December 4, 2021

Vanlife 2021

2020 Sucked (For Everyone)

We got back to Centerville, IA just as the world was entering lockdown in March of 2020. We were pretty strick with out protocols, so we didn’t even much leave the house until vaccines became widely available. Needless to say, there wasn’t any van adventuring happening, but Nic got really good at making sourdough bread and I wrote an outliner application.

I’ve got no regrets about how we spent 2020 and most of 2021. It was hard, but my parents are getting up there in age and Nicole is an ex-smoker. Covid could have taken anyone of us or left us with a permanent disability. Thus far it hasn’t and I will do what I can to keep it that way.

Covid and Vanlife

We spend a lot of time isolated and outside while living out of the van. I think most people focus on that and don’t realize how much time we spend in public places while traveling. The most common public place we go to is the gym. That is our main place to shower.

We decided that since we were vaccinated and boostered that it would be safe enough for us to get back to using the gym again. But just in case we got some variant that is vaccine resistant, I installed a shower on the van so that we could avoid the gym if we needed to.

It holds 7 gallons of water and is black so that the sun can heat it. You pressurize it using compressed air.

We used it for the first time yesterday. I used my onboard air compressor to give it pressure. Thankfully the shower has a pressure release valve. I over compressed it (after only a minute) and it shot water two feet above the top of the van as I frantically tried to shut it down. Afterwards Nicole successfully used it to wash her hair. The campground we are currently at in Kearney, AZ doesn’t have any showers and we are a long way from a gym, so the new shower immediately proved itself.

Vintage Campers

Backtracking a bit, we stopped at a really nice campsite that had restored, vintage campers and some cars in Albuquerque, NM on our way to Arizona. After getting settled there, we immediately grabbed a couple beers and toured it.

Radford Racing School

Our next stop is in Chandler, AZ and the Redford Racing School. They have a 3 day performance driving course that Nicole and I are going to take. We are really looking forward to the adventure. I’m very much a car guy and Nic just likes to drive fast. We’ll be driving Challenger Redeye’s that have almost 800 HP. Those cars have two different keys. You have to have a special one to unlock the full engine potential. I doubt we get that key right away, but hopefully by the end of the course we’ll get to open those Mopar’s up.

Feels Good

We’ve been out for about a week now and are finally getting back in the groove and it feels good. Everything is a lot more work, but the routine becomes the norm, and soon we notice it less and less. Eventually, it will seem like this is how we’ve always lived and we will have to work to remember what it is like to live in a normal home.