This is a portion of an article originally posted on transworld.net
What good is a great house, waterfront property or high priced cars, if you have to work yourself to the bone in order to enjoy them? Today we are featuring Will Dennis, who is committed to living in his 8X5 refitted, 1999 Chevy Astrovan, rent free until 2022.
Willl works for SnoPlanks building custom wood and bamboo boards in what has been referred to as a utopian town – Bend, OR. If you aren’t familiar with SnoPlanks, it is a company that makes snowboards, splitboards and skis, so adventure is likely in Will’s blood.
This also started as a challenge that Will put on himself to see if he could build out the van and make it habitable within a year. It wasn’t until he was ready to move out of his house and into the van that he began to think about why was he doing this? Although, many van lifers try to make the experience a spiritual awakening, for Will it was little more practical: save money, live life.
He started with a stock van and used the Universities of Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube to get inspiration and instruction to build. He also used Traveling Troy’s website for instruction until he got to electricity, propane and cabinet lay out. He got creative when buying the supplies he would need, using the cheapest vinyl flooring from home depot and friends who own businesses for granite counters and scrap bamboo from work. Obviously, Will is good with wood work, so he was able to do all of the work himself. Amazon became his best friend as he sourced a lot of the non-construction materials from there such as propane tanks, hoses, and a water pump.
He has a full bed in there, mounted up on a wood bed frame, which gives him ample storage. So instead of having closets, he uses that under bed space to store clothes and other essentials.
He says he was a little reserved about living the lifestyle and telling people he lives in a van, but now he is excited about it. He saves as much money as he can for the future and for hitting the slopes on his board or sled. This one was so successful, he is considering building out another to put up for sale.