Full-Time Teachers Choose Vanlife for Weekend Getaways and Build a Buisness
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Full-Time Teachers Choose Vanlife for Weekend Getaways and Build a Buisness

Hi everyone! I’m Lacy and I’m Brianne and
this is our self converted van, Flipper. We were kind of at a crossroads in our
lives. I had finished grad school and we both had full-time jobs and were like,
“Okay, well the next step is to get a bigger place and set ourselves up for a
kid”, and we were like, “Well, we can either start paying $1,000 extra a month
to have a bigger place or we can get an RV and or a van and start traveling.” We
decided to stick with like a small our small apartment and guest house it’s
like 400 square feet and instead get a van. We’re both teachers so we get
holidays and summer break and winter break and all that so we go and do it for a couple months at a time and then we do vacations. So this is Flipper
Flipper is a 2016 Ford Transit. It’s a 148 high roof. We have 200 watts
of solar on top with a fantastic fan. We have 420 amp hours of battery storage
which actually is about 210 usable and it also charges with the alternator on
the van. For the water we have a 15 gallon freshwater tank and a five gallon
gray water tank which we don’t use very often. It’s actually a six inch PVC pipe
that we makeshift it into a gray water tank. We no longer use gray water tanks.
We just kind of let it float out because we
don’t put anything down the sink really except for water. We decided to put our
dining area on top of a platform because we wanted storage underneath. We have
about 13 inches of storage space under here. So this is the water fill. It holds
about 15 gallons of fresh water and depending on how much we use it it’ll
last probably four or five days. We cook a lot
so that means dishes and if we really conserve then that is about four or five
days. We also installed this window so this was a regular cargo van and we were
like, “we need a window” so we actually got this window installed. A tip on this I
probably would not put another window on the driver’s side. I would put it on the
passenger side because the view is that way. Welcome to the inside of Flipper.
So we’ll start in the kitchen. This is our refrigerator, it’s a truck fridge. We
have a little mini freezer. It’s perfect for ice cream if you just eat a little
bit and then smush it, sticks on in there. And then we have our toiletry cabinet
that our friend made for us for California and love for San Diego. We
would normally put our fruit bowl up here. Here’s our upper cabinets. We
have all of our dishes and our cookware and then we have our spice rack right
here. We like the backsplash touch because it makes it a little bit more
homey. We have our cook top and our sink for running water and then just some
more storage down here. We don’t have the propane tank right now but that
normally goes right here and we can stuff some stuff in there for when we go
on a trip. The propane tank is five gallons and it lasted us for, when we
were in it, consistently for two months road trip it was still like half-full when we got back
so it lasts a long time. Moving on over we like this little setup here so we can
keep our coffee and popcorn for a movie night. If we need to look at ourselves we
have a nice mirror. Over here we have our window and our dining area that nicely
turns into a bed very easily. All of these benches are storage except
this point. This one has all of the electrical inside of it. That bench we
normally keep our outdoor gear. In that bench we normally keep all the bed sheets
and pillows and then this one is just extra storage. We have a drawer here so
we keep all of our clothes in there and then you can access a
little bit of the storage underneath here. This converts into our bed and I
can show you so we unlatch there and it’s actually
spring-loaded, come on around and I can just push it on down and then you latch
it back up otherwise it will pop up on you and then you take the board so that
you don’t fall through and then put that back there take this like that, match it up, and
we’re short so we can sleep this way and this actual, this window, gives us like
two more inches which is actually a little bit more perfect because
otherwise we would be more touching. Putting it back up is just as easy, if
not easier, than setting it into the bed unlatch it and then it’s just
spring-loaded so it pops on up there for us and we can entertain and we can sit
about six people really comfortably for the dining experience. Over here is our
bathroom or a seat and it’s one of the most important things I think in our
van. It’s very easy to use you just detach the top and you can take it like
a suitcase whenever you find a nice truck stop and you dump it in and bring
it back, clean it up, and it’s actually pretty simple.
We have outlets here that we can charge our phones or laptops. We have this
alarm in case any toxic gases are leaking. Brianne and I like to kind of
have an in night and lay down and you know watch a movie and make popcorn so
what we do is we set this down here and we put our laptop there and when the bed
is made we can watch a movie and have an in night and that’s really nice as well.
So we have these that we made and it’s just reflectix that we cut into the
shape of the window and then we’ve painted it black so it’s a little bit
more stealthy when cars drive by with their lights they don’t see the flashing
silver and know someone’s in there so we take the, I never remember which one goes on which, but we also put magnets on there so that it easily just pops right
on and that keeps it more insulated and then the black out curtains keep the light out
but we have one for every window for this window and for that window as well.
So this is our fan. We pop this open twist, twist, twist and we can allow air
to come in or if we’re cooking allow air to go out and a really cool feature that
I like is to get a cross-breeze you like you make it go out and have a window
that opens up over here and so it pulls the air through and kind of circulates
the air. This is where we put the light switch. It’s nice to have it close to the
center because if it’s too far away you’ll have to get up to turn it off or
get up turn it on so but this is nice because it’s right by the bed and we can
just flick it off or click it on or when we’re cooking same thing so it’s a very
convenient location. So this is the first van we built specifically to be a rental.
It’s got the same wattage and same everything as Flipper. It does have
lithium ion batteries so a little bit better there. Full twenty gallon water
tank. We call it the Adventure Model because you can fit your bikes and your
climbing gear or whatever you need in the back. It’s got the platform bed. So
you have this bench right here half of it is battery storage and the other half
is just regular storage. Got your refrigerator, your propane stove. We just got Lady. This is our new van and
we’re converting her. She was a passenger van that we’re now converting into our
next home on wheels and this is our new personal van and Flipper is gonna be a
rental. So this is our newest venture. We kind of just got lucky and fell into
this. Our whole mission is to make van life more accessible and this is a
perfect way to help people try it out because these rentals start from like 80
bucks a night. They’re small. They’re not stealthy because they’re bright orange
but there’s five of them. They go from like $80 a night to $140 a night. They’re
really just basic builds. They have storage, a bed that converts to a couch.
It’s got a refrigerator, Dometic fridge, and a propane or butane little stove
that you can use, but these are really just for like basic camping and then we
have our other vans which are more like luxury rentals. And then the fifth one is
a larger van but it’s the same type of build. The nice thing about these is if
you have friends they can sit in the back because there’s like four seats.
With these there’s only two or three. So this is our warehouse and this is where
we do our conversions for people. We don’t build and sell vans we do
conversions for other people so you bring us your van and we’ll help you
turn it into a home. We do a month turnaround and our conversions for a
standard one like the vans you’ve seen start at $16,000 so comparatively it’s
very affordable and as you can see we try to make it as homey as possible. Follow your dreams, start your adventure now. We’re both teachers so we’re in an
industry that institutionalizes people. It teaches them how to be part of
society and I think that that narrative of go to school your entire life, get a
job, work, start a family, it doesn’t work for everyone and I think that we need to
popularize other means of living and like really living. Not just working, not
just surviving, but like living, and I think van life has changed our lives and
that it shows us that money and work isn’t life. We have to change our
priorities because life is more important than how much money you’re making
and I think that’s van life. Like do what you love and yeah you don’t need a
ton of stuff to do what you love and you can have a great life pursuing your
dreams and also when you give yourself the space to not have so many things and
not have a full-time job you’ll end up finding passions and creative ways to
make money that you never knew were possible before.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “Full-Time Teachers Choose Vanlife for Weekend Getaways and Build a Buisness

  1. I buying a brand new sprinter, I need you talented women customizing services, could please contact me.

  2. I've been looking like crazy for a spring loaded table/bed like this! Does anyone know where I can find one? Thank you!!

  3. fantastic.I want to buy one. Been reading, studying, and watching all info about this lifestyle. Years ago became homeless….totally got into living that way, except a car is not ideal. So simple, minimal living, and met so many cool people, despite having to make my way out of it….until it happens again, except this time it will be planned, and the home will have wheels!

  4. Wow you guys rock!!! You have done a wonderful thing in providing a service that is becoming such a huge business!! SOOOOOO many people are changing to living tiny! Great builds! <3

  5. You talk about money isn't important but you charge people 15 to 16k for a finish campervan. The materials to make cost 2 to 3k max and to build it, cost another 2 to 3k max total of 6k. Because it probably take 2 weeks or a month to build it, you charge us 15 to 16k.
    I did the math, I estimated you made 12k profit per campervan. Are you helping people or are you helping yourself?. I think 6 to 7k is a fair price not 15k which is over price. A cost of new Toyota Corolla in the 90s. Not too bad if you compare it to a new rv. Red handed robbery. No one is killing us, we kill ourselves. Life was simple but we wanted technology and the cost is hair lost.

  6. You both are very inspiring. Thank you for giving me some extra motivation this week! I like that you raised the bed and dining area on a platform just enough to have storage underneath. Might be a perfect area for surfboards if high enough.

  7. That's a life that I want , life is to short take advantage.,be happy. And travel . How can I reach you if I want to convert my van.

  8. 16,000?! As a fellow teacher… I cannot afford that! Looking into van life… hope to find an affordable route. Suggestions?

  9. I'm a mental health worker for attempt suicide teens @ night. And, I have a passion to travel and help teens. I am also, a certified life coach and Domestic violence certified. I am ready. However, paying rent, and other obligations with a desire to start a non-profit is hard. This isn't a hobby but a passion and need help. Your services will be a heloful Please provide contact

  10. So… will the Tools for Titans book you recommend teach me how to make that leap from a concept to a business? It still floors me how people do that. I mean… you are educated to be teachers, then you make or get help making a custom camper van… then boom, you have a fleet of vans and a warehouse to build custom vans?! Huge gap in this story! But really amazing. Because I hate tent camping but want to camp a few times a year, but those Cruise America RVs cost $550 for 3 nights, so if your rentals make it more affordable–brava!

  11. Congratulations for the idea and job well done when I sell my house I'll get one for me I'll contact you for sure and please don't hear the negative comments is just the FOX and the GREEN grapes….people without talent LOL

  12. Ummmmm……. the points of the reflective surface is to reflect thesis rays away, painting it black totally defeats the purpose

  13. And who says teachers don't make enough money and that they should get paid more? Obviously these two make more than average to be able to afford all those vans and to start a business.

  14. I absolutely love what you both have chosen to do in your professional lives 😊 but the most beautiful thing I see ( besides the builds) is the love you two definitely show in your eyes for eachother. ❤
    To be happy in your career and in your personal life both is so rare but I feel when you are blessed with both ….. it's exactly why we were meant to here 😘
    Merry🎄Christmas to you and your families and I hope 2019 is your greatest year yet both in business and love. ( mostly love!) ❤

  15. Hopefully, these Progressives live in San Francisco where their dumped gray-water may wash away the feces on the streets.

  16. I'm planning on transitioning to vanlife… I love your videos. So glad you guys are affordable and your Van's look great! I would totally take that trip to get my van built with you ladies.

  17. that left side white area wall is a good area to project movies via a projector. they can put the projector where they put the laptop area.

  18. I appreciate the idea of using black on the reflective window coverings to make it less obvious it is a dwelling. How did you adhere the curtain rod in the back of the van? I have tried Command hooks which would work great but the heat build up weakens the glue strip.

  19. In the title you’ve spelled buisness the way it used to be spelt before the Mandela Effect changed it. You must have battled the spell checker to do this too. Ben

  20. The bathroom and the toilet set up the most important things don’t bother expressing all these are the details that make no point because we’ve seen them 1 million times before at the end of the day it’s your power your toilet your shower and finally the cooking arrangements

  21. What is relevant in this video is that there is no overhead cabin space above the beds which I think is the smartest way to do things put it in box says below the bed under seeding whatever the case because it becomes too claustrophobic having it all the way from front to back this overhead cabinetry

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