In recent years, many young people have traded in their dreams of living in large and lavish homes for more modest and simple lifestyles. Some downsize to tiny homes, many of which we’ve featured right here on TipHero. But others are even braver, like this young woman who gives a whole new meaning to minimalism—and she does it in style!
Meet “van dweller” Christine On, a super crafty Californian who decided to live a more budget-friendly lifestyle in order to be more available for an ailing family member. In an interview with Vice, Christine described the catalyst for her moving out of her spacious condo and into a 2004 Chevy Express passenger van.
In 2005, her dad was diagnosed with dementia, and she had to move in order to be closer to her family. The young woman was faced with an all-too-common issue: sell her condo and be in the red, or rent it out.
Christine ended up choosing the latter and moving into her passenger van. Over the next 32 months, this pragmatist had made her Chevy into a home. She completely gutted all of the interior, save the driver and front passenger seats, and added some seriously enviable on-wheel amenities like a bed, running water, a pump system, and solar powered EVERYTHING!
In the interview, On expressed why living in this van works so well for her. She says, “I think part of the reason why living in a van was so appealing was that it didn’t matter if I lost my job, if the stock market crashed, or if the housing market crashed—I’d always have a place to live. Even better, I could live anywhere.”
Wow, sounds good to me! It must be so freeing to be able to cut down on all of those pesky overhead costs.
We are particularly impressed by what she has done with the roof of the van. This woman definitely has a knack for finding inventive ways to create more space!
In the description of her time-lapsed video of the build, the handywoman explains that, prior to working on her van, she had absolutely zero construction, electrical, solar, or plumbing experience, but she obviously did her research and made it work!
Impressively, she even wrote her own guide about her experience entitled – The Van Dweller’s Dilemma: Choosing a Van – in which she helps other aspiring van dwellers make an informed choice about their van conversion.
To see Christine On’s astounding van-building progression, as well as an idea of what her van looks like today, be sure to watch the video below. This gives a whole new meaning to “tiny home”!
What do you think of Christine’s van conversion project? Have you completed something similar before? If so, what were some of your challenges? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!