Aussie Nomad Duo’s Vanlife Journey: From DIY Mercedes Sprinter to Million-Dollar Views
Aussie Nomad Duo’s Vanlife: Meet Sandy and Tim, a dynamic nomadic duo from Australia living the van life full-time with their trusty Chihuahua, Pablo.
Discover their 2004 self-converted Mercedes Sprinter, a long wheelbase hightop campervan that they’ve skillfully DIYed for the past 3 months.
Dive into the essentials of their van, including a unique lift bed, a full shower/bathroom, and a dedicated office space that showcases their commitment to comfortable and efficient nomadic living.
Explore their YouTube channel, “The Sand Van”, launched in December 2021, where they share the ups and downs of van life.
Uncover the challenges of growing their audience beyond Australia and their ambitious goal of exploring the world in not one but three vans—Australia, Europe, and the USA/Canada.
Discover their favorite National Parks in Australia, get tips for aspiring nomads, and learn about their funding strategy combining full-time work, a growing YouTube income, and Tim’s handyman skills. As they continue their van life journey, Sandy and Tim offer valuable insights and advice for those considering this lifestyle, emphasizing the importance of trying it part-time before committing full-time.
In this exclusive spotlight, Sandy and Tim share the million-dollar views, freedom, and exploration that come with nomadic life. However, they also delve into the downsides, including water conservation, waste disposal, and the constant obsession with power needs. Find out why they believe nomadic life isn’t for everyone and why being a minimalist is essential for van life success.
Join us in exploring the captivating journey of Sandy and Tim, gaining inspiration and practical advice for your own nomadic adventures.
Nomadic Creator Spotlight: Aussie Nomad Duo’s Vanlife with The Sand Van
What’s your name(s)? Sandy and Tim and Pablo the chihuahua.
Do you live a nomadic lifestyle? Yes, we do.
Are you living the nomadic lifestyle part-time or full-time or sometimes? Full-time.
How long have you been a nomad? Part-time for 2 years and full-time for the last 3 months.
What type of rig do you travel in? 2004 self-converted Mercedes Sprinter long wheelbase high top campervan.
Is your rig a DIY build or a Pro build? We have self-built our rig.
Why did you choose your rig? We chose it because it suited our needs best as our previous van was too small for our needs.
How did you come about having your rig? After a long search, we upgraded our old 1982 Toyota Hiace pop-top ‘PEPPER’ to our current van, after finding “VINNIE’ on the Facebook marketplace.
What are 3 must-haves in your rig? Our 3 essentials are 1: lift bed, 2: full shower/bathroom, 3: office space.
What is an item you brought with you that you don’t use? We bought a Thermomix with us as we used it a lot in our house and thought it would be useful in the van on the road, but we haven’t used it once in the 3 months on the road since becoming full-time.
What is your biggest struggle with nomadic life? Juggling our full-time careers and traveling on the road and life with a small dog in the van.
Do you have a blog? Not as yet.
Do you create YouTube videos? Yes, we have a YouTube channel that we upload to currently twice a week.
What is your channel called? The Sand Van.
When did you start your channel? We started on the 5th of December 2021.
What is your biggest struggle with YouTube? Getting ourselves out there. YouTube doesn’t share our videos worldwide. It seems to push them out to Australia. We network constantly to build a fanbase in other countries mainly in the USA and UK.
What is your goal with your YouTube channel? Our goal is to have a van in Australia to do the big lap, purchase a second van next year in the UK to explore Europe, and then if the YouTube gods smile upon us we shall purchase a van, yes a 3rd one, to explore the USA/Canada and then continue hopping from country to country having adventures, whilst growing our channel, bringing entertainment and inspiration to our audience worldwide
Do you like to travel to National Parks? Yes, we love national parks, but are a little restricted with Pablo as dogs are not allowed in Australian national parks.
If so, how many have you been to? Seeing as Australia has over 600 national parks we have barely scraped the surface with probably around 25 to our tally.
Any tips for those interested in a nomadic lifestyle? Before choosing your vehicle of nomadic choice, we would recommend hiring (renting) different modes of nomadic living: RVs, Vans, Buses, or Caravans. Figure out what best works for you as an individual and not what seems ideal on Instagram or Facebook. Everybody’s needs, wants and must-haves are totally different, and we wouldn’t recommend having a van built to your specifications first as you’ll end up being disappointed by not having enough power outlets, insufficient storage, or too much unusable storage. Live the van life first to figure out what does or doesn’t work or find out what is or isn’t practical to your specific needs.
Can you name 3 benefits of nomadic life?
- Million-dollar views at zero cost
- Freedom to go when and where you please
- Exploring new and wonderful places worldwide
Name 3 downsides to nomadic life.
- Water storage and conservation
- Waste disposal
- Power consumption and needs soon become an everyday obsession
Do you think nomadic life is for everyone? No, we don’t think it’s for everyone, you have to be a minimalist or at least have that mindset. You need to be good at being alone or have a very understanding partner when in such close proximity and isolation at times. You need to be fairly resourceful especially when it comes to maintaining your rig and other events such as breakdowns and repairs.
How do you fund your nomadic lifestyle? We both work full time, Sandy for the finance industry and Tim works FIFO “fly in fly out” for the railways, we have a growing income stream from YouTube, but not enough as yet to finance the nomadic lifestyle, Tim is also a registered electrician/handyman and will find local work from town to town in between working away.
Why did you choose the nomadic lifestyle? We wanted to combine our love for travel and the outdoors with our passion for tiny living whilst not being tied down financially by a mortgage or rental payment.
What is 1 piece of advice you would give to anyone interested in this lifestyle? See if you can live that lifestyle part-time before taking the leap into it full-time.