surviving Living the van life expert tips – chad derosa

Living The Van Life Chad DeRosa is the real deal. As I sat at the Battleborn Battery booth at Overland Expo West, I was intrigued by the fans hanging around waiting to talk to Chad, to get an picture with him, to get an autograph. The 144 Sprinter was definitely bad-ass and well kitted out so I waited for an opportunity to ask if I could get a van tour and interview.

Chad was very humble and agreed to give me an interview and van tour of his rig. Little did I know what a YouTube Mega Star I was meeting. Never heard of him, well neither had I? Some of you may be familiar with his Instagram handle or YouTube channel: Living The Van Life. Chad has been traveling full-time in his van since 2011 sharing tips and information along the way with people interested in beginning a van life of their own on his YouTube channel.

Chad started out in a 1991 Volkswagen Westfalia before upgrading to the 2020 4×4 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van that caught my attention at the booth. In the video interview with Chad DeRosa, he provides a thorough walk through of his van build, the options he chose and why, materials he used and the why… I really got to pick his brain. He has endured a lot of bumps and bruises in some tough terrain out in severe winter storms in the North Cascade Mountains, he’s been homeless living the van life out of UHaul truck, and recently he survived the Arctic.

He started with an empty shell so he could make it the best off-grid, full-time livable van possible. Chad installed diesel heaters, outfitted the van with upholstered walls, and installed Flarespace flares for additional sleeping room. He installed the Battle Born Battery LiFePo4 12V system to provide the ultimate off-grid living capability.

Check out Battle Born Lithium Battery if you are looking to upgrade your system. Upgrading from AGM to Battle Born 8D Lithium-Ion Batteries was the first upgrade installation we did to our Coachmen Beyond camper van. The batteries have been efficient, stable and powerful. Battle Born batteries can be used in an RV, Camper Van, Power boat, or Sailboat.

The most impressive feature on the Living the Van Life 144 Sprinter has to be the full outdoor kitchen slide out. Since returning from Overland Expo and taking time to check out Chad’s channel I’ve had the chance to enjoy some of his camping and cooking videos. Great meals in beautiful, picturesque locations. If you’re interested in following Chad’s adventures or learning more about the nuts and bolts of the vanlife then definitely check out his YouTube channel – Living The Van Life.

Some of the tools and supplies that Chad mentions in the video are available on Amazon store and you can find them in our Amazon store.