Can you tell me a bit about you and how did you end up living this lifestyle?
We are Auðun (36) and Ruth (34) husband and wife from Iceland. Auðun is a carpenter and Ruth is a teacher.
We have travelled quite a lot together and exploring and getting to know new people and cultures is our biggest passion.
Two years ago we were thinking of what we should do when our rental agreement would run out. The housing and rental market in Iceland is crazy and not for the average person to participate in.
We looked at it like that we had mainly two options. Either work more and travel less since we would have to pay double the amount we had been paying for rent.
Or simply make a plan to save up money, travel more and work less – in other words do more of what makes us happy. We had many ideas such as backpacking, go to sailing school and work on sailboats.
We knew whatever we would choose we would need to downsize and from there we stared bouncing the idea of tiny living as a joke between us.
After a while the joke started to make more and more sense and we seriously started looking thinking vanlife and traveling would be the best thing. So, for two years we worked as much as possible to save up money.
We sold most of our belongings and moved to a 12 m² bedroom for the last 7 months to save even more while building the van. It was an easy sacrifice when we had this fixed goal in mind and now we are on the road living the dream.
The hard work payed off and we are just loving life at the moment.
Why exactly did you choose the Iveco Daily and not a smaller or bigger one?
We had decided we would be traveling for at least a year and most likely longer. With that in mind we were certain about being able to stand up in the van would be our major criteria.
Given that high-roof was the only option. We had a rough idea howd we wanted the layout to be, so we knew that minimum loading space would be 3,20 – 3,50 meters.
Being able to park it in a regular parking spot would also be a plus. When we were looking for vans in our price range there where not many options.
Since Auðun is 191 cm tall that excluded the French vans which are most common in that size-range in Iceland.
We found this Iveco Daily at a dealership. It simply made the size requirements and the price was right.
We did not know much about the brand but now we really are pleased with it and the technical aspects it offers such as a powerful engine, 6 gear box, air suspension (which is great for balancing the load of the build).
Where there any barriers while purchasing the vehicle??
Apart from finding high enough van no there were not any.
Well it was hard to wait for the right van, if you can call that a barrier!
Did you work anything on your Iveco Daily yourself or did you get a carpenter?
Auðun is a carpenter and we had access to a good workshop where we were able to do the build ourselves and use all the big tools to make the interior.
We also did the electric work.
Do you miss more space or are you happy as it is?
Living in the 12 m² room before hitting the road in our van was quite good adjustment time.
Even though our van is half the size of the room we feel like it´s much bigger since we designed it to fit our needs.
And since we already got rid off most of our belongings except the ones we really need and use there is more than enough space to keep us smiling all day long.
How long did you worked on your campervan before you started your trip?
We bought the van in October 2017. We did not start working on it right away since we wanted to do a really good job on designing the layout properly before we started.
Around Christmas we started with putting in the skylight and roof-fan, insulated the van and put up the wall panels. We had to take a break on the van build and started again in beginning of March.
We finished the van the day we left on our journey 10th of June. In all we estimate it was around 500 hours.
Tell me like 2 – 3 things that you really love about traveling with a camper.
The freedom it gives us is amazing. With the campervan we can reach so many places that otherwise we would never visit. It makes it much easier to go off the beaten track.
The comfort of have everything with you is one of the things we love about this lifestyle. There is never anything we feel sorry for having left it at home, because we always have our home with us.
If we ever need anything it is something we would have to buy anyway.
Which countries did you travel to with your Iveco Daily? Which one was your favorite by now?
We started in Iceland and took the ferry to the Faroe Islands and from there the ferry to Denmark. Since we hit the mainland we have been to Germany, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.
Our favourite so far are the astonishing beautiful Dolomites in Italy and Slovenia mainly because of the friendly local people we met there and the friends we made.
Where there any countries, where you had problems or where you didn’t get treated well because of your camper-lifestyle?
We have only positive experiences so far after 4 months on the road. People we have met have either been helpful or curios about the design of the van.
What was the longest Road at one piece you drove with your vehicle?
We try not to drive too much each day. This one time we drove from Strassburg to Montpellier which is close to 800km. We had no intention of driving this far in one day.
When we were about to reach the place where we meant to spend the night we took the wrong turn only to find us entering a toll road where we were forced to drive 35km in the wrong direction before being able to turn around.
Auðun got so pissed off after making that wrong turn that he just wanted to reach our ultimate destination as quickly as possible, so we ended up driving 870km that day.
Do you sometimes meet other vanlifers?
For the first two months we didn´t meet many vanlifers. Lately we have gotten in touch with some through social media and met up with some who happened to be in the same area.
Then we use park4night app which is very common with other vanlifers and because of that we sometimes end up meeting other vanlifers where we are staying for the night.
It´s so nice to meet fellow vanlifers and share few beers and long talks into the night.
Are there any things that really annoy you about traveling/living with/in a van?
Our Iveco Daily is almost 3m high so what bothers us the most are the height restrictions for most parking spaces in cities.
Sometimes it seems that a bar restricting access for vehicles over 2m is only to keep vans or motorhomes away.
Luckily, we prefer nature over cities so we try to stay out of them as much as we can and therefore don´t have to deal with this issue as often.
Not everything is perfect, what would you change about your vehicle?
There is not much we would change. We really did research and think through the design and are happy with how it turned out.
The things we would change is something that still can be done. Such as install a swivel seat instead of the two-seater bench we have in the front.
Install more 230-volt outlets both for shore power and the inverter and maybe one day add bigger battery bank. There is one thing that sometimes bothers us.
It is the lack of AC in the front so driving in the hot summer months can be a challenge.
Coming from Iceland we have not had that problem in the past and actually you don´t find that many cars with AC in Iceland.
So, if not your Iveco Daily – which one would you choose if you could and why?
If we had enough money, then just something new or nothing older that 1 or 2 years with little mileage on it.
We really do not care about which brand but so far we like Iveco Daily mainly because of the air suspension and that we can both can stand up in it.
Do you work online while traveling?
No, we don´t. We plan to make some stops to do seasonal work.
What will your next destinations be?
We are slowly moving south in Croatia. It is very likely we will go to Montenegro and Albania as well. However, we will have to see how far we can get because we must be in Austria in mid-December for the ski-season.
There we will work for 4 months so we can travel for longer time next year.
Do you want do know more about Ruth & Auðun and the Ivceo Daily van, look at their instagram profile.
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