Work less – Travel more – Keep it green

Our Home On Wheels

We are living in a travel trailer as well as in a self-converted cargo van. We bought our travel trailer in May 2017, it is a 2003 Coachman Spirit of America, a 25ft long and 7ft wide cube on wheels. It has big windows in the living area, and includes a full kitchen, dinette, pull out sofa, full size bed, cabinets and a small bathroom with shower. We have spent a few weeks of renovating and cosmetically updating the trailer: we fixed a rotten sub-floor part and added new bamboo flooring throughout, painted the whole inside, installed a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet which reduces water waste and eliminates the need for chemicals, added a wooden work-desk and exchanged the kitchen countertop with a wooden butcher block, replaced the dinette kitchen table, covered the sofa and dinette cushions with new fabric, replaced the room-dividing curtain with a recycled one and got a new shower curtain, replaced kitchen cabinet handles with new ones and donated the old ones. We kept the blinds, the fridge, the stove and water tanks.
We added a Portable Solar System for green electricity, a water saving shower head, an RV Water Filter to eliminate need for buying pre-filled water bottles, and a Portable Induction Cooktop to reduce propane use, as well as other green amenities as fit within our budget. We replaced the lightbulbs with LED but found out it did not work because the RV’s electric system was too old, so changed back to the original bulbs.

Wherever possible, we used eco-friendly materials: biodegradable soap, sponges and garbage bags for cleanup, zero VOC paint and odorless primer for walls and cabinets, eco-drop cloth for painting, eco-bamboo for the flooring, we added a natural latex mattress, re-used fabric for the curtains and bought a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet.

In September 2017 we bought a Chevy Tahoe as a towing vehicle, but after a few months we decided to downsize our travel-vessel and in May 2018 we exchanged the Tahoe for a Ford E250 cargo van that we then self-converted into a camper-van. We have fallen in love with Van Life and enjoy the added freedom of living super-small, the ability to stealth-camp and boondock without a hassle, and to drive and park much more effortlessly than if towing a travel trailer or driving a larger RV. We outfitted our van for off-grid-living, added 300w solar panels to the roof for solar power, installed LED-lights, an Engel fridge with low-power consumption, a sink with a 5 gallon fresh-water and 5 gallon grey-water tank. For the van-conversion we used eco-friendly sheep wool for most of the insulation, natural pine wood for the walls, eco-friendly linoleum for the floor and re-used wood for the bed and furniture built.

Wander Green Camping Winery


Our Actions

We are far from perfect, but we strive to reduce waste as much as possible. Here’s an incomplete list of actions we take:

>avoiding the use of plastic bags, containers, bottles, plates, cutlery
>using Biodegradeable Garbage Bags
>using reusable Produce Bags and Muslin Bags when food shopping
>using Biodegradable Soap, Dish Soap and Laundry Detergent
>refilling reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water
>reducing water waste when washing dishes or showering
>using a Soda Siphon instead of buying bottled seltzer and soda
>when buying new clothing we choose organic and eco-friendly fabrics if possible or shop at second hand stores
>using natural body care products without chemicals and animal testing
>using a Solar Power Kit for our trailer, Solar Lights and Solar Chargers for phones and gadgets when on the go and off-grid
>using an Portable Induction Cooktop for most of our cooking
>avoiding waste as possible
>thinking about the need for new things before we buy them
>recycling whatever possible and donating goods to someone who can use them
>using public transportation if feasible
>using our feet or bicycle for shorter distances instead of the van