Minivan Life — Is A Minivan the Perfect Camper?

You may have noticed that amongst our tribe of shredders, paddlers, surfers and such, there’s a shared quest to score, outfit and live out of the “perfect camper.” Perhaps you’ve seen the increasingly familiar hash- tag, promoting this nouveau-Jack-Kerouac-notion of kicking it all and hitting the open road. So alternative… so latter-day gypsy, bro. But there’s a serious hitch…

Converted van as full-time home for nomadic Canadian couple

Mat and Danielle spent their first date bonding over Lloyd Kahn’s book “Home Work” and discussing their ideas for simplifying their lives. They became a couple, but “somewhere along the way, we ended up doing the exact opposite of what we wanted,” explains Danielle on their blog.

“Instead of simplifying, we bought a house and spent months hauling furniture, paint and knick knacks into it to surround ourselves with stuff that we liked.  Our bills went up so we got better jobs, started working more, and eventually all we did was work during the day and watch Netflix every night because we were too exhausted to do anything else.”

“Mat was the first to suggest making a change because he found our lifestyle stressful, but I resisted at first.  I was really caught up in the idea of owning my own place, maybe starting a family one day and planning for an amazing retirement.  I was also excited that I had a new full time job with benefits and that we were financially stable.  Eventually I realized that all I was doing was working and I didn’t even like my job anymore.  We decided that we should do something crazy: sell our house, quit our jobs and travel the world.”

Today, Mat and Danielle are living full-time in a converted van. Their back seat folds down into a bed. Their kitchen is a cooler plus camping stove. Their bathroom includes a solar camping shower and a plastic bottle toilet (with funnel).

They’ve eliminated a mortgage, but their are still costs, what Mat calls “like renting a really cheap apartment in a city”. Instead of paying down a house, Mat and Danielle have decided to focus on working less and experiencing more, both by exploring the world and their artistic interests: for Mat, it’s music and art and for Danielle it’s writing.

Mat and Danielle on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/explorea…
Their blog: http://www.exploringalternatives.ca/
Mat’s art: http://www.matdube.com/

Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/…

 

 

Why This GPS Unit Could Save Your Life


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After getting my smart phone, I thought I’d never have to buy a GPS unit, again. Boy was I wrong.GPS for your carAnd I’m glad I didn’t find out during an emergency “get away” scenario.

See, I’d been using the Tom Tom app on my iPhone for quite some time. When I upgraded to an Android phone, I started using the free Waze app– which is actually super-cool.

But here’s the problem: During a recent road trip, I realized that my phone was getting super hot. And despite being plugged into the cigarrete jack/charger– I looked at the battery indicator and it was still draining, rapidly.

Who knows why?

On top of that, the phone would go into sleep mode and it would be a pain in the butt to get the phone back on while driving.  (This is an issue that somebody who’s more tech savvy than I could probably remedy).

But can you imagine getting stranded somewhere and not having either your GPS or your phone working?

That would suck.

Sure, I’ve got paper maps. But let’s be honest– when time is of the essense, it’s just easier to let the GPS (if it’s working) tell you where to go. Especially when you’re merging onto a six lane highway and you need to know exactly which lane to be in, lest you end up stuck on a bridge going into the City during rush hour… with no way to turn around.

So– for my money– it made sense to buy a dedicated GPS unit to use during road trips and then keep my phone charged up, separately.

This is the GPS unit I ended up buying (below). I’ve always had good luck with the Garmin products, both their GPS units and their remote dog training collars.

I like this one both for it’s size and also for the lifetime map upgrades:

Garmin nüvi 55LMT GPS Navigators System with Spoken Turn-By-Turn Directions, Preloaded Maps and Speed Limit Displays (Lower 49 U.S. States)

Garmin nüvi 55LMT GPS Navigators System with Spoken Turn-By-Turn Directions, Preloaded Maps and Speed Limit Displays (Lower 49 U.S. States) Rating:
List Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $124.39
(as of 09/10/2015 16:40 UTC - Details)

Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Product Description

Essential Series Navigation for Your Car

  • Easy-to-use dedicated GPS navigator with 5.0” dual-orientation display
  • Does not rely on cellular signals; unaffected by cellular dead zones
  • Preloaded with detailed maps of the lower 49 states, plus free lifetime updates¹
  • Free lifetime traffic avoidance², no ads or subscription fees
  • Navigate complex interchanges with ease
  • Easily search addresses and millions of points of interest

Dedicated, Easy-to-use GPS Guidance

For driving directions on the road, put away the smartphone and power on your nüvi. nüvi 55LMT is an easy-to-use, dedicated GPS navigator that does not rely on cellular signals and is unaffected by cellular dead zones. nüvi provides easy-to-follow, spoken turn-by-turn directions with street names.

nüvi 55LMT features a bright, 5.0” dual-orientation display, for use horizontally or vertically.

Detailed Maps

nüvi 55LMT arrives pre-loaded with detailed maps of the lower 49 states.

Free Lifetime Map Updates

Roads change. Businesses open and close. nüvi 55LMT enables you to keep your device up-to-date with the latest maps¹ that Garmin has to offer, with no fees. Map updates also contain fresher points of interest, so your nüvi can give results that are more relevant and have greater accuracy. With increased road detail and more points of interest, new maps could be larger in size; as a result, map updates may require a microSD™ card (sold separately).

Lifetime Traffic Avoidance

nüvi 55LMT provides free lifetime traffic avoidance² for the useful life of your Garmin device. Be alerted to delays, know how many minutes of delay to expect and if there are any possible detours that may help save time and keep you on your way. You can also be assured if you are on the fastest route – so much useful travel information, with no ads and no subscription fees.

Navigate Complex Interchanges with Ease

nüvi 55LMT has lane assist with junction view that displays upcoming junctions and uses brightly colored arrows to indicate your proper lane.

Easier to Search, Quicker to Find

nüvi 55LMT has a search field that makes it easy to find addresses and millions of points of interest, in a single place. Now, simply enter a category (like “pizza”), an entire address (“1234 Sycamore Lane, Anytown, USA”) or a proper name (“Starbucks”) and nüvi 55LMT quickly returns your results.

More Information Right on Your Map

No need to search for a hard-to-read or nonexistent sign; with a glance at nüvi 55LMT, you’ll see your current street. nüvi also displays speed limit, current speed and estimated arrival time.

With the Up Ahead feature, you can easily find places you want – like restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and shops – without leaving the map. Best of all, Up Ahead is customizable, so you can always know the location of favorite destinations along your route.

You can access Up Ahead and other useful information from the map tools panel. Conveniently remain on your map screen and still find places Up Ahead, change the volume and more.

School Zone Warnings

nüvi 55LMT issues an audible alert and displays an onscreen warning whenever you approach a school zone.

One-stop Device Management

Use Garmin Express to keep your nüvi up-to-date. Garmin Express makes it easy to update maps and software, transfer favorites to and from devices, and install free custom vehicles and voices.

¹Lifetime Maps Terms & Conditions can be found at http://www.garmin.com/en-US/legal/lmdisclaimer

²Lifetime Traffic Terms & Conditions can be found at http://www.garmin.com/en-US/legal/ltdisclaimer

Details

  • Bright 5" dual-orientation displays
  • Lane Assist with Junction View: easily navigate complex interchanges; brightly colored arrows indicate the proper lane position for your next turn or exit.
  • Garmin Real Voice: Hear spoken turn-by-turn directions from speech technology that sounds more like a natural, friendly human voice
  • "Up Ahead": Easily find places up ahead, like food and gas stations, without leaving the map
  • School Zone Warnings: Receive alerts for up-coming school zones

Ten Of The Most Dependable Cars You Can Buy On eBay For Less Than $5000

After I asked you thrifty, frugal, and dare I say, cheap lot to give me the most dependable cars for less than the price of a new car’s down payment, you answered with some astonishingly solid examples. Here are the most reliable and dependable cars on eBay for less than $5000.