Tuesday, July 8, 2008

summer vandwelling tips

summertime and the dwellings easy...especially if you live in the southwest or a very dry climate. i have my spot all set up for maximum coolness--reflectix on all the south and east facing windows (i'm rarely there in the evening, so i don't worry about the western sun), evaporative cooler parked outside the side door (35 bucks on craigslist) blowing in, windows upstairs and in back open to allow air flow, little fan pointing up at my bed. i have it easy because i have electric and water hookups, but if you had access to water, this setup would still run easily on a deep cycle battery. the cooler eats the same juice as a 60watt lightbulb, and drinks alot of water, i'd say about 5-7 gallons on a very hot day if it's running all day. i stay cooler in the van than i did in a house last summer. and kitty does too. i can't tell you how much easier this all is than i imagined it to be. i spent plenty of time worrying that i would roast and freyja would die and it would be miserable, but not a single day of unbearability has come to pass. my advice to you worriers--just take the plunge and try it out without having to figure everything out in detail before hand. solutions present themselves as needed, and you will find a way to be comfortable.
another beautiful comfort of home- my solar shower. it works on 90 percent of days in the summer in colorado. that's only 3 days a month that i can't get a hot shower due to lack of sunshine. that's amazing! and it's free heat from the sun!
if i can find a place with similar conditions for the winter, i'll be set. i'm seriously considering heading to the slab city for a few months during the brunt of winter. the last free place in america. with that kind of reputation, i absolutely have to check it out. bunch of misfits and weirdos and families and retirees. could be fun, could be a headache.
i don't think i'll be moving in with teri. her landlord is being a pain and there are more problems that surfaced. her house could literally catch on fire any minute due to rigged wiring and shorts in the electrical system. no thanks! i'll stay safe in my little van world. i'm happy with my situation for now, and my debt is disappearing fast. i'm going to gather some figures and see just how much is left and start a countdown. yay!


john69rotten said...

you can heat water in a pot & use a pyrex glass measuring cup to put in your solar shower fill opening. I fill mine with about 1.5 gals coldwater, then heat water & put in about 3-4 pints of boiling water, this brings water temp between 96-104 degrees, which is perfect. I have a temp gage on my solar shower bag. works very well. hot shower with only a few mins of prep time. hope this is useful info to you.

stranger in a strange van said...

i used this method in early spring a few times. works well, just more of a chore.

Jack said...

Woa...slab city...sounds like a plan.



Hobo Stripper said...

Ha, I was gonna suggest the hot water thing too. I'm glad you're staying in the van, and your debt story is inspiring me. I should suck it up and work it off like you are. :(