Shopping List, Prices and Links (the Quick List)
Ford Transit Cargo Van Project (The Prairie Schooner)

Shelter (2016 Ford Transit Cargo Van T150)

Van Selection

Bed Platform, Part 1

Bed Platform, Part 2

Bed Platform, Part 3

Ceiling Insulation, Part 1 and Part 2

Fan-Tastic Vent Fan Installation

Ventilation and Air Circulation (Fans)

DIY Mosquito Screen Doors

DIY Mosquito Window Screen

DIY Sun Shade for Windshield & Windows

Water (storing, finding, and using)

Food (storage, cold storage, and preparing)

Dometic Fridge/Freezer – Frugal Kitchen, Part 1

Dometic Dual Zone Fridge-Freezer Test Results

Camp Chef Oven, Frugal Kitchen, Part 2


Planning the Bathroom

Showering, Bidet & Hot Water

Internet and Connectivity Solutions



Employment Thoughts

Power Considerations (and our solar solution on a TIGHT budget)

Solar System, Part 1, Beginning Considerations for Power

Solar System, Part 2a, Interior Wiring Begins

Solar System, Part 2b, Intermediate Interior Wiring

Solar System, Part 2c, Finalized Interior Wiring

Solar System, Part 3, Roof Mounted Solar Panels (coming soon, waiting on Rock)



There are only a few things that human actually NEED to live.  Air to breathe, a suitable temperature for our bodies, water, food, and sanitation… Everything else is bonus material.

You COULD survive and even thrive buck nekkid in the proper environment that included the above five items.

Add in danger, modesty, WalMart – and we need to adjust fire and try again.  Now, we need weapons and clothes and money and the latest iPhone… LOL!  I kid, I kid.  But you see how the dynamics of your environment dictate what you need…

We are aiming for a reasonable balance between eating twigs and bark while running naked amongst the trees and woodland creatures a la Sasquatch, or eating Hamburger Helper while wearing Birkenstock sandals and watching Who’s Got Talent on the television a la Sheeple.

I firmly believe that in addition to the basic (above) necessities for survival, that we are also going to need the skillset to keep ourselves safe, employed, and successful PLUS an attitude that sees this as an adventure/opportunity and not some sort of punishment for the poor choices of our youth.

There will be some common sense stuff (because sometimes its not so common any more) such as: Do NOT poop near your drinking water source.  But mainly, it will be the facts, decision-making processes, and specifics on each system.  Our solutions may not fit in your situation, but hopefully it will give you some mind candy to mull around while you are designing your own systems or troubleshooting why your existing stuff jest ain’t working!

I am a reuse, recycle and repurpose kinda person, so many of our solutions will be extremely frugal in nature.  If you have deeper and more loose pockets than we do, (YMMV) your mileage may vary…  Alternately, we have also learned that the cheapest solution is not always the most economical solution – so there are a few things on which we will not be taking the frugal option.  (20% of our budget for outfitting our dwelling will be spent on the refrigerator, and another 25% will be spent on a solar solution to keep the fridge powered. [My frugal nature HATES spoiled/wasted food.])

When possible, we will include Link Backs to where we found a particular concept or idea.  Giving credit where credit is due!

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