My van adventure

It’s been a year and a half since my last blog post here and wow a lot sure has happened!

I was living in Wallingford in Seattle until early last year when I decided I would purchase a VW Vanagon Westfalia and subsequently move into it. I purchased the van in February and after lots of maintenance to get the van into a good state of affairs, I decided to move into it for sure. I officially moved out on the 30th of April after putting everything in a storage unit and have been living out of it since.

Me and my van

Van on the water

Me and Melvin

The decision came from a realization that I didn’t spend a lot of time at home and I didn’t have much reason to pay rent. Combine that with a growing desire to travel and it all just made sense. When I moved out, I was renting an office in Fremont which I continued to rent to give me stability during my transition. Initially I spent my time around the Seattle area, mostly in the Fremont and Ballard area moving daily and having a great time bumming around. On May 31st, after cleaning out my office, I headed south to start my journey by attending Open Source Bridge in Portland, OR. I spent the subsequent 2 months hanging out and driving as far south as Monterey before heading back to Seattle in late July. Come November I headed South once again and I’ve been on the road since. I spent most of the time in Berkeley, CA then made a last minute decision to volunteer and drive to Austin, TX for SXSW which just completed. I’m in Austin deciding what’s next, now.

It's finally up!

It’s been a great adventure and a lot of fun. I recently installed a 64 watt solar panel on the roof that charges my 55AH house battery so I able to be completely off grid as far as electricity goes to work normally if I want which makes my options much less uncertain in terms of power availability. I’ve been sticking with urban areas where I can spend time with good people and attend interesting events which has been great so far. My second summer in the van is nearing and I plan to head North to Boulder, CO soon. My dates are flexible and my in-person commitments non-existant which is a bizarre feeling that I’m still, even after almost a year, learning to embrace. I’ll probably spend at least a couple weeks here now after an amazing SXSW experience where I hope to hit up some coworking spots, get some good bike rides in and meet up with some more of the locals. It’s summer weather (for me, mid-80s) and I’m wearing sandals almost every day. Life is good.

One Response

  1. Bastian

    Hi Zach,

    Great post! Could you explain which solar panel and controller you use and maybe some details regarding wiring/installation? Are there any good resources you can recommend?




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