Built To Go! A #Vanlife Podcast

Built To Go! A #Vanlife Podcast header image 1

073 AAA Trouble, Bob Wells, Doggo Driver, Battery Review, Illinois Locks, Vinegar Wash?

Have AAA? What if when you call they say "NO." It can happen. We'll also take a look at vinegar and what it is and isn't good for, recommend you check out Bob Wells, get stared down by a doggo, have a a first look at cheap "solar generators," and see how locks work. Not that kind!

We now have a Discord Server! What’s that? It’s a place to share and ask questions with the host of Built to GO and other listeners. It’s a new community, so it will take some time to get to size, but you can be part of that! This link will take you to a video that explains the concept. Join us!

New Videos!

The Aurora Project Vlog # 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZnlPYaUquo

The Aurora Project Intro & FAQ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWhS_wox6s0

Some links are affiliate links. If you purchase anything from these links, the show will receive a small fee. This will not impact your price in anyway. 

072 An Odd Thing, Lighting, Dismalites, Reconciliation Park, Rest Areas, Vallentuna Bed

Sorry this is late - the first part of the podcast explains why. And then we discuss lighting for your rig, visit Reconciliation Park in Tulsa Oklahoma, take a tour with the Dismalites, consider sleeping at a Rest Area and reviewing the Vallentuna Bed two years in. 

We now have a Discord Server! What’s that? It’s a place to share and ask questions with the host of Built to GO and other listeners. It’s a new community, so it will take some time to get to size, but you can be part of that! This link will take you to a video that explains the concept. Join us!

 

Some links are affiliate links. If you purchase anything from these links, the show will receive a small fee. This will not impact your price in anyway. 

071 JOY of vanlife, Gator Eyes, Bar Fight, Dismalites, CRAZY Cheap Power Centers, Nomadic Pantry

No negativity! Let's talk about what a JOY #vanlife is! And we'll also visit some drooling insects, find ourselves in a bar fight, find some CRAZY good prices on "solar generators," review some innovative lights and promote the Van Life Nomadic Pantry. 

We now have a Discord Server! What’s that? It’s a place to share and ask questions with the host of Built to GO and other listeners. It’s a new community, so it will take some time to get to size, but you can be part of that! This link will take you to a video that explains the concept. Join us!

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Rainbow Falls as Dismals Canyon by Ronnie Harris

  • A Place to Visit - Dismals Canyon It takes time to get there, but it's worth it to step back 450,000,000 years in time.  

  • Tech Talk - CRAZY Deals on "Solar Generators"
    • Not sure what's going on, but take advantage if you wish. These are Jackery/GoalZero-type devices. 40% off! Check the coupon box and add to cart for actual price. 
    • Wakyme 520Wh $275 https://amzn.to/3eolsuC
    • AWANFI 505Wh $236 https://amzn.to/3dDkKLa
    • I'll be reviewing both of these in the future. 
  • Resource Recommendation - Van Life Pantry Podcast (Nomadic Pantry Facebook Group)
  • Product Review - Gator Eyes

Some links are affiliate links. If you purchase anything from these links, the show will receive a small fee. This will not impact your price in anyway. 

070 Why Do This? Submersible Pumps, Chazy Reef, Kotor Drive, VIN Lookups, CPAP Machines

What is your mission? Why do you want to take to the road? We ask the questions that demand answers. We'll also review submersible pumps, visit an ancient reef, hang of a cliff in a tour bus, find out what our VINs can tell us, and figure out how to use CPAP machines in our rigs.  

We now have a Discord Server! What’s that? It’s a place to share and ask questions with the host of Built to GO and other listeners. It’s a new community, so it will take some time to get to size, but you can be part of that! This link will take you to a video that explains the concept. Join us!

Chazy_Reef_Isle_La_Motte.jpegStromatoporis

 

Some links are affiliate links. If you purchase anything from these links, the show will receive a small fee. This will not impact your price in anyway. 

069 No Garage? No Problem, Stove Wind Deflector, Ghost Town, Spring Finder, 12v Sockets, Strange Kindness

Want to build but have no garage or even a driveway? It can be done, we'll talk about how. We'll also explain the history of why 12v sockets are terrible, visit a ghost town, and hear a tale about strangers helping out. And we'll look at a map of springs, nationwide. 

We now have a Discord Server! What’s that? It’s a place to share and ask questions with the host of Built to GO and other listeners. It’s a new community, so it will take some time to get to size, but you can be part of that! This link will take you to a video that explains the concept. Join us!

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Aurora, NV in the 1930s

  • A Place to Visit - Aurora N

    • Only one wall still stands, but the landscape and cemetery are interesting.  
    • Wikipedia has information and directions - Hawthorne, NV side is MUCH easier, and can be done with any 2WD vehicle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora,_Nevada
  • Product Review - Folding Wind Shield
  • Resource Recommendation - FindASpring.com
    • A crowd sourced directory of hot and cold springs in North America. Fill your tanks and have a soak!
    • http://findaspring.com

Some links are affiliate links. If you purchase anything from these links, the show will receive a small fee. This will not impact your price in anyway. 

068 Auroras!, Bamboo Paper Towels, Cathedral State Park, Next Exit, Pizza Delivery

This week, I ask you to indulge me as I discuss my "Aurora" project, and plans for its future. It's a bit more personal than usual. We'll also review bamboo paper towels, visit some old trees, find out what's at the next exit, and deliver a pizza somewhere unusual. 

We now have a Discord Server! What’s that? It’s a place to share and ask questions with the host of Built to GO and other listeners. It’s a new community, so it will take some time to get to size, but you can be part of that! This link will take you to a video that explains the concept. Join us!

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Special Episode: Frank Olito #vanlife Interview

Frank Olito, reporter for Insider.com, was intrigued by #vanlife. He rented a nicely built-out van and hit the road. What happened next was unexpected and we can learn from his experience. 

We also discuss the film Nomadland, now streaming on Hulu. This conversation is at the end of the podcast for those who wish to avoid spoilers. 

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Pertinent Links:

Frank's articles on Insider.com
Nomandland on Hulu (Requires subscription, free trial available.)
Outdoorsy.com, a van and RV rental service
Tiny House Nation, a reality TV show about tiny homes. 

 

067 Vanlife Myths? Hail! A Balloon of Note, Endoscopes, The Knock in the Night

Let's take a look at some common "#vanlife myths. Are they all myths? And we'll visit a site in Oregon where a balloon created strange history, play with endoscope, tell a tale of "the knock," and share a resource for finding bits and bobs for your build. 

We now have a Discord Server! What’s that? It’s a place to share and ask questions with the host of Built to GO and other listeners. It’s a new community, so it will take some time to get to size, but you can be part of that! This link will take you to a video that explains the concept. Join us!

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  • A Place to Visit - Mitchell Recreation Area, Bly, Oregon

  • Product Review - Wireless Endoscope
  • Resource Recommendation - Hard to Find Parts
    • A great source for those RV-esque parts like outer doors, windows, and plumbing bits. 
    • http://www.recpro.com

066 Where are the Vans? MacBook Air M1, Free Audiobooks, Prepare for No Internet, Tree in a Rock

Why can’t we get the “cool” vans in the US? And why is it so hard to find ANY van in the us right now? We’ll also take a look at the MacBook Air M1, a great #vanlife computer, prepare for NOT having Internet, and visit a tree in a rock. 

We now have a Discord Server! What’s that? It’s a place to share and ask questions with the host of Built to GO and other listeners. It’s a new community, so it will take some time to get to size, but you can be part of that! This link will take you to a video that explains the concept. Join us!

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Find out more about the Chicken Tax

 

065 Anxiety, McFarthest Spot, A Magic Trick, Smart Alternators, Button Lamps

Is Anxiety stopping you from doing what you want? You're not alone. But there are ways to beat it. We'll also talk about Smart Alternators, Button Lamps, and explain a magic trick that you can do... when you're lucky! 

We now have a Discord Server! What’s that? It’s a place to share and ask questions with the host of Built to GO and other listeners. It’s a new community, so it will take some time to get to size, but you can be part of that! This link will take you to a video that explains the concept. Join us!

 

064 Best Microvan, Mold Mitigation, Ships in Philly, Frozen Firefighting, Idiot Driving

What's the best Microvan to convert? We have answers! We'll also have a frank talk about mold, visit some historic ships in Philadelphia, review CHEAP LED flares, and make a big mistake driving in the desert.

And we've launched our YouTube Channel! Built to GO! A Vanlife Channel is live.

 

Want to see Jeff's NV200? Here it is!

  • Resource Recommendation - Nomadland, the Book
    • A must read for those considering vandwelling.
    • AudioBook on Audible.com.

 

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063 Nomandland, Dome Lights, Advanture Magazine, Ravens Grin Inn, Hand Power, Vapor Barriers

Nomadland! It's the movie everyone is talking about, but a few folks don't understand. We'll try to explain why reactions are so polarized. We'll also visit the Raven's Grin Inn, browse through Advanture Magazine, move a dome light, discuss vapor barriers and try a hand generator. Plus a shocking tale from the road! All in about 30 minutes! Whew! 

And we've launched our YouTube Channel! Built to GO! A Vanlife Channel is live.

What to see Jeff's NV200? Here it is!

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Still from Nomadland (Custer State Park, SD.)

 

  • A Place to Visit - Raven's Grin Inn
    • One of the craziest haunted fun house experiences you can have in the US. 
    • Ravens Grin Inn
  • Resource Recommendation - Advanture Magazine
    • Free, online #vanlife magazine catering to adventure rigs.
    • European-based, also has a print version available!
    • Instagram: @advanturemagazine
  • Product Review - Shikha Hand Crank Generator
Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

062 Winter Driving, Alexander Keiths, Catalytic Converters, Jackson Pollock, LED Flare

You can run from the snow, but you can't necessarily hide from it. Here's a quick guide in how to drive and survive it. We'll also visit a time warp brewery, discuss the treasure chest under your vehicle, try out an LED flare, and get an unexpected visit from Jackson Pollock.

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  • Resource Recommendation - TripIt

    • A nice tool for organizing your trips.
    • TripIt 
  • Product Review - Safety Puck 9 in 1
Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

061 Real Vanlife, Sacha Lodge, Shoes, Radio Garden, Paneling

Are you part of "REAL" #vanlife? We have the answer. We'll also visit a place with no vans, find a place for shoes, build a van without insulation, review wainscoting paneling and take a trip through Radio Garden.

  • A Place to Visit - Sacha Lodge

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One of many comfy spots in the lodge. 

  • Resource Recommendation - Radio Garden

    • A lovely way to experience the radio of the world, and perhaps find a radio station at your haunt for the night. 
    • radio.garden
Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

060 The Joys of Shore Power, Hope Cemetery, VanLab, Squeaky the Van, Getting Packages

Nothing beats shower power! We talk about how to use it, where to find it, and how to get it in your van. We'll also visit a sculpture garden filled with dead people, review VanLab, a "build in a box" solution for your new rig, hear the brave tale of Squeaky the Van, and explain how to get packages while you're on the road. 

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The magic juice box

  • Shore Power

  • Product Review - VanLab
    • Flat pack complete furniture solutions for your NV200 or LWD Ford Transit (Sprinter coming soon!)
    • Two people and four hours is all it takes to have your van built out.
    • VanLabUSA
  • A Place to Visit - Hope Cemetery in Barre, VT
      • Stone masons create amazing artwork to memorialize their dead.
      • Atlas Obscura - Hope Cemetery
  • Tales From the Road - Squeaky the Van
Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

059 Do you need a van? 12v Kettle, Cemeteries, Choosing a Battery, Who will install?

Do you nee a van for #vanlife? We say: NO. In fact, you may have everything you need to hit the road today. We'll also offer a simple guide to battery buying, a story about a nice guy finishing last, and review a 12v kettle. We'll also visit some cemeteries and offer an idea of who can install your electrical system. 

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A lovely day in Bangor, Maine

 

  • Product Review - Sunsebell 12v Kettle

    • Simple, robust and effective - if a bit slow
    • Pro-Tip: fill your coffee cup and dump just the contents into the kettle so you'll heat exactly the right amount of water
    • https://amzn.to/3opcHUn

  • A Place to Visit - Cemeteries!
    • No matter where you go, there they are - and they're always interesting.
    • FindAGrave can help you find yards and individuals
  • Q & A - Where to get power installed?
    • Find a major car stereo installer - just Google "Local Car Stereo Installation"
    • Chain stores are less likely to be useful than independent shops
Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

058 Electric Vans, Musical Roads, Geyser Shower System, Screens, Sudden Acceleration, Car Talk

The electric vans are coming! Will they be good for #vanlife? We'll also travel down a musical road, catch up with the Tappet Brothers, nearly kill a coworker, review the Geyser Shower System and find ways to keep bugs out. 

Note: we've enabled third party advertising. Your feedback is welcome! If you hear anything you don't like, please let us know at jeff@builttogo.com

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Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

057 Sick on the Road, Deer Whistles, Online Community, A Fine Book, UrbEx in Ohio

I'm back after a week of quarantine, and have some thoughts about being sick in a van (which I wasn't). Also, we'll explore deer whistles, finding community online, report on a great #vanlife book, and do a little urban exploration in Ohio with a friend. 

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  • TALES FROM THE ROAD - WE WANT YOURS!
    • Send us your Tales From the Road and if we use the on the air, you'll receive a College of Curiosity SWAG bag, including some things appropriate for #vanlife. We'd prefer audio, but text could work and we'll help get it done for you. Send it to: jeff@builttogo.com. Thanks!

       

  • Product Review - Deer Whistles
      • They don't work, so I'm not linking them

  • Resource Recommendation - How to Live in a Van and Travel by Mike Hudson
Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

056 - Catching COVID-19, Minivan Considerations, Alaska and the Mayans, Oddments

Folks, I contracted COVID-19 at the end of 2020 - a final parting gift. As such, I was unable to produce a normal episode as I can speak for a long time, can’t think much at all, and only have my iPad with me which isn’t set up for the podcast. The rather crappy sound is from recording in a very empty hotel room (where I’m quarantining) and the small iPad microphones. 

I’m very grateful to Liz and Hal Bidlack for contributing the bulk of this episode, and to round things out, I’ve added a copy of my first solo podcast: Oddments. 

I hope to back to normal by next week. Thanks very much for listening and I hope you enjoy this unusual episode. 

PS - I have a very mild case, but you really don’t want to get this. I urge you to follow guidelines to keep yourself and others safe. 

055 Guns, Ausable Chasm, Refilling Propane Tanks, Winter Solar, Shop4Seats, Mythbusters

Should you have a gun in your van? We present the pros and cons, and reveal our bias. We'll also visit Ausable Chasm, talk about refilling disposable propane tanks, maximize solar power in winter, take a look at shop4seatscom and have a tale with the Mythbusters. 

=== As self harm is mentioned in this episode, it's important to point out that help is always available. I used to be a listener with this group, and they're the real deal. Don't make a permanent mistake for a temporary problem. Click for anonymous, confidential help. ===

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Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

054 Safety Tips, Door Steps, Atlas Obscura, 12v Kettles, Rodents

This week, we're focussing on safety tips that DON'T involve someone messing with you and your van. You know, the ones that are much more likely to kill you. We'll also try to keep mouse rats out of our rigs, visit Atlas Obscura, take a look at door steps for roof access, discuss 12v kettles and hear some more on how the penis-free can urinate in comfort. 

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Is your load secure? (Photo by Ildar Sagdejev)

  • AD: Team Rubicon

    • I've been a volunteer with Team Rubicon for years now. If you're looking for a way to travel and do REAL good for communities around the world, this organization can help you get there. 

    • Right now, there is a real need for food supportive services. If you have a day, a week, or a month to give to help get food to people, Team Rubicon is one of many organizations that can help you get the job done. 
    • Though the organization is closely allied with veterans, you do not need to have been in the military to participate. 
  • TALES FROM THE ROAD - WE WANT YOURS!
    • Send us your Tales From the Road and if we use the on the air, you'll receive a College of Curiosity SWAG bag, including some things appropriate for #vanlife. We'd prefer audio, but text could work and we'll help get it done for you. Send it to: jeff@builttogo.com. Thanks!

  • Female Urination Devices
  • Resource Recommendation - Atlas Obscura
    • A comprehensive guide to the world's most interesting places

  • Product Review - Door Steps
    • A quick and easy way to gain access to your roof for solar panel cleaning, packing, or whatever.
    • https://amzn.to/2KNX7U4
  • Q&A - 12v Kettles
    • Before you buy a kettle, figure out how you're going to power it and how you're going to recharge your battery.
    • I use mine only when I'm driving.
    • Look for one that has a light, is completely enclosed, and doesn't have a removable base.
    • https://amzn.to/3hf7U5H
Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

053 Cube Vans, Dismals Canyon, Crank Radios, Alternator Upgrade, Sizing Bolts, Salem Monster

Moving in to the new place has taught me some realities of vanlife, especially regarding cube vans. We'll visit some amazing biology, review hand crank radios, talk about upgrading alternators, a tool for figuring out bolt sizes, and a monster in Salem Woods.

  • AD: Robinhood

     

    • I’ve found an app that makes it dead simple to buy and sell stocks, even if you don’t know what you’re doing. And that app, is Robinhood.

      I’ve used it for years without a hitch. No contracts, no hidden fees, no gotchas.

      When you open your account, they’ll give you a free stock. That’s right, one share of a publicly traded company will be yours. It could be a big name like Apple or Google, but more likely it will be a smaller stock, like Zynga or Sirius.

      You will have to enter your bank’s information. But if you’re willing to do that, there’s literally a free stock waiting for you. And for me - and that helps keep the show going.

      Give it a try is join.robinhood.com/jeffw118 If you decide it’s not for you, sell the stock, keep the money and close your account. Easy peasy.

      I promise to only promote products that I use and trust, and Robinhood is one. If you have a different experience, please let me know. And thanks for giving it a look.

  • TALES FROM THE ROAD - WE WANT YOURS!
    • Send us your Tales From the Road and if we use the on the air, you'll receive a College of Curiosity SWAG bag, including some things appropriate for #vanlife. We'd prefer audio, but text could work and we'll help get it done for you. Send it to: jeff@builttogo.com. Thanks!

      dismalites.jpg

  • A Place to Visit: Dismals Canyon
    • Home to the only Dismalites in North America
    • Bioluminescent "glow worms" make the area look like a galaxy at night. 
    • https://www.dismalscanyon.com/
  • Product Review - Hand Crank Radios
    • A must-have for anyone spending time in areas subject to severe weather.
    • Look for:
      • Lithium Battery
      • Flexible Light
      • Weather alerts (not just radio)
      • Ability to charge cell phones
    • Many good options: https://amzn.to/3oYMBYQ
Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

052 INSULATION!, Chain of Rocks Bridge, 2nd Monitors, Far Out Ride, Fuse Blocks, Check that E-Brake

Yep, it's time to talk about Insulation. Flames accepted. We'll also discuss tapping into fuse blocks, review a USB monitor, visit a famous movie site, plug FarOutRide.com and hear a "hot" tale. 

  • AD: Robinhood

    • I’ve found an app that makes it dead simple to buy and sell stocks, even if you don’t know what you’re doing. And that app, is Robinhood.

      I’ve used it for years without a hitch. No contracts, no hidden fees, no gotchas.

      When you open your account, they’ll give you a free stock. That’s right, one share of a publicly traded company will be yours. It could be a big name like Apple or Google, but more likely it will be a smaller stock, like Zynga or Sirius.

      You will have to enter your bank’s information. But if you’re willing to do that, there’s literally a free stock waiting for you. And for me - and that helps keep the show going.

      Give it a try is join.robinhood.com/jeffw118 If you decide it’s not for you, sell the stock, keep the money and close your account. Easy peasy.

      I promise to only promote products that I use and trust, and Robinhood is one. If you have a different experience, please let me know. And thanks for giving it a look.

  • TALES FROM THE ROAD - WE WANT YOURS!
    • Send us your Tales From the Road and if we use the on the air, you'll receive a College of Curiosity SWAG bag, including some things appropriate for #vanlife. We'd prefer audio, but text could work and we'll help get it done for you. Send it to: jeff@builttogo.com. Thanks!

      chainofrocks.png

  • A Place to Visit: Chain of Rocks Bridge
  • Product Review
  • Resource Recommendation
 
Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

051 How to build your van, Saguaro National Park, UCO Candles, Charging Laptops, Octane

You've got your empty van. Now what? We're here to help - here's a method for getting things going and staying the course. We'll also visit Saguaro National Park, check out UCO Candles, learn how to charge laptop computers, figure out which octane to use, and hear a scary story. 

 

  • AD: Robinhood

    • I’ve found an app that makes it dead simple to buy and sell stocks, even if you don’t know what you’re doing. And that app, is Robinhood.

      I’ve used it for years without a hitch. No contracts, no hidden fees, no gotchas.

      When you open your account, they’ll give you a free stock. That’s right, one share of a publicly traded company will be yours. It could be a big name like Apple or Google, but more likely it will be a smaller stock, like Zynga or Sirius.

      You will have to enter your bank’s information. But if you’re willing to do that, there’s literally a free stock waiting for you. And for me - and that helps keep the show going.

      Give it a try is join.robinhood.com/jeffw118 If you decide it’s not for you, sell the stock, keep the money and close your account. Easy peasy.

      I promise to only promote products that I use and trust, and Robinhood is one. If you have a different experience, please let me know. And thanks for giving it a look.

  • TALES FROM THE ROAD - WE WANT YOURS!
    • Send us your Tales From the Road and if we use the on the air, you'll receive a College of Curiosity SWAG bag, including some things appropriate for #vanlife. We'd prefer audio, but text could work and we'll help get it done for you. Send it to: jeff@builttogo.com. Thanks!
      saguaro.jpg
  • A Place to Visit: Saguaro National Park
  • Product Review
    • UCO Candle Lanterns
    • Probably the best candle for #vanlife, but not really a heating solution
    • https://amzn.to/3moCP1n
 
Some links are affiliate links, and the podcast host will receive a payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the podcast host.

050 Fifty #VANLIFE Tips/Tricks/Hacks/Dupes and a bit of news.

Thanks for helping us get to 50 episodes! This time, we're taking a break from our normal format and presenting you with 50 #vanlife tips, and some news. Thanks for listening, and here's to another 50! 

 

  • TALES FROM THE ROAD - WE WANT YOURS!
    • Send us your Tales From the Road and if we use the on the air, you'll receive a College of Curiosity SWAG bag, including some things appropriate for #vanlife. We'd prefer audio, but text could work and we'll help get it done for you. Send it to: jeff@builttogo.com. Thanks!

 

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Some links (Amazon) are affiliate links, and the podcast will receive a small payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the Podcast Host. 

049 Full Size Vans Compared, 4-Way Stretch Fabric, Starter vs. Leisure Batteries, Coral Castle, HMDB.org, Possum 2

Which full-size van should you choose? Let's take a look... We'll also review 4-way stretch fabric, ride on the Possum 2, visit Coral Castle, explore HMDB.org, and invite folks to send their own Tales From the Road. And we'll explain the difference between starter batteries and leisure batteries.

 

  • TALES FROM THE ROAD - WE WANT YOURS!
    • Send us your Tales From the Road and if we use the on the air, you'll receive a College of Curiosity SWAG bag, including some things appropriate for #vanlife. We'd prefer audio, but text could work and we'll help get it done for you. Send it to: jeff@builttogo.com. Thanks!
  • Resource Recommendation
    • Historical Marker Database
      • A crowd-sourced list of historic markers across the country. There is a corresponding app as well.
      • http://hmdb.org
  • A Place to Visit

    • Coral Castle

      • Just south of Miami in Homestead, this historic structure was constructed out of enormous coral blocks that were carved and placed by one small man. 
      • http://coralcastle.com (Check for COVID times.)

Coral_Castle_1.jpg

 
Some links (Amazon) are affiliate links, and the podcast will receive a small payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the Podcast Host. 

048 Skoolies, Ambulances, Etc., Velcro Fix, Magnet Phone Holder, ZimZam, How Much Solar?

Why not get a School Bus? Or an Ambulance? Step Van? RV???!!! We take a look at the pros and cons. Also, a fix for melting Velcro, magnetic phone holders, adventures in ZimZam, and how much solar should you have?

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  • Q&A: How Much Solar?
    • Solar charges your batteries
    • Size your batteries to your needs
    • Solar wattage should equal battery amp hour capacity
      • 100 watts of solar for 100ah of AGM battery.
      • Lithium can use about twice as much solar per ah.
  • Tech Talk: Shoe Goo Velcro Fix
 
Some links (Amazon) are affiliate links, and the podcast will receive a small payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the Podcast Host. 

047 Are you Ready? Frisbees, FastCap, Oriental Institute, Air Bag Issues

We have 5 ways to check to see if you're ready for vanlife. We also explore alternate uses for Frisbees, talk about FastCaps, visit the Oriental Institute and talk about air bag issues.

  • 5 things to check to know you're ready for #vanlife.
     
    • Like camping?
    • Like problem solving?
    • Have enough money?
    • Figured out relationships?
    • Have a mission?
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  • A Place to Visit
    • Oriental Institute
    • When someone mailed to package to "Indiana Jones," it was delivered here. This is the closest you're going to find to "Junior's" home base.
 
  • Resource Recommendation
  • Product Review:
    • Frisbees! 
    • Nice, heavy glow-in-the-dark model
    • They can be used as:
      • Cutting boards
      • Bowls
      • Fire fans
      • Screw holders (for repairs)
      • Way to knock something out of a tree
      • Wind block for stove
      • Attention getter
 
  • Q&A: Airbags?
    • If you remove seats, you may have issues with airbags. There ARE solutions involving resistors, but you'll need to do research for your particular situation.
 
Some links (Amazon) are affiliate links, and the podcast will receive a small payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the Podcast Host. 

 

 

046 Crashing Your Rig, Command Hooks, No Heat Winter, Drive Ins, Tire Warning Light, Finding Junk Yards

You hope it will never happen, but what if it does? You have to plan for a crash, and maybe having knives on a magnetic strip isn't a great idea. Also, we'll visit the Drive-In, talk about Command Strips, stay warm without heat, and catch up some news as well. 

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Not my actual rig, but pretty close

  • Q&A:

    • How can you stay warm in winter without heat?
    • Best thing: a good sleeping bag
      • Remember that the rating isn't for comfort, it's for survivability. 
    • Good info on sleeping bags from Section Hiker
    • A good selection: https://amzn.to/35FBiwS

Some links (Amazon) are affiliate links, and the podcast will receive a small payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the Podcast Host. 

 
 

045 Reasons NOT to do #Vanlife, Arco Idaho, Idling for Power, Wikipedia for Research, Condiments, Electric Vans, Gift Ideas

An article claims there are 20 Reasons to NOT do Van Life, but are there really? Let's take a look. We'll also explore some new electric vans, talk about condiment packets, visit Arco, Idaho, and use Wikipedia to learn about our vans. And some gift ideas!

Some links (Amazon) are affiliate links, and the podcast will receive a small payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the Podcast Host. 

044 Electric Cooking, LLBean, KBB, Tow Truck Chase, Van Weight, Sea Eagle 370

Yes, you can cook with household electric appliances if you're careful! Some are better than others. We'll visit LL Bean, talk about Kelly Blue Book, get chased by a Tow Truck, discuss van weight, and review the Sea Eagle 370. 

Some links (Amazon) are affiliate links, and the podcast will receive a small payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the Podcast Host. 

043 Toll Problems, Rain-X, Video Game Tour, Don’t Cover These!, Clem and the Police, Internet Savings

A letter from Kansas prompted me to rant a bit about toll problems in the US. We also discuss RainX, doing a Video Game Tour, point out things in your van that you shouldn't cover up, tell a tale of  Clem and the police,  and show how to avoid using up all your "hot spot" data. 

 

  • A Place to Visit

    • Consider a tour of places from a video game, TV show of movie! We did a Fallout New Vegas tour and had an great time finding all the hidden things.

real.jpg 

The Real Place

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From the game, Fallout: New Vegas

 

  • Resource Recommendation

          • Turnpikeinfo.com - good resource of all toll information
          • TollGuru.com - great tool for calculating expenses
          • Peasy - an app that pays toll with your plates (but not everywhere).
          • RV Toll Pass - the "one transponder to rule them all" but watch out for fees.
          • UNI - the best pass for folks traveling in the East. Covers 18 states. 
  • Product Review:
    • Rain-X

      • It works. The best product is probably the original, but for the other require much less effort.
      • Link to products: https://amzn.to/2SzgBMP

Some links (Amazon) are affiliate links, and the podcast will receive a small payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the Podcast Host. 

042 Reconsidering Stealth, Smooth 4, Purgatory Chasm, New ProMaster Features, Removing Spray Foam

Is Stealth a myth? No, but it's not what people think. We'll also visit a natural wonder in Massachusetts, talk about the Smooth 4 Gimbal, commiserate about needing to remove spray foam, and point out a solution for morning condensation. 

Some links (Amazon) are affiliate links, and the podcast will receive a small payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the Podcast Host. 

041 Winterizing, Garden of the Gods, Solar Bag Shower, OBDII Scanners

Winter is coming, but that's no reason to stop #vanlife. We'll visit some of the gods living in Illinois, talk about solar shower bags, OBDII port scanners, and listen to an odd tale of physics. 

 

In this episode, we ask some hard questions about the ethics of #vanlife, explore Bishop Castle in Colorado, explain why you put in the floor first, recommend Fakestop and discuss electric heat in a van. 

 

Some links (Amazon) are affiliate links, and the podcast will receive a small payment if you order from them. Anything provided by a manufacturer for review will be fully disclosed. All reviews are the opinion of the Podcast Host. 

040 Vanlife Ethics, Bishop Castle, Floor First, Fakespot, Electric Heat?

Choose the adventure! Tell me where to go and what to do, and I'll comply. 

New Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/339664633746373/

 

In this episode, we ask some hard questions about the ethics of #vanlife, explore Bishop Castle in Colorado, explain why you put in the floor first, recommend Fakestop and discuss electric heat in a van. 

 

  • A Place to Visit

  • Resource Recommendation
  • Electric Heat?
    • Just as with AC, it draws so much power that it's usually impractical for battery living.
    • It can be very handy if you have a plugin.
    • What I have: https://amzn.to/2ZCceEK

 

039 A Shower for ANY Van, Rhode Island, FarOutRide.com, Sea Eagle 370, Air Compressors

Choose the adventure! Tell me where to go: https://linkto.run/p/BLTP1S9A Poll closing soon!

New Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/339664633746373/

I *think* we've come up with a way for you to have a HOT shower in ANY van. Also, we'll visit Rhode Island, review the Sea Eagle 370, discuss Air Compressors and recommend FarOutRide.com. 

HOT shower:
Heat water on your stove, add it to a bucket with cold water to make it the right temperature, and then use a folding dog pool as the shower enclosure and use a portable batttery-powered pump and shower head combination. Optional hula hoop and shower curtain if you have a van you can stand in. 

BONUS: The Music of Built to GO! with Simon Wagg

This bonus content, we explore the music of the episodes and interview Simon Wagg, the composer.  This episode contains no #vanlife content.

To reach Simon Wagg, you can email him at: SimonWaggMakesStuff@gmail.com

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Simon about the time he wrote this music. 

 

038 10 Obscure #vanlife Tips, Pyramid near St. Louis, a trip down a Burning Highway, Step Bit, Hammocks.

Some tips don't fit in any category, so we're lumping them together in our 10 Obscure #vanlife tips. We'll also travel down a burning highway, visit the largest pyramid north of Mexico, explain how step bits can make your build easier, and ask you to consider a hammock. 

037 Vanlife with NO VAN, Harbor Freight, No Build Beds, Ice Fishing, Cheap Wheel Covers

Van's are getting pricey and hard to find. But you can do #vanlife without one! We also take a look at cheap tool superstore Harbor Freight, consider no-build beds, dream about ice fishing, and decide that cheap wheel covers are a good thing. 

  • No Van #Vanlife

    • "Vanlife" isn't about vans. It's about life. Virtually any vehicle can get you going.

    • smarttent.jpg
  • Product Review
    • Cheap Wheel Covers (Hub Caps!)

  • A Place to Visit
    • I'd like to go ice fishing in my van. I've never done it, but maybe you have? 

  • Resource Recommendation
    • Harbor Freight
    • Cheap tools that aren't great, but can be all you need to get the job done. 
    • Nation-wide network is good to be aware of for on the road repairs. 

036 Emergency Kit, Sink Theory 101, Camp Soap, RV Hall of Fame, Outdoorsy

What's in your emergency kit? Here are some things you may not have thought of. We'll also delve into Sink Theory 101, extol the virtues of Camp Soap, visit the RV Hall of Fame, and talk about how Outdoorsy can save you money. 

035 2WD Off-Roading, Installing Windows, GoPro Hero 8, Dogtown, Foresty Forest, Drunk Sleeping?

2WD Off-Roading is possible! But know what you're in for. Installing windows is pretty easy and we'll tell you how, the GoPro Hero 8 is reviewed, visiting Dogtown, checking out Foresty Forest, and is drunk sleeping illegal?

 

034 VENTILATE OR DIE! Backup Cameras, News?, GasOne Stove, Salem Trip, Avenza Maps, Leveling

VENTILATE OR DIE! Yes, ventilation is very important. Also, all about Backup Cameras, should we have News?, A review of the GasOne Stove, a trip to Salem MA, the Avenza Maps App,  and Leveling for sleeping. 

033 Top10 Money-Saving Tips, Dead People in the NV Desert, Left Arm Saver, Dog Bowl Review, Cumberland Fog Mystery

Top 10 ways to save money in your van! Plus, a visit to the NV desert, a review of dog bowl sinks, a GREAT idea for saving your left arm, and a mystery tale in Cumberland, Maryland.

032 Alternative Air Conditioning, Black Water, Currant, NV, Coughlan’s Toaster, Alien Cemetery, Informed Delivery

Ok, you've given up on household air conditioning, what about those "AS SEEN ON TV" solutions? We discuss. We'll also visit an alien's grave, a ghost town, talk about black water, review a toaster, and tell you about Informed Delivery.

031 BIG SOLAR EPISODE, Fort Ransom, Will Prowse, Writing Rock, AC in a Van?

Lots of questions about solar power, so this episode breaks format a bit and focuses on how solar works, what you need, and whether you really need it. Also, a visit to Fort Ransom, ND, an unsatisfying tale about Writing Rock, an introduction to Solar Expert Will Prowse, and AC in a Van?

  • Resource Recommendation: Will Prowse, DIY Solar

    • Will is THE expert on solar setups. Watch a few of his videos and you'll know a lot.

    • YouTube 
       

  • BONUS: AC in a Van?

030 Contest Winner, Troubleshooting with Occam, Encounter at Standing Rock, Brown Signs.

We announce the winner of our contest, troubleshoot with Lord Occam, have an encounter at Standing Rock and point out the importance of brown signs.

COVID-19 is growing stronger, but we can still travel! We just need to do a few things different. We'll also discuss the important of ground wires, review a Dometic toilet, joyously recommend commercialtrucktrader.com, visit the Timberline Lodge and tell a boat ramp story. 

COVID-19: This the BEST resource https://vanlifers.co/pages/coronavirus 

 

  • CONTEST WINNER: Brian from North Carolina! Congratulations!
    • We'll have other contests in the future.

  • Tales From the Road
    • A trip to Standing Rock turns into an encounter with the locals. 
      standingrock.jpg
       
  • Resource Recommendation
    • Brown Signs

      • Take the time to stop and see things that "Historic Markers" or "Scenic View" signs are pointing to. It's a great way to learn about a place and take a moment to appreciate where you are. 
  • Tech Talk: Lord Occam's Method 

    • Lord Occam said "The simplest solution is likely correct." But every new piece of evidence requires you to apply it again. 
       
  • Product Review: Flottebo Ikea Table
    • The brackets are an odd shape, but if you're looking for a $30 solution to having a swing away table in your van, this might be the ticket.
    • Ikea Flottebo Side Table

029 Travel During COVID, Ground Wires, Dometic Toilet, Commercial Truck Trader, Timberline Lodge, Boat Ramp Story

COVID-19 is growing stronger, but we can still travel! We just need to do a few things different. We'll also discuss the important of ground wires, review a Dometic toilet, joyously recommend commercialtrucktrader.com, visit the Timberline Lodge and tell a boat ramp story. 

COVID-19: This the BEST resource https://vanlifers.co/pages/coronavirus 

CONTEST!!!! If you live in the US and e-mail me before July 7th, 2020 with a story or other item of interest that I can put in the podcast, you'll be entered to win a brand new PWM Solar Charge controller. Every entry will receive a Hook Waka Bang sticker. Your privacy will be respected - nothing shared, stored, folded, spindled or mutilated.

 EuroDecalLogoFinal.png

  • Travel during COVID-19?

    • You can do it, but set your expectations and be a lot more self-contained. 

  • Tales From the Road
    • Playing stupid games on abandoned coast guard bases isn't the smartest thing to do. 
       
  • Resource Recommendation
  • Tech Talk: Ground Wires

    • Ground wires are just as important as the power wires. Take care of them. 

  • Product Review: Dometic 970 Camping Toilet
  • dometic.png

028 High or Low Top? Gillette Castle, Oregon Coast, Curtain Divider, Ikea Eket, American Van

High top or low top? That IS the question this week, and while high tops have a lot of appeal, low tops have a place as well. We'll also visit Gillette Castle, the Oregon Coast, and review Ikea Eket and suggest American Van.

How can you secure your van? Not personal security, but keeping people out of your van! The Amazon Fire HD 8 has a cool secret, and Salvage One is an interesting place to visit in Chicago. Would like a free water pump? We tell you how. And FINALLY, and explanation for all the Aurora references. And we try Rock Auto and report back. COVID-19: This the BEST resource https://vanlifers.co/pages/coronavirus 

CONTEST!!!! If you live in the US and e-mail me before July 7th, 2020 with a story or other item of interest that I can put in the podcast, you'll be entered to win a brand new PWM Solar Charge controller. Every entry will receive a Hook Waka Bang sticker. Your privacy will be respected - nothing shared, stored, folded, spindled or mutilated.

 EuroDecalLogoFinal.png

  • High-top or Low-top?

    • It boils down to this: do you want to optimize living or driving/parking? 

  • Tales From the Road
    • A trip to the Oregon Coast! Sort of. Florence to Astoria has some of the most picturesque driving the US. If you can see it.
       
  • Resource Recommendation
    • American Van:  A catalog of commercial vans that might have something just for you. 
  • Tech Talk: Curtain Dividers 

    • The secret to hanging a curtain between the front and the back is a shower curtain tension rod. 

  • Product Review: Ikea Eket
    • Eket is a different type of Ikea product, not made of MDF and it doesn't need hex wrenches! What's best is that it comes in different depths.  

  • A Place to Visit: Gillette Castle
    • One of my favorite spots in New England, this castle was the home of William Gillette, creator of "Sherlock Holmes" as we know him. It's full of surprises. 
    • Gillette Castle State Park

027 Van Security, Amazon Fire HD 8, Salvage One, “Free” Water Pump, Auroras, Rock Auto

How can you secure your van? Not personal security, but keeping people out of your van! The Amazon Fire HD 8 has a cool secret, and Salvage One is an interesting place to visit in Chicago. Would like a free water pump? We tell you how. And FINALLY, and explanation for all the Aurora references. And we try Rock Auto and report back. 

  • COVID-19: This the BEST resource https://vanlifers.co/pages/coronavirus 
     
  • Van Security
      • Keep your stuff out of site, hide small things, and learn a couple of tricks like kill switches, locking swivel seats, and chained steering wheels.

  • Tales From the Road
    • The Auroras explained, finally. What does it mean? You'll have to listen to find out.  

      aurora.jpeg

  • Resource Recommendation
    • Rock Auto - more than just an annoying commercial. It's actually pretty great! 
  • Tech Talk: Free Water Pump!

    • Ok, we'll spill the secret - your free water pump is... gravity. But it can be all you need. 

  • Product Review: Amazon Fire HD 8

    • Not really a review, but rather an interesting way to use it as an Alexa hub. 
    • Amazon Fire HD tablets. https://amzn.to/3ftHSts

026 Pre-Built Vans, Stanley Cook Kit, Proper Screwing, Post-COVID Highways

What if you'd rather just buy a van? We talk about the realities, some of them harsh. We'll also review the Stanley Cook Kit (it's great!), talk about how to screw properly (really) and I'll tell the tale of what it's like on our Interstates now that COVID-19 is firmly with us.   

  • COVID-19: This the BEST resource https://vanlifers.co/pages/coronavirus 
     
  • Pre-Built Vans
    • They're expensive.

      • RV Trader is a great place to start, to get an idea of prices, etc.  

      • Conversion Trader is focussed specifically on self-built vans. 

      • Sportsmobile has the best full-sized, custom conversions.
  • Tales From the Road

    • Things are weird an eerie on the nation's interstates. Bring snacks. 

  • Q&A - Window Tint

    • Is it legal to tint your windows? Maybe? Sometimes. Could be. We discuss.

  • Resource Recommendation

  • Tech Talk: Screw With Care!
    • Don't just screw willy nilly into your van. Every hole is a potential problem, and it's a good idea to know how your drill works as well.  

  • Product Review: Stanley Adventure Prep + Cook Set - 1.58 Quart, Stainless Steel

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