Essential things to start van living.

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  • Hi everyone, been lurking on the forums for a while now dreaming of the day I give up the bricks and morter.
    Well as my landlord has given me 2 weeks notice to move out as he is selling up I figure its time.
    I am on a very limited budget but can add things as I go. What would you say is the most important things to get done first?
    I already have a renault master swb so dont need to buy a van. The rest however is on a very tight budget.
    All help much appreciated.
    Scrumpy

  • What would you recommend 4dscumpunx? cheaper the better. Im not going for a full conversion yet as also need space for my work stuff. It will be a working progress as money becomes available.

  • Well luckily as it's coming up to summer if you could 'rough' it a little in the mean time and have ya essentials in there you could save up and build around you as you go. Only problem would be that wiring would essentially have to wait.
    any decent foam boards/general house insulation would work I recon as long as you ventilate properly to keep on top of condensation build up

  • Ok some you might have but if your on two weeks notice worth saying while you can organise.


    First(s) on my list would be

    - a camping stove, kettle (preferably whistling, hearing a whistle is really a spirit lifter) and somewhere to keep water - even if it is 2 litre bottles from supermarket
    - Crockery knives forks
    - Pans - if you don't have then go for some camping ones as they stack and take less space till you get sorted
    - Plastic basin for cleaning everything (yep it is your "kitchen sink"), not a bucket


    - Then warm bedding and an air bed


    - some sturdy cardboard boxes or large plastic storage boxes for keeping stuff in so it doesn't all rattle around on the van floor


    - Sort out locks for van doors - don't want anything knicked - consider an alarm if not fitted (but if money tight skip it)
    - If you have got some cash sort out any niggles with the van that stops it running
    - Cigarette phone charger ( and if needs be a cigarette socket if not already fitted)
    - Cigarette laptop charger
    - fill the tank now!
    - petrol/diesel can for emergencies


    - Then think of insulation - as we are coming up to summer you may just want to put wood lining on then sort out insulation behind it later


    - Map


    - Check if you can use your phone for data connection to laptop for emails and limits on contract


    - Fags, biscuits and beer.


    Ian

  • Don't forget the tin opener! Everyone forgets the tin opener! That aside, the priority has to be on getting a good nights sleep.
    So! Some sort of floor covering would be great and would add to your comfort and provide some insulation. Then, as already mentioned, an air bed. If it's cold though, cold air sinks and tends to run along the channels of the air bed, producing a
    refrigeration effect. A couple of sheets over the air bed would counter this. Then a good sleeping bag or just use the bedding
    you already have. Make sure you air the bedding regularly to remove the moisture caused by condensation. Always have a
    Torch close by.

  • Thanks everyone always good to get advice from those living the life.
    The van is plyboarded out already apart from the roof.
    I have a gas heater/cooker thing already as well as extra gas cans.
    Kettle is already in there as often have a cuppa between job.
    Will be getting the airbed then building a frame for it once I know the size and have duvet and sleeping bag sorted already.
    Damn forgot the can opener.
    I do need to rig up some sort of lighting but think for now Ill get some battery lights.


    I dont think Im far of on the essentials so may even have some spare money for making it a little more comfortable.
    Heres to living the dream :D.


    Thanks all any more suggestions are welcomed
    Scrumpy

  • And a bottle opener/corkscrew. I was given a bottle of wine a few weeks ago and didnt have a corkscrew but i did have a cordless drill and a big drill bit. Drilled through cork but then had to filter the wine through a clean sock to catch all the bits of cork.

  • one thing you will probably need is another address to use as your own, post,doctors,licence,bank etc most of these can be overcome by using a care of address, vehicle insurance is a different matter with all requiring a residential address some even ask to see utility bills or small print requires you to be on the electoral list, we are fulltimers but use my parents address as our own, even on the electoral list otherwise it would have to be proper fulltimers insurance with very high premiums as only one company supplies this (Comfort )

  • Hi everyone, been lurking on the forums for a while now dreaming of the day I give up the bricks and morter.
    Well as my landlord has given me 2 weeks notice to move out as he is selling up I figure its time.
    I am on a very limited budget but can add things as I go. What would you say is the most important things to get done first?
    I already have a renault master swb so dont need to buy a van. The rest however is on a very tight budget.
    All help much appreciated.
    Scrumpy


    a relaxed attitude so you can enjoy the whole thing and not freak out when you find you havent got something you only need to survive twelve hours till u can buy/botch a solution

  • I have an address I can use to both sort insurance from and redirect mail to. Was the first thing I looked at but good advice regardless.
    Plenty of buckets and sticks in the van as I use them for work and yes they are clean :whistle:.
    I am usually pretty relaxed about most stuff once I get my head focused on something. I am actually really looking forward to it and in a wierd way glad this has happened or I would probably have put things off another year.


    I do have 2 more questions though (well more but ..)
    How secure do you make your vehicles? DO you add extra locks on the inside or just rely on the van ones?


    What do you do when nightfalls to keep occupied?
    As I will be without power for tv's laptop ect for a while I shall be using my phone for email/internet/tv but wont always get 3g.


    Would just like to say thankyou all for your input and valuable information.
    Scrumpy

  • Hey there, Been in my van on and off for a while. Now full time. I have a chevy dayvan which is a bit thirsty for london but came with a bit of kit already. Its a learning curve for sure and i planned for ages. I had to accelerate my plans before i finished boosting the electrics for my toys which has been my biggest problem, but havent regretted a moment. Do it!!