VW Camper Family

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Steve and I have spent the last 2 years living with a friend from college. He's been a great roommate, but he went and got his MBA. Now he's moving up to Burbank to make some moola in the entertainment industry. We wish him the best of luck... but he's left us in a dilemma.

We currently live in a 3 bedroom place. Bigger (and more expensive) than a couple and their dog needs. Sooo... we can find a new roommate, or, find a new smaller/cheaper place to live.

I prefer the former option. Steve prefers the latter.

But there IS a third option that gets my heart-a-pumin' and my mind all-a-buzz.

We. Could.
The Bustache!




Hello? Is anyone still there?




Yep. That's pretty much the typical response I get when I mention option 3.

I mean, we aren't REALLY going to do it. There are 2 of us. We both have 9-5 professional jobs. We have a 65lbs pooch.

But I can't help fantasize about it a little. (Let me be clear, this is really just my fantasy. Steve becomes very quiet, nods his head and smiles when I bring it up. He's trying to be supportive by not out-right squelching my dreams. I know in his head he's hoping this will quietly go away... But now I'm writing about it for the whole interwebs to see! It will live online forever, because this idea is GENIUS! Hehe!).

It's a challenge, a test and an experiment. We're happiest when we're on the road in Bustache. Imagine how happy we'd be if we did this EVERY DAY!?! It would force us to pair down to the necessities. We'd have to be strategic about our belongings. We'd have to spend most of our free time outside - exploring the world and meeting new people! We'd reshuffle our priorities; fall even deeper in love with each other. We'd inspire others to do the same, and then we'd solve world hunger and bring about universal peace.

What? This is my fantasy, remember?

As you can tell, I have the tendency to go a little overboard. Thus, in my attempt to seem rational and organized, I sent the following email to Steve.

Rent for us = $24,000/year.If we lived in Bustache and took Westi to Doggie-Day-Care everyday, it would cost us about $500/month ($6000/year).


I would have to get access to a gym so I could shower... $40 a month ($480/year).

I would also get myself and iPad with 3G (or 4G) access. Then I would get you one, so you wouldn't steal mine. $1400.00 (for 2).

We would also have to invest in getting Bustache working with the sink, stove & fridge along with a couple of other upgrades ... $2000?

And we'd have to pay for a storage facility for all our stuff. About $150/month (1800/year).

Soooo... that all adds up to about $12,000. Which means we'd save about $12,000.

What do you think? :-)

Steve's response? Typical.

When I mentioned this to my mom, her response? Typical.

She then told my dad (a mountain man at heart who once told me he didn't understand why we even had houses!). I thought my dad would be on my side, but he called me and very seriously told me "The Bustache living concept, is NOT a good idea."

Fine. I get it. But a girl can dream...

Anyone want to throw a vote in my direction? Or, does anyone else have a ridiculous dream they'd like to share with the interwebs? :-(D

Views: 69

Comment by Gary Marrs on September 20, 2011 at 10:10pm

Don't throw your dream away, it not that crazy. I know people who are living your dream. My wife and I take off for the winter to go to Buses by the Bridge in Az. every year. We live in our van for about three months during that time, with a 50 lb. dog. If fact when we got married we lived in our van and built our house. So, here is the deal, you need a place to stay, that costs. We are members of Thousand Trails. Don't know if you have heard about it or not. That is usually where we stay when on the road. They are all over, check it out on line. Don't be discouraged over their price, there is more than one way to become members, cheaper ways. Anyway showers, pools, hot tubs, lodges, stores, power, water, clean etc....  And there are memberships that you can stay in the system year around for a little over $1000 a year, you just have to move around. This works best of course if you can move around and not have to go to work everyday.  Anyway, don't ever give up on your dreams. You sound like you guys are still young and have to work. That kind of makes it hard and I'm sure that is where your husband is coming from. That is where we were for years, but we never gave up on our dream to live the carefree life of living on the road. Work on it over the years and plan. It will work out.  For now take trips and go camping when ever you can. Plan you vacations like you would like to live. Take off and do it for a month.  You never know Steve might go for it for a month, nothing has to change at home, no storage, etc.. Then you can just come home anytime. This will help him feel safe. You do grow closer living in a VW Camper, it's a team effort. Don't ever give up on your dreams.

Comment by George Wolfe on September 21, 2011 at 10:04am
Try reading "Vanabode" by Jason Odom and "The Complete Book of Boondock RVing" by Bill Moeller ;)
Comment by The Bustache on September 21, 2011 at 10:30am
@Gary - Wow!  Your comment made my day!  Thanks for all the great tips and encouragement.  Don't worry, I wont' give up on this dream.  It's exciting to know you and your wife do it every year!   I'm going to look up Thousand Trails.  That sounds like a great resource for those on the road.   I think you are right... the working aspect is what is tripping us up.  But someday, that won't be an issue!  I think we'll plan a couple of extended trips and see how we do.  Fantastic advice!   P.S.  How does your dog do in the Bus for that extended period of time.  To you walk him/her a lot?  :-(D
Comment by The Bustache on September 21, 2011 at 10:32am
@George - Great recommendations.   I'm totally inspired by "Vanabode."  Buying that book today!  I'm going to have to look up "Boondock RVing" but I sure like that concept.  Thank you!
Comment by Kris Hansen on September 21, 2011 at 12:37pm

There's an interview with someone doing what you want to do in this preview clip from the new bus movie.  Like Gary said don't give up on your dreams, there on of the only things no one can ever take away from you.



Comment by Gary Marrs on September 21, 2011 at 12:41pm
The dog does great in van, she's had lots of practice. She sleeps in the child's cot above the two front seats. During the summer we take short one or two week trips up here in the PNW. Camping like you would not believe. We just got back from a 9 day road trip in which we went to Catherine Creek for the WetWesties/Idaho Bus Prirates reunion #15.  It was a great campout with about 36 or so vans. You guys should come to Maupin next June up here in Oregon. That would be a nice extended trip and a campout with about 80 vans. So many different vans with so many different ways of doing things and using space to it's best advantage. Check out my pictures on Flickr.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/planetmarrs/  Click on sets, and you can see many different campouts and places. We are off to Tygh Valley, just north of Maupin for a Bluegrass Festival and campout. Keep dreaming, they can come true.
Comment by The Bustache on September 21, 2011 at 1:07pm
@Kris - I saw that clip last night.  Not paying rent for 5 years?  Sounds like a deal to me!  This dream will certainly live on!
Comment by The Bustache on September 21, 2011 at 1:20pm
@Gary - I love the dog in the child's cot idea!  Sadly, Westi is too big for that.  She goes camping with us all the time though... she sleeps on the floor and loves it.  It's like we're all in a den together.  I more worry about her during the day.  She roams and runs a lot.  Maybe she just needs to get a bit older.  She's only 1 1/2.    Your pictures from Maupin are amazing!  We'd love to make it to Oregon.  Hopefully next year we can swing it!
Comment by Gary Marrs on September 21, 2011 at 1:32pm

You being in Southern Calif. I guess I should also be pushing Buses by the Bridge in Lake Havasue City, Az. not all the far and it's a world unto itself. It' mid Jan. at Windsor State Park right on the lake just a little way from The London Bridge itself. There is anywhere from 200 to 300 vans. Check the pictures of that event. I call these campouts "Noname City". From nothing rises a city of buses then it just disappears.


Comment by Gus The VW Bus on September 21, 2011 at 2:44pm

@The Bustache - you could get a side tent...then all your problems would be solved! :) Also, I don't know if you've ever seen this site, but they look pretty cool:


I just can't justify paying more for a rear tent than Gus cost though...but they are all handmade.


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