Tag Archives: Simplicity

How to Convert a Toyota Minivan into a Campervan

Living in my car, or preferably a van, has been, for many years, my Plan B for the time when rents will become unaffordable. The livable van also sounds like a good option for low-cost travel or camping. This post is a great how-to for a simple van conversion. And simplicity is always a good idea, especially when the idea is to live and travel frugally.


After many months of traveling the U.S. in our car, popping up the tent every night, and enduring all that Mother Nature dumped on us, WE UPGRADED! Transitioning from tent life to van life is not as complicated as one may think! You don’t need to buy a top of the line cargo van while spending months of time and $$$ gutting it and rebuilding it to perfection (don’t get us wrong, appreciate all 4-wheeled works of art). Converting the minivan into our road home was cheap and easy, just the way we like it. Below are the simple steps we took for the conversion.

Step 1. Gut the Van


This was easy as pie. We took out all of the seats and floor mats behind the front cockpit. At this point we also detailed the entire van to clean the interior up.

Step 2. Figure out your platform dimensions


Finding the right dimensions for…

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March 30, 2016 · 4:00 pm

Snowzilla Blizzard Success: Car Dug Out, And No Heart Attack

It’s the simple pleasures!

It’s being grateful for the ordinary, everyday things we take for granted.

Such as living and breathing and your heart beating. Can’t get more ordinary than that. You’ve got to do it every day.My car 2My Honda Accord has been freed from the grip of Snowzilla. Took me two days  to accomplish. I consider it a grand success, anytime a male  over 60 digs a car out without a heart attack! And I do not brag. Some other folks were not so fortunate. There but for the grace of God go I. Heaven knows, it’s not because I’m so physically fit. Because, well, I’m not.

I’m delighted to report that here in Gaithersburg, MD, Snowzilla is in full retreat in above-freezing temperatures.

Thanks to all who shoveled, to all those who were prepared in advance with snowblowers, and thanks to the guys who drive those little mean, green machines.

— John Hayden

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Filed under Aging, Health, Life, Maryland

Is The Tiny House Movement A Big Lie?   — You can read all about it over at the Tree Hugger Blog. Click on the big red link above.

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January 15, 2016 · 1:49 am

My Washing Machine

Well. This post explains nearly everything about our consumer economy. Plus nearly everything about the aggravation of daily life. It explains why buying more appliances doesn’t necessarily make daily life more simple. Appliances are just as likely to complicate life as to simplify it. The post would probably explain road rage, if it were possible to have road rage when operating or repairing a stackable washer and dryer. I’m usually tempted to throw it out rather than try to fix it. Thank you to Almost Iowa.

Almost Iowa

Machovka-Washing-machine-3Our washer quit again.

The little guy has his happy days and his sad days but too many of his days are spent sulking and refusing to work.

I wish I understood his moods better.

For much of this, I blame my wife (a common enough reflex for me) because she likes to fiddle with the settings.

After she has dialed the temperature to cold and the cycle to delicates, I come along with a dozen grease stained jeans and a pile of sweatshirts that smell more like my dog than my dog does – and when I push the START button, the washer gags and shrieks – then in a huff worthy of a petulant teenager, it quits and refuses to start again.

Normally when this happens, I simply unplug it.

In the world of appliances therapy, pulling the plug is the equivalent of electroshock.  It erasers the memory and reboots the attitude of wayward gadgets- but like any treatment, it has its…

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Filed under Life

Clarity Inside the Box

Living simply is always a work in progress. — John

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Filed under Life, Simple Living

Good Intentions . . . In A Tiny Apartment

small kitchen sink piled with dirty dishes

I promised myself I wasn’t going to let this happen in the new apartment. Famous last words.

On the positive side, the sink is small — you might even say tiny, as kitchen sinks go — so it limits the number of dirty dishes that can pile up. Plus, I left most of the dishes at the old apartment. How many dishes does one bachelor need? Continue reading


Filed under Frugal living, Housing, Life, Simple Living

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week…

I can relate to this photo. Everyone needs a quiet moment of simple happiness. — John

Live & Learn

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Filed under Life, Photos

Slideshow of Tiny House Photos

For some reason, readers of WIP are fascinated by tiny houses. BTW, I’ve lived in a one-room efficiency apt for five years, and plan to move to one that’s even smaller in the fall.


March 22, 2013 · 12:32 am

Sue Dreamwalker is on a roll. Every one of her recent posts has been an inspiration to look at our lives and change. Simplicity, food, environmental awareness. — John

Dreamwalker's Sanctuary

The Planet is in our Hands


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Filed under Frugal living, Life, Simple Living

Sustainable Living, All It Takes Is Work

Couldn’t resist posting one more video. A most energetic and inspiring older couple. I guess local food and organic food is possible. All you need is dirt and work.


March 6, 2013 · 5:55 pm