Tag Archives: Van dwelling

Why I Live in a Van While Traveling

An abandoned, apparently lived-in van somewhere in Kentucky. When people learn that I live in my van while traveling America, I hear one of two replies: Seriously! and Seriously? I’m always shocked that anyone could think this way of traveling is anything less than awesome. Generally, people seem intrigued that I spend a good part of my year tooling around this vast and magnificent land, but it’s the “living in a van” part that many seem aghast at. Sure my van, Purple Thunder, doesn’t have a couch or a television. It does not have a refrigerator or an oven or… Continue Reading

The Home Stretch

Winter wreaks havoc on the regional rail lines, causing frequent delays, which usually means long waits in the cold. For me, a late trolley equals a missed train equals a missed bus to the office, resulting in tardiness and smaller paychecks. Sometimes the train ride becomes a debacle. Earlier this month, on my way home, the train lost power between stops. For 45 minutes we sat in the dark, cold vessel until it coupled with another train that pushed us to the next station. There, we unloaded and waited 30 minutes for yet another train. I could air grievances all… Continue Reading

From Around the Travelsphere: Car Camping Edition

If you’re like me, traveling, living and sleeping in your vehicle, odds are you’ve woken up to a cop tapping on your window, shouting at you to exit the ride. Moments like these are fraught with anxiety, especially if you aren’t familiar with the ordinances of the city you’re in. Worse case scenario is you’ll be booked for trespassing, your vehicle towed and your bank account set back a few hundred bucks. If the cop has a heart, he’ll simply run your name then tell you to scram, as happened with a car camper in Steamboat Springs, CO, on Sept.… Continue Reading

Hobbled in the Mountains: Purple Thunder Narrowly Makes it Home

Setting out on an 850-mile road trip in a vehicle that’s been in the shop three times in just as many weeks might seem like a fool’s errand, but I needed to be back in Philadelphia by Sunday evening so I had little choice. I’d already missed an entire work week due to two fuses that, for reasons not even the mechanics can figure out, keep blowing. The week previous I made it as far as Shannon, Illinois before they popped. Sixteen fuses and $1,600 later, I was assured that all was good in the hood. And all did go… Continue Reading

Meet Purple Thunder

Meet Purple Thunder, the van I purchased in early March. She’s a 1995 Ford Econoline 150 Conversion van with all of the bells and whistles a road warrior needs for a 9,000-mile excursion through the American hinterlands, including a bed, space, cush seating, plush interior, cruise control, new tires, electricity, window blinds and bangin’ stereo. Simply put: it’s pimp.… Continue Reading