YouTubers Trent and Allie spends $50K on a van conversion
A couple spent $50K to convert a van into a livable space to leave their hectic lives behind and enjoy the beauty of the world. The 29-year-old Allie Miraglia from Washington D.C. And his 33-year-old husband from Salt Lake City, Utah first met on the dating app Bumble in December 2016. Their shared passion for travel and adventure brought them close to each other.
At the time, Trent worked as an outdoor gear sales representative six days a week and Allie worked as a project manager for a healthcare quality improvement organization. Both started spending their weekends together where they would go rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, snowboarding, hiking, capturing their moments, and, exploring nature.
The thing which played a major role in their relationship was their mutual love for travel and adventure. In 2017, they took an eight-week-long road trip to explore life. Their triTheirp through the Pacific Northeast and Canada fueled their desire of living on the road permanently.
Before their first date, Trent bought a personal van to go on a weekend triton the mountains. He did not want to pitch a tent while traveling. The idea of living in a van permanently and experiencing life away from material possessions worked like a magic for them.
‘That summer, we started making YouTube videos of our living and traveling in the van. On that trip, we found life or the true meaning of life. It was a blessing to live without so many physical belongings. When we lived for 8 weeks on the road, our ability to connect with and appreciate the world seemed to grow with each passing day,’ Trent said.
‘People mostly asked why we chose to travel and live in a van. The simplest answer to this question lies in the fact of sustainability. Traveling in a van was affordable and sustainable. It gave much more strength to our love of travel, adventure, exploration, growth, and connection.’
In autumn 2017, they sold their first van and bought a RAM Promaster van. They kept working their day jobs and besides that started converting their van into a tiny home. The couple spent $50,000 to build their home on wheels having a shower, toilet, hot water, fridge, and an oven.
‘Once we returned from that trip we thought to build a van – a van having everything we needed to live in it comfortably, full-time. Then we sold out our previous van and started building our current van. We put all basic things in it that we needed to live comfortably, including a shower, hot water, oven, refrigerator, and temperature-controlled furnace, ’ Trent said.
They have been traveling around the western hemisphere while leaving their routine lives behind since the summer of 2018. Their van is so comfy and relaxing that they never feel tight or cramped. The couple built their van in such a great way that it looks like a living room.
In early summer 2018, the couple decided to get rid of their day jobs to experience the culture and countries that they say they would never be able to experience if they could only travel for two or three weeks of the year. They started their journey through North and South America with their beloved dog, Frank.
Trent added: ‘We always tell people that you have to take decisions for yoursown Being comfortable in a van is not as difficult as it looks. You have to make few a sacrifices after identifying your priorities and comforts. But alternatives to those sacrifices are always there for you.’
‘We also make few sacrifices to fulfill our desire for travel. All we need was a fully capable espresso machine, a blender for smoothies and chocolate chip cookies, enough solar power storage batteries, and a big garage to store all our adventure gear. We designed our floor plan to accommodate all things in our daily life. It is just like a dream room for us and we have everything in it that we need to be happy and safe.’
The couple made their utmost efforts to every inch of their van useful in terms of functioning. Their van is small, yet it is enough to accommodate their working, cooking, cleaning, lounging, and sleeping life.
Currently, in Chile and on their way to Patagonia, Trent and Allie say life is more beautiful when you have no space to have many belongings. By living this way we feel more connected to the world around us. It’s a great blessing that we can choose this adventurous life for us. Some so many people don’t have any choice in their future even in Latin America, a well-developedtodeveloped state.
‘We are grateful for every day, which gives us a chance to explore the world. Our decision to go on a long trip proves to us that there is much more in the world than we think. It’s a constantly eye-catching and humbling experience.’
On June 17, 2019, two men in Nicaragua attempted to break into their vehicle while they were sleeping. This was dangerous for both of them, so they decided to improve security. After that incident, Trent and Allie became more aware of where they park up for the night.
Allie said: ‘One night in Nicaragua, we parked our vehicle on a city street. We woke up with the sound of a metal tool hitting the front passenger door. Two men were trying to open the door. Trent jumped out of his bed in his underwear to grasp them. The men outside realized that there were people in the vehicle, and they left their metal tools there and ran away.’
‘We experienced this kind of incident for the first time. After that, we decided to keep the front seat clear and keys nearby when we go to sleep. It gave us a lesson to stay mindful of the places of parking to sleep at night.’
The couple started uploading their videos on YouTube after their first trip and now they have more than 173,000 subscribers. They also offer one-on-one van build consultations to people who want to explore the world in the vehicles. People show great love for their videos and want to follow in their footsteps.
They have traveled through various cities and countries, including Canada, Ecuador, Mexico, Chile, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, the USA, Peru, and many others. Their income fluctuates each month, but their YouTube channel and some other resources are enough to cover their travel expenses.
They always bring their dog with them on the roads. The couple says this lifestyle is more affordable, sustainable, and enjoyable. Allie says the roads and mountains force us to be much more environmentally conscious.
‘Living and traveling in a vehicle is an incredible way to experience the world. It helps to connect with the tangible world more deeply. Life is too short to fulfill your desires, so it’s the best time for you to travel and experience the world.’
‘Don’t waste time thinking. Just go on a short road trip, weekend adventure, or any kind of trip you want for yourself. But never take too many physical belongings with you. Try to simplify your life to get a liberating lifestyle.’