The video HERE is a 48 minute extended in-depth look at Shelby and Simon after living in their van for a bit. Really incredible inside look at the less Romantic/Actual life of living in a home on wheels.
This Saturday, February 20th, marks the 6 month anniversary of me moving into the Bus. I watched this video last night and it really made sense to me, I could connect to their experiences of living in a custom built tiny home.
Just like the couple in the videos, I am also dealing with leaks on the Bus. All of the windows are leaking, mainly because the track that the window slides in to open and close, is 25 years old and does not have a great seal anymore. It is difficult to get silicone into all the necessary spaces because that stops the window from opening and closing properly. I also have several leaks on the roof, because of loose rivets, small cracks and holes along the seams of the roof panels. I pasted silicone along the seams on the roof, then I re-siliconed them, and now I am putting strips of tar and aluminum Peel and Seal over everything.
Regardless, whenever it rains, I don't enjoy the sound of the drops hitting the roof. I think of leaks, mold and stains on the wood ceiling. Watching the video and seeing the leaks that the couple has to deal with, among other things, is something you only learn about when living in a home on wheels. I can feel the couples frustration 100%. I know how much a good nights rest is worth, so for them to have a really hard day, or number of days, and then not even being able to enjoy a good nights, dry rest, is very hard. But as he said in the video, it shows you how to deal with adversity and finding out what is truly important and necessary. You realize what your basic necessities are, and if they are being met or not. Staying clean, fed, dry and warm become tasks that need to be figured out daily.
The idea of living small starts as a romantic, as well as an economical idea, to get away from the daily grind. Live small, efficiently, cost effective, while traveling non-stop from one cool spot to another. Just as the couple said in the video, they would see all these amazing and wonderful #VanLife pictures and accounts on Instagram. And sure, there are plenty of those moments. But what you don't see are the pictures of spending the nights in parking lots, with worries of being asked or forced to move. You don't see the frustration and internal dialogue of "How much more can I deal with? Is this all worth it?" The day do day of living this way definitely requires more effort and patience than traditional apartment and house living, as well as requiring a thirst for finding out what is truly necessary for your happiness and contentedness.
I really enjoyed the part when the couple said that for the money, they are basically paying the same for living in the van as they did for their small apartment. With gasoline, propane, repairs, etc etc. However, with the amount of traveling they now get to do, its a no brainer which option wins. Living in the tiny home on wheels has allowed them to travel and explore on a scale they couldn't have imagined before. Living on the road has completely changed my life and gives me the chance to experience parts of America I would never have seen before. Especially not from the comfort of my home. I am truly home wherever I park the bus.
I find myself sitting on my couch at times and looking around my bus home. I imagine how it would be living in here with another person. it is hard to imagine living in a van with another person and an animal. I feel that even this 189sq ft would be too small for daily life with two people. For me anyway. Clearly it can be done, but that is a whole different level than what I would like to do. There is so much space in the bus, but you definitely trade in some things for the size though. There are always compromises. The bus definitely gets noticed. It takes up 4-5 parking spaces sideways, or 2 spaces longways. On the same token, no one really expects anyone to be living in a school bus, so people don't quite know what to think when they see the Big Blue Bus. I have more living space, but its harder to navigate in downtown areas, as well as being a lot more obvious in neighborhoods.
Long story short, I highly recommend the video. If you are thinking about living small, it is a great insight of the daily in's and out's of living in a vehicle. I can definitely relate to the struggles, as well as the moments of pure joy and satisfaction. Tiny Living comes with it's own challenges, but at the end of the day, it's a challenge that's worth every bit of effort.
I highly recommend research, research, and more research. Know what you are getting yourself into when downsizing into a home on wheels.
Keep on keeping on!