Max and Beke

Max and Beke

Max and Beke

“Portugal is a great place to stay with family.”

“Portugal is a great place to stay with family.”

Name: Max (28), Beke (29), Freider (1½), Momo (6 months)

Where from: Germany

Chosen home: 1988 Fiat Frankia

Why did you choose van life? We don’t like walls and living close to other people and anyway renting is also very expensive. We paid a lot of money for a space that we didn’t use much, as we were out and about a lot with the dog and the children, or at work. Our apartment was on the fourth floor, which was not easy. We also like to move around.

How long have you lived in your van? In this van for almost a year.

What countries have you visited? We’ve been to Poland, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal.

How do you make a living? Max: I work as a trapeze artist and acrobat at festivals, marriages and birthdays, but now as my knees are starting to suffer I work more and more training children in circus schools.

Best country you’ve visited? Portugal is a great place to stay with the family, especially during the winter. We really like The Netherlands during the summer. There the people are friendly and they welcome campers.

Worst country you’ve visited? France. The people either can’t or don’t want to speak English, so communicating with them is difficult.

Best experience you’ve had while living in your van? It’s being with the family. It’s a small space, but we get on well together.

Worst experience you’ve had while living in your van? Going crazy with the kids! Freider will climb into the driver’s seat and play with all the electrical stuff. But probably the worst issue we had was with a leak in the roof. We didn’t know where the leak was or how to repair it, so mould started growing. It was not easy to fix.

Do you have a dream? There are a lot of places we want to visit, but our main hope is that this van lasts us as long as possible and takes us to lovely countries.

What is the most important thing about your van? For Beke it’s the bed, for me (Max) it’s the water filtration system, so we don’t have to buy plastic bottles. Beke: the bed is where I sit with the children, and relax;

How do you pass the time? At the moment it’s looking after the children, but we listen to audio books while the kids are sleeping in the evening. We spend time working on the car.

What advice would you give to would-be van dwellers? A lot of people ask us how we are able to live as a family in a van. You have to want to do it, but if you don’t have a good feeling for it, it’s not right for you. You can spend a huge amount of money buying a van and you’ll have everything you have in a house, but we wanted to get back to basics. I don’t miss all the things we had in our apartment. Also, we bought an old van, as it can be easily fixed anywhere. Choose a van without electronics.

Leave a Reply