Life in the Van: Pheonix, AZ

DECEMBER 30, 2021 - JANUARY 15, 2022

This is a series of blog posts that share our lessons learned, things NOT to do, places to travel, places to park + more! Let's get into this week's LESSONED LEARNED.

When we arrived in Arizona we spent the first 5 days with Codee's family in Florence, AZ. We stayed at a casita near his grandparents, which was basically like a "mother-in-law's quarters" attached to someone else's home. It was a little awkward being so close to the owners home + being able to see directly into each others living quarters, but that's why we live in a van(; Despite the awkwardness, it was so nice to have somewhere to park for a few nights + a full bathroom for a week!

Side rant: This holiday season we quickly learned that not everyone will understand how much we love our tiny home. It's not just a vehicle to us, it's our little nest. We put blood, sweat, and tears into building it. We are proud and incredibly thankful to live in it. We have everything we need! Well except a bathroom. And we have to watch our electricity. And unfortunately our water levels...

After most of the out-of-town family left AZ, it was hard to get back into the swing of things! We took off most of December to spend time with family, so when January 1st hit we needed to get to work! I, Sarah, had 3 sessions through the 15th of January in different spots around Pheonix. (You can check those out in a different blog!) Codee has been working hard making money in every way possible. Dorrdash, TaskRabbit, applying to be a temp server, Wonolo Jobs... you name it!

Due to work, we have been tied down to the city. And as a van lifer who loves the outdoors, it's not ideal LOL. So after a week of being away from family, sleeping in Walmart, Cracker Barrel, + Planet Fitness and being away from a full bathroom, I needed a shower BAD!

We have an amazing pop-up shower in our van (see our recent vlog for how our shower works). So I popped the shower right up and rinsed off with our 4.5 gal water heater - that's not much water FYI.

So usually once we take a shower we have to find a place to fill our freshwater + dump our greywater. This is usually not a problem... until this past week! We COULD NOT find a place near us to FILL! D:

After calling around + checking lots of apps (IOverlanded, All Stays...etc.) for a potable water spigot, we ended up at Fry's Food. We bought 3 Gal of water and made about 4 trips to the refill machine in order to fill up our 15 gal water tank.

While this isn't the end of the world, it is not ideal.

Lesson learned from this week's life in the van:

  • Keep water on hand in emergencies! We now have 2 Gal on hand that fit in our shower bench.
  • Download apps before hitting the road. Some of the apps we have are IOverlander, All Stays, PlugShare, GasBuddy, NPS App, Sekr, FreeRoam.
  • Have a plan for the week. Things can change, you will have to be flexible. But know a relative plan of where you will be, where to park, where to fill up/dump, and have backup plans because plan A doesn't always work!

If you have questions or are curious about van life, check out some of our other resources or contact us + we will give you our best answer!

Until next time,


Sarah + Codee

When city life went wrong...