Tuesday, October 1, 2019

5 Things I Needed for Van Life in My 1st Month

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you go through them to make a purchase I can earn a commission.  But I only link to products that I recommend based on my experience with them, not because of the commission. :)

Here's a secret...you can't really know what you really need in your van home (or any tiny home) until you start living in it.  Maybe that is not a secret.  But hey, just know this shit is all a learning experience. However, maybe I can give a few ideas of things I found were super helpful for me.

NOTE... I am living in my van full time on the SUPER cheap.  So these are inexpensive ways to make life in your van a little easier. And these became serious essentials for me pretty freakin' quick.

1) Rubbermaid Brilliance 18-piece Food Storage Set

These are awesome.  Being that I was on a super tight budget, I needed to use my regular cooler for cold food storage, which meant that ice would melt down and I worried about cross contamination of food containers leaking or getting ice water in them.

This set pretty much solved this for me.  They have an airtight seal and seem to have kept water out and food in.  (I generally try not to let too much water sit in the cooler, but sometimes it's a hot day and melting just happens!)

2) LOCK & LOCK Eggs Dispenser, Holder for 12 Eggs

Speaking of the cooler, I wanted to protect my eggs (which I love so I always have on hand) from getting crushed, and I soon also found that the cardboard containers absorbed moisture no matter if they touched the ice or not.  This egg holder has been invaluable!

3) Coleman 2 Burner Grill Stove Combo

Keeping in line with food...you have to have a way to prepare it!  I think one of the ways most people on the road, especially van lifers spend their money, is on food.  Eating out is easy, but it is expensive and also can really throw off your health.  Plus...I LOVE coffee.  So having an easy way to heat water for the ol' french press was a must!

For me, this stove is the perfect solution.  It has a regular burner on one side, and a grill on the other.  The grill is perfect for toast, meats, etc and while that cooks you can make your eggs on the burner! ;)  Plus it is compact and easy to set up and take down.

My stove set up (Knees for added perspective.) 

4) GIOVANNI- Powder Power Dry Shampoo And Instant Volumizer- All Hair Types

Ok...so van life also means you may not get to shower as often as you're maybe once accustomed to.  I quickly realized that a little dry shampoo goes a long way to making me at least look fresh!

I found this awesome dry shampoo.  It is in powder form, smells great, is easy to use, and it is also free of parabens, dyes, etc.  It is organic and cruelty free, too! It is a great way to hold you over when you need!

5) Hopkins SP570804 Go Gear 12 Volt Oscillating Fan

I quickly found that if I wasn't running the van, it was getting pretty warm in there in the summer!  I needed something to cool the van down some.

There are probably a lot of options out there on fans, but this one was economic and easy to use!  I can clip it anywhere I need in the van, and it easily plugs in to the cigarette lighters in the van, so I didn't have to worry about batteries or electricity. It oscillates and has an easy on/off switch.  Basic but totally does the job on a warm summer day! And as it has cooled off, I run my van's heater and use the fan to push the hot air to the back of my van.

As I mentioned, there have been lots of little things in which I thought I would totally use and then found they were more of a nuisance than help. But these things above have been my go to for the last couple months! 

What do you use on a daily basis?  


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