We always planned to go "all-in" on van life. Meaning that we sold or donated all the belongings that didn't fit in our van when we left Denver in January of this year. It was quite the journey to downsize but now we know everything we kept has deep meaning and is important in our lives!
Because our van is the only place to store all of our gear/essentials/life having a fixed bed platform with a "garage" underneath was KEY. This is the best way to maximize how much we were able to bring along for all of our adventures. We have both our summer AND winter gear stored away in this space!
Below we have listed all the main items we keep in our garage so we are always ready for any adventure. This includes snowboards, longboards, backpacking gear, gym equipment, etc! The other important piece that the garage space is used for is housing all our water (including our fresh water tank) and electrical system components. We will share a blog post about these items separately as the list is quite lengthy and specific.
For now, we want you to start dreaming of your next adventure and make sure you have all the gear to make it memorable. Check out what we keep in our "garage" below, we have grouped everything by activity & linked each item to make it easier for you to find what suits your needs! If there are two links, one is Adam's set up & the other is Brittani's. If there is just one, we both have the same item because we wanna be JUST like each other :)
First, we want to share the newest item we added to our garage that we are absolutely in love with. It is called MoonShade and it's a packable, portable awning! We searched high and low for a shade solution for Clifford. We didn't want any of the permanently affixed options because they are bulky/heavy, & expensive. This is why we were super stoked when we came across MoonShade.
MoonShade weighs only 8lbs and packs away to the size of a camping chair. But they didn't skimp on quality - all the the materials are durable and well-designed. They include heavy duty magnets and suction cups for anchor point options so everything you need to set up and get shade comes with it!
Also, it is super quick and easy to set up. We like to say it's "Easy as 1, 2, 3!" We timed ourselves and it takes less than 2.5 min to both set up & take down.
Overall, we think this is the perfect shade solution and we are so grateful we found it! It can be taken on any adventure where we might need some shade and we love its versatility.
Click this link to get your own MoonShade & use code "FENIMORES" for 10% off !!
Okay, now for the rest of our garage items! There is so much packed away in this space we opted to not give all the details on each item (as you see from above I can share about how much and why I love something we have forever!). If you know me (Brittani) I am the research QUEEN so it's safe to say all our gear was well researched before purchasing and has also been put to the test by us.
BACKPACKING / HIKING GEAR
BOARDING GEAR (Winter & Summer)
Winter Sport Helmets
CAMPING / GRILLING / PATIO
2- Burner Propane Stove
Outdoor String Lights
"HOME" FITNESS EQUIPMENT
All of these are self explanatory by the link name. So simply click the link to the items that would be perfect for your home gym!
TOOLS / OFFICE / STORAGE
3-Drawer Storage - small
3-Drawer Storage - large
Last but not least, (because every single item we own serves and important purpose) here are the items we didn't know what category to put in! We keep a rug for the winter to keep our feet (and van) warm, each have a suitcase filled with our "off season clothing," and have a couple of items to throw back and forth if we really get bored! ;)
I know what you are thinking..."Does this all really pack away into your "garage" space?" And we gotta keep it real...YES! ;) We know many van lifers who have a storage unit or keep some items at a friend/family house. However, we can flip from summer to winter sports and back again by having everything we own with us. We wanted to ensure we never had to re-route ourselves to pick up equipment just to go on our next adventure!
If you have any questions about our garage items feel free to ask below. We are always happy to help answer questions and lead you in the right direction to ensure your adventures are filled with the right gear to have a good time!