Major Caravanish Developments

So it looks like it’s all go.

I have a location to put a caravan.
I have a caravan.
I have been given generous donations from friends and family to put towards this endeavour.
I have a microwave, a small fridge and a small oven with two hotplates on top.
I have a drinking water hose coming shortly, and I’m trawling freebie classifieds to find a kitchen sink and other bits and pieces.

So this is the caravan:

Yeah. It’s going to need work.


The Supply Side

So, my caravan-to-be will be needing certain essential supplies before I can actually live in it. I have to think of my basic needs first and foremost, then lesser needs, then even lesser, and finally luxury.

Note: this assumes the caravan I purchase has a basic kitchen sink with faucet.

Basic Needs
This is stuff like food, bed, toilet, shower. Obviously, I have a bed, so that’s covered. Worst comes to worst, I can eat uncooked ramen noodles, have sponge baths and poop in a bucket, but obviously, none of that is ideal.

  • Food – Mum has a portable hot plate I can use, so I can at least cook the ramen. There are two fridges at my family’s onsite caravan, so I will probably be able to borrow the smaller of them for a bit. Obviously, that covers the biggest problems. I can deal with not having an oven for a while if I need to. Toasters are really cheap, and I have a Tefal Quick Cup which I got some years ago in my youthful wealth.
  • Shower: At the cheap end, I can get a budget camp shower. But, since I’ll already be needing a hot water heater for the kitchen sink, I’m half way there.
  • Toilet: You can get real cheap camping loos, and cassette toilets are the next step up, though they cost a few hundred. I could also go DIY and chuck a seat over a bucket.. but it all depends on the sewage system on the land I will occupy.
  • The small things: drinking water hose to pump water in, and long electrical cord for power are going to be essentials. I’ll also need a decent tool set, for the many fixes I may need to make.

Lesser Needs
Lesser needs are things I will still want before I move out of here, due to convenience or what have you.

  • Oven or convection oven – for obvious reasons.
  • Computer with internet – because I can’t do without it. I have a laptop and desktop PC, both of which I use profusely. My TV is connected to the PC, which has 2 further monitors attached. I aim to build in the computer to the caravan, using brackets.
  • Table and chairs – Whatever may be built into the caravan is something I would like to remove in favour of something that takes up less space. I have a gateleg folding table from Ikea, and I’ll have to pick up some inexpensive folding chairs to go along with it. I have a desk chair, also.
  • Washing machine – you can buy reeeeaaallly basic washing machines, with hand cranks. The next step up is a travel washing machine, which looks pretty flimsy, but hopefully it will be adequate.
  • Some kind of annexe – Something that will give me a little extra space so I can definitely fit in my basics, and some privacy because the annexe would be where I’d put my bathroom area.
  • Iron & ironing board – for those times when I want to look less poor than I am
  • A couple of lamps, so I can see what I’m doing in the annexe

Even Lesser Needs
These are things I can save up for and buy after I’ve moved in.

  • Compact Dishwasher – because I hate washing up.
  • Other cooking appliances, if I find myself wishing I had them.
  • Own fridge – because I’ll be borrowing one
  • TV antenna
  • Air conditioner, if the caravan is subject to the elements too much. Otherwise, it can be put in with the luxury items.
  • Dustbuster / small vacuum

Luxury Items
This’ll be stuff I only get if my financial situation is looking good.

  • Brand spanking new kitchen and other fittings, goodbye crummy old stuff
  • Fancier greywater systems
  • Solar power
  • Air purifier, to help my allergies
  • Water filter
  • Fancier shower recess
  • Kit out the van with full surround sound – I am a filmmaker, after all.

So basically, I will invest in the van slowly over time, while simultaneously paying off my debts bit by bit. Both are important – one for comfort, the other for general freedom from the chains of debt.

Hopefully if I can stick to this plan, I can have a fully kitted out caravan within 2 years. I can’t say how long I will need to live in the van, nor can I say whether or not I will pay off my debts by then, because I don’t know what my future job outlook is. With a bit of luck, things will work out and I may be looking at plots of land in five years.

All Caravans, All The Time

I got two leads today based on my Gumtree listing. I totally didn’t expect that at all. But it’s made me more excited than ever to get moving on my caravan project.

I have a lot of things to think about, and a fair bit of money to save up still – however, my fundraiser is up to $220 as of this writing, which is totally amazing.

Basically, my main issue is working out toileting and showering. But, there are many products out there I can choose from, so it’ll just be a matter of figuring out what’s best.

Even my parents are starting to get on board, and that is exciting for me, because when that happens, my biggest preliminary hurdles have been scaled.

Things are moving. Soon, I too may be moving.

Thoughts on Caravan Residency

I worry.

I worry about a lot of things a lot of the time; it’s one of the things about anxiety. But this is a deep, gut worry, that only comes when I’m uncertain about my future. I’d say it’s pretty close to fear, really. Fear of things changing.

Since my previous post, a lot of people have talked to me. I’ve talked to a lot of people. There was a lot of talking all around.

During those talks, tiny concerns were pushed into my brain, wiggling their way in like worms. Would I get someone to let me rent their land? Could I really use a composting toilet? What if I’m no good at renovating? Do I really want to give up this cushy life at home?

Those concerns congealed in my gut to become fear.

But here’s the thing. I’m a freakin’ adult. I may be the youngest of four, but I’m nearly 30 years old. I’ve done so many things in the past ten years that I didn’t think I’d have the guts to do, but I did them, and sometimes they failed, sometimes they worked out. It’s worth a shot, because if I do succeed, I’ll find myself in a good, secure position, with a roof over my head and a decent financial situation. If I fail, I’ll merely end up back where I am now. So what do I have to lose?

I’ve posted an ad on Gumtree to advertise my wish to rent some land for a caravan. I don’t know if anyone will even read it, but what the hey.

The Pinterest boards I’ve made are extensive, so if anyone has the web resources to pull this off, it’s me.

I can do this. I know it.