Gear

Wondering what glorious gear resides in Mark? You’ve come to the right spot! You can check out the different “appliances” we use, hardware, Oreo’s cat things, as well as our hobby stuffs and more. Each item also includes a short review.

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Mark

small fridge in the van

We love our little fridge! It’s just big enough to be useful, but not too big. It does a great job of keeping things cool, but the tiny freezer is a bit useless. If it can’t hold ice cream, what’s the point?! This guy can run on AC or DC, which is nice if you have a shore power connection.

The link for this fridge goes to Marine Parts Source with free shipping. I did find it $10 cheaper on Panther RV, but they charge $90 for shipping!

camping oven with two burner stove

This is an awesome stove/oven combo for the price. The burners don’t go down as low as I would like while simmering, but we make it work. It works best if your pot/pan is at least 10″ in diameter, but I also use my small backpacking pot on it just fine. The oven is either on or off, requiring you to monitor the oven temperature. We also purchased the propane hose adapter*  to use a 20 lb propane tank.

overmount van sink in Mark

Yes, you read “undermount” in the item name, and no, we did not undermount it. Because of the butcher block we opted not to. The sink sits in the countertop fine and gets the job done. Although not shown, it also came with a rack for the bottom, drain screen and drain plug. The sink is 8″ deep, which is plenty for doing dishes. It’s made of 16 gauge stainless steel, so it is a sturdy beast!

These water jugs are the bomb! I bought them for the van because I used them on a volunteer trail crew and loved them. They are sturdy, and have a hideaway spigot. We have two for potable water and one for grey water. The cube design is a real space saver over cylindrical designs. The only disadvantage of having a 7-gallon jug vice a 5-gallon jug is the weight. But I think the added weight is worth having extra water on hand.

vent fan installed on van roof

This MaxxFan has 10 fan speeds with a manual lift, temperature control feature and can be used for suction. It can be used for both intake and exhaust. The fan is in the middle of the van, so it’s easy to reach from just about anywhere. It does a great job helping to keep Mark cool, as well as pull out moisture while cooking. If the smoke grey isn’t your style, check out the 5100k in white*.

renogy 170ah lithium iron phosphate battery

Although this bad boy is expensive, I think it’s worth it. The LiFePO4 batteries are about half the weight of their AGM counterparts and last almost 2x longer. Our battery is old school though because Renogy came out with a “smart” LiFePO4 battery that lasts twice as long as the our version! Currently, only 100Ah smart batteries are available.

I like our battery monitor because you can turn the backlighting off, and it’s easy to set your battery’s amp-hour rating. It appears to be accurate and just what we needed! We did have a bit of trouble installing it, and I’ll cover the details of that in a future blog post. We do not have solar, so I don’t know if this monitor would work well with a solar setup. There is a cheaper one available that look the exact same but without the Renogy logo, but I don’t have any experience with it.

cabinet ball latch

I have a love/hate relationship with these door latches. I love how you can adjust the tension to make sure the doors stay shut. They are amazing at keeping our cabinet doors shut while we rumble down the road. But, our wood doors expand and contract with the weather, and the alignment for the latches becomes off. I’ve learned which way to push/pull on each cabinet to get it to shut on a hot day. Even with that minor inconvenience, I’d still buy them again.

The Lagun Table System is a far nicer option than ours. Because of our seating area, it was hard to find a good place to mount the Lagun. Also, after seeing our Reimo in place, I think it fits in with our log cabin look much better than the Lagun. The Reimo did require a modification to work for us, which I will cover in a future blog post.

Oreo

I was so worried about finding a litter box to fit between the seats in the cab, and this one fits perfectly! Okay, it only fits because one of our seat adjustment knobs broke off (you can barely see the white nub sticking out on the left above the cat box). The flip lid makes it easy to clean, and the flat top is one of Oreo’s favorite nap spots.

Before moving into Mark, Oreo had a big SmartCat scratching post*. Even after years of her scratching on it, the sisal showed no signs of wearing out any time soon. The smaller version we have in Mark can mount on the wall, making it a real spacesaver. 

First of all, doesn’t Oreo look adorable in her red bandana Kitty Holster?! Anyway, I tried a different brand of harness, and she hated it. The poor cat crept around with her body close to the floor the whole time it was on. Enter Kitty Holster! Although she doesn’t like it, she mostly moves normally in it. Like most cat harnesses, it is not cat-proof. I used to try to keep her tied up, but finally gave up. We still put it on her to take her to the vet. Once we can hit the road again we’ll use it during pit stops so she can explore a bit.

oreo's area in the cab of the van when we're parked, complete with travel water bowl

After an unreasonable amount of research on travel water bowls for pets, I chose this guy. It holds a good amount of water, so it’s great when we’re parked. The blue part unscrews for easy cleaning. I usually empty out some of the water before we hit the road. As long as we keep it on the kitchen rug while driving, it doesn’t spill because it stays in one place.

Backpacking

Coming soon!

About Us

We left “normal” life behind and now live in our self-converted van, Mark. Our time in the military and backpacking adventures made van life an easy choice. The leap into van life and a self-conversion can be exciting yet daunting. We want to share our experiences and provide resources to get you from zero to van life!

jeremy and christina at sunset

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