Van Tour

 After our last blog post all about the conversion of our campervan, I thought I’d make a van tour to show you all how it looks now we have been living in it for a few months! We have travelled up the North East coast of England and Scotland, took the ferry across to the Orkney Islands and are currently sat in the sun near the River Borgie, Torrisdale. We will be heading down the West coast of Scotland soon and we are hoping that it’s not too busy now that it’s nearing October. We have been loving life in the van and have now worked out somewhat of a routine that works well for us. The one thing we knew we wanted before we even had the van was a standard double bed that we wouldn’t have to pull out and fold away everyday. We are so glad we decided this as it is so easy and means that about 75% of the storage space is underneath the bed with easy access from inside and outside of the van.

  We have cupboard space underneath the hob and the sink, although part of it holds two bottles for fresh water and grey water from the sink. Inside the cupboards we have non-slip mats with 2 boxes that contain food and separate boxes for cutlery, toiletries and washing powder. We also keep a few tins of Moss’ food and a bag of treats in the cupboards as it is the easiest access within the van. We have hooks in the van above the kitchen area for plants, our calendar and fairy lights which makes the van feel a bit more like home! There’s also a double hook by the side door for keys and bags which we use for laundry and to keep products we use everyday. In front of the kitchen area is part of Moss’ cat tree, she uses the scratch post regularly and sleeps on top. We would have a lot more space without it but we wanted to ensure that Moss is comfortable and still has the things that she enjoys!

 We have Moss’ old carrier in the van as she likes to lie inside and watch the world. When we aren’t cooking we put her carrier on-top of the counter to save floor space. We have a 2 burner hob which is connected to a small gas tank in the back of the van and it has been great for hot meals.

The bed also has storage space underneath with access via cupboard doors or the back doors of the van. The doors are held together with hook latches and magnets so that they stay closed whilst we are driving which is very useful! There are also two seats next to the bed, one of which has storage inside where we keep books and a few everyday cleaning supplies and the other has the leisure battery and light switches. I like how minimal the van can look due to all of the hidden storage as it’s easy for it to feel crowded very quickly. We have a hammock for Moss which she has started using recently and we love it! When we first got the van, we were so excited about the skylight, it’s great in the day but at night we can’t really see stars and we have made a cover to stop the light waking us in the morning. As our van has so many windows, I don’t think we use the skylight as much as we originally thought!

  On the front seats we have Moss’ basket which she is attached to whilst we are driving for safety and her litter box which we move into the front when we are parked up. This gives a lot more space in the back of the van and is easy for Moss to access. Most of the large additions within the van are for Moss but we wouldn’t have it any other way and it doesn’t cause us too much hassle now that we have given everything it’s own space!

Thank you all for reading and feel free to ask us any questions over at our Instagram!

Beth, Megan and Moss x

Instagram: mosstherat
Megan’s Instagram: meganthebendall

Converting a Minibus to a Campervan

 Our home on wheels was originally a 13 seat minibus which was converted by Megan’s dad for us. In this post I will share images of the process of the build. The project took around 6 months to complete but it would have taken a lot longer if we were doing it ourselves! We are able to live completely off grid in our van as it has a 14V leisure battery, powered by 2 solar panels on the roof, to run the fridge, lights and USB chargers and a 24V inverter for the laptop charger which we can run without the need for an electric hook up at campsites! We also have a toilet inside the van as well as a 2 burner gas hob and a sink. Below are some photos of the conversion in progress (hover to read descriptions);

 One thing that we love about the conversion is having so many windows from the original minibus, it means that we can lie in bed and watch the sea and the sunsets whilst staying nice and cosy! Although, if we travelled again we would invest in some different blinds rather than the removable covers we have currently to stop our cat, Moss pulling them down at 5am.

 The van is now looking a lot more lived in as we have been travelling for a few months. We’ve had to make things work with what we have, such as a towel to cover the skylight. We have also met some kind people along the way who have helped us out. One man gave us string to make a washing line after we struggled to find any in the shop and just this morning a mechanic fixed our broken window free of charge!

 Stay tuned for our next blog post which will be an up to date van tour! Thanks so much for reading and supporting our adventures,

Beth, Megan and Moss x

Instagram: mosstherat
Megan’s Instagram: meganthebendall

Van Life Q&A: Part 2

 If you haven’t caught up on part 1 of the Q&A then head over before you read this! We’d like to say a big thanks again to everyone who sent in a question about living in our van, we’re loving sharing our adventures with you.

@lattefeline asked us some more questions about travelling with our cat; ‘does Moss get sick whilst travelling?’ 

 No, Moss is very good whilst driving, she has her basket that she sits
in and can lie down comfortably. Sometimes she meows but we’ve found
that after a quick stop she’s fine to continue the journey.

 ‘How or where do you get the money to cover your living expenses?’

We have worked over the past year to save money for our travels and we
do not have a fixed income whilst on the road.

@catsdogs_travel asked ‘has Moss ever intended to escape from the van?’

 Luckily, no she hasn’t! We can tell what mood Moss is in, if she’s lying
down and is relaxed we leave her whilst we open the doors. However, if
she’s having zoomies or is wide eyed watching birds, we make sure
that her harness is on and that she’s attached to her lead. Moss has a
tendency to bolt so we would rather take precautions with the lead than
risk losing her. She also doesn’t mind the harness and lead and will
happily sleep with them on.

@lexismaw and @maatiaiskissa.pasi asked very similar questions about
Moss’ litter box and the type of litter we use on the road!

 We have a top-entry litter box as Moss is quite a messy cat
and kicks her litter everywhere! It’s a large litter box but we couldn’t
find anything smaller with a top entrance so we just have to move it onto the
front seats when we stop driving to give us more room in the back of the van. We are currently using Breeder Celect paper cat litter as we’ve found that it doesn’t smell as strong as wood pellets which we were previously using.   

 @lillyandsnow_ asked ‘how does Moss cope with the long journeys and how
did you train her so that she’s not afraid?’

 She’s very good in the van and doesn’t mind long journeys although we
try to keep the driving time short (under 2 hours a day) for Megan (as
the only driver) and Moss to feel comfortable! Despite Moss looking brave on her photos, she does get easily spooked and her instinct is to bolt and get up high rather than to come back to us or the van. We find that every time we take her outside she improves slightly and the other day she even jumped into the backpack instead of trying to get further away, this was a big achievement! We try to remain calm around Moss and use lots of verbal encouragement around dogs, bikes, cars and anything else that she might be afraid of!

@squipcat thought of a few more questions from our last blog post including ‘where do you go to the toilet?’

 We have a toilet in our van that’s nicely tucked under a counter, we have to empty it weekly at campsites but we’re very happy that we have one in the van! We also use supermarkets and cafes whenever we can to leave more space in the van toilet.

‘Are you on the road indefinitely or do you have plans to move into a fixed abode again?’

 We are unsure at the moment as our trip is definitely costing more than we originally thought. We have found that campsites are around £20-£30 a night which would eat up our budget pretty fast if we used them every night! We will move into a house again when we need to find work again, although we currently have no idea where that will be!

 @percypassingby simply said ‘van tour!’

 I will do a post on the van very soon, I promise!

 @dorathecat29 asked ‘how does Moss like living in a van and where did
you get her from?’

 Moss really doesn’t seem to mind living in the van. I think she’s
happiest with us so she’s loving spending all of this time together! We
got her from Megan’s aunt’s friend in London. We weren’t planning on
getting a cat but we’re so glad that we did!

Thank you for reading part 2 of our van life Q&A, if you have anymore questions please send us a message on Instagram!

Beth, Megan and Moss x

Instagram: mosstherat
Megan’s Instagram: meganthebendall