The First 90 Days of Van Life

November 18, 2017 marked the 90th day of Team JUsT living in The Prairie Schooner. While the first few days were quite the learning curve, with a few harrowing experiences, we both think that this is absolutely the best choice for our Next Chapter! The dogs are still enjoying the never-ending car ride. The old…

Noonday Sun through the Live Oak

Colorado Bend State Park, Texas

Our first completely off-grid trip in the Prairie Schooner was to Colorado Bend State Park Texas. We had always, on prior test drives, been within close proximity to electricity/water/air-conditioning/potty/people who loved us… This was the first real Field Test of the Prairie Schooner and our preparations for #VanLife . ​Colorado Bend State Park Texas The…

DIY Reflectix Sun Shade

DIY Window Sun Shade

After spending a three-day/two-night camping trip in 100+ degree weather with blazing sunshine, we realized that we truly DID need a DIY Window Sun Shade for the front windshield and two side windows! It got unbearably hot in the Prairie Schooner! Luckily, it was something for which we had kinda-sorta planned, and we picked up…

Prairie Schooner with screens

DIY Mosquito Window Screen

We did have enough scrap screen material to make one window screen for the front of the Prairie Schooner. The DIY Mosquito Window Screen project has one seam down it, but it was a “quick and easy” that I could squeeze in before the sewing machine was taken to storage. Had I thought about the…

DIY Mosquito Screen Doors

The quick and easy method for a DIY Mosquito Screen Doors solution for our Prairie Schooner. While the $100 price tag is not necessarily cheaper than the people who are using the single-garage bay door screens, this made an exact fit and covered both door openings with material to spare. (Pending: We will use the…

The Month Of June…

This month has completely flown by! The month of June has been a very busy month for Team JUsT. We have much news to report and a tentative launch date for the Prairie Schooner’s adventures! Minimalism and Minimizing The month started out with the minimalizing progress making huge leaps and bounds of progress. We have…

Bowl of ham and bean soup

Solar Dinner

So, one of the posts that I have been remiss in posting, was that we tested out the Solar System by (drumroll) cooking with the 120v system using the crock pot!  A solar dinner… While electricity is a poor way to create heat, one of my favorite kitchen “tools” is my old 1980’s crock pot…

Latest News! (Our Absence, v2.0)

Has it really been more than two weeks since we last updated our blog? Well, here is the latest news on the Prairie Schooner project, our minimalization progress, and our GTFO plans… Please pardon our absence, but things are really progressing right now! Prairie Schooner We have completed a few minor adjustments in the ol’…

Van Tetris

Ahhhhh, The Fun of Van Tetris! We have begun the endless game of how to fit two humans and two 60 pound dogs and all their accompanying stuff, into 66 square feet. Van Tetris! Clothing We figured out that all of our shoes, clothing, and personal items will fit into those little plastic drawer columns,…

Rummage Sale #1

Yesterday was our rummage sale! Although, it seems it was the first one… LOL! We had not muddled through everything, so we will be hosting another one in a few weeks when we get the rest of this place weeded out. It was a glorious day for a yard sale! Brilliant sunshine, cool breezes, happy people,…

Solar System, Part 2c

So, when we last wrote of the Solar Solution Part 2b, we had most of the interior wiring connected, albeit temporarily to check connectivity. Since then we have had an electrician perform the final terminations on the 4 gauge lugs to guarantee that the connections were done well and could withstand the constant “earthquake conditions”…

All You Need is Less

Garage Sale

With our deadline for moving out of the house and into the Ford Transit Cargo Van fast approaching, we are deep in the throes of minimalism -ing and gearing up for The Big Garage Sale! The process of unloading half a century of household goods and accumulated consumer products has become much easier and is…

FanTastic Vent Fan Image

Fan-Tastic Roof Vent Fan Installation

Greetings to our loyal readers! Many humble apologies for the delay in getting this posted…BUT here we are! The vent fan installation has been completed!!!  Disclaimer Before I walk you through the sequence of events that completed the installation, allow me the levity of a disclaimer: The methods I used to complete this installation were…

Showering, Bidet, and Hot Water

Showering, bathing, and hygiene is a concern when you’re planning on living in a van full-time. While I look forward to being “HomeFree”, I don’t want to look unwashed or smell suspect. LOL!  We had discussed this in depth, before deciding to live in the Prairie Schooner, and had found several options for bathing and…

Minimalism Purging

Over the past several weeks, I have been hard at work purging and minimizing the contents of our home. Minimalism is gaining momentum at the little shack! Streamlining the process is becoming easier. It is funny.. the first thing or two that I unloaded was much harder than any of the subsequent items. It seems like…

Solar System, Part 2b

The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity around the Prairie Schooner! The Solar System is finally taking shape. Rock has addressed the ventilation issues with his installation of the reversible Fan-Tastic Fan… he will be posting his write-up and pictures in another post! The “shower” has been assembled, and we will post up…

Blood, Sweat & Tears

You can tell that you’ve done a good job on your project, if you shed a little blood doing it! Just a quick update to let you know that we have been hard at work… blood, sweat, and tears (for me) working on the Prairie Schooner! We should have a couple of good updates for…

Solar System, Part 2a

The Prairie Schooner’s solar system’s interior work is going to be pretty detailed, so we will break it out into a few niblets for ease of reading. Our plan is to have three 3-port outlets placed along the 12′ back wall of the Ford Transit Cargo Van that we are working to convert into our…

Solar System, Part 1

Our solar hardware has arrived, and we are working on assembling the components. I am not a carpenter; I am a low-voltage wiring chick… Rock is not a carpenter, either. You’ll have to pardon the third-grader carpentry skills. Allow me to share a few things that I have figured out… There is a LOT of…

Frugal Engineering, Part 2

Let’s get back to our Frugal Engineering 101 escapades! We left off last night with me dumping my drink across our Ford Transit Cargo Van when I excitedly was trying to show Rock where the solar inverter was going to be positioned. We had installed most of the ceiling insulation, and were waiting for the…

Van Outfitting, Part 2, Bed Platform

Today was a warm and gloriously clear day with brilliant sunshine and gentle breezes… Man, I adore South Texas!  It is late-January and we were bumming around in shorts and tank tops! We made some progress on the Tiny Home conversion!  Finally!! The supplies we had on-hand for the rails are: Two 2x6x8 for the…

Van Outfitting, Part 1, Bed Platform

With the arrival of our moving tiny home yesterday (see Our Tiny Home has come HOME…), the real work begins! (As if finding and securing our little place were not a big accomplishment!) We will be living in an area of space that is juuuuust about the size of most people’s master bathroom! The van is about…

Rockin' the Transit Van

Our Tiny Home has come HOME…

Drum Roll Please!!!!      Strike up the Band!!!   And…the fat Lady has Sung!!!   (Or something along those lines)   🙂 Our teeny, tiny home van is now parked in our driveway and ready to be outfitted. With a new windshield, and a few other minor discrepancies that were corrected by the dealership…We…

The New Homestead! A Tiny Home…

We did it! We found what we were looking for – and made it happen!   It took about two weeks of wrangling.  One salesman at the stealership got  removed from our sale, and we got a different one who was ~awesome~ and worked his tail off to get the numbers where we wanted them!  I spent three…

The Minimalist Prepper…

I figured it out this morning! I sat down to my obligatory one cup of coffee and was browsing some of the WordPress folks who have similar journeys to ours… and while Rock is on the same journey as I am, he does not suffer the same conflict.  He is not agonizing over every single…