Adventure Travel Abroad

Couple Convert Van For Full Time Living And Travel in Australia

Couple Convert Van For Full Time Living And Travel in Australia



Australia is a big and beautiful country with an abundance of natural wonders to explore so for that reason it's not really a surprise that so many Australians are choosing to give up traditional homes and favor of houses on wheels today we've travelled to a national park just outside of Sydney Australia to meet a young couple who have done a beautiful van conversion that they're now calling their first home hey Jimmy I'm going lovely to meet you Katie and so cool to see this van it really looks like it's packed out for a venture yeah solar panels on the roof you've got the tool box and everything up there are you totally off-grid with us then yeah we are we've been upgrade for the whole time that we've had the band yeah so we've haven't found that the power's run out or anything so that's been really good so we're running to 250 watt domestic panels on our roof which come down to a it's a 30 amp converter and that charge is our batteries that keeps us charged for about three days with no Sun which is very very handy and if all else does fail we've also got a solenoid which charges off the cars alternator to go for Drive yeah we can go for a drive and that seems to charge everything go so how long have you actually been living in the van we started on the 29th of October so that's when we first moved in and we went north into North Queensland first then we came back to Brisbane just to fix a few little tweaks we kind of had a little shakedown period there and then we went south so we've been south for about a month and a half now did you do the fit out of the van yourself yes me and my partner did it together yeah and what was that process like it was fun it was very grueling but I think it was a very rewarding work so we could never really be that unhappy it was what the hard work but very fulfilling we bought the van first and then we just shredded it pretty much nothing there was an absolutely there we started by insulating first so we insulated all the insides all the little nooks and crannies where he could get in and then we started working from the roof and it kind of worked our way down and in that process we've probably changed taking us about eight to nine months actually listed at the other day we bought the van on the 24th of February and we left on the 29th of October they almost exactly eight months what was the transition of moving into a van like was it quite scary it seems like it was gonna be scary but it was definitely not a scary once we did the transition as I thought it would be we actually have transitioned quite smoothly yeah we did predict it would be a lot harder but it's being a lot easier than we thought so we kind of were preparing ourselves to have a big change and a big adjustment but it's been a lot easier a lot smoother a lot of teamwork isn't it yeah it really is everyone thinks it's gonna be really hard to make this change you have a lot of things that you live with when you live in a house a lot of possessions but you find out you don't really actually need that stuff when you move into a place like this and how much you actually want to be outside your home and exploring around and what's the size that you're working with I'm around about six meters long and I think with the toolbox on top went out to about three meters so that's kind of what we stay under good size for travel yeah not too bad we just can't go under any car parks but aside from that we're pretty good yeah well I would love to have a look inside and see what you've done you can even stand up and yeah and I can just it comes in straight but it's not too bad yeah so show me inside of what you've done okay this is our pantry so it's the seats on top obviously and then it opens up there and we get a lot of food storage under there it's it's great good amount of space in there yep and that one comes down halfway and we've got our water tank down there which is a 90 liter water tank and you've got a nice workspace here as well as we do so this is a lovely sink here we've got our running water that comes out through there we've got a little hole like that and what the story's up here I love these little jars I think they're all so little stories over there and was just the herb garden is a new addition for us we added that in probably just on this trip down so we've had a lot of compliments on it we see people driving past on the highway like looking at the way which is funny everyone comments on it it's so nice just to bring a little bit of green into the space isn't it yeah it definitely is we definitely have talked about more greenery as well so along has this grand idea of growing a tomato vine up this I don't know it could be cool you've got behind you and having the chalk wall is such a cool idea yeah this is the third art piece we've gotten so far so we had like a little welcome sign initially and then for Christmas I did a Christmas tree but yeah this is the new one where put out and we just got ideas off my friends so I kind of collaborated with her a little bit on it but it's lots of fun to be able to change it up every now and then I like that above it is that all storage yeah so we've got lots of storage up under here there's actually such a big space that there's a little light so you can kind of see how far back goes we've got with the pots and pans sorts of electrical stuff we're actually got our flyscreens here that attach to the other doorways as well to keep the flies out that I've got magnetic strips in the middle so that we can kind of get in and out of them which is good really important here in Australia how important the migi and they actually make deep earth too because they expect quite thin but that was good I actually made those signs up myself because I couldn't get anything that would custom fit that and I've got a lot of arts stuff up there so that kind of fits all in there which is really good out of the way and all of this has been done with pallet wood has it yeah the most of its recycled pallet all of the roof and any of the rules here are some of this is from Bunnings and places like that or anything we have lying around and Eli's dad said here's a shed of Wonders that we got – yeah I use a lot of resources from which was awesome very helpful and then under the bench here this is all storage yeah we have a storage under here so we've got our cutlery in here and then all sorts of kitchen utensils under here and these came class gets the reason we detain under here is that we can pull it out we have access to all about plumbing and under there so that kind of gives us extra access there and then this is our fridge under here that pulls out and runners have got a fridge and a freezer under there so if it's a 90 liter I think and that all runs off the solar power yep yeah completely there's a little monitor down there we can keep check on but we have a apple an iPhone that keeps track of it – and then you've got a really good sized bit in here don't you yeah it's about I think it was 20 centimeters shorter than a double bed standard double bed but we've got the same width so it works really well for me I can completely stretch out eli on the other hand does sleep a little bit diagonally but he doesn't really mind if he doesn't it doesn't bother him too much so it's not being an issue at all really and under the bed you've got lots of storage by the looks of it yeah we have the rest of our wardrobe under here so these are Alec coding drugs we have one each on this house that's my one and then Eli's is below we added these ones on recently actually that's out of the belt because they kept pulling and we're driving say that's some a recent addition and this is our laundry basket under here and there's another basket that slides around that I have a few extra cords in under there and you know I have a few extra clothes up the top there too so we've kind of got just a drawer and a little extra space for clothing I'm under this little one so a little hottie way this has a little hook for up that's pretty much our broom for the whole bed and we also have a lower on toiletries under there for the shower and do you find that in here you have enough storage for everything you need I just thought we didn't think we would but I think slowly as we've decreased certain items or we we haven't needed something we've realized that there's actually more space in it than we we probably are using at the moment there's a still few little hidey holes we could fit things in or condensing things down but we did add the toolbox on top for that reason because um I actually a market that I run so we keep up with stuff up there so that it's not crowding up too much down here so what kind of stuff do you store up in there so we have two big camp chairs up there and then my market stool I have an umbrella with a stand for it as well and we've got a bucket up there and some fishing gear and a little bit of snorkeling stuff up there too it's pretty amazing that and a space this size you're even able to store all of that stuff including things for your business yeah definitely I'm pretty lucky that it is a mobile business so I'm a henna artist so I can take it anywhere I like and have a smaller set up so that it is confined to the bed but we are pretty lucky we fit a lot in here do you find it easy to actually work while living on the road as well yeah I've done a lot yet we're still working on that I've probably gone about three or four markets so far and they've all been really good and successful so I hope to do a lot more in the future so was that one of your designs behind you there yeah they did the some of the stain pen when we were building beautiful over here we've got some a table that pulls out here which we use to watch movies on all the time with our laptop otherwise I actually use it as a drawing space sometimes too which is which works well and we've got effective storage up here for I've got these two and then I've got those two which he uses for clothes as well so on the other side of the bed you've got more storage over there yeah so the storage splits in half under the bed from the side and then we've got access from the other side with a black deck as well he's gonna fold out dig here that's so cool how did you actually make that work Eli somehow pulls it together actually we talked about it for a while we weren't sure if we wanted to do it because it did cost us a fair bit but it actually turns out to be one of the most useful things we've had we cook on it every morning and everything so it's it's been great well I would love to see how the pull-out platform of the back works let's check it out yeah there's a lot of storage under here and we've got a jet set fire back yeah it's very stable so we can first easily sit on it which is really good and if we wanted to sometimes we turn it into a daybed and put the cushions out here we've actually stood on the Stars a few times and what's the size at night time which is good but we do all of our cooking out here and breakfast and coffee in the morning too so we've got this cooked up that comes out and it's gonna double burn us which this attaches through the door and around for the gas yeah it's sexy quite easy to cook it once you had it all with such a large space as well oh yeah so what about the shower here as well yeah so this time it's a hot tap system it links up to the top there we put it in there and then we have connected up to the gas and then we've got a hose that kind of goes over the back we actually open this up usually like this I will put it around the back so we also have a pop-up little shower last mobile tower that we can use this with if there's people around or something like that but otherwise yeah we just have a stair over the back there and it's really hot sometimes a bit too hot we have to cool it tap it but it's really good so yeah that's really good I love that feature showers not too bad actually we we like to look for showers where we can if we stop at a beach or something I'm usually surf lifesaving places will have a outdoor shower or a shower in the toilet blocks are usually pretty cold which is fine now that's summer but as we head into winter it might not work as well water wise we've got a 90 liter tank under our pantry which seems to last us a fair while if we don't shower too often with that one so we probably don't get too many showers out of that no we tenter we it's kind of the van is life to one kind of extend showers for as long as possible but yeah it's just kind of what you do but we're swimming in ocean all the time so yeah um yeah you take what you can get really engage we don't have anything set up so we work between towns and cafes and places but you just kind of learn to be more aware when you need to go statistically timing timing and what would you say your absolute favorite thing about living in Avernus I think it would definitely be waking up in a new location all the time just thing I would literally open your doors from bed and see the ocean is amazing sometimes it can take us an hour and a half to find a spot if we're really picky it's all about what you feel safe as well and you get more comfortable as you go so um yeah and you start to learn the places to look because we're constantly traveling too we don't really get to go back and revisit the same place twice but it would be a lot easier if we could do that but because we want to keep troubling we just need to know where to look and it's good to we've actually met a few people who have given us tips as well that's the best way to do it yeah just to talk to people's yeah oh just other people that are living in bands they usually alike yeah we think journey of like six nights so you could stay there and that's a really good way of finding out a place to stay working on this project together what was it like it was good it was it was testing at times but at the same time it was a very fun involving thing that we could put our heart and soul into third it was really fun I loved getting in and learning different bits of the cross so it was good for me being able to learn how to use a hand tool and you know get on the job a little bit more rather than just watching Eli do to work for him also I think that he learned a lot in different trades because he's a electrician by trade but not a carpenter but he's learnt a lot in this process as well what was your budget for doing get out we're estimating that what we did on top of savants and I include in the van price would almost be about eight grand I'd say and what about including the van price including we paid seven and a half for it so yeah just over 15,000 I'd say would be the total yeah it cost for them including a van not bad at all for a first home as it no it's pretty darn good and living in the space now how does this one make you feel it's pretty awesome it's hard to describe how yeah how homely it feels like it's amazing that we can drive somewhere and we've got our home at our doorstep when we can be anywhere we want to in the world it's amazing and for you how does that compare to the idea of paying rent in a city like Sydney it just seems like wasted money really I mean we'd be paying to be somewhere in the same spot and you know I know you're working a lot as well but we don't have to work anywhere near as much to support our lifestyle and we can do so much more we're so much more active in our daily life and enjoying so much more outdoors time and also meeting a lot more people to want more like-minded people on the road actually which is awesome it's it's a lot of freedom it's a lot of exploring it's a life of cheaper living I got to spend a lot of my time in my best friend yeah I think I also love how much I get to focus on other things that I never had time for in my kind of old black but always put my hobbies aside because I'm always working and trying to earn money and then I get home and I'm too tired to do any of that but yeah I've got so much time for drawing and hula-hooping and doing over sorts of things that I wouldn't I love to do and I can do them on the regular now and would make time for them so much like work because we're like okay it's 3 o'clock we should probably do some coffee practice now so it's good anyways I'm learning guitar and I've been putting off learning guitar for about four years so I finally picked that up and I'm back surfing again which I put that down for a while I'm practicing photography that's my dog yeah I know it is yes developing more of the things that I mean they could potentially earn your money in the future but it's not about that it's about the things that you wanted to do because you never have time to do them so you're always too busy making money mm-hmm it's more more living less working what's doing things for others and more doing things for yourself this is such a cool man and I am so impressed with the work that you've done to actually really transform it into a beautiful home thank you so much for sharing it with me thank you for a young couple starting out a van really is the perfect first home it's affordable it means you don't have to worry about rent it gives you a ton of options for exploring your country and allows you to truly create some amazing memories together now that is what I call a home you


Reader Comments

  1. …."You can do more living. Less working"… This is by far my favorite quote. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love this video. How do you shower and wash your clothes? I am thinking of doing this in a few years.

  3. What an enviable lifestyle and way to avoid the corporate crap we all get trapped in. Fantastic conversion, lovely couple.

  4. lol we're ACTUALLY giving up traditional homes cos we can't afford a $1 million dollar 2 bedroom house- so the chinese take them

  5. Thanks for the upload. I live this way (in a coach-built camper in Europe) because I want to, not because I have to. I'd pay more to live this way to be as free, but it is much cheaper of course.

  6. Nicely done! And so economical. Bit concerned with that giant box on the roof: not very aerodynamic or stealth.

  7. You are such an inspiration to many, very smart and clever thinking. Enjoy life while you still can …. wish you all the best.

  8. Do you go back to the people you interview to see how things are going years later? This is the first video on this channel I’ve seen so I don’t know how long this has been a thing.

  9. What a FABULOUS business idea!!! (Henna) Well done! So creative.
    We have become WAY TOO 'CIVILIZED' in our fear of smelling, and our fear of what people will think about how we smell! Not showering often, your body actually begins to adjust. And then, a wash cloth and a bit of water is good too. I LOVE water, LOVE showers. Sometimes I feel I need one just to wash off the day, the energy of the day (esp. after being in a city or bombarded by too much coming at me), but smell …? When did we become so afraid to smell each other?

  10. Your home looks so cozy!! Looks like alot of fun. I really admire your bravery not to live paycheck to paycheck.

  11. You both have a good life to be free to travel where you want where ever you want is awesome. That's something I would love to do.

  12. มีบ้านมีต้นไม้สิ่งที่ขาดไม่ได้คือน้ำตก จะหาก้อนหินอย่างไรให้กลมกลื่นความเป็นจริง กว่าจะได้มาต้องใช้ความพยายามสูง ความแน่นเครื่องจักรของการนำพา สิ่งที่มีน้ำหนักมหาศาลพร้อมขับเคลื่น สิ่งที่ชอบไม่มีจะทำไม่ได้ ความสวยงามสมบรูแบบความเป็นธรรมชาติ5555

  13. Very retro. They are living the life of a nomadic hippie in the 1960's in the U.S. May have been a VW van then.
    Fast forward to 2019, now homeless people are living in their wheels if they are fortunate enough to have a one and the $$$ to keep it in gas.

  14. I don't get it. All that space and no wet room (toilet/shower) very disappointed. Australia can have over 1 hour between towns. Stop,revive,survive areas don't have showers and some don't have toilets if you are camping there over night. Guess they are gym members only alot of gyms are in shopping centres where you cant camp overnight. All in all not impressed with this fit out at all.

  15. This couple is so good-natured and creative, and their home is, as she said, very homely! I couldn't help smiling through this video. Beautiful photography, too!

  16. Hello, I wanted the same type of table pull-out in my garage area of my Ford Transit as well. Are you willing to share how you did yours. Where you purchased your roller hardware and such…?👂🏼

  17. There are so many videos on making a $5.00 bucket potty and you don't have to worry about being strategic. And Since the bucket is lined with plastic you can also use it to have a bucket wash up….I love the space it's beautiful.

  18. How do they pay for fuel and food while their traveling around Australia I’m guessing they don’t have full time jobs so that leaves the dole

  19. Have they had any issues with the gas on the back? I know over here in Western Australia is illegal to mount a gas bottle on the back but I don't know about the East coast?

  20. Thanks for the great video. We're in Aus too and looking at doing a van ourselves… can I ask what timber you used for the ceiling and walls please? Pallet wood or did you find really thin boards for the walls (they look quite thin on the walls which is great for weight and space). If you bought boards where did you get them? Any advice would be great. Hope you're having a wonderful time wherever you are… especially coming into summer now 🙂

  21. Wot a beautiful van conversion. Best one of seen yet. They have some great equipment in the van too. Nice layout an very homely. Love the pull out deck too.

  22. I had to pause the video within 1st minute just to say, "beautiful!". Now I will continue watching. Smile!!!

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