The Downsizing


The Downsizing

Chapter II



There is honestly not much excitement about downsizing… to make a long story short, the downsizing is the process of getting rid of stuff. This means spend days on craigslist and having to deal with people that want everything free and delivered to their door. Downsizing is also about selling our house, which means have to clean to whole house each time we have a visit. We MUCH rather spend time on the van conversion…

That being said, let’s have a look at our downsizing timeline:




We mentioned that we’re not attracted by things & luxury, so we should have just a few things right? Let’s make a list:

Note: Strike through items have to get out of our life!


Mountain Biking Stuff

  • Urban Bikes (2)
  • Enduro Bikes (2)
  • Downhill Bike (1)
  • Fatbikes (2)
  • Enduro Gear & Spare Parts
  • Downhill Gear & Spare Parts
  • Tools & Misc
  • Bike Repair Stand

Kayaking Stuff

  • Playboats (2)
  • Creek Boat (1)
  • Paddles, Skirts, Helmets, Dry-Suits, Dry-Bags, Life Jackets, Car Rack, etc, etc
  • Clothing


Snowboarding Stuff

  • Splitboards (2)
  • Snowboards (2)
  • Avalanche Gear
  • Clothing

Beer Making Stuff

  • Mash-Tun
  • Hot Liquor Tank
  • SS Kettle
  • Fermenters
  • Grain Mill
  • Thermometers, Refractometer, PH meter, etc, etc, etc, etc 
  • Kegerator (5 drafts system)



  • VW Jetta TDI (210 000 km): Dieselgate buyback!
  • Toyota Corolla (320 000km)

Camping Stuff

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Mats
  • Cooking Gear


Housing Stuff

  • Sofas (2)
  • TV
  • Table & Chairs
  • Kitchen Appliances, dishes, Espresso Machine, etc
  • Plants
  • Books
  • Computers & Printers
  • Basement Furniture
  • Bedroom Furniture (2)
  • BBQ


  • Washroom Furniture
  • Office Furniture
  • Board Games
  • iRobot Roomba
  • Sound System
  • Souvenirs
  • Guitars & Amps
  • Gardening Stuff
  • Patio Furniture


… and at last, our two cats 🙁


It’s difficult to put in words the amount of stuff the we have! That list doesn’t really do justice.


Getting Emotional

Things are just… things. But kayaking equipment, beer making equipment, DH bike, etc. define who we are. Who we were. There are souvenirs, friends, epic moments, bad & good experiences attached to these things. We got really emotional watching these things go, but it’s for the best!


Downsizing Journal (One Month to VanLife!)

July 17th 2017

Here I am, first #unemployed_monday! That euphoria feeling is still not kicking-in; not having to work for the next year or so should get me all excited, but instead I’m focusing on the fact that we need the van & the house finished for April 15th. Will we make it?

Last Day at Work
Leaving work for the very last time!


It’s easy to waste time when you have too much of it! To stay focus and productive, I made a Google Calendar of the major things to do over the next month:


Every day starts by: having a coffee, then writing down the To-Do list of the day. There’s nothing like striking an item in a To-Do list! Enough blabla, let’s get to work!!


To Do List, July 17th 2017


To Do List, July 18th 2017


To Do List, July 19th 2017

  • Pick-up WPT-1408 electrical harness at Ford dealer (missing part to finish Air Lift installation)
  • Return Attwood in-line fan


To Do List, July 24th 2017

  • Address Change (Hydro, Cell phones, Work, SQCA, Credit Cards, Banks, Arvixe,  )
  • Shop for Health Insurance (SecuriGlobe)
  • Post stuff on craigslist (BBQ, Patio Set, Living Room DIY shelf, Manfrotto Tripod,  Nikon 18-85mm lens, Telescoping Ladder, 25′ hose, RV table, Bike Repair Stand, Wood Furniture Kitchen, Thermostats)
  • Make 3D Layout of the slide-out storage & Snowboard Rack & Under-bed Storage


To Do List, July 25th 2017

  • Snowboard’s Rack Build (to be continued)
  • Prepare the van for Mosquito Screen installation scheduled on July 26th
  • Buy cedar wood & 120V Outlet
  • Ride our bikes!!


To Do List, July 26th 2017

  • Mosquito Screens Installation
  • Sell stuff on craiglist!
  • Downsize the house!


To Do List, July 27th 2017

  • Start Building Cabinet’s Doors under oven
  • Start Building Snowboards storage
  • Re-Do Webasto Splice under van


To Do List, July 28th 2017

  • Continue Exterior Shower Curtains Installation
  • Continue Snowboards storage
  • Re-Install Spray Nozzle


To Do List, July 29th 2017

  • Re-Locate bikes in slide-out rack
  • Buy Russian Birch Plywood (3/8″ qty =2, )
  • Start Building Under-Bed Shelf


To Do List, July 30th 2017

  • Continue Under-Bed Shelf
  • Start Building Slide-Out Storage


oupsy, we skipped a few days of planning… oh well.


To Do List, August 3rd 2017

  • Continue cargo area setup
  • Pack the van to check if things fit!


To Do List, August 4th 2017

  • Fine-tune cargo area setup…
  • Continue packing the van…
  • Continue Bed Frame/Countertop interface


To Do List, August 5th 2017

  • Finish Bed Frame/Countertop interface
  • Intall 120V outlet
  • Install Cargo LED strip + Switch accessible from kitchen
  • Indoor Shower (test)
  • Install doors for sink/stove cabinet


To Do List, August 6th 2017

  • Finish & Install Overhead Shelf above bed
  • Install shelves in overhead storage and sink/stove cabinet


To Do List, August 8th 2017

  • Add shelf in cargo area
  • Take appointment to install KO2 as spare
  • Call for van evaluation (we haven’t heard from them)


To Do List, August 9th 2017

  • Install border (or so) everywhere to prevent stuff from falling off
  • Fine-tune cargo area storage


To Do List, August 10th 2017

  • Install border (or so) everywhere to prevent stuff from falling off
  • Install hook (or so) so oven’s door won’t open when driving
  • Fine-tune cargo area storage (bike wheels, etc)


To Do List, August 11th 2017

  • Cargo Lights
  • Add moooaaarrrr shelves!
  • Weight the van (no payload)


To Do List, August 12th 2017

  • Cabin Curtains
  • Decide on Internet solution and act!!
  • Add  raised edges to shelves
  • Heat Shrink the last connections and make tidy!



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Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017 we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers and moved into our self built campervan. We’ve been on the road since then and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; we’re chasing our dreams and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!



9 thoughts on “The Downsizing”

    • We still hesitate between Verizon (best coverage but expensive) and between (unlimited, but using the Sprint network which is not very good in rural areas). What should we do??

      • We’ve been debating this issue for a while too.

        We have T-Mobile right now, and the service is cheap, reliable in cities, has unlimited data, no contracts, and works internationally (like 150+ countries), plus unlimited 4glte in mexico/canada/usa, which is helpful when traveling North America. The major downside is the rural coverage.

        As we’ll be working from the road, we’re looking to go with Verizon, expensive, but clearly the best (I’ve had it before). If Verizon doesn’t have coverage, it’s unlikely any of the other providers will have it. In the USA, Sprint is terrible. If you’re going with that side of the argument, choose T-Mobile instead. Verizon is likely the least stressful option however.

        We’re a bit too early for satellite internet (good stuff is coming soon!), but here’s the only possible viable option as of now:

        It’s ~$1,000 US for the setup and actually has great speeds and reasonable prices (50gbs of data for $120 a month). Downside is carrying/setting up the dish and locking into a 2-year contract. Could be good if you’re planning on remote areas.

        • Yeah, what’s the point of having unlimited data when you can’t even use it?! (Sprint network). And with Verizon, we would have data in Canada too, which cut the cost down… Thanks for your input; we’ll cross the border in a few weeks so we still got time to think this through!

          Edit: If going with Verizon, do you plan on having a Hotspot (i.e. Jetpack) or with a smartphone plan and tethering? I’ve heard you can’t really tether in the US, the carrier are watching this closely. Any thought?

          • Sorry haven’t had internet access for a while (funny considering this topic lol). Haven’t researched this too much, but the hotspot cap (10gb I think?) makes verizon a tough decision. I’m interested to see what you guys choose and how well the range extender works!

  1. Exciting news guys! Almost to the finish line of the conversion, but the starting line of adventure!

    Funny thing, I have a TDI that I am returning at the start of our adventure as well!

    Love reading your stuff, keep it up!

    • Yeah that TDI cheating thing suck, but honestly the timing couldn’t be better! I’m getting almost double of what the car is worth (it’s the 2010 and i’m at 215 000 km) AND I get to choose the exact date to sell it. Huh!

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