Our Imaginary Van Life


Living in a tricked out sprinter van has been a dream of mine ever since I fell in love with the rock climbing culture. While it may be drifting from my financial grasp, that dream has solidified since I became a broke college student. This week I asked theDIHEDRAL team to describe their dream van home, and where they would take it. I was definitely surprised by some of the answers!

My dream sprinter van is actually two sprinter vans. My current college roommate and I have talked about this for some time. We buy two sprinter vans, park them in our school parking garage, and leave one spot in between. We can throw a tarp up, spanning the gap between the vans, and call the middle space our living room.

Inside my van is the coziest possible living quarters. We’re talking wooden floors and accents, the comfiest of fold-out beds, plenty of family photos on the walls, and scented candles. The kitchen counter can fold down from the walls and is outfitted with a running water sink. An acoustic guitar straps ‘safely’ snug to the ceiling above the bed, and there is plenty of storage that I hopelessly try to keep organized.

Although leaving the parking garage would be pretty scary for fear of losing my perfect parking spot situation, the first place I would take my sprinter van is, without a doubt, Yosemite national park. I want to go camp there, beg the other climbers to let me hang out with them, and pretend I’m an outlaw climber like in days of old.



Not to say I’ve thought about getting a Van too much, but if I were pressed to say which van I would want, I guuuuueeeesssss I would go with a 2019 Mercedes Benz Sprinter Cargo Van 2500 High Roof 170” WB Extension in Steel Blue.  I’d want swivel driver and passenger seats so they could be used as part of the living area while parked, sink, cooktop, exterior shower, and lots of hideaway storage for gear and necessities.  I’d go with solar power for the batteries, a composting portable toilet, and lots of light! My biggest hang-up is what to do with the bed, would I go permanent bed/mattress and get the comfiest one I could buy, or would I go with a collapsible dining area that converted into a bed?  At the moment I’m going for function over comfort…gimmie the table!

So, where would I first swing the back doors open and drop the mossy net to enjoy the view? That is a tough one, but seeing the sunset, the stars pop, and the glow of the Northern Lights at Glacier National Park would be a fantastic place to begin!

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Call me a heretic, but to be frank I’ve never really dreamt about having a van. Don’t get me wrong—I love driving, and I hate hotels, but I can’t say I’ve yearned for the vanlife. I’m happy in a little sedan that definitely can’t handle the rain or snow but most certainly still gets the life quite literally driven out of it in any weather or road conditions (safely, of course). BUT, if I just had to live in my van, it would be something like this:

Sleek, modern floors and surfaces meet my solar-powered stovetop and oven right next to the porch-like door with a screen option. There’s artwork that I’ve worked on from each of the places I’ve lived littering the cabinets and non-existent wall space. Tucked away in the corner is my little hoard of soft themed items, and under a mound of blankets and stuffed animals, there appears to be some sort of a bed or mattress-like structure. Like an afterthought, the driver’s and passenger’s seats will be plain and look just as they were purchased, and the rearview mirror has no sort of knick-knack hanging from it because you know I can’t something constantly swinging in my periphery. 

My first destination would have to be Home Depot because, inevitably, I will have forgotten some critical support or fastener. Straight from the store, however, I’d be headed to Devil’s Tower to get the send for which I’ve been waiting years. 



Hi there! Tipsy Gaia here! After a stressful day, my neighbors invited me to a girl’s dinner and we drank wine! (I only drank one glass, but that was enough to give me a headache and sabotage my sleep, is this normal?)

I am sitting here, thinking of how much I would love to have a Van I could drive to a beautiful beach. I would be able to relax listening to the sound of the waves and perhaps throw up in the serenity of paradise? This van would have a high roof and open spaces. I once saw a beautiful design on Instagram and I have been dreaming of it ever since! What a dream would it be to drive to different destinations and meet like-minded people along the way (hopefully!)? I would love to have the freedom to explore and introduce my son to a dynamic world where adventure and family pave the way (Wild Thornberrys, anyone?)

I am not sure of the details, as I have a headache that screams wine. However, I am sure that however, this Van will look like, my family will be the most important part of the picture. 

One day, this dream will come true. When this day arrives, we will take you on our adventures. I want to share part of the experience with you. But first! Let’s save some money and make this happen!


17 Replies to “Our Imaginary Van Life”

  1. Gaia — that reaction to a glass of wine is normal for me 😉 I had a VW camper van, 1972, with a pop-top. It was great. I would LOVE to have another one. The way I used it was to pull out the kitchen stuff and put it outside which left a LOT of room inside. The fridge was an ice box, not a fridge. There was no toilet. The van was very basic, but I was able to go a lot of places in that thing because of its very high clearance and because it was largely self-contained. I spent a lot of nights in primitive camps in the desert of California and on the back side of Mt. Palomar. Inside, I painted desert scenes and carpeted the floor and some of the walls for warmth and quiet. Sadly, the oil cooled engines on those magical vehicles are known to crack and one day, on the way to Big Bear to ski, the van started smoking. When I pulled off, opened the engine hood, and looked, I could see a crack and oil oozing out of it. Very sad day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. To solve Carrot’s bed dilemma, you could forgo the bed entirely and have a couple of hooks sunk into the frame to hang your hammock. Martha, another problem with that era VW was the 3rd cylinder exhaust valve wasn’t well cooled and tended to burn up and break off. I was in the back, lying atop the engine, when I heard that happen and yelled, “Shut it down!” We still had a mighty expensive tow and repair that shortened our Canadian trip to a Colorado/New Mexico trip. (The trip still changed my life, though.)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Good call on the hammock!!!! Problem solved! And you need to link us the details to the trip your talking about! That sounds like a great read!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, does that bring back “memories” though somewhat faulty. I loved my cozy Chevy or was it a Ford long van? It was blue with a scene of the ocean or was it mountains custom painted on the sides. Everything inside was custom, it was equipped with everything, a fridge, stove, porta-potty and the bed was comfy too. It was a very long time ago, like in the 70’s but it was so worth having. Great for over-nighters and/or a weekend. BUT, I was young then and able to withstand anything. Truth is when I started climbing, we did the backpack and tent thing. Now days, it better be a camper equipped with everything, if we camp at all. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My imaginary van life—if anyone cares, is to embrace modernity while thumbing my nose at internal combustion. And with room to stretch out. So, I’m thinking something more like this. Decked-out, of course. Maybe a lap pool. Small gym. Self-contained kitchen. Recliners and big-screen TV. Wall-to-wall purple shag. But nothing too fancy. No reason to be ostentatious. https://www.tesla.com/semi

    Liked by 3 people

  5. All those van dreams sound amazing. My partner and I landed in New Zealand last week and bought a well travelled ex backpackers van for not much. It is a lot shorter, lower and smaller than the ones you are all talking about. But so far it’s working for us. The engine might blow up on our travels but it will be worth it. And this will give us the knowledge of what we want if we ever buy or make a long term van.

    A suggestion for a full bed and to still have a table below. I saw a high roof van that had a pulley system to lift the bed up over the table to store it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I yearn for motorhome life – I don’t think I could do a van due to my anxiety of small spaces like that. Not small for driving – small for living. But I want that way of life, badly. I’m working my butt off to obtain it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A fun post! In a few weeks I will get to my recent adventures camping with a tiny teardrop trailer – an alternative to van camping with some advantages (no food smells in the sleeping area) and some disadvantages (which I will detail) Thanks for following my blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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