When I tried posting these a few weeks ago, it didn’t work. A very computer wise guy tried, too, and he says the dell format that I recorded them in is just too fucked to be shrunk or translated.Â So I typed up the van dwelling one.
For those of you that don’t know, Possum is a cool guy I met down by a river in our vans in the mid west.Â He’s a witch, a healer, a mechanic, and a hillbilly.Â He fixed me, fixed Helga, and fixed my stove.Â Here’s the interview:
Me: So we’re here inside Possum’s van, and Possum is a van dwelling expert. He’s been dwelling in van’s and trucks for decades and decades. So tell us about the evolution of your vehicular homes, Possum?
Possum: Well my vehicular homes started off with a 79 econoline van that I had in high school, and I lived in it because my dad snored and it kept me awake when I slept in the house. So I slept in the van, I made my van my bedroom. I got bored, and I put a drag racing engine in it and things like that. I had it fixed up very nice, I drove it forever and it finally got so I couldn’t afford gas for it anymore, cause it only got eight miles to the gallon. And so, then I went from there. I tried the house thing for a bit, that didn’t work. I hate living in a house. And, um I lived in a toyota truck for a while. I made a house truck out of it and I lived in it for a pretty good while. I tried the trailer thing in South Carolina, that didn’t work either…. had an 85 chevy that was really nice. It was killed in a hurricane. Tree fell on it, smashed it flat as a flitter. And, um, had a mitsubishi truck for a while and then a ranger and a 94 dodge ram 1500, and it was a dog, got rid of it. Got an 85 Chevy again, this one wasn’t in as good condition as my first one, and I found out by the hard way the 305 engine is a gas hog too. It finally was more expensive to repair than it was worth, so I went back to an 85 Ford Econoline 150 and, um, I drove it and I found the van I’m in now it’s a 1990 Econoline 250 Super, and I customized it and rebuilt it while I was still in the Econoline 150. And as fate would have it, the day I got this one going right and all that, got it liscenced tagged and insured, I was driving the 85 Econoline, and the rear axle literally broke and fell out, the tires fell off and all that good stuff, and totalled out that van and it slammed against a light pole, and so now this is my only van again.
Me: Wow, and this van’s really awesome. It’s got clothes racks and a bed and a refridgerator, and it’s huge, it’s like 19 feet, right?
Possum: Yeah, it’s a 19 footer. Well, you see, I came out of the RV business. I’m still in the RV business, I’m an RVA certified repair tech. So I used the RV experience to make my van dwelling experience more comfortable.
Me: So what would you say are the van dwelling essentials?
Possum: Van dwelling essentials. Well, you gotta have a van. Uhm… it depends really on what your tastes are. I like my creature comforts, so I have like a memory foam bed in this one, and I made me a little dinette in the kitchen, all that good stuff. But it’s not necessary, I lived for years in vans sleeping in hammocks hanging over tool boxes, you know, pretty spartan just a coleman cook stove and a jug of water. So there’s really, it’s what you want.
Me: Has what you wanted evolved, or have you just reached the pinnacle here?
Possum: It’s evolved, and I’m sure it’ll keep on evolving.
Me: Wow, does this mean I’m going to end up evolving past the Astro?
Possum: Only if you want. I’ve tried it all, I’ve tried class A motor homes, class C motor homes, uh, fifth wheels, travel trailers, and they just didn’t seem like home.
Me: Now how do you feel about stealth in van dwelling? Are you a stealthy van dweller?
Possum: Yeah, this van looks very innocent from the outside, looks like a thousand other conversion vans, and I have day/night shades which you can see in the background, here’s one. With the day/night shades closed, you can’t tell this from any other conversion van out there. The only half way clue is an electric inlet on the passenger side, and it’s not very noticeable, a lot of conversion vans have that too.
Me: So do you, what’s your take on the whole city versus not city van dwelling?
Possum: The further in the country I am the happier I am. I hate cities. All the rules and regulations and all that, it’s just not worth the hassle.
Me: What’s the best place for van dwelling?
Possum: Mmm, I been a lot of good places, been a lotta bad ones. Uh, Ocala National Forest in central Florida is nice in the winter time, but it’s getting to where there’s a lot of drugs, a lot of crime, so it’s not as fun as it was. As far as cities go, Ft. Lauderdale, the last time I was there was van dweller friendly. That is, I didn’t get roused out of bed at 3:30 in the morning by a cop anyway.
Me: Cool. So do you have a van dwelling philosophy?
Possum: Mm, not really. I mean, you know, I enjoy the lifestyle and I think that other people who love absolute freedom would. If you’re addicted to stuff, or if you kind of want roots and a home place, van dwellings not for you. But I’m not addicted to stuff, and I bloom where planted, and I move on. So, you know.
Me: That’s a great philosophy. Bloom where planted and then move on.