Van Life Travel Update + Tiny House Tour

Van Life - Mat and Danielle in PEI 2016 - Exploring Alternatives

We just wrapped up our second full season living and travelling in our camper van and I’m feeling a little sad that it’s over.

We spent the last 5 months exploring beautiful wild places, cities, and towns in Ontario, Quebec and all over the Maritimes (with a stopover in Iceland and Germany, too!) and we met up with all kinds of neat people along the way.  I love waking up in our little van nest and digging into a pile of fresh fruit before we drive…pretty much wherever we want to go.

Our Camper Van in Cape Breton Nova Scotia 2016 - Exploring Alternatives

Sometimes living in our van is less than glamorous (we don’t shower as often as we could!) and we do admittedly spend A LOT of time in Walmart parking lots editing videos and getting work done (check out our “Day in the Life” video to see what that’s like).  But somehow, the freedom we feel, and the scenery we see on the road makes it all worthwhile.

I was definitely not ready to stop exploring just yet, but when the weather fell below freezing a couple of nights ago and we had frost on the inside of the van, we knew it was time to pack up for the season.

Even though our 2016 road trip is over, we get to relive it again this winter while we edit the 35+ videos we filmed on the road; and we’re planning to share a new video with you every week.  The latest video we’ve put together is a full tour of a tiny house we visited at the Tiny House Festival in Lantier, Quebec.

Mini 16 Foot Tiny House by Lumbec - Exploring AlternativesIt’s a beautiful tiny home that feels surprisingly spacious even though it’s built on a short 16 foot trailer.  We love all the different types of wood the builder (Lumbec) used on the interior, as well as the Japanese-inspired step ladder, the loooooong countertops in the galley kitchen, and the bright loft with reclaimed barn wood on the ceiling. Enjoy the tiny house video tour and stay tuned for more!


Mini 16 Foot Tiny House with All the Comforts of Home – Full Tour


Happy Exploring :)


PS if you’re interested in living or travelling in a van, check out our Guide to Van Life eBook!

7 thoughts on “Van Life Travel Update + Tiny House Tour

  1. Lily

    In the forthcoming videos, can you address where and how the owners of these tiny homes are able to park their house? Worries about running foul of local ordinances is a big concern and it’d be interesting to see how the subjects of your videos have managed this issue.

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Hi Lily,

      This is a great request! We’ve filmed quite a few tiny houses this summer and some of the owners were happy to share their tiny house parking plan with us. Others preferred not to disclose their setup/location, and some houses that we feature, like the Lumbec tiny house I mentioned in this post, are not lived in full time.

      From what we’ve learned so far, there are some campgrounds and trailer parks that will allow tiny houses, some municipalities don’t have a minimum building size, and some places allow tiny houses outside of city limits or in unorganized townships. And then there are people who just put their tiny house in a backyard, or on vacant land, regardless of whether it’s legal or not. It varies from place to place so I’d suggest checking to see if there are any tiny house dwellers in your area and also reading the by-law document in your municipality (usually on the town’s website).

      I hope this helps!

      Thanks again and happy exploring :)


  2. Chris

    Hi. So it’s been another year since hour last post correct? Or did I miss the other ones?
    Just wonder how you made out and if you are still going to continue on the van life journey?

    Chris,Hinton Alberta.

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Hi Chris! Thanks so much for checking in :) We’re really sorry for the lack of posts. It’s been tough to keep the website updated while travelling and filming/editing. We do hope to get started again in the future. Just to give you a mini update, we’ve sold our van and are in the process of buying a newer, taller van that we’ll be able to stand up in, and that will hopefully be a little more reliable and comfortable. We’re hibernating for the winter and will start the conversion in the spring! Take care and happy exploring, Mat & Danielle

  3. kenneth

    Great website and thoughtful posts and videos! I noticed you did not have a roof-rack or bike rack on your van nor any gear storage space, was that a problem? Where do you put your skis, climbing gear, bike(s), etc? I think its necessary to have gear that allows you to explore more. Anywho, just wondering what y’all did for recreation on your travels and how you managed to survive the colder months? Thanks!

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