SMALL van vs BIG van | Which Should You Choose?!
Hello. Everyone and welcome back to, another episode of the alternative. Living podcast with us the, indie projects I'm bee and. I'm Thea and I. Totally forgot that we're doing a podcast then, and I was going to introduce you but that wouldn't have made any sense to our listeners, who are listening through, earphones and, not on YouTube do not forget gingy bear oh and also yeah gingy bear but she's not actually here. Today she's, outside very, sunny, she's. Out lounging. That's, what she does best, she's. Lounging, in the sunshine, you might have to hear on the microphone, a. Certain. Oiz there. Is fairly. Prominent in my headphones so I don't know how it's gonna come across on the podcast but. They, are in fact crickets, yeah, so the crickets it's later in the day now isn't it singing, away they. Do they sing away and it's really nice actually it's almost like going to sleep. In I'm, a celeb, get, me out of here in the, in the jungle there's, crickets everywhere, it's really loud um, so, just to paint the scene if you're new to the podcast, here, we, basically are, currently, recording it in a renovated. Caravan in, our off grid space here, in Portugal, studio, yes it's our podcasting, studio, and also. A guest bedroom for, guests. When they come to resist so we've had my mom stay here and, we're gonna have your sister and her husband, and our niece stay here soon so that's, gonna be a lot of fun and a lot of people have said we should Airbnb. Maybe. In the future I. Think, we don't have time for that right now because we've got a lot going on this year. Yeah. We hinted a bit into it in the last podcast if, you did listen to that hope, you enjoyed it today's one's gonna be a little bit more. Tourist. Yeah. Last. One was focused yeah I mean they're always focused, about, not. About us. Always about others but this one's gonna be one. Subject yeah and one subject I, think, this is a really. Really. Good, subject because, when. I was talking about when, we got e4, in the last podcast I was like I wanted. A fan like I can stand up in I want one that's got a full bathroom, I want this than the other and then, we ended up with a small van I think to have. A criteria when. You go to look at vans there's. So many vans out there are so many different options that you, can't just go and look at any old van you want your criteria, lock down before, you go and even see the van yeah and obviously. Our t4, we it, didn't meet the criteria no. Not, at all my only one who's, really good at finding cars, and vans and, stuff like that he. Suggested this one you already found it, but. We thought yeah we'll go another look at it then and we fell in love we did fall in love it was great we I think we just snapped it. Exactly. What we need like can we drive it home. But. Yeah so that was that van and being. In, that, van if you, listen to the other podcast, or you know our history that, wasn't our first van. But. It was our van that we spend the most amount of time kind of just keep getting. We. Did have that kind of crazy interlude, of three years where we we still had our van but we also lived in a narrow, bow that's probably the biggest place, we've lived in the last five years because 30 foot long it, was it was like a, mansion. Compared. To its he who had like long, narrow votes like 60 foot like. 45, 50 foot they'd, look at us like how do you live in a 30 foot narrow bow living that I'm like well I came from a vwt. For this, is a mansion I stand, up in this do you know how great they is you could stand up I couldn't you could kind of a, hunter. But. One, of these what's the topic that well I was gonna say well, the house is about to get there so I put out on our Instagram, if, actually. That's a good a good way if you want to keep in touch with this. Side of this podcast then, we do have an Instagram we are the indie projects on there we're also the, indie projects, on YouTube, within departments on Twitter and on Facebook so, if you want to keep in touch with us outside of the podcast, do. Check us out on all those social media platforms, and that's where I put this question if I said on our insta, story what. We, we nearly forgotten the last podcast but, thank you to all of our patrons, yes because, they made this possible yes. They're kind of like the sponsor, yes they are so thank you if you don't know about patreon. We. Upload, all of our videos over, there early, yeah and there's lots of other. Things. And rewards that you can get so go, over to patreon check us out and if, you feel like supporting, us we'd, be. Really grateful because it does really, help us continue, making. These, videos he does so thank you everyone over, on there, now. On, Instagram, I did a story and, I said guys. Is. There a topic that you want us to cover and you, told, me so. Many different topics there were so many responses.
And, One. Of them really stuck out I mean there's a lot of them so I'm gonna go through them all obviously not today but today is what I want to focus on just one and it, was basically. Small. Van versus. Bigger van do you have any regrets what are the pros and cons and I think that's a really great subject, to talk about because. The. Alternative, living podcast is not just all about fans, but. You know they're a big part of our life five, years now and I know a lot of you guys came. To us from, van. Live content, so I, think. This topic is really really. Interesting, I do as well because it's it's so like I don't, know obviously, I'm sorry for butting in it was very much the same word of the thing very. Passionate, about these topics and I. Think. It. Depends, on you, as a person so we can only say from. Our opinion, just because we say something doesn't, mean that's no rect for you definitely, not we have our own quirks, in ways that we like things done. And, I think what would be interesting actually, is for you to say what. You think are pros and cons of small, van versus big fan and I say well I think a pros and cons so. The, biggest pro for me for, having a smaller van I think is. Flexibility. Of. Going. Places so. You can, go down that dirt road you, can go down that track that you're not really sure if, there's, gonna be a turning, point at the end of it because, reversing. At4. Or. Turning. At4 in a tight area is a lot, easier than reversing, a massive. Great long. Wheelbase, Mercedes. Sprinter okay, anok on a. Contoured. A small van was, for. Me definitely. Not, being able to stand up, it. Made me you. Know especially in Norway when we were in North Norway and it would rain for two weeks at a time and, we were stuck in the van I have to lie down on the bed and do, my stretches. Because. I was, not, feeling too good and I had a fairly, bad back at the time. That's. Definitely, a big con not being able to stand up in your van I think, for. Me a pro of a small van is, similar, in a similar vein to you in what you said you can go anywhere being. Able to go anywhere where, there's a barrier because, we actually still see it in car parks where cars could go and in the UK they love a good barrier they do in, Portugal, the. Car parks are free and. There's. Hardly, any barriers. It's. Just a different world out here and that's one of the reasons we love it because in the UK you go anywhere, near a beach I don't. Know you if you come off the motorway and go anywhere near the seaside. However. Everything Candice signs everywhere, and, they're. Telling you what not to do and it just gets a bit boring yeah, and you know what with the corn, standing.
Up Obviously I agree with you on that one but. And especially when like cooking in the van yeah like when. You're cooking on your knees, that's. Not ideal, no, and also washing, up was difficult, so. You know what I'm gonna agree with you there on the of not being able to stand up and that's, not necessarily. Something. That you can never do in a small van because you could get pop-top which, is something we did look into but then the cost of getting that done we were like well just buy a bigger van rather than just putting money into this it's just a bigger fan. The price of like. Pop. Tops to. Put on our old t4 and, the. Quote we were getting were about 3,000. Pounds mm-hmm. So. And, that was probably one of the cheapest ones it. Just wasn't worth it no it, didn't feel worth it and by that time we were like we've been adventuring, around in this band for so many years there's, things that we'd like to change is things that I would really like in a van the things about popped up as well is that they're, great, because. You can go under the barrier and, then you can pop up, but. We, do a lot of stealthy. Wild. Camping and, I. Don't, think I'd be comfortable but. You wouldn't be comfortable I know you can sleep downstairs but, then that. Defeats. The point of the pop-tart the point, so for, us we wanted a hardtop. Because. You, know if we're in an urban environment a, we can just get into bed as we usually would instead, of popping, the lid and sleeping. Upstairs in like a canvas e10 which. I don't I don't think I'd feel safe. Or secure I'd, feel a bit exposed yeah. Okay. Also. With that like you touch from the stealth, the, stealth side and, we. Kept our old van the t4 very, stealth a lot if you thing. Is if you know about vans and motorhomes and stuff you can spot one easy but if you don't like my sister wouldn't have nothing. He'll. There's gonna be people in that van so, you're, not in tune to the the van life community, or the van thing like, a lot of people would just walk past and go, there's. No one living in that van like that's ridiculous, but, trust, me there is you. Can tell but that's, something. That we've not done with, the Sprinter, we've. Made, it look like a camper, van it looks like a camper van yeah I want it it doesn't, so, in terms of stealth. Not stealth but it's totally, comfortable. It's. Totally. Comfort account, elaborate. How comfortable, this, van is and how perfect. It is and how I do. Not have a regret. For, going to no no regrets, whatsoever I have driven this van so I can't actually say that's, the funny thing it came up on Instagram, actually we've been getting a lot of our questions for. These podcasts, from and. One. Wasn't. Even one person, like we've had so many comments going wouldn't, it just be more sensible just to move into the caravan and. Know, the, caravans, amazing, and it's, such a lovely space and it's, such a lovely add-on, of space, but. This is. No.
Where. Luxury. Compared. To what we have in our van you know we basically have, these all central heating, in our van we have a brilliant. Low-power. 12, volt fridge freezer yeah, you, know lovely. Lighting. So. Far like we've, been getting a lot of Sun we, don't drive, the van very often at all only to get. Fuel, and. Fuel and. Fuel gas, LPG. That's. Another thing it's got LPG, it's going oven I know the caravan has an oven but my van has an oven people, but, the, van is exactly, what we wanted because we, built it and. For. A long time we'd, been, going over this you, know even when were in the tea for travelling. We think, about our you. Know what, would we do differently if, we built this van ourselves, so we have a. Luxury. Vehicle and, it is luxury, it's so, comfortable, I think if you've not seen our van or maybe you need a refresher we can discuss, will describe, because. I thought, oh but have you not seen our van but, we. Just. Be busy with other stuff on the land so it's kind of took about nothing, the get, in the way I was living in it's obviously we've been living in essence November, but. They're things that it's. Gingy scratching, to gain you sure ow oh, baby. What. Was the saying I don't know I totally follow I have to open a door. Bear. With me I could open the window and she could jump through would that be easier do, that see. Gingy's, obviously, had enough of the. She's. Obviously had enough of sunbathing, and wants to come in the back yes. Let's. See if she jumps through the window. She's. Hilarious. Right. I'm not sure what we were talking about but. I think, it was something to do with. Well. Obviously we're, talking big, van versus, small van, pros. And cons where. We be. Okay. So yeah we were talking about the layout, and. How you, want to know the layout because we haven't actually filmed tour of it yet we will be filming a tour of it soon I promise you. Wow, I just looked out the window and it's windy, out yeah, they all. Started, but talking about our van, the first controversial. Part, of it is that we have a bulkhead kitchen, so. Many people, can't. Get their head around which, is understandable, that. We. Can't just jump from. The cab into the. Back of, our, living area. Yeah. We can, so we basically made like a hole that we can fit through in an emergency, it's an escape hat but after five years of traveling in our camper van there's not been one time. Where. We've actually, a. Life-or-death, situation where. We've had to go. From the back, when. We've been sleeping or, in the living area and just drive, off hasn't. Happened so. Nearly. Happened but, a loaf of bread saved our lives with, the dogs yes. The dogs the dogs in Bulgaria, we, had to get the the bikes otherwise. We would have scarpered. Strays. Are nice, they were nice they were just hungry. So. Yeah it's it's. Definitely. Controversial. We've, had a lot of questions about that and why we did it and it. Is. Open, the space up in the van so. Much having the kitchen on the bulkhead, now. We've got like a massive l-shaped. Seating area, basically, a sofa, in our, van which. Is so nice and so comfortable, I. Absolutely. Love the space that we have in our van that was another thing it's like yes, we've got a big fan but, we don't want to fill it to the brim with, stuff. And getting in the way like cupboards. I don't need nor, that kind of stuff you know so we kept a really minimalist, we kept it really simple and, there was a moment, where we. Had the kitchen I would built the kitchen and we were kind of like oh, maybe. We haven't got enough like storage, for food and stuff but. It turns out it's completely fine, and we, were just panicking, for no reason. Yeah. Like. We can't even fill all of the spaces like we, have all under, the l-shaped. Seating area, we've got the litter tray for the cab the whole garage, don't drink that please the whole carriage area you just wanna drink our water she's, an, autumn drink. Even, though she has a bowl on the floor over there and she loves the attention. So. Obviously. If you're not watching Theo stroking, gingy cuz she's demanding attention, walking. On the table, sniffing, the mic stands. No. What was really funny earlier no I was. Building, me oh that's a good that's a good place to sit I.
Was. Building, the mic stands earlier this. Morning did he help you and no. I was carrying the mic so, that I could get, the diameter, of the hole that I needed to cut. And, she. Saw the, fluffiness, of the mic and she must have thought it was like a rat or, a mouse and, she'd literally. Ran so, fast away, from it away from me you're. Not supposed to run away she was terrified which is usually good at catching rats. I. Think it was just because I was maybe waving, it I. Can. See now. Anyway. Back to. Kitchen. Which, has an oven in it it's got a small sink which we got a lot of hate like some really, specific, target. Hate for. The size of our sink, its caravan. You. Wouldn't believe the. Comments. We, get and the, nasty comments we get like, we get some hideous, comments, over a sink, but over is sinkings, like surely, there's better. Things to do. It's. Not a big issue it's, fine for us. Doesn't. It so yeah but that's our kitchen we've got beautiful, storage. Space above there we turned the overhead, cab space into, a little area as well that gingers taken over as her little bedroom and, then, we got the l-shaped seating area, which backs, onto well and then the bed is behind, that the full length fixed. Bed fixed, is this word. Here you. Know. Today. What, a. Van. Is, now, a camper, van oh yeah, yeah. Can, we around applause. We. Took a while to take the photos and send them off. You. Should have done it earlier but with, our insurance policy we didn't have to do it straightaway we had to we had a time limit that, we could do and we did it before the end of that time limit so our. Van, is now a camper van it feels good like we made that and we met, the criteria the. DVLA, have. Said yes guys it, is do it because. Now we, should get cheaper. Insurance, yeah. And actually you know what I'm just gonna you were just. So I'm very happy because, you, know it's one of those things that's been in the back of your mind you like offering you need to get though I keep forgetting to send it off and it's, done now and I'm just like yes, it's, done. Hopefully. On its, way yes so, it's. Perfect, yeah I know if you like how do you not know if you had the paperwork I called them I called you I. Didn't, think this would work I thought they'd just fob us off yeah just be like oh we can't tell you over the phone you have to wait for the paperwork because like it's not been for weeks Oh might not be still looked was. Winning. I know I, just have a persuasive. Telephone, voice obviously. I'm like you gotta tell me yeah. Van, is looking. Amazing, I, just. Fitted something cool that I'm gonna do a video about as well so that video might have come out by now it might not have so, I'm not gonna talk about it. But. Our van is looking, like, a beefcake, yes, it's, got but, it's silly she. She's. A beefcake I'm not sure if our van is ashy or not it still doesn't have a name and, it, looks very angry, like, he's angry, you know the the Sprinter, the newest Binta grill that we've got yes it's just like an angry face yeah and with the all-terrain tires and, the snorkel, and a light bar and the roof rack and the new thing that we've just added it. Just looks amazing I'm, so pleased, with how it looks we are in love with a vehicle, we. Coming. Back to the bed I've never. Had a bed. That comfortable, we have an Ikea, selected. We, have that, did not make sense we we have a custom, bed made, out of Ikea. Slats. Yes, and our own timber, that we made. Timber. Yes we did Mary didn't we, sleep upon a real, a real IKEA. Mattress, because. Even. A real bed it's like I have a real bed and it's, the realest bed I've slept in years there's a lot of there's. A lot of people. Who have a downer on IKEA, but. This slays no. Trust. Show yourself, though there are and. The. Slats worked perfectly, for a self build because. Like. They're the size of a bed as well why, did we go for slats because. We wanted that springiness, I think, but also.
Ventilation. So one, of the things we've got in our van no-nobody bed, yeah. We don't want a moldy bed I've. Seen a lot of people and one. Of the things that we're very lucky about. Is the filming, all of the van tours that we have filmed, all, over, the like, Europe, we've. Seen so many different. Peoples vans and learnt so many of their problems that, we aren't gonna make for. Teaching they made they made the problem. They. Had the problem and, we. Could fix it and come up with a solution. For it so, we, had slatted, well we have slatted. Slatted. Bed a very comfortable mattress, I did one of them and, one of the important things was heating. Into, the damage, I. Definitely, wanted that. We. Can turn the heating off into there everyone we've got a little flap, new. Flap it and the other day you did, flap it and I got angry, because, I think it's really good to always keep that area ventilated. Yeah I mean that's something, that's really important, why did you turn it off I was just like he, doesn't need to be hot under there anymore it's not the deep winter I don't, know it gets, very cold, under there yeah and it's very woman - they're dingy loves to sleep under there on her hair see inside exactly, I think like, we don't have the heating on all the time the heating just ticks on and off when, it gets to a certain temperature so. I think. You might as well just keep, it under the bed because you. Don't want any mold and we actually lifted our mattress up after, I realized that you. Unflattering. These. Reflect for like no even a day and I, checked on the mattress and there's not one bit of mold so that's brilliant very successful, it's brilliant so how, long have we been living in the van now. The. New vents yeah. No informants, 20th or November December. February. Nearly. Four months nearly four months and our verdict. So far from, well for me I don't know what your is further on then tell me I prefer the big event yes I prefer, the big event, a hundred, percent. The only thing missing the, only thing is. I need some hooks. Extra. Hooks I need so much hang up my comb or. Something I just that, can be arranged look man as everyone. Always says a van is always. Work in progress yeah especially one that's your, self because you, can modify. It to their own specifications. That you like that's. What we built it to what we liked as well so that's. What we did and I, love it but yeah that's lutely like I need somewhere I'd like somewhere by the door where I can hang up some things like maybe some jackets if they get damp, not. Experience, much rain what have been in the van yeah we've been in Portugal, it's been a really, dry winter, though any. Rain has, been. Incredible. Mm-hmm, it's been so good the money has rained like. Very sporadically, the next day it's just like life, is on like. Everything's green I don't know if you guys can see this but that, is what you call a t-shirt, tan. Or. Some people call a farmer's, tan but. Yeah. The, lower part of my arm is very Brown and I was walking around without a top on today trying to rectify the. Problem, I, think. As we wrap up this podcast, a really, good thing to say about, pros. And cons for us big, of an vs. small van is we chose bigger, van and we're happy with that, that's. Not to say the. Smaller van. Didn't. Work for us it emerges. For a long time long time it changed our lives, it was brilliant it was just I mean nothing's perfect, it wasn't, perfect we, couldn't stand up in it that was the main problem, but. Like, for us we're, so happy now with our bigger van we've, got more space, gingy's. Got more space. It's really weird actually in, the t4, she, wouldn't sleep on the bed with us on now in the Sprinter she sleeps on the bed with us again it's bizarre, she's got more space to be with us she acts just like she was in the bow and also when. My. Parents. Have looked after her when. Obviously. She stayed at their house she acts the same way in the van so it's really nice to feel, that she's just her normal self in the big event, yeah when I was in the t4. There. Wasn't a lot of room you. Know four three three. People. My. Closer as a person, she's, a person, she's gingy bear and. She's currently grooming, on the sofa next to me in the caravan she loves it in the caravan she spends time in here on her own he spends more time in the caravan than, we do yeah she's just because she she makes out like she wants to be outside all the time but. Actually she locked there said earlier she loves to lounge, so she's lounging, in the caravan and I'll, go in the van I'll leave the door open for all day and she's, actually sleeping up, upstairs, above, the cap in, a little nook oh yes, the, overhead, storage, unit, I always, dreamed, that, she, would adopt, that space for her little area. In the van and she has she climbs.
Up The shelves on the kitchen, and climbs, into her little nook and, yeah. It chills out in a day sometimes up there has it at all has. A little nap and then goes. Exploring. Again yeah, I think it's. Really worth knowing, the. Whatever. The size of the van it's got, to be right, for you some, people like, if you're not gonna live in a van you might not necessarily need a big space but that doesn't mean that you can't have a big van just because you're not gonna live in it you have whatever you want and whether you're happy with that's the moral of today's. Podcast, no. Wrong. There's no right or wrong with this and that's why we like the lifestyle, there's, a lot of people who will, tell you that there's a right or wrong way. You're. Wrong you're, wrong wrong. Anyway. Right we've wrapped the podcast, up there I hope you guys enjoyed, the. Little debate, topic, about. What it's not really been a debate but could be made in the comments, so, please, get. In the comments, let, us know your. Feelings, on small van versus, big van. Oh wait. Just before we finish it if you're watching this on youtube or, if. You're listening to it on our website you. Can download this episode, on iTunes, and on loads of other places basically, wherever you can get a podcast. It should search. For the alternative, living podcast and it will be there I don't know when this is coming out but I'm gonna look into gang on Spotify so hopefully it's on Spotify, by now as well. Requested. It be on Spotify, they have because back in the day back in 2017. I tried. To get into Spotify, it was really hard so but they've changed it apparently so I'm gonna try and get it on there so, yeah if you don't want to watch it or you want to listen to it again or you just want to listen to it you. Can download it so. Yeah thank you for joining us and, leave. Us some suggestions as well on topics. For. The podcast and, we. Will see you soon. For. Another one, and, we'll, speak to you soon because you might not see us if you're listening to it yes, and, if you are listening to us wherever, you're going you can if, you're listening in your van or. Traveling, yeah, have a good trip and ciao. For now we'll see you on the next one.