Never Pay Rent Again #VanLifeSummit

Introduce Yourself…

Hi. My Name is Vanessa, but I also go by Alley.

I live in an apartment near St. Louis with a roommate and can never seem to get far enough ahead to get out of renting.

I love being outdoors! I love getting to see new places. I don’t care for being stuck in an apartment relying on a landlord to fix the whole in my ceiling from the rain, or my sprayer to the kitchen sink.

This is where I landed on a full time van life option.
We (my roommate and I) just signed a year long lease.
I have an entire year to save, buy, plan, and custom build something that can be mine, something I can call home. What can be better than a home you can take anywhere to watch a new sunrise daily?

So, where do I begin?
How do you even start budgeting for something you have never done before?
How do I determine my needs vs wants?
What mistakes should I watch out for?

3 days ago it was starting to feel overwhelming, and honestly, quite confusing.
There is SOOOO much information online, it is easy to get lost.

Rounding towards the end of this 3 day weekend, I feel so much better.

I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped put this together from the organizes to the speakers!

In a short year, I will be living full time in a van/truck with my 50 pound dog.
I am open to any help, suggestions, or even questions about my plans to help me think of new angles and ideas.


Greetings & Welcome!

I’ve been a nomad my entire adult life, nearly 60 years now. Always working full time while also traveling, and exploring whatever area I was in. For the first 30 years, my job involved travel, then for the last 30 years I’ve worked online from the comfort of my rig, while still traveling.

I’ve had factory camper vans, factory motorhomes, and self converted vans, step vans, buses, box trucks, and more.

The sweet spot for me has been dirt cheap, old, unmodified, pre-computerized, move in ready, motorhomes. Many are still like new, with low miles, and cost less than it would to move into a new apartment. After purchase, I catch up with all needed maintenance to make it road worthy & reliable, and establish a time line for future maintenance.

Vehicles depreciate in value, but a fully depreciated vehicle will hold it’s value, and possibly appreciate in value. I’ve sold many rigs for 4-5 times what I had invested in them simply because I cleaned them up inside & out, caught up on all maintenance, and made sure everything worked as intended.

I have also bought & converted many old, dirt cheap, vans/buses/etc. I do cheap conversions, full featured, but under $500 for the conversion. I start saving money with the initial purchase and continue saving money through the conversion, and for as long as I own it.

Older, simpler vehicles cost less to buy, repair, & maintain, and I like taking full advantage of that.


"Ignorance can cost more than an education." - Sir Claus Moser