Even if you are extremely prepared for living the vanlife, there are still things that don’t work out like you thought. Our van is constantly evolving with new creations to make the little everyday things a bit easier. Here is our list of some ideas that we’ve come up with that you might not have thought of!
Woven Hanging Bags + Hanging Hooks
One of the first modifications we made to our van was putting Command Hooks on the ceiling allowing us to hang things from the top of the van. The kind of hook you need in the medium sized one with the metal hook. The metal hooks can bend 180 degrees so when you hang them from the ceiling they naturally hang down. The box says they can hold up to 2lbs although we have no problem putting up to 5lbs onto one hook and they are one of the only things that hasn’t had to be fixed on our trip (so far!).
To go along with these hooks we also got some woven hanging nets which we hang from the hooks and put things in. We currently have 3 of these bags and wish that we would have gotten more! We have one holding fruit, one holding non-refrigerated veggies, and one holding all our coffee items. These are hands down one of our favorite things in the van because they are so convenient to grab whatever you need and they are seriously strong!
Water Jug w/ Pump
When making our DIY van we were on a budget and we also knew we’d be on a budget while on the trip so we don’t have water tanks like most converted vans or RVs. With this comes new challenges and problems that we have to adapt to. One of the first things we added to the van after starting on our trip is a 5 gallon water jug with a battery powered pump that fits onto the top to always have access to drinking water. We each have large water bottles that we fill up in the back before we hit the road. One 5 gallon tank usually lasts us about 3 – 5 days depending on how hot it is, how much activity we do, and if we need water for anything else like washing dishes. When possible we fill up our jug at campsites that offer potable water fill ups. If nowhere near you has access to potable water then you can take the jug to any Walmart and fill it up there for 39 cents per gallon which for a 5 gallon jug is only $1.95. If you are building a van on a budget and are opting out of fresh and grey water tanks then we HIGHLY recommend doing this route. We found it difficult in the beginning to find places to fill our water jugs and were relying on gas stations allowing us to fill our bottles with water (some do and some don’t). The electric pump we use lasts for about 5-6 jugs and charges easily with a micro USB.
Click here to see the pump we use!
This one we are pretty proud of. We are traveling with a dog and we decided to bring our dog’s crate with us on our trip. To make the best of the little space we have we decided to make a crate topper table for the top of the crate. We used an old Ikea coffee table for the resources, fit it to the top, put edges on the bottom so the top wouldn’t move around, and then painted it to make a table/crate combo. This turned out way better than we first thought it would and we use the table as pretty much the only hard surface we have to cook and set things on.
If you are traveling with a dog then be sure to check out our post about dog related accessories that we love!