IRL FAQs
Most Helpful Build Resources

I tried to make a list of all the resources we tapped during our build. We’ll be forever grateful to these folks for sharing their hard-won knowledge.

So, you guys are from Texas?

No. No we are not. Our license plate is from Texas, and that’s about it. When you sell your house, you need to find some other way to have a permanent address for things like taxes and banking. There are myriad ways of addressing this; we joined Escapees, an RV club with mail service. They provide us with a permanent address. In Texas. Thus the Texas license plate. If you’re curious about why we chose Texas, feel free to ask.

How long have you been on the road?

A year as of September 2018. And yes, it’s gone super fast. And no, we are nowhere near sick of it yet. Stick it to the man!

"How long" is usually quickly followed by: Do you like it?

Ummm, yes. We pee rainbows we like it so much. But it was definitely an adjustment and Meghan would say that it took awhile for her to fall in love with it.

Speaking of peeing, what do you do about going to the bathroom?

We love our Nature’s Head composting toilet so much we would hug it – but hope we never have to. All the hype is true: no smell, easy use, easy cleaning, happy wife, happy life. For more info, you can read our blog post about it 🙂

Did you build Ubu yourselves?

Yes, yes we did. We had help from an Amish carpenter for the cabinetry, but Stephen worked alongside him so we still count it. And we are NOT “do-it-yourselfers.” We literally did not hang pictures in our townhouse for 8 years because we were scared of putting holes in our walls. We learned everything from researching and YouTube as we went along. The first time we ever used a jigsaw was when we cut a hole in the side of our van for the windows. I am not exaggerating.

Number 5 is then quickly followed by: How long did it take?

Five months. This would be due to the “learning as we went along” referenced above. We would research each step before we started. The process almost killed us. We are not that cute couple who giggle and say “It was such an adventure building our van!” We are the couple that says, “This was the hardest thing we’ve ever done and that includes moving continents and being married for almost 20 years and we almost killed each other but it was worth it.” J.W. Goethe’s “Everything Is Hard Before It Is Easy” became our mantra and we cried ourselves to sleep with it every night. It, and copious amounts of red wine.

How long do you plan to do this for?

Honestly, we just don’t know. When we started this whole endeavor, we threw the number “2 years” out to the universe. But as it’s already been a year and we feel nowhere near done, now we just don’t know…

Isn’t it hard sharing such a small space?

Sometimes. We joke that the swivel seats are Australia and the bed is North America. When we need alone time we say, “I’m going to North America. You stay in Australia.” Alternately, we find other ways to get alone time that work for us. Stephen would say that he built the van so cozy he never wants to leave it, and, being the introverted hermit he is, sometimes that can happen.

Favorite places so far?
  1. Stephen: Baja & the whales; Highway 1 up the coast; Santa Cruz; San Francisco; Lime Kiln Lighthouse — ok basically if it’s on the ocean it was my favorite place — and of course Yosemite.
  2. Meghan: Yosemite, Baja & the whales, Yellowstone, Highway 242 by McKenzie Pass and the ancient lava flow, the Oregon coast, San Juan Island & Lime Kiln Lighthouse.
Any Regrets?

Our water heater hasn’t exactly panned out the way we thought. But hey, one thing out of ALL THE THINGS that went into Ubu… we are not complaining. Read more about our one big regret.

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