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Van living with our dog Lotus

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We’ve been getting lots of questions on how we travel with Lotus and what that entails for us and her. We’ve teamed up with Freshpet to shed some light on this little adventure dog’s life on the road! So here are the most asked questions!

This post is sponsored by Freshpet! We are so grateful for their support and for keeping Lotus healthy and happy.

Does she go into a kennel while driving or just roam around?

Lotus is kennel trained but we’ve never put her in a kennel. She’s a lot smaller than most people think she is so van living is actually great for her and she hardly takes up any room. The van is basically her kennel.

Does she bring in a lot of dirt? Does she shed? How do you wash her? 

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Lotus loves rolling around in the dirt, sand and poop, so she gets really dirty. We do a lot of sweeping and actually have a small vacuum that’s amazing for dog hair. Lotus is from the husky family so you can only imagine how much hair is in everything. We’ve learned to live with her hair, it doesn’t bother us at all. Even when it’s in our food, you just pull it out and continue with life. We also have an outdoor shower that we can wash her in, but often times we take her to the local dog groomer.

What food do you feed her? 

She is currently being energized by Freshpet! Their food is farm raised so we know she gets all the good and healthy things a dog should have.  Lotus is extremely picky. There are some foods she won’t touch which we feel is her dogs senses maybe telling her that has something nasty she should not partake of. She LOVES Freshpet foods and if we let her, she would probably eat an entire bag. We are actually dog food snobs and want our dog to eat the best, not junk that will eventually cause health problems so we are pretty particular about what she eats. If you guys are interested in trying something for your dog that’s whole foods and natural products check out Freshpet!

What do you do  when you can’t take her somewhere with you? How easy is it to find dog friendly places? How long do you leave her in the van if necessary?

We usually don’t go places that don’t allow dogs. Even with restaurants, we make sure they have outdoor seating so she can sit with us. 

Finding dog friendly places isn’t too difficult, we ask around or just use google. People with dogs usually know all the hot spots for dogs. We typically don’t go somewhere if it doesn’t allow dogs. We are dog people and would rather she’s just as comfortable as we are and joining us in all the fun. We haven’t explored National Parks as much as we would like to because of having to leave her in the van but it’s a sacrifice we are willing to make. She is our family and we love having her with us (even when she rolls in poop).

If we do leave her in the van it’s usually because it’s not a hot day and she’s going to be ok. We leave her with plenty of water and food. She also doesn’t bark. We’ve heard her bark maybe 1 time in the 4 years we’ve had her (she howls). The van is her home so she also feels safe. If we leave her in the van she just sleeps. The longest we’ve ever left her in the van is like 2 hours to do a hike at a National Park on a rainy day.

Where does she sleep?

She sleeps in the front seat, drivers seat. She used to have a bed but she finds comfort in sleeping where Jace has been. If she was a cuddler, we would probably let her sleep in bed with us but unfortunately she is not.

What is the relationship between Juniper and Lotus?

Lotus does not like children. If she sees a child nearby she will run away in a second. But Lotus tolerates Juniper. Every morning Juniper will visit Lotus in the front seat and love on her. Lotus doesn’t love it, but she doesn’t try to get away from Juni, and we believe it’s because she knows Juni is her family and isn’t going to do any harm to her. We like to think Lotus is the teenage sister who can’t stand her little sister but still loves her to death. 

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We are super lucky to have such a rad and easy going dog. Our advice is that no matter where you are, you’re dog will need to learn to live around what environment they are in. Whether you are in an apartment, house with a backyard, or a van. All these guys care about is having a companion to love them and to love back. 

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Vanlife in the Land of Ice and Fire

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Vanlife in the Land of Ice and Fire

Alright, before you ask, the answer is no. No, we are not crazy. We planned a trip to Iceland in the winter but to be real with you, its really not that bad. If you've experienced winter anywhere before, you'll be just fine. The name can be a little daunting (ICEland) when planning to head there in the winter months (or at all) but don't let that deter you. Iceland is a varied and beautiful country. But also to be real, it was winter, so yes it was still cold of course.

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All About Our Dog, Lotus

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All About Our Dog, Lotus

Part of our small, traveling family is a wee little doggy named Lotus. She is a super loyal pup and follows me (Jace) around EVERYWHERE I go. She even follows me into the bathroom when I take a shower or sit on the john. She wants to be in sight of me at all times. We get a lot of questions about Lotus, so I figured this was a good time to clear some things up:

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5 Tips to Staying Warm in a Van During Winter

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5 Tips to Staying Warm in a Van During Winter

Many people are drawn to “vanlife” because of the freedom of mobility it offers. If its too hot, you move to a new location. If its too cold, start driving. It is honestly how we decide where we are headed next. My Dad jokes that we “don’t travel by compass or gps, we travel by thermometer.” - He’s right.

But even if you're the same as us (or maybe you’re just a winter lover) there will certainly be times where you find yourself in some freezing temperatures. Here is what helps us to stay warm during those times:

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But Where Do You Use the Bathroom?

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But Where Do You Use the Bathroom?

Ah, the one question everyone is most curious about... "but where do you poop?!?!" This isn't a very difficult question to answer, and you probably know most of the answer already, but... Buckle up, friends. We're about to tell it all. Ok, gross, not ALL. But we are going to answer this question as best we can. This isn't the most engaging post we've made but its probably the most important.

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Adding Juniper's Seat to the Van

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Adding Juniper's Seat to the Van

Ok, it has taken us a bit of time to get around to answering this question. Lately, as in the last 4 months, this has been the number one question we've been asked. So instead of continuing to answer it a few times a day, we've decided to make a short post all about it. So lets get to it...

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6 Ways to Shower When You Live in a Van

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6 Ways to Shower When You Live in a Van

Who doesn't like the feeling of going to sleep with clean sheets and clean body?? Despite contrary belief, there are so many ways to get clean when living in a van. You really don’t have to get that creative either because showers literally exist all over the place. We've compiled a short list of ways to get clean while traveling around...

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How We Make Money

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How We Make Money

A life of full-time travel tends to be viewed as a privileged lifestyle, something unattainable to the average person. While this may hold true in some instances, it certainly does not have to be that way for everyone. We are not "rich" or...

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New Homeowners - How we got our van

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New Homeowners - How we got our van

We had been looking for a van to build out for a long time. It was an idea we had both talked about for years and really wanted to make it happen. Constant craigslist searches, including Searchtempest (which searches EVERY craigslist), proved to be unsuccessful. We knew we wanted a Sprinter van (Mercedes, Dodge, Freightliner...

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Learning to Live with Mishaps

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Learning to Live with Mishaps

At the start of our build in June/July, we set a departure date of January 1st as a goal to work towards. The original date had to be postponed for a couple reasons, so we pushed the launch date back to March 30th. We ended up leaving a...

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Setting out on Our Journey

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Setting out on Our Journey

We are excited to begin this blog and adventure and to share our experiences with all of you guys. This lifestyle is a dream made into reality.  

Blogging is new for us, but will be a weekly duty from here on out! We have chosen to...

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