Small Space, Large Living

Space inside a van is limited, which can cause some complications.

Most of the space in our van is used for storage: a cupboard for our dry food and “kitchen” and a bed with space underneath for clothes, dog food, climbing gear and other odds and ends.

Other than that, there’s not much space.  Especially when you start pulling everything out, space to move around is extremely limited.

The van is really used for travel and sleep.  More than that and you can start to go a little stir crazy.


Hanging out in the van after a day of rain in Mount Rushmore (summer 2016)

Last summer, we experienced this first hand.  It rained nearly everyday of our week stay at Mount Rushmore.  We would get part up a route before the skies would open and we’d run to the van for shelter from the downpour.


Seven days with most of your time spent in roughly 48 square feet can be challenging.

Days like that saw a lot of reading, working on grad school, or watching movies we had downloaded on our computer.


Tory taking advantage of a break in the rain while I continued to work on grad school (Rushmore, summer 2016)

But living in the van really isn’t the point to living in a van.  It’s more that you live out of the van.

When living in the van you have to expand your living space; take advantage of your ‘backyard’ or your ‘patio’.

Living out of the van means you have a home base for your adventures of hiking, climbing, backpacking, and so on.  You have a space for food, sleep, and storage that can go almost anywhere you’d like.  When around the van, you improvise to find more room than the space provided.

Whenever possible, Tory and I live outside of the van.  Best way to expand your living space is to hang out, cook, read, workout etc outside.  For us, food is prepared and cooked on picnic tables, logs, flat rocks or our food bins.  We only cook in the van when weather is bad or there’s absolutely no other option.


The van opens up so many possibilities and adventures, that even with the small space we are confined to, we are able to explore so much more.


2 thoughts on “Small Space, Large Living

  1. I will be launching off in my car for this summer. I am also going nomad but doing house sitting along the way . I have 3 house sits lined up in the Northwest. However,I do plan to camp for 3 weeks in between house sits. I have a good sized tent so if I am caught in the rain can take my chair in it and read, etc… I planned to get an RV but now I am into the house sitting thing. Well, still looking for a camper van or class b RV. Isn’t life exciting!!


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