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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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What’s In Those Cabinets? Inside Our Van’s Kitchenette

By John & Jayme / February 13, 2017 / 4 Comments
whats in our van kitchen

Last week we took a pretty big step in our van build: we finally completed building, staining and finishing our kitchen cabinets and countertop. We continued the mismatched log cabin style we had going on our cedar plank ceiling, and we threw in some blue stain to add a splash of color to the van. […]

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Gnomad Homies: One Chick Travels

By John & Jayme / February 5, 2017 / 0 Comments
Gnomad Homies one chick travels

In our second installment of our Gnomad Homies we were super pumped to Skype with Kaya from @onechicktravels! Kaya hails from Santa Cruz, California. We chatted with her while she was driving to Oregon for the holidays and we got some awesome insight on her custom sprinter van and life on the road. What are you living […]

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Creating Our Mobile Log Cabin: Easy Steps to Staining a Van

By John & Jayme / January 30, 2017 / 7 Comments
easy steps to staining a van

If you’re living in a van, it’s important that it really feels like a home. And for us, there’s nothing more comfortable and homey than having wood lining every surface. Our birch plywood walls and beautiful cedar plank ceiling looked great right away, but staining and sealing them really brings out the grain patterns and […]

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When Positive Life Changes Bring Unexpected Obstacles

By Jayme / January 22, 2017 / 4 Comments
positive life changes and unexpected obstacles

Happy Monday everyone! Jayme here riding solo today, but John says hello and sends you all virtual hugs! I’m doing a bit of a reflective post today. I’ve had a lot of thought bubbles on my brain-parts that I bet some of you could relate to. It’s a combo of celebratory dance parties and scary, […]

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DIY Van Conversion: Awesome Cedar Plank Ceiling Installation

By John & Jayme / January 16, 2017 / 15 Comments
diy van conversion ceiling

In our last post we went over how we installed plywood walls in our van. The next step in turning our van into a home is hanging the ceiling. We toyed with a few different options for our ceiling. Many van-lifers just screw up a sheet of 1/4” or 1/8” plywood, which is relatively easy […]

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DIY Van Conversion: Installing Plywood Walls in Our Van

By John & Jayme / January 7, 2017 / 20 Comments
DIY Van Conversion Installing Plywood van walls

After fully insulating our van and installing laminate flooring, the next step was to put up the walls. As with every part of the van build process, there are many different options to choose from for walling material. For our van, we decided to go with 1/4” birch plywood because it’s flexible, easy to work with, […]

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Gnomad Homies: The Road Abode

By John & Jayme / January 1, 2017 / 4 Comments
Gnomad Homies The Road Abode

It’s a new year, and here at the Gnomad Home we’re pretty excited for a year full of new beginnings and new experiences. This is going to be a great year for change. A year to focus on personal growth and development. A year to get more involved and stand up for our values and beliefs. […]

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Installing Laminate Flooring in Our Conversion Van

By John & Jayme / December 19, 2016 / 22 Comments
install-laminate-flooring-in-van

A few weeks ago we did a post on how we insulated our conversion van. The last thing we did in the insulation process was laying down Reflectix on the floor. Now we get to install the rest of the floor! There are three main parts to a flooring installation for a van build: Insulation […]

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Installing a Vent Fan on Our High Top Conversion Van

By John / December 12, 2016 / 8 Comments
Installing Fan-tastic vent fan in van

The next step in our van build was installing a roof vent exhaust fan, which means cutting a hole in the roof. Fun! A vent fan is an essential part of creating a comfortable living environment inside of a van. It keeps the van cool by sucking out hot air and creating airflow, and it […]

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Focus on Today: Achieving Big Goals by Taking Small Actions

By John / December 5, 2016 / 0 Comments
achieving-big-goals

When you’re working towards a big goal, whether it’s building a van, learning an instrument, losing weight, training for a marathon, writing a novel, or [insert your goal here], it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking about all the things that need to happen for you to achieve your goal. Focusing on the endgame alone has […]

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How We Mounted Solar Panels on a Fiberglass Van Roof

By John & Jayme / November 28, 2016 / 17 Comments
mounting-solar-panels-fiberglass-van-roof

Every van is different, and throughout our van build we’ve found that ours poses some unique challenges with the shape and contours of its roof. Nothing is simple when you’re working with a curved surface, and mounting our solar panels was no different. Solar power is a must for van life. Electricity gives us the […]

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Wander Pupdates by Nymeria: What in the World is Going On?

By Nymeria / November 21, 2016 / 2 Comments
Wander Pupdates 01

Hello there everybody! It’s about TIME my parents gave me the opportunity to introduce myself! My name is Nymeria and according to them, I am the cutest pup in the entire WORLD! It’s a pretty heavy title to hold, but I do my best to throw around puppy dog eyes and sneak attack kissies whenever […]

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Insulating Our Conversion Van: Tips, Tricks and Step-by-Step

By John & Jayme / November 14, 2016 / 16 Comments
insulating our conversion van

One very important thing to consider when preparing to live in a van is temperature control. And the biggest factor in controlling your van’s temperature is insulation. A well-insulated van will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and it will be easier to maintain a comfortable temperature. When we were researching […]

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Being Like Water: Reflections on Fear, Obstacles and Life

By Jayme / November 7, 2016 / 4 Comments
being like water meditation

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. -Alan Watts This past week we took a brief hiatus from our van build to journey out to Burlington, Vermont to […]

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Gutting Our Conversion Van and Removing the Wheelchair Lift

By John & Jayme / October 31, 2016 / 18 Comments
gutting our conversion van

The van we bought was a 1996 Chevy Express high top conversion van with a wheelchair lift. The good thing about buying a van like this is that many of them have some pretty nice amenities – leather seats, power windows and locks, etc. – and, of course, the high top. While we can’t fully […]

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How We Decided to Sell Everything and Live in a Van

By John & Jayme / October 24, 2016 / 0 Comments
Gnomie

Just a year ago we were a young married couple living your typical suburban, house-and-a-dog, debt-ridden 9-to-5 lifestyle. We had big dreams of quitting our jobs and traveling the world, but we weren’t taking action and didn’t have a plan. Fast forward to today: our house is nearly empty of possessions and there’s a 1996 […]

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