Van Resources

Fantastic Vent

This is pretty much the overall consensus for the best vent in any van conversion post I ever read and I agree! A vent is necessary if you plan to cook inside a tiny space. It has two main functions to push air in or push air out. You will also definitely need this if you plan to stay in warm weather. The vent allows fresh air in at while not having to open a window or a door. It would have been really difficult for me to sleep at night in the warmer months without the vent, I would highly recommend the Fantastic Vent!

Solar Power

From the get go, I knew I wanted to have solar panels when starting this whole process. If you never want to have to worry about finding an expensive RV campsite with hookups solar energy is the way to go. Boondocking is so convenient and easy with solar power. I searched around and decided to go with Renogy, they had some of the best reviews out there. I also found it convenient how Renogy sold kits for the installation of their products for RVs/vans making it easier to make sure I had purchased everything I needed. Their customer service is amazing, they helped me figure out how much power I needed for what I wanted to power in my van. I have not had any issues with these the Renogy solar power kit and inverter and would strongly recommend for your tiny home solar power needs.

Insulation

My van is insulated with Reflectix. It was working really well in the warmer weather as its best quality is reflecting heat out, but it was essentially useless in cold weather. If you plan to stay in mostly warmer weather I would recommend Reflectix. If you plan to stay in colder weather I would recommend looking into other options for insulation.

Noise Insulation

When you live in a tiny metal van everything every noise is amplified. I decided to invest in some noise insulation. Noico had many positive reviews so I decided on purchasing, and I don’t regret it. Some of my favorite nights in the van are when it was raining, with the noise insulation and regular insulation the sound is not painfully loud, but very comforting and cozy. I would highly recommend Noico noise insulation in order to have a good night sleep in your tiny space!

Portable Toilet

I bought this toilet because I thought I needed it but I have to be honest, I only used it 2x since I bought it. Since I work full time and use gyms and work facilities for showers, I pretty much have indoor plumbing to use most of the day. However, I do think this is the most useful, smallest, and portable toilet out there, if you desire to have a toilet in your tiny living space, this is definitely the best option. It can also double as a stool when camping, which what mine currently gets the most use as!

Lights

Everytime I show someone my van, the “wow” comes from turning the lights on with my purple and green tapestry. These lights required the least amount of power out of other comparable options, and I have not had any issues. Even with the lights behind my colorful ceiling tapestry it still provides enough light to read and for other activities that might require light. And not to mention they’re pretty!

Headliner Clips

In order to make the cozy ceiling I had to attach lights and the tapestry to the headliner. Headliner clips are the most ridiculous tiny pieces of plastic I have ever encountered. I tried a staple gun and industrial velcro and nothing held the lights and tapestry to the headliner. The only thing that seems to work is attaching with headliner clips. In order to get the clip in I cut an “x” with a knife placed the tapestry between the clip and the headliner and then wrapped the lights around the head of the clips. This has almost been up for a year now and nothing has fallen from the headliner. Learn from my mistakes, skip the staple gun and velcro, use headliner clips to securely hang up ceiling van decor.

Travel Therapy Resources

Medbridge

Medbridge is a great CEU resource for all therapists but especially traveling therapists.As registered healthcare professionals keeping up with CEUs is a must. This gets complicated as a traveler with multiple state licenses to keep track of. I prefer in-person courses but these are difficult to coordinate as it can be difficult to know what location you will be working for more than three months out. Online CEU courses are a great way to help keep up with required CEUs while on the road. Each course has an “accreditation check,” meaning you can confirm which states your course of interest would cover. I highly recommend Medbridge use my code “TinyVan” or my link to receive $175 off a year prescription. The offer is good for OTs,OTAs,PTs,PTAs, and SLPs.

Airbnb

For those of you who do not travel in a camper or van, Airbnb is a great option. Before I went mobile with my housing Airbnb and Craigslist were my go to. Remember that it’s best to contact the host to inform them of your unique situation as a traveling healthcare professional. Reach out and see if you could get a 30 day or two-week rate depending on your cancellation notice.

OT and PT Toolkit

As an OT I have been familiar with the OT toolkit for a few years. Once you purchase the toolkit you can travel with it from assignment to assignment. Its essentially an extremely comprehensive guide for typical adult diagnosis and interventions. My favorite part of the handbook is the handouts. I use the ADL adaptive equipment handouts regularly and they are so helpful for clients. I have not personally used the PT toolkit, but have heard good things from my PT colleges. Check out it out the OT toolkit here and the PT toolkit here.

OT Assessments for G-Codes/Modifiers

Anyone else hate G-codes as much as I do? Okay, let me summarize a patient’s whole complex functional status into a number so it’s easier for you to deny and accept claims, ugh I digress. Anyway, AOTA is always on top of changes like this and typically provides resources for therapists. These are tools we can benefit from in order to succeed in the ever-changing legislation regarding medicare. It’s always ideal to have an evidenced based assessment to backup your treatment and here are some quick ones that an OT could use for each type of modifier. My favorite is the Boston Am-Pac “6 clicks” , I use the self care module often and it takes a few minutes to add up and provides a raw score which correlates with a modifier. Click here for the list.

Other Therapy Blogs/Resources

Here are other therapy and travel therapy blogs that have awesome resources. Check out Seniors Flourish, The Traveling Traveler, PTadventures,  Nomadicare.