Van Life – Couple Survives 2 Canadian Winters Living in a Van!

Derrick & Paula started living in a van 2 weeks before they got married and then travelled across Canada in the camper van for their 2-month honeymoon. They loved the Van Life so much that they decided to keep living in the van when they got back; taking it one month at a time. To-date they’ve lived in the van for 19 months and spent not 1 but 2 full Canadian winters living in their van.

Their Dodge Pleasure Way camper is a tiny house, but it has almost all of the conveniences of a conventional home: a large bed, a flush toilet, a sink, a propane furnace and propane fridge, 2 solar panels, rotating captains chairs, and more.

They came up with solutions to living in the van during winter, the most interesting of which was to fill their RV system with burst-proof antifreeze so that they could still flush the toilet during the winter. For water, they fill 4-liter jugs at work and bring them home each night. For heat, they use their propane furnace as well as a battery powered heating blanket in the bed.

By living in a van, the couple was able to reduce their expenses, especially by eliminating the cost of rent. This allowed them to aggressively pay down their debt and get themselves into a financial situation that is allowing them to consider purchasing a home in the future.

Derrick & Paula have made an incredible series of vlogs about their van life adventure and you can find these videos on their YouTube Channel, Back to Reality, at:

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


Facebook: /exploringalternativesblog
Instagram: @exploringalternatives

Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat Dubé of Exploring Alternatives.

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39 Replies to “Van Life – Couple Survives 2 Canadian Winters Living in a Van!”

  1. Heimat Fotografien

    Have a good ride through the life, you two! Nice story to tell the child later… Kid you were born in a van 🙂 Think about it!

  2. Trusting Your Process

    I am moving in my van at the end of this month and I am keeping my day job also. It's videos like this one with people doing similar that gives me the confidence to do this lifestyle. I am in the States and Canada seems more welcoming of this lifestyle.

  3. David Machin

    Those of you have experienced living in a van, could you say something about finding safe places to park. If you are travelling and its a new city, for example, how can you judge such things?

  4. V Lightning

    That’s awesome! I want an RV so bad! I’m torn between a pleasure way xltd and a leisure serenity. Both are exceptional vehicles . Just don’t know which one I want more!?

  5. Patricia Howard

    very kool guys!!! looked like maybe you call calgary home in the winter? lol i have done many months in a van between edmonton and the west coast not winter months tho but have done many winters with only wood heat !! so bravo!!!

  6. Beth ASMR

    Instead of a house with a mortgage and taxes for life, they should get a tiny house one wheels! Then they still save money and can continue to travel.
    I cant wait to build my tiny house!

  7. Debra Jarnagin

    I love you guys, your so cute and just lovely. You make this lifestyle seem romantic and adventurous!!

  8. Bill Randall

    nothing stops you from moving to the southern USA for the winter, ya know. Canadians can work here, have a vehicle, have a bank account, etc.

  9. My Stock

    i have to report to local police that u guys not allow to park in private parking's against the law….

  10. Nawaz khattack

    I like your van but if you rent a room it will cost same money . you need expensive van plus insurence and winter how you can survive plus cops comes night and start bugging

  11. Brett Bradbeer

    Love the story, to honeymoon then it turns into a way of life 👍 brilliant,looks like you have seen amazing places 😉wishing you all the best now and in the future 👍 love from 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿xx

  12. Misty Spring

    I start a job in May with a free campground, and am working on a Dodge Caravan seen in picture. It will be ready to live in before I go to my job in upstate NY. So encouraging I look forward to being able to save money and have a nest egg. Finally in my early fifties and able to have one

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