Atli, a transit bus driver from Vancouver, Canada has converted a van into a comfortable full-time home. Her main reason for the decision to ditch a regular home for a van home were the rising rents.
The home Atli lives in now is a converted 2016 Ford which she nicknamed T-Rex. For insulation they used fiberglass and rigid foam insulation, which aren’t especially sustainable but they are inexpensive. They also installed a vapour barrier to help prevent condensation from forming, while most of the interior is panelled in wood, which helps keep the interior temperature more comfortable, while also giving the home a more homey feel.
The home part of the van is dominated by a large open space which is used as the main living area. There is also a small kitchen, with a two-burner propane stove and a small sink with a water pump. The home also features plenty of storage space. The kitchen will be complete as soon as Atli installs a bamboo counter and some additional cabinetry. There is also a closet in this space.
The bed rests atop a raised platform, which offers even more storage space. This space also has an extra door, which hides Atli’s sitar. They also place a Hypervent mat under the bed, which can be purchased in a marine supply store, and which prevents condensation from forming under the mattress. The table can be rolled out when needed and stored away when not needed.
The van has three skylights, which let in plenty of light. Two can be opened and one is fitted with a mechanical fan to aid ventilation. The van has no other windows, which is something that suited Atli very well since she likes her privacy.
The home also features a combination carbon monoxide and propane gas alarm, and there is also an extra wall and door between the home and the driver’s seat part of the van. The van has no bathroom, but Atli uses the one at her gym, as well as public bathrooms.
At the back, there’s additional storage space for Atli’s bike, inflatable kayak and other gear. The home is powered by a sola panel that is connected to a Goal Zero inverter, a 100-AmH AGM (absorbent glass mat) battery. The latter is also charged using a solenoid connected to the van’s AGM truck battery.
Downsizing to a van home has allowed Atli to go from being a full time to a part time employee, which has freed up her winters for travel to warmer climates. There is no word on how much she spent for the conversion, but there is no doubt that she is saving a lot of money by not having to pay rent.