New Adventures! Our Van: The Before Pictures

Van Before with Airstream I’m pretty sure my (super long) tombstone inscription will say something like this: “Melanie: seasoned traveler, never able to sit down or stay in one spot too long. In the event of zombies, beware, she will rise!” George and I have the itch again. The itch to do something new. We won’t be giving up the Airstream, we love it dearly, but we’re looking on to bigger (or smaller?!) adventures in a van!

I know what you’re saying, but the Airstream is such a nice home on wheels! Yes, it is, but it would be very cumbersome for long journeys, much more expensive and probably more problematic than a van.

George bought the van for $850. I am on a Spending Diet so I didn’t contribute to the initial price of the van, but I will be using mostly my budget to fix it up. I don’t know how long we’ll be able to travel, ideally we’d be able to travel for a year or more, but that’s still up in the air. What we do know is this time we’re giving ourselves plenty of time to fix up her up. And boy are we going to need that time!

Just like the Airstream, the van has blue carpet, rust and some body work issues. Unlike the Airstream, we also have a chipped windshield, a super weird decal and a host of other issues. Let’s take a look, shall we?!

Van dents Before Van before front view Van before side view Van Before with Airstream Van Before Van Before Interior Seat in Van - Before Van inside before with doors open Yikes, right? It’s kind of terrifying how much work needs to be done, but I’m excited to fully remodel it to a home on wheels.

So what do you think? Are you excited to take this journey with us? Let me know in the comments!



37 thoughts on “New Adventures! Our Van: The Before Pictures

  1. Jessi

    You’re bonkers. And I can’t wait to read about all your adventures…. :).

    So, a good kinda bonkers.

  2. Mother Hen

    I am really excited for you..Before long you will hit the Blue Highways like William Heat! I think it is fantastic. Have you thought about what you want inside?

    1. melanie Post author

      I want everything inside! J/K, I know I need to be realistic, but I want a space for cooking, a bed and a potty (eek!), so it’s going to be a tall order!

  3. mslewis

    GURL, YOU CRAZY!!!!! But I’m excited to spend the next few weeks, months with you to see how this turns out.

  4. Gordon

    If the drive train is in good condition, you should not have any problems those GM vans are tough I have made many trips across the country in one very similar.

  5. Aya

    Excited for you! I like your super weird decal, maybe you can consider leaving it? Happy trails to you and George, I can’t wait to see where you will go next!

  6. Emily

    My husband is a total van nut (he’s an Econoline guy) and I’m very excited to see what you do with yours. I say skip the bathroom. Just focus on a place to sleep, storage and a way to cook. It’s easy to pee in the woods or at Starbucks.

  7. emilyreacts

    This is so exciting! After spending a month in something slightly smaller than this touring New Zealand, I want to buy a van and do one up for myself! Excited to see your progress 🙂

  8. Amanda @ Heart Tree Home

    Very cool. Can’t wait to see! Any idea what your plans are for the year you will be travelling? You won’t be able to work I’m assuming?

  9. Ev-Fancy-Ally

    The van looks to be in pretty decent shape, actually. I say you gotta’ follow your dreams; don’t let others tell you otherwise. Things ALWAYS work out if you want them to. I should know, I’ve been following that philosophy for 67 years & it hasn’t failed me yet. 🙂

    I just started following your blog & already I’m impressed. I sold my sticks-&-bricks home last summer & now live full-time in my 17-ft. travel trailer with my 2 female cats. We love our new life & new-found freedom.

    So, go for it — with a vengeance!

  10. rwdwaine

    Can’t wait to see what you guys do. You are so creative! I love remodeling/fixing things up and I like getting ideas from others who do too.

      1. habitsofthought

        I was a wreck when the plan was first proposed. But it ended up being a great choice. I highly recommend putting the southwest as one of your destinations on your long trip!

      2. melanie Post author

        Will do! I’ve been there to that area of the country before– my grandma grew up on a reservation in New Mexico, but I’d love to spend more time there!

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  13. Gerardo De La Fuente

    That’s so cool! Wish you guys the best and God bless you on your journey with the new van! Keep being the inspiration we all need in our lives!

  14. kelandsuz

    We had a VW westfalia…..although something was always going wrong with the engine!….but the German engineering inside was wonderful. Couch made a comfy foam/latex bed, there was a cooktop and box fridge…we had a porta- potty too. There were multiple cubbies for storage….these ideas would work for your van….AND our Westfalia was $11,000! Best of luck, and looking forward to your renovation.

    1. melanie Post author

      That’s awesome! I’d love Westfalia, but they’re too rich for my blood– even at $11,000. We’re planning on building out most of those things: an emergency porta-potty, a bed and a cooktop. I’ll, of course, post pictures of our progress!

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