Karol and Austin had a big decision to make in 2021 while planning their September wedding. Should they lay down roots and buy a house or enjoy a more nomadic life on the road? After realizing that their professions lent themselves to a nomadic lifestyle, it was an easy choice for the couple. They would become van lifers and enjoy everything their country had to offer.
Karol is a jewelry maker/designer, while Austin is a full-time musician/singer-songwriter. These professions gave the couple complete flexibility to pursue their travel dreams. Knowing they could drive and work, they purchased a 2020 Ram Promaster 2WD and turned it into a house on wheels.
Over the course of two months, Karol and Austin transformed the cargo van into a beautiful rustic, off-the-grid cabin that would take them wherever they needed to go. According to the pair, the van was nothing more than a white shell with nothing inside when they bought it. Through hard work and dedication, it was now a fully-equipped full-time home for the average adventurer.
Karol and Austin have spent many months living, traveling, and working out of the van. However, it’s now time to part ways. They have put their rustic cabin on wheels up for sale for $132,000 to fund their next van purchase. They intend to design and build one more tailored to their future plans.
Karol and Austin’s 2020 Ram Promaster 2WD has been entirely transformed from a standard cargo van into a rustic, charming cabin on wheels. The green color scheme helps it blend in with the natural environment as they travel.
There’s also more to their van than meets the eye. Karol and Austin kitted it out with a Simply Safe security system. There are Simply Safe sensors on every door, interior security cameras, and a glass break sensor in the front. These safety measures give them peace of mind that their van, possessions, and themselves are safe while they travel.
Karol and Austin wanted life on the road to be as practical as possible. They thought of everything when building their van, including an outdoor folding table for work, snacks, or a refreshing beverage while enjoying the summer sun.
Off-the-grid convenience and comfort were a priority during this van build. Karol and Austin installed a weatherproof Trex deck on their roof, a skylight, a 300-watt solar power system, a Maxx-Air fan, and a 300-inch extendable awning. This awning offers plenty of shade and shelter in the outdoor living space when parked.
Most van builders block off van cabs when designing their homes on wheels. Karol and Austin decided to maximize all available space. This involved purchasing a swivel driver’s seat and a swivel bench seat. While they function well for safe driving, you can rotate them to form a comfortable sofa in the living quarters when the day’s driving is complete. Austin and Karol also installed two swivel tables to pair with the seats for dinner, work, and play.
Guests are also well catered for in Austin and Karol’s van. They installed a small guest seat in a comfortable nook by the kitchen area. It even has a gorgeous buffalo painting and an American flag to match the rustic decor.
Storage was Karol and Austin’s priority when building their van. They opted for large cedar-lined closets and drawers with space for all their daily essentials. The use of cedar also meant their clothes smelled lovely!
The drawers positioned under the closet have latches to stop them from flying open while driving. These drawers are deceivingly spacious, with room for all their kitchen accessories, delicates, footwear, and even a safe!
The kitchen is the heart of any home. As it turns out, it’s also the heart of this house on wheels. The beautiful wood kitchen has many of the conveniences you’d find in a standard home, including a large stainless-steel sink with hot water, a built-in soap dispenser, and a filtered water dispenser. Karol and Austin also installed an extending sink faucet that flips around for outside use.
For off-the-grid living, there’s a 42-gallon freshwater tank for drinking, showers, and dishes and a 15-gallon gray water tank in the middle of the van. Water drains from the shower and sink into this tank.
Karol and Austin opted for a butcher’s block counter in the kitchen. Not only is it rustic, but it’s entirely practical for meal preparation. Their kitchen also boasts a three-burner gas stove hidden under the countertop. Their stovetop, oven, furnace, and hot water heater all run on propane for convenience.
These van-lifers thought of everything when designing their kitchen. Their oven is capable of preparing a full Thanksgiving meal and is paired with a storage drawer underneath. The stove also sits adjacent to their 12-volt AC refrigerator/freezer combo.
Karol and Austin thought outside the box with their shower. Rather than opting for modern materials that may not stand the test of time, they selected rustic, long-lasting materials. The shower and restroom are lined with copper, which will only look more beautiful with time. They also installed a showerhead with different settings and storage shelves for their showering essentials.
The bathroom was Karol and Austin’s main concern when designing their van. They didn’t want it to be hard to clean or odorous. They needn’t have worried because the bathroom is now one of their favorite parts of their van. They installed a compostable air-head toilet that separates the liquids and solids. It’s easy to clean and doesn’t smell.
The toilet is tucked away in the shower area behind a sliding shower door. This prevents water from exiting into the main living area.
The Bedroom Area
Any van’s sleeping quarters typically require much thought, but Karol and Austin got lucky. They used a standard queen-size mattress, which fit perfectly in the space. Both Karol and Austin never feel like they’re cramped in their bedroom area.
They also installed a skylight over the bed to enjoy stargazing at night. However, they can also pull down a sunshade and enjoy total blackout when it’s time to retire for the evening.
The bedroom nook has everything Karol and Austin need for on-the-road comfort. Slider windows at the foot of the bed let in plenty of fresh air. They can also turn on their Maxx-Air fan for extra airflow on those warmer days.
Even their storage needs are taken care of in the bedroom. They installed ‘his and hers’ cabinets above the slider windows for everyday clothing essentials. Underneath are straps to hold their speakers, which they use for stereo sound while watching movies in bed.
How better to relax after a long day of exploring than with a movie in bed? Karol and Austin’s van has a stand for their projector screen. They don’t have to rely on a small laptop screen to watch their favorite movies and TV shows.
The rear of the van is what Karol and Austin like to call their garage space. It’s a small storage nook accessible from the back door where they can store bulky items. The rear of the van also has an outdoor shower for convenience.
Interested in purchasing the van? Find additional information here.