Vanlife: Our Summer Home on Wheels | Sailing Soulianis – Ep. 54

– Chip’s been great. – It’s been an interesting first urban
stealth camping mission. – It’s a little bit rustic still. – [Kirk] Where are we? – We’re at Kirk’s Lake in Michigan. – That’s so addicting. Hey dad are we in distress? – Ah, we could be. (relaxed music) – Hell yeah. (relaxed music) It’s been a pretty fun adventure. (relaxed music) – Are we even half way yet? – No. – [Lauren] We are Lauren and
Kirk and this is Soulianis. We sailed it from Lake
Michigan down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. – It’s the ocean! – [Lauren] And have been living and working aboard ever since. After hauling the boat over
hurricane season we moved into our summer home on wheels. – [Kirk] All right boat,
take care of yourself. – [Lauren] A van we named Chip. (yawning) Good morning. – Morning. – [Lauren] That is some bright light. We have to fix that. – See you in a few. – Okay. We spent our first night
in the van last night. It’s a little bit rustic still. All of our stuff is
spread out on the floor and so when we pulled in to the rest stop, oh no. I better take down some curtains. Kirk set up a bunch of towels and sarongs to block the light. Wow, this is quite the set up. We bought a couple cushions from the boat because we didn’t have any mattresses or any sleeping pads or anything. Kirk was dead set against getting a motel. We bought a van, why are
we sleeping in a motel? I’m like, ’cause we don’t have a bed. But we made a pretty decent bed. These cushions are, well they
came from the quarter berth and the pilot berth so
it’s what Tartan gave you to sleep on so. Then we piled all of our crap
up in the back of the van to get it out of the way
so that we could sleep. Should be in Wisconsin tonight. (cheery upbeat music) – [Kirk] Where are we? – Nashville? – [Kirk] Uh huh. What river is this? – [Lauren] I don’t know
but there’s tows on it. (cheer upbeat music) – [Kirk] Where are we? – Terre Haute, Indiana. Small town America. – [Kirk] Okay, how do you
feel two thirds of the way through your first
overnight passage on Chip? I see that you’re eating
some ginger snap candy. Are you road sick right now? – [Lauren] No, definitely not. I just never thought about
eating the ginger candies when I was feeling sick on the boat. So now I’m eating them while
I’m not sick on the road. I don’t know, I don’t
really get sick in the car unless we’re driving super windy roads and I’m a passenger and
I’m reading a book or phone or something like that. Chip’s been great. Chip is exactly what we needed, I think. We’re both really happy
we got the short van so that we can park in
a normal parking spot. And Kirk’s super stoked
that he can stand up and there’s what four inches
of room above your head still? I think it’s gonna be
pretty frikken awesome. – [Kirk] I mean this is
like a serious passage we’re making here. – (laughs) Yeah, I guess it is. What was it, 1300 miles? – [Kirk] Yeah. What a shake down cruise, huh? – Yeah, seriously. – [Kirk] This wasn’t no
like going parking out in the forest for a night five miles away. I mean we did a cross
country road trip here. – Yeah we did, and it seemed like nothing. 1300 miles across land compared
to 1300 miles across water, it’s like 1/20th, not even. It’s like 1/50th of the effort. You get to stop wherever
you want, get snacks, fuel. – [Kirk] Snacks. – Snacks! You don’t have to worry
about being self-sufficient because there’s literally
everything you need pretty much like every 10 miles. Anyway. – [Kirk] Dope. Current state of Chip. – [Lauren] Giant mess. – I can make it look like we’re on a boat. (laughing) Just kidding, we’re not on a boat. – [Lauren] What do you think about Chip? – I think Chip is frikken sweet. I’m super excited. I like everything about Chip
except for the fuel mileage. We’ve averaged 17 point 9 on this trip. – [Lauren] We’re not commuting in it. – Yeah. We’re not driving it everyday. What I like are all the cup holders. All of the places to put our bottles. – [Lauren] So many cup holders. – [Kirk] Like the perfect
spot for a Nalgene and the perfect spot for
Lauren’s favorite cup. We got the perfect spot
for phones right there for directions. The radio’s a little lack luster. You can’t adjust really
anything on the steering wheel which would have been kind of cool but… – [Lauren] Luxuries Kirk. – We got a nice shelf up here which you can’t really see very well. We got a fruit basket. The seat in the passenger side
is super comfy to sleep in. Lay it all the way back. – [Lauren] Lay it all the way back. – And it’s quite nice. Going down. It’s pretty nice to sleep here. So far so good. Now we just need to build
him out, make him a home. Or make him a house, I
guess he’s already home. All right. That’s update form the road number one. (jazzy song) ♪ Ain’t that a hole in the boat. ♪ – [Lauren] We were in a bit of a rush to leave the boatyard to
make it up to Wisconsin to my parents house
which they had just sold. I spent a couple days
going through a closet full of my childhood things that
I hadn’t seen in 20 years and helped my mom pack up the last boxes for the moving truck. We were off again to visit
Kirk’s family in Michigan. – We’re going wind surfing. I grew up next to an inland lake so when we visit my family we
like to hang out on the lake as much as possible. This is my dad’s windsurfer. It’s an early 80’s relic
but it still does the trick. (acoustic music) Wooh! (acoustic music) (yelling) (laughing) (acoustic music) – [Lauren] Oh hey. – Hey Love. That was frikken awesome. It’s so addicting. God there’s such good wind now let’s see if I can just dock start this. Okay, ready? – Hey Kirk.
– Ya? – [Lauren] You didn’t put
sunscreen on, did you? – No, we’re gonna go in just a second. (acoustic music) – We’re gonna fire off our expired flares. The directions are a little
bit long and detailed. We wanna try ’em out so
we know how to use ’em when we are actually in an emergency. – [Kirk] Cool, and where are we? – We’re at Kirk’s Lake in Michigan. Burn time up to seven seconds each. Waterproof, floatable,
oh they’re floatable. We can go pick them up. – [Kirk] We should test that out. – Okay so press stop of
red launch tube down, orange sleeve firmly with one hand, use the other hand to pull down on red cap to lock sleeve in place. This already sounds complicated. – [Kirk] Yeah, imagine doing
this while our boat is sinking. – Yeah that would suck. Grasp red launch tube firmly with little finger bracing finger dimples (speaking very quickly) will drop… Are you serious? While holding above
head off to side sharply to launch ariel flare. There will be recoil as the flare launches so be certain to maintain a firm grip on red launch tube
throughout launch process. You ready for this? – [Kirk] Yowza. You gonna remember all that? – No. – [Kirk] Hey dad, are we in distress? – We could be. – [Kirk] It looks like we are right now. (laughing) – Nah, just a little engine maintenance. Routine. – [Kirk] All right. One, two, three. Oh yeah. Hells yeah. Oh that was– – [Lauren] Did it burn out already? – [Kirk] Yeah, that one
didn’t stay up very long. (laughing) All right do you wanna try one? Did you pull real hard? – I pulled. – [Kirk] Oh, that might be a dud. – Oh wait. (flare shooting) Wooh! – [Kirk] That one lasted a little longer. – [Lauren] That didn’t
go very high though. – So these are suppose to float. – [Kirk’s Dad] Before you light it? (water splashing) (laughing) – [Lauren] It floats! – [Kirk] Nice. Happy we don’t wanna
have any use for this. – Never use flares hopefully ever! Wow that’s bright. – [Kirk] Super bright. – [Father] Like a sunset. – Yeah, it’s brighter than the sunset. The fish are getting a show too. – [Kirk] Are they down there? – Are the fish down there? – [Kirk] Yeah. – I think so. I don’t see anything. Seven-year-old expired flares work. A couple of weeks later we
headed back to the Milwaukee area to hunt for potential rental properties. Both Kirk and I are
interested in architecture and real estate and plan
to continue investing in rental properties long term. (real estate agent speaking quietly) We’re always looking for new prospects. Since graduating college we’ve probably toured over
200 different properties. Of those, we’ve purchased three. (Guitar music) – We just wrapped up our first night of urban stealth camping. We’re in Milwaukee looking
for more rental property and we spent yesterday
afternoon hanging around at coffee shops ’till they kicked us out. We decided to go have dinner at a park. Everything was going nice
and we didn’t really know where we were gonna camp. Apparently Milwaukee has a city
wide overnight parking ban. You have to have a permit. There is not a single city street that you can park overnight in. We called up Walmart and they
didn’t allow overnight camping so then there’s a casino in town. I thought, cool, we’ll wrap the night up with a couple of hands of black jack while we pulled in about three inches away from the edge of the parking
structure I realized, oh crap. We’re in a very tall van. A half second later I’ve
got like six cars slamming on their horns. We then found this, it’s
a parking lot of a brewery that didn’t open until midday today. This was now 11:45 at night. We stayed there until 1:30
when we were abruptly woken up to someone trying to open our door. Then we stayed silent for a moment and they walked around to
the other door and tried to open that one. And then I think I heard
them pee on our tire so I’m pretty sure they
were just a drunk person. That was it, we heard them walk away. And so I hopped in the driver
seat and we got out of there. Hello, good morning. And then we drove back to the neighborhood where we’ve been searching for houses in because it’s the neighborhood
we felt most comfortable in and parked on the street and had a pretty peaceful
rest of the evening. We were woefully unprepared. We don’t have any black out material, almost nothing for going to the bathroom. We don’t have a bed made. This is a very rough shake down cruise but it’s been a pretty fun adventure. So then we had a really
beautiful morning here. We’re hung out on the Milwaukee River. There’s a nice little park here. (relaxed music) Just had breakfast and
I’ve gotten a little bit of work done. Did my first conference call
and just watched people ride their bikes past and play with their dogs. Absolutely beautiful morning here. (relaxed music) We are gonna go see a house that may become a new rental
property for us at one today. And now I’m gonna go meet
Lauren at a coffee shop. Chip are you locked? (car beeping) Thanks buddy. (relaxed music) Of the few properties we
saw this was our favorite. So we made an offer and did an inspection but we discovered there were
some significant repairs to the foundation that were needed so we ended up passing. And then we headed back south to Racine where we bought our boat. (relaxed music) – [Lauren] Who put the
raisins in with the dates? – [Kirk] Hmm, what kind
of schmutz would do that? – [Lauren] Yours truly. – [Kirk] What are we having here? – [Lauren] We got apple,
raisin, cinnamon oatmeal. – [Kirk] Hell yeah. – It’s perfect, look at that. We hung around Racine for
a couple more weeks touring about a dozen properties. (upbeat music) – [Kirk] A few houses we
saw in Racine fit the bill. But the market was heating
up and rental rates didn’t support the asking price. We needed to keep looking. Racine was much easier for urban camping. Our daily routine was to park on a residential street overnight and then we found a spot along
the lakefront during the day. It was a perfect setup. (relaxed acoustic music) – [Lauren] After exhausting
all the properties on our list, we set off with the goal of
getting to the North Channel of Lake Huron for a week
of sailing with friends. – [Kirk] We stopped to see the
lake front in Port Washington and I caught a few waves in Sheboygan. I think I should try the rights first. It looks way too mellow down there. Oh man, it’s been a while. (relaxed music) This is the current state of Chip. (relaxed music) See ya Chip. Sorry, whipped you in the face. (laughing) – [Lauren] So we’re gonna walk this. As a kid my mom used to bring me and my sister here every summer and we just loves running
up and down the sand dunes. (dreamy music) (laughing) (dreamy music) Wooh! (dreamy music) (waves washing on the beach) (footsteps in the sand) (waves lapping at the sand) (seagulls squawking) (gentle wave noise) (upbeat pop music)

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