Epic Off-Grid Van Dwelling w/ Bathroom, Shower & Solar Power


Hey guys, Jenna here. Welcome back to my channel about alternative lifestyles and creative homes. Today’s video features a professional photographer and outdoor enthusiast who decided to make a big lifestyle change.

He converted an absolutely awesome sprinter van into the ultimate off-grid home so that he could live and work anywhere while pursuing his passions and interests. I think it’s so important that your home fits your particular lifestyle and this video is the perfect example of just that.

And Hey, if you guys like what I’m doing here, sign up on Patreon and you’ll receive a free gift. Hey guys, my name is Lear. We’re here in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, and I’m super excited to show you guys my van yacht.

Prior to the van I was living in Phoenix, Arizona. I was doing what I do now, which is freelance photography, but I wasn’t necessarily satisfied with the type of work that I was shooting. It didn’t feel truly authentic to me.

So the van has really allowed me to kind of spend more time outdoors, shoot more of the stuff that really fulfills me and work with brands that kind of align with that better. I’ve had the van now for exactly two years and I’ve been living in it full time.

About 18 months. I got the brand new 170 4×4 sprinter, which I actually got a really great deal on and paid $53,000 for. When you talk about upgrades to the actual van itself, suspension wheels and tires, the roof rack lights, things like that is probably going to be like another five to 7,000 and then the interior build out itself.

I think I have roughly about eight or nine big motivation behind going with a sprinter or a van in general and building it out myself. It was really for my bike storage, my toys, I’ve raced bikes since I was six years old.

Everything from BMX bikes to motocross to mountain bikes and mountain bikes are pretty much my biggest passion along with photography. Going from races to races. I would always see people with vans. They’d have all their bikes in them and all their weekends set up.

Living in a van has basically allowed me to wake up in my destinations, which saves time. It saves money, it saves gas. I found that for my work and for my passions. I was basically traveling from home to a location for a weekend, packing everything up at home, driving out there, unpacking, doing the event, packing back up, driving back home and living in the van is basically allowed me to do it all in one.

So I really think for me it was more living out of the van and not living in the van. So what is the van yacht? Well, it’s a 2017 170 wheelbase, four by four model sprinter. And the reason I went with this model is I really didn’t want to be limited by anywhere I could go and I wanted to have plenty of room to live in it full time.

Some mods I’ve done to this thing to just make it a little more capable and go anywhere is we got these massive all-terrain tires on here, really smooths out the ride and kind of does really well on the snow and I even upgraded the suspension, helps smooth out the ride, helps keep all your dishes from falling out of your cabinets.

Just inspires me a little more to get a little bit off the beaten path. When I got this van, it was a full cargo van. We added the CRL, Lawrence windows, we got this aluminous ladder leads up to an illuminous rack, which is really nice for my solar panels.

I store my snowboard up there, extra bikes, max tracks, things like that. These two little back windows are really nice for ventilation where your bed is and you can crack the windows, turn the fan on and in the summertime keeps it really nice and cool.

So moving around to the back here of the van, you might notice these fuel tanks. This is a diesel and this is gasoline. It’s actually because a lot of times I have a dirt bike on the back so they’re empty right now.

But a big reason we go with the sprinter vans is because it is the passage way to the garage. This really was where I started with my van build. I really wanted to be able to keep two bikes inside the van, prevent theft and keep them safe.

So I built this really nice bike slide here that I keep my mountain bikes in. I’m able to keep two or three Tupperwares in the far back and that has everything from recovery gear to extra camera lighting, my mountain biking gear, backpacks, I have chairs, full bag of climbing gear so I can really keep all the toys back here in my garage.

Come on in and we’ll show you a few more of the details. Starting with the kitchen, we got a 1800 watt induction stove and I only have a thousand watt inverter, so I really can only run this at about half power, but it seems plenty to cook with.

I combine this with one of those little butane portable cooktops and so I usually set that here and then I can kind of get two cooktop surfaces going at the same time. I keep all that food cold here in this ISO therm.

I believe it’s called a cruise, 130 fridge. Really nice fridge. I haven’t been super happy with it. It’s got a little freezer space, seems to keep plenty of food for almost a week worth of food.

And then I combine that up here with kind of my pantry area, pots, pans, coffee making supplies, got to have that if you live in a van. And then the rest of the kind of dry foods, this is the sink it actually has been like a really good size sink, I think it’s a 15 inch sink.

It’s super deep, which I really like, allows you to pile up some dishes in there. The freshwater tank is underneath the bed, but the gray water is right here underneath the bottom of the sink. So I just kind of pull the gray water out and I can empty it.

So this space right here is kind of my eating, working space. It kind of converts. So these chairs both have a swivel. I have the lagoon table, which kind of stores right over my countertop here. It gives you a really nice space to kind of get comfortable and get a couple of hours of work done in between coffee shops or in between bike rides and things like that.

All right, so we’re here checking out the shower. This was definitely a big point of interest when I built my van. I believe it’s 24 inches by 32 inches wide. Keep my towels, washing supplies.

I’ve got the shower head right here on this side and then I keep my little port-a-potty curved toilet down here and along with my dirty laundry and then I can seal all that off. It’s got this really nice just kind of screen that kind of closes, keeps it all nice and sealed and I don’t have water going all over my floor and things like that.

So as far as water in the van, I actually have quite a bit. I have a 27 gallon tank that sits between the wheel Wells under the bed. So I get about four or five showers plus a bunch of single out or I would say I probably can go two to three weeks before I have to fill up my water tank.

So right here next to the shower I have this nine inch with space that is a little bit extra that I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with. So we did this nice little closet here and it allows me to carry quite a bit of shirts on hangers, pants down below on hangers, jackets and things like that.

So it keeps everything from being folded up or just slammed in a drawer somewhere, which I really like. Makes it easy. Well this is where most of the days end here in bed. Uh, this is a standard size queen length.

Being six, three. I needed the full length of the bed and then it’s actually just a little bit wider than a queen. I’m not sure the dimensions, but I decided to custom order it to fill the full width.

The back here. It’s a little tight for the head, but it’s the sacrifice that I had to make to be able to store the bikes in there, but at least when you’re getting up in the morning, you’re not smacking it on anything.

So I find it to be pretty comfortable place to hang out. Being a very passionate outdoor person. I’m really excited to kind of morph my career more towards those things and kind of bring my two passions together.

It’s been a really cool thing to be able to basically take my career and just sort of morph it into something that kind of works on the road for the future I’m really working on doing more personal projects that involve bike riding, that involve film, involve traveling to really unique locations and just telling that story better and hopefully getting my passion across to these beautiful places that we get to be in and helping share that with you.

hey guys Jenna here welcome back to my channel about alternative lifestyles and creative homes today’s video features a professional photographer and outdoor enthusiast who decided to make a big lifestyle change he converted an absolutely awesome Sprinter van into the ultimate off-grid home so that he could live and work anywhere while pursuing his passions and interests I think it’s so important that your home fits your particular lifestyle and this video is the perfect example of just that and hey if you guys like what I’m doing here sign up on patreon and you’ll receive a free gift [Music] hey guys my name is leer we’re here in beautiful Sedona Arizona and I’m super excited to show you guys my van yacht [Music] prior to the van I was living in Phoenix Arizona I was doing what I do now which is freelance photography

but I wasn’t necessarily satisfied with the type of work that I was shooting it didn’t feel truly authentic to me so the van has really allowed me to kind of spend more time outdoors shoot more of the stuff that really fulfills me and work with brands that kind of align with that better I’ve had the van now for exactly two years and I’ve been living in it full-time about 18 months I got the brand new one 74 by force printer which I actually got a really great deal on and paid 53,000 for when you talk about upgrades to the actual van itself suspension wheels and tires the roof rack lights things like that is probably gonna be like another five to seven thousand and then the interior build-out itself I think I have roughly about eight or nine into [Music] big motivation behind going with a sprinter or a van in general and building it out myself was really for my bike storage my toys every spike since I was six years old everything from BMX bikes to motocross to mountain bikes and mountain bikes are pretty much my biggest passion along with photography going from races to races I would always see people with vans they’d have all their bikes in them and all their weekends set up living in a van has basically allowed me to wake up in my destinations which saves time it saves money it saves gas I found that for my work and for my passions I was basically traveling from home to a location for a weekend packing everything up at home driving out there unpacking doing the event packing everything back up driving back home and living in the van has basically allowed me to do it all in one so I really think for me it was more living out of the van and not living in the van [Music]

so what is the van yacht well it’s a 2017 170 wheelbase 4×4 model sprinter and the reason I went with this model is I really didn’t want to be limited by any where I could go and I wanted to have plenty of room to live in it full-time some mods I’ve done to this thing to just make it a little more capable and go anyways we got these massive all-terrain tires on here really smooths out the ride and kind of does really well in the snow and I even upgraded the suspension helps smooth out the ride helps keep all your dishes from falling out of your cabinets it just inspires me a little more to get a little bit off the beaten path when I got this van it was a full cargo van we added the CRL Lawrence windows we got this aluminous ladder leads up to an aluminum rack which is really nice for my solar panels I stole my snowboard up there extra bikes max tracks things like that these two little back windows are really nice for ventilation where your bed is and you can crack the windows turn the fan on and in the summertime keeps it really nice and cool so moving around to the back here of the van you might notice these fuel tanks and this is a diesel and this is gasoline it’s actually because a lot of times I have a dirt bike on the back so they’re empty right now

but a big reason that we go with the Sprinter vans is because it is the passageway to the garage this really was where I started with my van built I really wanted to be able to keep two bikes inside the van to prevent theft and keep them safe so I built this really nice bike slide here that I keep my mountain bikes in I’m able to keep two or three tub Aware’s in the far back and that has everything from recovery here to extra camera lighting my mountain biking gear backpacks I have chairs full bag of climbing gear so I can really keep all the toys back here in my garage [Music] come on in and we’ll show you a few more of the details [Music] [Music] starting with the kitchen we got a 1800 watt induction stove and I only have a thousand watt inverter

so I really can only run this at about half power but it seems to be plenty to cook with I combined this with one of those little butane portable cook tops and so I usually set that here and then I can kind of get to cook top surfaces going at the same time I keep all that food cold here in this isotherm I believe it’s called a cruise 130 fridge really nice fridge I’ve been super happy with it it’s got a little freezer space seems to keep plenty of food for almost some weeks worth of food and then I combined that up here with kind of my pantry area pots pans coffee making supplies got to have that if you live in a van and then the rest of the kind of dry foods this is the sink it actually has been like a really good-sized sink I think it’s a 15 inch sink it’s super deep which I really like allows you to pile up some dishes in there the freshwater tank is underneath the bed

but the gray water is right here underneath the bottom of the sink so I just kind of pull the gray water out and I can empty it [Music] so this space right here is kind of my eating working space it kind of converts so these chairs both have a swivel I have the lagoon table which kind of stores right over my countertop here gives you a really nice space to kind of get comfortable and get a couple hours of work done in between coffee shops or in between bike rides and things like that all right so we’re here checking out the shower this was definitely a big point of interest when I built my van I believe it’s 24 inches by 32 inches wide I keep my towels washing supplies I’ve got the showerhead right here on this side and then I keep my little Porta Potty curved toilet down here and along with my dirty laundry and then I can seal all that off it’s got this really nice just kind of screaming that kind of closes keeps it all nice and sealed and I don’t have water going all over my floor and things like that so as far as water in the van I actually have quite a bit I have a 27 gallon tank that sits between the wheel wells under the bed

so I get about four or five showers plus a bunch of single water I would say I probably can go two to three weeks but before I have to fill up my water tank so right here next to the shower I have this 9 inch width space that is a little bit extra that I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with so we did this nice little closet here and it allows me to carry quite a bit of shirts on hangers pants down below on hangers jackets and things like that so it keeps everything from being folded up or just slammed in a drawer somewhere which I really like makes it easy [Music] well this is where most of the day’s end here in bed this is a standard size Queen length being six three I needed the full length of the bed and then it’s actually just a little bit wider than a queen I’m not sure the exact dimensions

but I decided to custom order it to fill the full width the back here it’s a little tight for the head but it’s the sacrifice that I had to make to be able to store the bikes in there but at least when you’re getting up in the morning you’re not smacking it on anything so I find it to be a pretty comfortable place to hang out Kien a very passionate outdoor person I’m really excited to kind of morph my career more towards those things and kind of bring my two passions together it’s been a really cool thing to be able to basically take my career and just sort of morph it into something that kind of works on the road for the future I’m really working on doing more personal projects that involve bike riding that involve film involve traveling to really unique locations and just telling that story better and hopefully getting my passion across to these beautiful places that we get to be in and helping share that with you guys [Music]