About to shake things up

Hi people,

My name is Richard from Belgium.
My wife and I bought a Renault Estafette in 2018 and started restoring it in 2019 with the idea of turning it into a motorhome for holidays.
We had many setbacks with the restoration due to an incompetent mechanic who set us back a few years. It’s a very long story with twists and turns that I don’t want to bore you with.

We have been living the ‘normal’ life for over 45 years now, and as we have no children, we began to ask ourselves ‘why’ and realised that we could change our lifestyle more easily than most. We changed our idea and now we want to live and work out of our van as we travel Europe and who knows beyond…
It won’t be full time, but probably months at a time.

We finally got our van back a few months ago. In the little time we had so far - because of other ongoing projects - we started the conversion.

Even though I am a trained electrician and quite handy, we thought it would be better not to reinvent hot water. So we signed up for the Van Life Academy to learn from those who have gone before us.

Thanks for reading this and thanks in advance for future tips and tricks, glad to be here,


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Shaidens builds are great. Ive learned like 85% of what im applying from his tutorials

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Greetings & Welcome!

I purposely have no plumbing to prevent freezing issues. I use dollar store trigger spray bottles, and dollar store plastic dishpans for sinks. Whenever possible, I like to utilize solar powered hot water, by sitting my black painted water containers in a window in the sun or outside. I do the same with my 3 gallon weed sprayer style shower, and can do the same with one or more of my 7 gallon water jugs.

I replaced the wand and hose on my weed sprayer with a longer hose and a kitchen sink sprayer nozzle. Mine is a manual pump model, but you can get battery operated ones as well.

When solar isn’t available, I can simply heat what I need on my stove in a pot, or if I need a lot of hot water I can use a shower coil on my stove, or with a campfire to heat an unlimited amount of water. I love whistling tea kettles that will alert you when your water is boiling hot.

I just really don’t want the hassle of a propane water heater…


"Life can be as simple or as complicated as you make it.
Simple is cheaper and more reliable."
~ Off Grid

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