So it is official, the Instant Pot is my new favorite van cooking appliance. Unless you have been living under a rock recently, you have probably heard some talk about the Instant Pot. Food bloggers are all about this multifunctional appliance. Numerous cookbooks are all over Amazon, I even saw a few the last time I went to Costco. Pressure cooking has become mainstream, thanks to this device.
The Instant Pot is numerous devices in 1. It can be used as a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker, and food warmer. The mini size will make up to 6 cups (12 cups cooked) of rice at once, keep food warm for over 10 hours, and has a 24 hour delay start timer. Have I peaked your interest yet?
I’m not sure what it is about telling people you are staying/living in a van, but usually women’s minds immediately go to beauty and hygiene questions. How do you wash your hair? Where is the toilet? How much water do you have?
Now, we don’t live in the van full time (yet), but I (Tricia) like to have it fully stocked with all of my skin care needs. The whole point of the van was to not have to “pack” to go on weekend getaways or weeklong trips. You can argue, why is your skincare routine any different when staying in a van? Well there are some additional things when staying in a van that you need to worry about. The number 1 item being water. Our van only has a 10 gallon water tank which goes FAST (the average American uses about 17 gallons per shower). So my skin care routine typically revolves around keeping my water consumption down. Here is how I do it, plus some other additional items I keep in my beauty bin.
After we finished up our time in Singapore, we headed to Padang, Indonesia. This city is where most of the charter boats to the Mentawai Islands leave from. We decided to stay in Padang for 2 nights. One to make sure we didn’t miss our boat, and two to make sure we were well rested before getting on the boat. Once we got off the airplane and got our bags, the Tengirri boat crew was waiting to take us to the hotel.
One of our bucket list trips was going on a surfing boat trip around the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Indonesia. The boat trip was 12 days, so we decided to make it a long vacation and stop in Singapore on the way there.
Unfortunately this trip required us to leave Gidget in Southern California. I’m sure she was lonely sitting in the LAX airport parking lot for 3 weeks. It made us sad to leave her there, but sometimes you just got to get away.
We started our trip off by getting on an A380 double decker Singapore Airlines flight.
When planning out our van build we knew we didn’t want to have to make the bed every night. We also wanted plenty of storage space under the bed and in overhead cabinets. A platform bed was really the only option.
To save space we decided to install it width wise in the back of the van. In the side cutouts of the van, there was exactly enough room to install a full size mattress.
Last weekend we decided to head over to Catalina Island for the day. Neither Matt or myself have been to Catalina or any of the Channel Islands, and apparently it is one of those things that every Southern Californian needs to do. We left out of Newport Beach on the Catalina Flyer ferry in the morning.
You add insulation to a van for the same reasons you add it to a house, to reduce the transfer of thermal and sound energy. Many established methods for insulating traditional homes exist. Unfortunately most of these methods don’t apply to vans as they have metal walls, lots of single pane windows, and lack large HVAC systems.
For the #vanlife community insulation is the most debated topic. You have many options: fiberglass, rigid foam board, Reflectix, recycled denim, spray foam, 3M Thinsulate, vapor barriers, CLD sound deadening material, and many more. Each material has pros and cons and doing the necessary research can be overwhelming.
Tricia here, writing my first post! Over the weekend we tackled the daunting task of permanently modifying Gidget by installing a roof fan. Neither of us have had the pleasure of cutting a huge hole in a vehicle, so it was a little nerve-wracking.
When planning our van build we decided not to install a rooftop air conditioning unit. They tend to remove any notions of stealth, are loud, and need a lot of power to operate. But we also want some level of comfort so we settled on a roof fan. After significant research we discovered there is only 2 serious manufactures: Fan-Tastic and MaxxAir. We went with the MaxxAir MAXXFAN Deluxe 7000K fan because the lid can be open when its raining and when driving.