The Pirate Van is no more. Considering how many repairs it’s needed this year plus the breakdown after the RallySprint, I decided that this particular van is not suitable for extended travel, which is exactly what I want to start doing. So I sold it to someone who will continue to use it as a weekend warrior.
I haven’t given up on #vanlife, though. On the contrary, I’m embracing it, and just needed the right vehicle to do it. This is it — a 2004 Ford E250 extended wheelchair van. By coincidence, it’s the same van as Vancity Vanlife, one of my main inspirations, except this one has a high-top roof for extra headroom. Mechanically, it’s everything the Dodge wasn’t — solid, well maintained, runs great, shifts great, drives great. I wouldn’t hesitate to take it on a long road trip right now. It does need a bit of work first, though. First of all, I need to remove the wheelchair lift, as well as a fold-down jump seat that we won’t be needing. There’s also the matter of rust repair. This van has been all over Rhode Island for the past 16 years, and Ford vans tend to rust from the rocker panels up in the land where we salt the roads and the air hurts my face. Welcome to The Salty Van, affectionately known at Spaceball 1.
This won’t be just a weekend camper van. I already had one, and would’ve kept it if that was my plan. Our plans are bigger than that. We’re hitting the road full-time. Yes, we. Trisha, my significant other, is joining me on this journey. The next couple of months will be a mad dash to strip out, spruce up, and build out the inside of the van to turn it into our tiny home on wheels. We’re hoping to live cheap, make money on the road as digital nomads, and travel places we’ve never been before. That won’t take much for me, since I haven’t had the opportunity to travel much so far in my life.
For now, you can follow our journey on Instagram. More ways will follow, including a website and a van life YouTube channel. I’ve also started a Patreon account, but please don’t think we’re looking for handouts. We’re doing this and can afford to do this regardless of any contributions. If you’d like to help out, though, and get a bit of exclusive content in the process (or tell us what kind of content we should offer to the world), feel free to jump in.