Say Thanks!


Say Thanks!

We sincerely hope we could be of any help!



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69 thoughts on “Say Thanks!”

  1. I am impressed with the level of detail and the budget was definitely a helpful addition. I was looking all around for a mountain bikers perspective on the different van manufacturers out there. It has helped narrow down the search for my wife and I. Thanks.

  2. Thank you for creating the electrical diagram it made our life so much easier. I have ordered the parts using your links! Hopefully we do our electrical system right so wish us luck!:)

  3. I don’t even have a current use for Plusnuts…but eventually it will be the handiest thing ever. Thanks!
    Also, thanks for being willing to break down your monthly expenses in some detail. One of the most intimidating details of prospective “van life” is uncertainty regarding what it costs, and yours is a useful baseline.

  4. I just made a donation to you folks for several reasons. The big one is the plusnuts. I’m putting in a HappiJac lift bed in my Dodge Promaster conversion and I used rivnuts to attach the walls that the bed frame mounts to. While reading your site, I had visions of that bed breaking loose which would have been such an enormous pain to deal with. I would have had to tear out SO much of my install to get to those walls to fix it. I’m just surprised that I haven’t run across – or noticed – someone else mentioning plusnuts by now. I probably just overlooked it or didn’t realize the significance of them. That’s why I keep looking for new van sites and rereading older sites. There are gems of significant information squirreled away in so many places, and you may not realize their importance the first time you see them. Anyway, thanks for the HUGE effort you’ve put into making your website. Your electrical system design and explanations were first rate. I’m just starting to install my wiring and I needed to go over all the details involved. There is one issue that I was looking for someone to address and maybe you have a thought on it. I had learned that I should run wire at least 16 awg in size. What bothered me is that the short lead wires that stick out of my Precision Temp water heater and my HappiJac bed are 18 awg. I can connect 16 or 14 awg wire to those 18 awg leads but those short sections of 18 awg are always going to be a weaker section. I’m using a Blue Sea 8023 distribution panel, so I can use a 5 amp circuit breaker that should protect those devices, but HappiJac includes a 15 amp inline fuse that has a 12 awg lead! And neither butt connectors or Posi-Lock connectors have a 18 awg to 16 awg unit. Everything is 14-16 or 18-26, but no 16-18. And I’m not seeing anyone mentioning this. I had bought a selection of Posi-Tap devises, which I really like, but then ran into this issue. And they’re not cheap so I’d like to use them. The 16 awg won’t fit in the 18-26 awg red units, and I can pull the 18awg out of the 14-16 awg blue units. I’m finding it works ok if I expose more bare 18 awg wire and fold it over to fill the blue 14-16 awg units. Anyway, that’s where I’m at at the moment. I’ve ordered some parts through your links, and I appreciate your site. Great job.

    • Thanks for the donation, this is much appreciated 🙂

      Do you have bigger wire coming out of your appliance as well (these wire would carry the large current to heat or for the motor.)? Could it be that the 18AWG is just for the remote or for a sensor of some sort? If that’s the case (remote or sensor) it doesn’t require a bigger wire really. No worry about the fuse either, this wire should not see much current.

      To connect wires with different size, you could use something like this:

      Good luck!

  5. Thanks for everything guys! for the non-engineers & non-handy among us (me) who are interested in doing what you’ve done, your plans are an invaluable resource. If you’re ever in the Boulder CO area please hmu for a spot to park, located up in the mountains 10mins outside of town.

    Safe travels!

  6. Thank you for the so very informative review of the Nespresso Aeroccino. I just ordered one after a lot of days and reviews of going back and forth on what I wanted.

  7. Great blog. I’m getting ready to build out a Sprinter and you’re providing a lot of neat ideas. What’s the purpose of all the on/off batteries selector switches? I think I count 2 red ones and one black. Do you disconnect the batteries (with the switch) on a regular basis or just to work on the system? Thanks!

    • Hi Brian,
      The multiple switches are to be able to choose power from the house OR the van battery, but I don’t recommend that anymore. Please see our new wiring diagram ( there is only a main ON/OFF switch so the battery can be isolated from the rest of the system (for maintenance or winterizing; we normally don’t use the switch in our day-to-day).


  8. Bonjour à vous deux,

    Je viens, par hasard, de découvrir votre existence. Je vais prendre le temps de bien éplucher l’ensemble de votre site, mais a première vue, je n’ai jamais rien vu de si bien fait. J’ai visité plusieurs blogs américains sur le van life, mais pas comme celui-la. Pas comme un que moi je ferais c-a-d ordonné, systématique et bourré de détails.

    Sans lire votre site au complet, je vous ai fait un don, d’autres viendront surement. Du fait que vous avez fabriqué votre van au Québec et vous pourriez m’économiser beaucoup de temps, c’est le minimum que je peux faire.

    Je continu à vous suivre a partir de maintenant. Des questions suivront assurément, si vous les prenez bien entendu.

  9. deployed and dreaming of home.. thanks for your blog and all the data. something to look forward to perhaps when all this is over :9

  10. You’ve saved us time in our own build, and given us inspiration. We’re deep in the middle of our build (see blog at link) and loving it. Leaving a little in your tip jar to say thanks!

  11. Thanks for the wonderfully organized material! My husband and I are in the process of converting a Transit diesel and the info specific to Transits is very appreciated. Have fun on your travels! We’ve done 9 months in our current van (a smaller one that we’re selling in favor of building our own) in the last 3 years. I’ve got a site at with our travels, rock climbing, DIY projects, etc. I understand the effort that goes into a blog.

    • It’s a really nice site you got there; I like how all articles are well illustrated, throughout and educational. It looks super clean. Good work! Will you document the Transit build?

  12. Thank you for sharing cost information. You’ve done a great job with your website and communications. Maybe it is somewhere else (so please forgive me), but do you pay for health insurance, and, if so, how much? That is a significant cost in my planning budget (I continually plan for adventures on the road once I can retire), but I didn’t see it in your cost breakout.

    • Totally forgot that in our September budget, it will appears in October!
      We pay 168$ (CDN) per month for auto insurance (that includes our stuff in the van); we pay 253$ (CDN) per month for health insurance (note: our health insurance is complementary to our free healthcare in Canada. Once we loose our health care coverage in Canada, after a year, it will be a different story).

  13. INCREDIBLE website, thank you so much! I’m a 70 year old former van-lifer who bought and converted several vans (precursors to the Mercedes Sprinter) in my younger days (70’s and 80’s). Spent a year van camping from Europe to North Africa, shipped to Singapore from Port Said, then drove all through SE asia (Malaysia, Thailand, Sumatra, Java) ending our year in Bali in 1980. Then shipped the van back the the Pacific NW, and spent 6 months exploring Mexico and Central America. Many great adventures along the way with my wife and 2 kids in a 5′ x 10′ living space. I’m about to purchase a Ford Transit, same model as yours, so the information you’ve provided here will save me literally hundreds of hours of research and frustration. Again, thanks so much for your incredible contribution to the “nomad tribe.”

    • Your trip sounds INCREDIBLE! I’m secretly dreaming of doing such a trip… Have you checked those guys, they went across the world in their VW:
      I really enjoyed their books!

      Do you thinks a Ford Transit could make it around the world? It’s definitely not an overland vehicle, it can do some offroading but nothing serious.

      Thanks for the kind word Greg, we’re glad the website is helping 🙂

  14. Thanks for all of your efforts with internet postings. It’s interesting to see costs and ideas. I traveled to Alaska for 2 months in the 70’s with a buddy. Drove a chevy elcamino pickup. Total cost for 2 people including new tires $2,800.
    Enjoy your travels.
    You’ve done a wonderful job!
    Thanks again!

  15. Thank you for your sharing the struggle. Great documentation and thoughts.

    ? Why travel so far each day?, why not plant it for a week or 2 at any one spot?

    You know what they say in the skiing world: “when in doubt, straighten ’em out”!

    • Hey,
      First we wanted to reach the west coast, then we’ve been pushed around by weather (snow/rain). We’re about to drive south to Moab, then we plan on slowing down! But, yeah, we ride the trails then move to another location. We don’t like being “idle”. Winter will be a different story, I think we will spend more time at the same location (SLC!).


  16. Thanks for keeping it real. I’m so sick of #vanlife channels that are dominated by mostly-naked women and mostly-inebriated males strumming guitars (or pretending to). I’m so sick of people claiming to represent #vanlife when all they are really doing is selling sex appeal in an attractive setting that is ripe for exploitation as a backdrop. Those of us who actually try to work, live, and have quality experiences on the road continue to be underrepresented, so every voice like yours really counts.

    • Yeah I feel my Instagram feed is like a soft-porn channel sometimes! There are a few really good feed though, just gotta find them! Here are a few vanlifers that are actually doing stuff other than pose in their van:
      Roaditup, aves_sin_rumbo, lauren.gregg, themoreweexplore, and so on…


      • Hah, I just happened to stumble upon this and it made me laugh. Thanks for the ‘shout out’. Here’s to keeping it real 😉 Becca

  17. Thanks for putting up your monthly spending. Have you tried dumpster diving for food yet? I have all I can eat and get 95% of my food from Trader Joes and Whole Foods dumpsters. The stuff they throw out is usually perfectly fine, and it’s enclosed in trash bags, so nothing has dumpster funk on it. (Even the dumpsters are generally clean, and don’t have much “funk”.) Check out Rob Greenfield on this.

    • Your comment was followed by a long discussion with Isabelle!
      She HATES throwing out food; she’s very creative to cook meal using food that we would otherwise dump. We never throw food (thanks to her). So I guess, dumpster diving make a lot of sense.
      I would be curious to go with someone who has experience, just to watch how it goes and see how the food looks…

      Anyway, thanks for your comment. It made us think!

  18. I just purchased a Transit high top, 145 WB and love it. I am in the process of making decisions about how to go
    about doing the conversion. Your web site is very helpful to me in making those decisions. Thanks so much!!!!

  19. you article for the transit was useless, you did not state the codes numbers for the options you had listed

    Your build is inspirational…We are about to purchase our new one but are struggling with which engine to choose for the platform. We see you have the 3.7 and we were wondering your thoughts on the power, we will travel in a somewhat mountainous area, the Sierras in California and Nevada. We like the idea of the EcoBoost engine but dont know if we need it. Any help is appreciated

    • It all depends on expectations I guess… the Transit (or any cargo van anyway) definitely doesn’t have a sport feeling, so we think the 3.7 matches that. It will bring you up the hills, but stick to the slow-lane. We chose the 3.7 for the price & mechanical simplicity.
      Everyone that drive an Ecoboost seems to rave about it. I’m sure it makes the drive more exciting and make it easier to pass others. I would say that if your budget allows it, go for it! It might helps for the re-sale value too.

      Let me know what you decide! Good luck!

    • Sweeeet! 🙂
      Good call on the Plusnut tool; after installing 80+ Plusnuts, we wish we bought the tool!!

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your build!

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