Meet Rich and Heather, empty-nesters that have found themselves at a major turning point in their life together. They had their children young, and now that the kids have grown up and moved out of the house, they have an opportunity to make some big changes. And by BIG, I really mean tiny…. as in, they decided to downsize from their 4-bedroom house into an awesome sprinter van conversion! For the next few years, Rich and Heather are going to be nomadic, until they figure out what to do next. They want to show their kids that’s it’s never too late for an epic adventure!
Features of Rich & Heather’s Sprinter Van Conversion:
- Solar Power System designed by Tiny Watts Solar
- Outdoor shower spigot
- Chemical toilet
- Off-grid water tanks
- Kitchenette w/ mini-fridge, instant pot, & induction cooktop
- A custom couch that converts into a full-size bed
Total Cost of their Sprinter Van Conversion…
It cost Rich & Heather about $55,000 for their brand new 4-wheel drive Mercedes Sprinter Van. They then spent 30 weekends, or 900 hours, converting the van into a home. The cost of the conversion in materials only (since they did the work themselves) was about $22,000. So the total price of their finished sprinter van dwelling is $77,000. This may seem like a lot, but it’s far less than the price of a 4-bedroom house or the price of most high-end new RVs.
Tiny House Versus Van Dwelling?
At first, Rich and Heather wanted to build a Tiny House on wheels, but after researching in more detail, they realized that traveling full-time in a Tiny Home posed too many challenges. Parking can be difficult, and (due to the weight of a typical Tiny House) gas and maintenance can be very expensive. I should know, I traveled over 25,000 miles in my own Tiny House on wheels! The truth is, if you want to travel full-time like Rich and Heather, you’re better off going with a renovated RV or a converted campervan. They are lighter in weight, specifically made for travel, and often much easier to drive. For a more in-depth comparison of Van Life versus Tiny House life, click here.
- Some photos provided with permission from Rich & Heather
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