Cold Weather Survival – In a Volkswagen Westfalia

With the cold weather months upon us here in the Pacific Northwest, I pulled my Mr. Heater brand Big Buddy portable propane heater out of storage and hooked it up to the quick connect propane line that I installed in the van last winter.  If you are going to live in a vehicle through the winter, a heat source is a must. I have slept in my van through nights that have been below 22 degrees F and stayed perfectly warm with the top popped while my Big Buddy heater burns on low through the night.  The nice thing about having the Big Buddy model, is the capability to have it plumbed into the existing Westfalia propane system via a quick connect propane line that is plugged in to the non pressure regulated port on the heater.  This allows you to use the higher capacity onboard propane tank without using up the expensive 1 lb disposable bottles.  Also the Big Buddy has the capability for hooking up two 1 lb disposable bottles in the case where you must run off the bottles. While running on 2 disposable bottles, the heater will burn on low all through the night.  I have found that running off 1 disposable bottle on the smaller Mr. Heaters will not get you through the night. Here is a quick video review of the heater.  This heater is a MUST HAVE in my VW Vanagon Westfalia.  Enjoy the video.

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Midnight Moon at Smith Rocks, Oregon

Living in a Volkswagen Westfalia is the easiest way to see the world.  Its extraordinarily easy to put the key in the ignition and go.  Everything is always packed and ready to go! Here is a shot of the van in camp mode as I set up for an evening at Smith Rocks State Park in Oregon.  This is around midnight and the landscape is lit by the moonlight.


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The NEW Youtube Channel – Living The Van Life

For those of you that are interested, I have started a Youtube channel where I will be posting lots of video blogs about various aspects of living in a Volkswagen Westfalia.  Click the link below.  The great thing is that my iPhone 4 shoots video in 720 HD allowing me to shoot a short video of the van or whatever adventure I am in at the moment and upload it directly to Youtube!  Today’s technology is amazing.

Click here to visit my Youtube Channel:
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Getting Lost in Central Oregon… Good Times

A friend of mine and I took a road trip in my house a couple of weeks ago.  We left our hometown in NW Washington and headed south into Oregon.  Going back to my childhood times, I have found that I love exploring back roads off the beaten path.  I mean roads that look like they may be impassible to the average traveler seem to be the most intriguing.  So once we found ourselves in the open country of Central Oregon, the backroads became plentiful.  So we just started picking random dirt roads that went in the general direction that we wanted to head and explored. The Volkswagen Westfalia seems to do quite great in getting itself around in the off road as long as there are no clearance issues.  I have climbed some pretty decently steep hills out in the desert.  Its pretty awesome to be able to drive my home out into the middle of nowhere and live it up where ever I go!  Still lovin’ livin’ the van life.   oh… and here is a short fun video my buddy and I made as we went along our back roads in Central Oregon.  ENJOY!

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Yes, I am a slacker! But I AM still living in my van…

10 months later, the adventure lives on. My idea of keeping a constant blog going while I live out this adventure has maybe dimmed. However the adventure of living in my Volkswagen Westfalia is alive and well. I’ld like to start doing some video blogging as well. Here is my first installment on the video series.

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Time Flies

Gosh, I just sat down to review my blog and realized the date of my last post is 3 weeks ago.  It’s been a busy last 3 weeks with little idle time between crazy adventures.  I figure I better throw something up to say that I am still going. 

Van life is great!  The weather recently has been exceptionally cold with temps into the mid teens.  My spare time side project for the last week has been setting up a safe source of propane heat.  I don’t want to always depend on A/C power for my heat source.  After all, this whole adventure is being able to survive off the grid.  Mr. Heater brand heaters has a great little series of propane catalytic heaters.  They are certified for indoor and RV use.  I purchased the Big Buddy heater for my set up.

I am going to set up my heater to where I can run it off of 2qty – 1lb disposable bottles OR have it plumbed directly into my onboard propane system via a 12′ propane line for longer running time.  It is an amazing life saver in this cold weather.  On low setting this little unit will keep the Westfalia at t-shirt temps.

Other than that, as I said… van life is great.  As payday’s roll by I make small contributions to bettering and simplifying life in the Westy.  I have been able to make very thrifty purchases that have greatly improved the Westy.  Perhaps I will put together a few posts along with pictures to show what I have done. 

Van life drifts on…

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“Some people ride a bike to work to save the expense of a vehicle; why not live in a vehicle to save the expense of a house?”


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