Brent is a fellow Overlander at heart. He is a tech writer for Gizmoto and other publications, and has decided to live in a van. You can follow his journey at his website:Connected States
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THE LAST TIME I packed up my apartment to move, I realized I didn’t really know where I wanted to move to. I was tired of sitting in one spot and I was tired of paying rent. Since I’m a writer and have the advantage of being able to work from virtually anywhere, I decided to take that concept to its logical extreme.
In the Spring of 2015 I bought a 2006 Gulf Stream Vista Cruiser G24, and after a couple months of fixing it up, I started living in it full-time. It’s basically a small RV built into a Freightliner Sprinter chassis. All the goodies under the hood are made by Mercedes Benz, but it didn’t have that MB sticker price. I found one in Oregon with just 35,000 miles on it and I bought it on the spot. It had taken me more than five months to find the model that had what I needed (a separate work area and sleep area, a storage compartment big enough for a surfboard and a folding mountain bike, good gas mileage and easy drive/parkability). I was overjoyed.
But it wasn’t perfect. No. I mean, come on, these things are built for retirees. I, unfortunately, am still very much on the clock, and my job requires a fair amount of technology, too. I had to keep my gadgets not only charged, but safe. I had to make the space not only functional, but comfortable and fun.
So I’ve been pimping it out. I’m talking about a full solar panel/lithium battery package from AM Solar, Viper Security’s 5806 system plus GPS SmartStart, the Viking Security Safe VS-38BL with fingerprint scanner, mood lighting with the color-changing the Enevu Cube, mobile Internet with a Verizon Jetpack MiFi 6620L, and Pioneer’s top of the line AVIC-8100NEX (with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), which the boys at All Pro Audio in Santa Clara, California had to carve open my dashboard and completely rebuild it to install, adding in a badass fake faceplate into the mix. Basically, I went all out. Watch the video above for more detail.