I converted a $10,000 van into a tiny home because rent is too expensive – I even rigged running water and electricity

Skyrocketing home prices and mortgage rates have forced residents across the US to seek alternative housing solutions.

One person found a housing solution in a minivan – but warned it might not be for everyone.

One YouTuber said he lives completely off the grid in a Nissan panel van


One YouTuber said he lives completely off the grid in a Nissan panel vanPhoto credit: YouTube/Stories From a Van
YouTuber Evan had several tips for van living


YouTuber Evan had several tips for van livingPhoto credit: YouTube/Stories From a Van
Evan explained his lifestyle in several YouTube videos


Evan explained his lifestyle in several YouTube videosPhoto credit: YouTube/Stories From a Van

In a YouTube series, Evan (@StoriesFromaVan) shared how he converted a small Nissan NV200 panel van into a tiny house with running water and electricity.

The US Sun found several used Nissan NV200s for sale for under $10,000.

The YouTuber calls the mobile home a “stealth van” and said it parked in public lots and residential streets at night.

The van helped him sort out rental rates in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California — both cities have some of the highest rental rates in the US.

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The series includes several explanations of life in each of the non-resident cities.

Converted vans make it especially difficult to get mail, find a job, and save money on groceries.

The YouTuber explained how he was able to overcome the bureaucracy without a home.


The YouTuber said he gets his mail through a PO box.

In this way, his mail will be picked up at a specific mail center.

“My biggest regret with the design of my van was that it didn’t have any special cooking equipment built in,” Evan said.

“I can cook in my van, but with limited capacity.”

He said he spends between $100 and $800 a month on groceries alone.

Evan also reported that post-coronavirus lockdown jobs have made the lifestyle easier.

He has retrofitted the socket with strong WiFi and can therefore also work remotely from the car.

He concluded by saying the van was vulnerable to inclement weather.

Evan said the van was not equipped with an auxiliary air conditioner.

To regulate the temperature in the car at night, he relies on his built-in roof vent and fan.

He reported that temperatures outside the car can reach as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.


Evan designed the Transporter to optimize storage space and multi-purpose areas.

He uses the entire floor of the van as storage space, so he can stow personal items anywhere in the van.

There were three foldable pillows on the floor that he used as a bed at night.

There is a rail on the driver’s side of the car where his hanging clothes hang on hangers.

There is an igloo refrigerator in front of the clothes, which can be used to store food.

A sink is attached to the back doors of the van – internal plumbing is via a refillable jug accessed from the other side of the door.

The sink features a cover that turns the surface into a usable desk.

“Even though the Nissan NV200 is so small, I was able to have a decent amount of storage since I sacrificed all of the floor space,” Evan wrote in a video caption.

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The US Sun covers other tiny houses – here’s a $5,000 option at Home Depot for sale.

Also, this couple spent $40,000 to build their dream home in their backyard.

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: ailaslisco@dailynationtoday.com.

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