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The Ultimate Van Build Guide

Planning a van build? Read our free guide. We cover just about everything you need to know - from planning, to insulation, to solar and electrical, to picking appliances, to essential tools. Get started today so you can get out there on the road!

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Reflecting on the 2018 Midwest Vanlife Gathering

By Jayme / June 4, 2018 / 0 Comments
Midwest Vanlife Gathering Reflection

Every time I’ve tried to write a reflection of our first Midwest Vanlife Gathering, I’ve ended up typing one or two generic sentences before suddenly feeling frozen in time. How do you verbally explore a weekend so powerful and moving? Saying the weekend was “awesome” or a “great success” or that we had an “absolute […]

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Gnomad Homies: Mr. And Mrs. Adventure

By John & Jayme / May 7, 2018 / 2 Comments
coverphoto1200x800

For our latest edition of Gnomad Homies International, we feature Brittany and Drew from @MrandMrsAdventure! They have been rocking this van-livin’ lifestyle for not only THREE WHOLE YEARS but also ALL OVER THE WORLD – from Ireland and England, to France and the Netherlands, to Morocco and Portugal and Norway and so many other beautiful […]

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Refrigeration on the Road: The Best 12V Portable Fridges for Vanlife

By John / April 23, 2018 / 29 Comments
the best portable 12v fridges from vanlife

There’s nothing like having a refrigerator in your van to really bring the comforts of home on the road. Refrigeration means you can store fresh food and other cold items – like vegetables, dairy, meat, “booch,” and beer. It means you don’t have to fuss with a cooler full of ice and water-logged food. And […]

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Gnomad Homies: Trebventures

By John & Jayme / April 2, 2018 / 2 Comments

In this edition of Gnomad Homies, we are super excited to share the story of a nomadic family that respresents our future #goals – fo sho! We’d like to introduce you all to Brandon, Ashley, Cayden, Jackson and Reagan Treb of @trebventures. They are a super inspiring and adorable family of five living in their decked […]

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Epic Guide to DIY Van Build Electrical: How to Install a Campervan Solar Electrical System

By John / March 22, 2018 / 276 Comments
van build electrical

When we first started thinking about our vanlife electrical system and buying our components, we had a lot of questions. We researched online, read other van build blogs and forum posts, and watched Youtube videos. Some were very helpful, but many left us with a swirl of even more questions. What gauge wiring do we […]

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Picking the Best Vehicle for Vanlife: Why We Chose a Conversion Van

By John & Jayme / March 7, 2018 / 10 Comments
Conversion van parked with a beautiful sunset

Once you’ve decided to take the leap into vanlife, the next step is choosing your van. Picking the perfect vessel to help you drive into your new life can be overwhelming – it was for us. There are so many different vehicles out there, from roomy Sprinter vans to old school Westies to super stealth […]

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Gnomad Homies: Rock Meets Soil

By John & Jayme / February 12, 2018 / 0 Comments
Gnomad Homies Rock Meets Soil

In this edition of Gnomad Homies, we talk with the one and only Jane from Rock Meets Soil! If you are looking for an account to follow that will encourage you to get out of your shell a bit, dance a little longer and laugh a little harder – she is your girl! She just […]

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Insulating Your Van: Everything You Need to Know for Your DIY Van Build

By John / January 24, 2018 / 111 Comments
Van Build Insulation

If you want to stay comfortable in your van no matter the weather, you need to insulate. Insulation is one of the most important steps of any van build, and it pays to take the time to do it right. There’s also a lot of confusion and debate over the best way to insulate a […]

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From “I Wish” to “I Did”: Change Your Mind, Live Your Dreams

By John & Jayme / January 8, 2018 / 4 Comments
change mindset achieve goals

The start of a new year is always a time of reflection and planning for us. Reflection on the year that has just passed, and planning for the year ahead. We did a lot last year, but we have big plans for the new year and we’re pumped to make 2018 our best year yet! […]

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Vanlife with Dogs: Tips, Challenges, and Fun on the Road

By John & Jayme / December 11, 2017 / 0 Comments
Vanlife with Dogs

Whether you’re a vandweller thinking about adding a furry friend to your nomadic lifestyle or a dog owner considering the leap to vanlife – there’s a lot to think about. How we’re able to live this lifestyle with two dogs is one of those questions we get all the time. Vanlife with a dog is […]

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Gnomad Homies: Midwest Wanderers

By John & Jayme / December 4, 2017 / 0 Comments
main photo

In this edition of Gnomad Homies, meet Luke, Rachel, and precious little Charlotte Davis of @midwestwanderers. This awesome family of three (soon to be four) inspires us in so many ways. Not only are they fellow midwesterners (they hail from Oswego, IL), they also helped us see that life on the road with kids – […]

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17 Top Gifts for Vanlifers this Holiday Season

By John & Jayme / November 27, 2017 / 2 Comments
top gifts for vanlifers

It’s that time of year again – when people everywhere spend money they don’t have to buy things nobody needs, all in the name of rampant consumerism and holiday cheer! Kidding aside, we’re actually big suckers for any excuse to bring your whole tribe of love together to laugh and sing and eat and maybe […]

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Vanlife with a Partner: 8 Tips for a Successful Relationship

By Jayme / November 20, 2017 / 2 Comments
vanlife in a relationship

There are plenty of vanlife couples on the road, but we’ve also talked to many people concerned that they could never live in a van with their significant other. The close quarters and constant togetherness of vanlife can be a challenge to any relationship. But diving into this awesome experience with your partner is also […]

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5 Things We’d Change About Our Van Build (and 5 We Wouldn’t)

By John / November 6, 2017 / 8 Comments
5 changes van build

It’s officially November, and for us that means it’s time for some anniversary celebrations! A year ago we launched this blog, quit our jobs, and jumped full steam into our van build. We’re also well past six months on the road, and we thought it would be helpful to reflect on what we’ve learned about […]

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Gnomad Homies: Casa de Civic

By John & Jayme / October 30, 2017 / 0 Comments
main photo

We are super mega stoked for this installment of Gnomad Homies! We frequently chat with people who want to get out on the road and travel, but think they can’t because they only have a car. To which I always respond by pulling up @casadecivic to show them how homey, comfortable and badass car living […]

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United We Van and the Ultimate Vanlife Cookbook

By John & Jayme / October 23, 2017 / 0 Comments
uwv vanlife cookbook

Well before John and I embarked on our own nomadic adventures, we noticed a strong sense of community among our fellow nomads. Back when we were bright-eyed noobs sporting a brand new 1996 Chevy van, we were connecting with vanlifers on social media and via Skype. And everyone was incredibly helpful answering any questions we […]

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Vanlife Essentials: Installing a Smart Battery Isolator

By John / October 11, 2017 / 122 Comments
installing a battery isolator in your van

Having solar power in your van is just plain awesome. It means you can live completely off the grid with lights, a fridge, phones and computers – all while not worrying about electric bills or power outages. But sometimes solar power just isn’t enough, especially if your budget doesn’t allow you to throw down for […]

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Installing Our Water System: DIY Van Build Plumbing Made Easy

By John / October 2, 2017 / 15 Comments
water system van build plumbing

If you plan on going off grid for any length of time, you need water in your van. And if you like to cook as much as we do, you’ll also want a sink for washing dishes and a way to catch waste water. But how do you go about setting all of this up? […]

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Gnomad Homies: Vanabundos

By John & Jayme / August 31, 2017 / 0 Comments
standing next to van on beach

For our latest Gnomad Homies International feature! We chat with the inspirational Gabriella Hummel and the ever so talented Sandro Alvarez of @vanabundos. They are from Liechtenstein/Argentina and Switzerland with some Spanish roots, but right before they hit the road they lived in Zurich. They are currently in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua. Enjoy their story! What […]

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How to Find Internet While Living on the Road

By John & Jayme / August 24, 2017 / 4 Comments
How to Find Internet on the Road

Internet is pretty much a necessity these days. Don’t get us wrong – we absolutely love opportunities to go fully off the grid, no cell service and all. It’s like our vacation. But the fact remains that we need internet access to work, to stay in contact with friends and family, and even to find […]

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