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  • Nate Murphy

Iñigo’s Functional, Self-Converted Volkswagen T4 Fit for a Seasoned Vanlifer

Have you ever thought about living without limits, having the ability to sleep in a different place every night? Maybe you’re worried that you’ve already missed too many sunrises by letting yourself live a ‘traditional’ life? According to well-versed vanlifer Iñigo, it’s never too late to take the dive head first into this way of life.

About Iñigo

When it comes to living and working in vans, Iñigo has a plethora of experience on his side. In fact, this is his 6thvan. That’s right… his 6th!

Iñigo’s van life journey began in Australia. One weekend he spontaneously decided to rent a van and immediately fell in love with the lifestyle. From here, he took all of the money he had (approximately 800 euro) and bought a van of his own. It wasn’t a converted van, just a regular van with lots of seats.

Since then, Iñigo has returned to Europe and bought a further 5 vans. Back in 2018, he noticed lots of other van lifers working remotely and decided to ask his boss if he could do the same. Unfortunately, his boss said no, which prompted Iñigo to quit his job and start creating online content. Since then, Iñigo has written 1 book and launched 3 podcasts about his vanlife experience.


Follow Iñigo on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/viajandosimple/

Visit his website: https://www.viajandosimple.com/libro/

Listen to his podcast: https://www.viajandosimple.com/podcast/

Specifications

  • Volkswagen T4 High Roof Van– Purchased in 2018, Iñigo paid approximately 6000 euros for his van.

Kitchen and Appliances

  • Wooden countertop– As an avid chef, Iñigo often found himself frustrated by the lack of kitchen space in his previous van. When designing and building this van, therefore, he was sure to incorporate a good-sized kitchen.

  • Portable stove– This is handy because it allows him to cook inside and outside without having to carry around 2 separate appliances. That being said, Iñigo hopes to get a fixed indoor stove in the near future.

  • Pull-out table– This extends to two different sizes – a smaller table for when he’s eating alone, and a larger table for when he has guests.

  • Garbage chute– Located on the wooden countertop near the sink area is a circular hole. This leads directly to Iñigo’s trash can, and operates as a garbage chute. It allows him to easily throw or slide rubbish into the bin without having to open his lower cupboards. He carried this idea over from one of his previous vans.

  • Mobicool Compressor Fridge– This is a big step-up for Iñigo, since his previous vans only had coolers with ice.

  • Sink

Sleeping

  • Convertible sofa bed– To build his bed, Iñigo extends the slats from the base of his sofa. He then adjusts the cushions to make a mattress.

Comfort

  • Swivelling passenger chair– When he’s in the van alone, Iñigo doesn’t really utilise the swivelling seat. However, when he has guests it gives him an extra seat and helps to make his van more social.

  • Privacy blackout curtain– This extends across the bulkhead to separate the front and back of the van

Power and Electrical

  • Smoke detector

  • CO2 detector

  • 100-amp battery

  • 100 watts of solar panel

Heating and Cooling

  • Diesel heater– In the two years that Iñigo has been living in his Volkswagen T4, he hasn’t had much luck with diesel heaters. He originally bought one from China, after seeing it get good reviews online. He felt unsure about it, but at 150 euros it was reasonably priced, so he decided to take the risk. Three days after installing the heater, it randomly stopped working. He contacted the manufacturer and they kindly sent him a new one. He tried again, but the same thing happened. At the minute, therefore, Iñigio’s van is without a heater, but he hopes to find a suitable one in the future.

  • Insulation– In a bid to be resourceful, Iñigio used whatever insulation he could get his hands on. His van contains foil, spray foam and rock wool, but despite this it still gets quite draughty and cold. He attributes this to the number of large windows within his van.

  • Skylight– This helps to ventilate the van and extract any fumes created while cooking.

Water System

  • 3 x 20 litre water tanks – In his previous van, Iñigo had a fixed water deposit strapped to the underside of the van. Although this helped to save space inside the van, he found it very impractical to fill up and maintain. His new water system comprises of 3 x 20 litre water containers. One of them sits directly under the sink and is connected directly to the tap and external shower. The other two tanks are stored inside the bed cavity. He notes that this is much more practical, since he can fill them up using a standard household tap. Each tank lasts Iñigo around 2 days, so the full 60 litres lasts around 6 days.

  • Shower– Hung on the side of his fridge cupboard, Iñigo has a mobile shower. It features an extremely long water pipe, which allows him to step away from the van and fully immerse himself in nature while showering. Interestingly, Iñigo’s van doesn’t contain a water heater, which means all of his showers are stone cold. This has nothing to do with saving money, it’s because he follows the Wim Hof method. In fact, Iñigo has been taking cold showers for around four years, and believes they make him happier and boost his immune system.

Storage

  • Wooden shelves– Iñigo wanted to maximise the space, but was worried about hindering his head room. So he opted for small shelves around the upper portion of the van which he uses to store spices, kitchen utensils, clothes etc.

  • Hanging jars– To do this, he simply affixed the jar lids to the wooden shelves using a few nails.

  • Book shelf– Iñigo is a self-proclaimed bookworm, so he incorporated a bookshelf into his van design to allow him to travel the world with his favourite books in tow.

To see the full tour of Iñigo’s van, check out my YouTube channel:


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© 2019 Nate Murphy

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