In May 2021 we purchased a renovated sprinter van from a young professional who had traveled the United States in it for a full YEAR. By July (roughly two months later) we were on the road, beginning our own sprinter van adventure. How long we were going to be on the road, we weren’t yet certain (safe to say not a full year like our van’s predecessor) but we did know we’d likely have to collect ourselves following the summer travel months and pick up additional layers of clothes from home.
We ended up traveling around the United States, from Sacramento, CA all the way to St. Augustine, FL, in three months time, before deciding to take a break from Van Life and enjoy the comforts one’s afforded with a stationary house at my better half’s family home in Illinois.
I kept a journal and daily blog throughout our travels so if you’re at all curious to learn more about the daily trials and tribulations of living in a van in the middle of summer with your boyfriend and small dog, I definitely recommend checking those posts out. They can be found in the ‘Fun’ or ‘Let’s Talk’ sections of the blog.
Looking back on the trip now, almost a full year later, both of us agree that it was without a doubt one of the most incredible things we’ve ever done. And probably ever will do. That little home on wheels helped us create some of the most unforgettable memories during the summer of 2021 and now we’re grateful to be able to share that with others!
We knew we wanted to experience the van for ourselves for an extended period of time before we decided to make any renovations to it. That way we could truly see firsthand things that worked, didn’t work, and everything in between. While we have bigger renovation plans in the future, we knew we could make some small, seemingly simple updates to the van to take it from Plain Jane, white washed walls, bare bones vibes, to something that would be visually pleasing and hopefully entice fellow adventurers to eventually rent it out.
It’s funny what a little paint will do! Granted, while our changes may seem minimal from the outside looking in, they still took a significant amount of time to complete. A couple months at least. I know I made mention of this in my Instagram post about the van renovations but it truly felt like having two full time jobs. We would get off work, change our clothes and head out to the van most nights during the work week until the renovations were complete. It was worth every late night painting session but for those couple of months, it felt like we were never going to finish.
All in all, you may be asking yourself exactly what these two amateur renovators did to their home on wheels?! Wellll, I thought you’d never ask. Let me tell you! We sanded, prepped and painted the entire interior. We mounted backsplash in the kitchen area. Installed shelving paper through the kitchen and wardrobe drawers. Changed out the handles on all the drawers and cabinets. Installed cork board to keep track of memories, pictures and more. Hung new towel hooks. And lastly, we purchased linens, camping and travel gear, and more to equip our new rental with everything it needs to set our travelers up for success in their quest to make some van life memories.
Phase 1 of van renovations are officially complete and now our van is listed on Outdoorsy and available for fellow adventurers like yourself to take for a spin (quite literally)! We’ve always wanted to have rental properties at some point in our lives and the van has offered the perfect opportunity to dip our toes into that world. In the two months we’ve had it listed, we’ve had over five renters and we’ve learned so much from each and every one. We’re excited for this new project and hope we get the opportunity to support you in your next adventure!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! The official posting is listed HERE. Happy Trails!