VanLife with a Family of Four

Van Life with a

Family of Four

As we gear up for our fifth (!) summer in the van I am often asked about our routines, recipes, and favorite gear.

Power and Powered Items

While we loved our Suaoki Portable Power Station, it allowed us to move from grid-to-grid versus boon-docking for days. The Goal Zero Yeti 3000 is designed to be a fully off-grid system when paired with our solar panel. So we’ve taken the plunge to test it out this summer.

First Summer in Althea

Our first version of a fridge was a Coleman Power Cooler we found on the side of the road that only need a new power cord soldered in. Bam, done, and that lasted us for years (and still gets loaned out to neighbors). After a crafty year-of-trades we were able to upgrade to the fridge of my dreams, a Dometic 12V Electric Powered Digital Cooler. I can’t recommend it enough because you can digitally set it to whatever temperature you want.

Sleeping, Lighting, and Cooking

Sleep requires being in tight quarters but we found cargo netting around each girl’s train-car bunks helps us all sleep better. Everyone gets their own Rechargeable LED Lantern for book reading and the ability for each person to control their own space’s lighting at night.

Cooking on the campfire is always preferable but when the weather doesn’t permit we get out our Portable Induction Cooktop which is perfect in small spaces and cools to be able to store incredibly quickly. Check to see if your pots and pans work for induction by seeing if a magnet will stick to the bottom of the pan. If it does then it’ll work! I particularly like the The Campout Cookbook for recipes and food prep inspiration.

Cooking bacon and drinking coffee on a cold camp morning