COULD YOU PLEASE TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU ARE FROM?
We are Herman, Sietske and our dog Ferry. We are from the Netherlands. Herman is a designer and Sietske a singer.
SOME DATA ABOUT YOUR VAN:
Model: Volkswagen LT 28D
Kilometers: Unknown. We drove about 18.563 Kilometers in our van.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE ON THIS VAN MODEL?
When we decided we wanted to go for our travel dream we needed a home on wheels! We found an old Volkswagen LT 28D from 1979 via an online second-hand platform and it was love at first sight. We really loved the space and the atmosphere in the van. And also the outside which is unique was totally our taste! We saw how we could make it to our own home. The van was and still is, in a good technical state and we decided to buy it for €2100.
HOW MUCH TIME AND MONEY TOOK YOUR CONVERSION? WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? WHICH ELECTRICAL SYSTEM DO YOU HAVE?
It really is a unique camper; it started its life in Amsterdam as a DIY building project. In its glory days, the caravan part could be sliced off and be put on its own standing legs. When we bought this van it was this part that needed lots of work, but that only excited us. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on it and to start in making it our own home. We spend countless hours working on changing and improving the van. I think the hardest part was to find the rotten wood and to make the whole van waterproof. Luckily there was already some solar panels present on the roof. We added an LPG cylinder to use for cooking, the fridge, and heating. We built in a connection from the outside of the van and we made sure we got the right European valves to be able to fill up in the different countries. Our campervan became a really cozy and lovely space. It’s difficult to say how much money we spent on it, we tried to do it on a budget but some things just cost a lot of money, it was probably around €2000.
WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING FROM YOUR VAN?
While traveling you find things you want to improve, when we go back to the Netherlands we would like to have a new fridge. The fridge we have at the moment is not really reliable. Also, we would love to have a stronger Battery. When we want to work on our laptops we have to go to a bar, and we would love to also work in the van but this is not possible simply because the battery is not strong enough for our laptops!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR VAN?
That’s a difficult question! We like a lot of things from our van ☺ The van became a really cozy and lovely space. Because of proper insulation, it is comfortable on both cold and warm days. Space is limited but it is big enough for us two as well as our dog. We really like being in the van. Also, our bed is awesome! We have this mattress topper which is the best! On rainy days it’s so nice to stay in bed a little bit longer 😉
DO YOU LIVE IN THE VAN OR ONLY TRAVEL IN IT?
We live in the van, which means we don’t have a home in The Netherlands at the moment.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TRAVELING BY VAN?
Traveling in our van means freedom for us. You can practically park anywhere you like (Especially in offseason) And you always have your home with you. We also have bikes on the back of our van. This is awesome when you want to see a city and don’t want to take the van with you.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE VAN?
We dream, but we don’t make any future plans at the moment. Living day by day is what we do.
THE BEST AND WORST PART ABOUT VAN DWELLING? DO YOU HAVE ANY STORY TO TELL?
The best part we think is the fact that you can take your home anywhere you like and always have a new morning view! It’s hard for us to think of the worst things. Maybe the fact that Herman is not able to stand straight in his own house! 😉
HOW DO YOU SHOWER AND GO TO THE TOILET?
We have a toilet in our van so that one is easy. We never know when we can take a shower but we actually always find places. Sometimes people invite us in their homes to shower or we use the beach showers and also most of the times ports have showers. Luckily we all know you don’t need a shower to keep yourself clean, but a real (warm!!) shower is awesome.
FINDING SOMEWHERE TO SLEEP CAN BE TRICKY SOMETIMES. HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO FIND SPOTS TO SPEND THE NIGHT FOR FREE?
In the first months, we had to look for places to sleep every night. We always stopped and asked ourselves if this place felt safe. I think your intuition tells you a lot. We stayed everywhere, parking lots, in the woods, in a busy street or in the mountains. Later on, we found out the app park4night which is awesome! It made finding places a lot easier. The app tells you where you can park for the night, if it’s free or not and which facilities the place has. We use this a lot, but we also sometimes just find places ourselves.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO AFFORD TO LIVE ON THE ROAD?
Before we went traveling we both worked a lot to save money. We saved an amount of money we knew was needed to stay for 10 months on the road. If we want to travel for longer we have to get back to work. Of course, you live on a budget. But that’s ok, we don’t really have space for new stuff anyway.
WHAT’S THE HARDEST THING ABOUT WORKING FROM THE VAN?
At the moment we both don’t work. The only thing we do sometimes is to write for articles or answer questions for sites like yours. The difficult part about it is that we always have to go to bars because of lack of electricity, but we don’t mind drinking a coffee somewhere, so I’m not sure if its hard at all.
WHICH ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO’S THINKING ABOUT LIVING IN A VAN?
Do it!!! Seriously, it’s so awesome to have at least one time the adventure of living in a van for a certain period of time. People often think it’s very difficult to make it happen. Of course, it takes time and money, but it really is about thinking of priorities. Also, don’t think in problems, but always think in possibilities.
WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BECOME DIGITAL NOMADS, ANY ADVICE FOR THEM?
I’m not sure if we have any advice because we don’t live that way for now. I think it’s a really nice combination and it’s really something that we would like to achieve for later (talking about future plans). Maybe our advice would be to really be prepared in what you need on the road like we would need a better battery.
HOW DO YOU SPEND THE TIME IN THE VAN?
Before we started this adventure we really thought we would have loads of time to do everything we wanted. Now we are traveling for a few months we realize that also on the road you have to make time for certain things like reading a book, drawing or making music. The basic stuff needs more time in the van, like finding places to fill up our water tank, buy food and wash our clothes. We also love to walk with our dog Ferry and see so many beautiful things.
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU MISS ABOUT YOUR LIFE BEFORE THE VAN?
Well, we do miss the fact that you can not take a shower every time you want to. But living on the road not close to your family and friends is we think the most difficult thing about it.
WHERE CAN WE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU?