The (Past) Van

Ah, the van. Home. Everyone talks about their respective homes int heir blogs, but the pictures are usually all over the place, and in several posts. I decided that I should give you, my fellow readers, a proper introduction to my little home.

This is my van, which I lovingly call DD (Designated Driver. I’ve camped outside a couple pubs in her. lol)

She is a 1978 Chevrolet Vandura, with a 350 under the hood. I bought her from a friend for $500, and she passed the inspection after putting a new muffler on (the previous one had a hole in it I could put my fist through with room to spare.)

The interior:

DD comes with (almost) all the fixings needed for fulltime living. There is a fridge, a 3 burner range, a sink, a 9 gallon water tank, furnace, cupboards, bed, storage, closet, and surround sound. The only thing she’s missing is a bathroom. So there is no toilet, or shower.

From the front, looking back:

And back looking to the front:

Having a sink to do dishes in, wash my hands, and face, and brush my teeth is a godsend. I have plenty of keys for some reason, and I actually use them too. haha On the left, there is a direct connection faucet for hooking up to water, on the right is a handpump for the 9 gallon water tank. I use bio-degradable soap as I do not have any holding tanks for waste water. It empties directly outside. :/
Below the sink is where I store pots and pans, etc. You can see in the below picture that I also use the sink area as my spot for my laptop. I can sit back and watch a movie on the laptop, I plug it’s sound into the vans system through an auxillary cable. I had replaced the stereo with one that had both an aux in, and a USB port for my iPhone.

A little modification that I made so that I could have my iPhone, which serves as my alarm clock, by the bed rather than up front in the van for anyone peaking in to see. It’s wiring is connected into the house battery through the cigarette lighter and stereo which were rewired by the previous owner pointing to the house battery rather than the starting battery.

Directly across from the sink is the bed, and the storage that is under. You can see my little telescope there, it’s always nice to pull it out and have a peak into space on a clear night. I just need to figure out how to properly use it now.

What every vandweller needs, a place to cook! This is my 3 burner range, and under it, you can see my furnace which pumps out a lot of heat in a matter of minutes. Below the furnace, you can just barely see a little blue behind the panel. That’s the water tank.

Considering I only have one drawer, I use it to house the larger cooking utensils, and use this magnetic strip I picked up at a home supply store for the eating utensils.

Now a look at everything together. The furthest back, you can see the fridge which during the summer, would eat up a tank of propane once a month. Total cost to replenish? $14 I like the setup, It’s easy, especially with the fridge at the back door, I shop, open up the back, and put my food in the fridge right out of the shopping cart.

Across from the cooking area is my “closet”, it can hold maybe six shirts, and then there was this empty space. I added a couple drawers from WalMart, the top holds my other clothes that do not need to be hung up, and the bottom is for food. I’m planning on building something a bit more permanent, and expanding the size of the closet to boot.

Ahhh, To sleep, perchance to dream. My bed. It is quite comfortable to sleep on folded up, and stretched out into a double which will fit two comfortably. (That book is, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Very good book, decent movie too)


 And more storage space above the drivers area. I assume it was orignally meant to be a sleeping area (as it pulls out) for a small minion as there is very little clearance. Who knew people were so tiny in the 70’s? 😉
Now for power, I don’t have anything big on the solar front currently. This van has also been the daily driver, so I get a charge that way, along with two trickle chargers. I will eventually be building a rack on top that can house some decent panels, but all things in due time.
Havea look at my other page “Consolidated Links” for a list of stuff that are wishlisted for the van.
I hope you have enjoyed this slight tour of my little home that has provided me with much happiness and freedom. If you have any questions, please send me an email (TheVanDweller (at), or comment on a post! You can also find me on forums such as the Cheap RV Living forums.

Leave a Reply