Wednesday, July 15, 2015

PolisPlan Goes Mobile: Transitioning to Life in a Campervan

On the 15th of July, Steven and I moved into our campervan having leased our house for a year.  We plan to road test a new way of life, living and working from the van as we travel around Australia in a bid to integrate our life and work completely. As we travel we hope to connect with local communities and share with them our ideas on transitioning to a low carbon future. We will also continue collaborating on town planning and flood risk management projects with consultants as we have been doing previously.

For years we have been working toward a life where we might be living and working on the road.  Our first step toward going mobile was to transition to a paperless office.  Working and sharing documents on Dropbox was for us the perfect solution.  We knew that Internet access would be a challenge but a mobile Internet plan and occasional stops at places like libraries help solve this issue. 

We road tested the hypothesis when in 2013, we lived and volunteered in Europe for 6 months. We were able to live in Europe with access to all our documents and occasionally working on a job in Sydney while volunteering over there.  Over the years, we visited a number of caravan and camping shows and found our mobile home office – the TRAKKA Torino Xtra.  This vehicle is perfect for us as it is completely self-contained including a double bed, a kitchen and toilet but is still small enough that you can drive it with a normal car licence.  The vehicle has the same fuel efficiency as a car and at less than 11.5 litres/100KM, very economical in terms of fuel consumption.

We kitted out the vehicle with a remote pack, giving us a solar panel and two house batteries in addition to the car battery.  Most of our appliances including our fridge and TV are 12-volt
appliances. The vehicle only takes one source of fuel and so our cook-top, hot water and heating are all diesel powered. A set of gauges in the kitchen enables us to monitor our 120-litre water tank, our 90-litre grey water tank as well as our battery storage. We hope to free camp mostly but will also stop at National Parks and the occasional caravan park when we need to.  Living in a small space forces us to be minimalists and bring along only the bare essentials. Living this way enables us to be connected both with our natural environment but also be always conscious of the resources we consume. 

It’s been one week and we love it. The towns we have travelled through are well set up for Grey Nomads with dump points, water taps and camping areas.  We have no fixed plans but are making our way to Alice Springs before we head back to Sydney in October for work commitments. 

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