run and I am not a mechanic I have a whole bunch of other stuff that I was going to do with it I no longer need it I would like to trade for some help on getting the thing to run

  17. Absolutely love the video Dylan did of your Tiny home. It's probably one of the best Tiny homes I've seen to date. There was obviously a lot of thought and craftsmanship put into it. Well done, Jenna!

  18. You are incredible! I plan on starting my van life within the next year and a half to two years, so I am doing research now. What made me nervous was how all these young couples have luxury vans with expensive conversions and I was starting to get nervous that I wouldn't be able to make this work financially, but you have reinforced my dream to escape the normalcies of our society. I know I don't need certain luxuries, I look forward to roughing it on my own, in my own van sometime soon, it makes me giddy just thinking about it!

  19. Out of curiosity what you all do for work if you don’t mind me asking, because I would love to travel but obviously not all jobs really give time off no more the 2paid weeks for me a year ?

  20. A battery isolator would allow the alternator to charge your RV batteries but also not allow the drain of the RV stuff on the main starting battery. That way if the solar is insufficient you could always charge them by driving the van.

  21. Why do people in the van life community use the term "STEALTH"???
    I mean Law Enforcement Officers ain't "STUPID"…

  22. 7.5 gallons of water is not enough for me to even drink in a week let alone do everything else with, especially in the summer time.

  23. Good luck shitting in a filthy ass ghetto gas station bathroom. Btw he got fucked paying $2000 for an old ass van with 65000 miles on it.

  24. With the way things are going these days with insane costs just to have a place to rest your head and call home we may be joining you in this same type of lifestyle plus I'm tired of just giving my hard earned money away .

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