Couple reveal how van life isn’t always as glamorous as Instagram makes it seem 

According to Instagram, life on the road in a converted van is a glamorous one – but a couple who are living that life have revealed that it’s not always a dreamy existence.

Canadian couple Dominic ‘Dom’ Faucher, creative director of an advertising agency, and Mariepier ‘Marie’ Bastlen, who’s studying for a PhD, have spent the past year and £16,500 (CAD$28,700) converting a 2014 Dodge Ram Promaster into a mobile home and office.

They are about to take their pimped up wheels for a spin across North America for the next few years, having already clocked up 25,000 miles visiting Iceland, New Zealand and Norway, in rented vehicles. But Dom has a few warnings for anyone thinking of doing something similar.

Canadian couple Dominic 'Dom' Faucher, creative director of an advertising agency, and Mariepier 'Marie' Bastlen, who's studying for a PhD, have spent the past year and £16,500 (CAD$28,700) converting a 2014 Dodge Ram Promaster into a mobile home and office

Canadian couple Dominic 'Dom' Faucher, creative director of an advertising agency, and Mariepier 'Marie' Bastlen, who's studying for a PhD, have spent the past year and £16,500 (CAD$28,700) converting a 2014 Dodge Ram Promaster into a mobile home and office

Canadian couple Dominic ‘Dom’ Faucher, creative director of an advertising agency, and Mariepier ‘Marie’ Bastlen, who’s studying for a PhD, have spent the past year and £16,500 (CAD$28,700) converting a 2014 Dodge Ram Promaster into a mobile home and office

Marie takes in the view in her now uber-luxury Dodge Ram, which will be journeying across America for the next few years

Marie takes in the view in her now uber-luxury Dodge Ram, which will be journeying across America for the next few years

Marie takes in the view in her now uber-luxury Dodge Ram, which will be journeying across America for the next few years

Marie is unfazed as she surveys the carcass of what is to become a mobile home-cum-office

Marie is unfazed as she surveys the carcass of what is to become a mobile home-cum-office

Marie is unfazed as she surveys the carcass of what is to become a mobile home-cum-office

He said: ‘Here are a few reality checks we often give people thinking about van life: It is not glamorous (although it looks like it on Instagram); it is not cheap; it is not easy; and it is not comfortable.’ 

However, there are plenty of plus points.

Dom continued: ‘We love the flexibility and knowing that we can move wherever we want and be 100 per cent autonomous, whether it’s for work or fun.

Dom is used to life on the road - he grew up in a Ford Corsair motorhome with his brother and sister

Dom is used to life on the road - he grew up in a Ford Corsair motorhome with his brother and sister

Dom is used to life on the road – he grew up in a Ford Corsair motorhome with his brother and sister

‘Driving around every day and being outside is the best way to find new ideas. Living on the road is an excellent source of inspiration and helps your brain to stay active.’

Dom, 31, and Marie, 29, from Gatineau, Quebec, were aided in their van life quest by their fathers, who are both handy with woodworking and construction skills, and that Dom was accustomed to life on the road.

‘I was raised in a 1985 Ford Corsair motorhome with my brother and sister,’ he said.

‘The road was kind of our second home since both my parents were in the military. We travelled and moved around a lot, so it became convenient to have our own home on wheels.’ 

Dom and Marie pictured with their Dodge Ram before transforming it into a home on wheels

Dom and Marie pictured with their Dodge Ram before transforming it into a home on wheels

Dom and Marie pictured with their Dodge Ram before transforming it into a home on wheels

The pair plan to fund the onward journey by doing what comes most easily to Dom, selling creative content 

The pair plan to fund the onward journey by doing what comes most easily to Dom, selling creative content 

The pair plan to fund the onward journey by doing what comes most easily to Dom, selling creative content 

Dom said they had both breathed van life for a number of years - with their relationship steeped in the subculture 

Dom said they had both breathed van life for a number of years - with their relationship steeped in the subculture 

Dom said they had both breathed van life for a number of years – with their relationship steeped in the subculture 

The couple's dads lend a helping hand during the refit of the van they'll call home for the next 'few years' 

The couple's dads lend a helping hand during the refit of the van they'll call home for the next 'few years' 

The couple’s dads lend a helping hand during the refit of the van they’ll call home for the next ‘few years’ 

The pair plan to fund the onward journey by doing what comes most easily to Dom, selling creative content. And it will be based on their adventures travelling across North America. 

‘Together, we create photo, video and textual content for clients around the world, including camper van rental companies, tourism boards, surf schools and other entertainment and cultural organisms,’ said Dom. 

The experience would test the patience of any couple but the Quebecois pair do not fear ‘van fever’ and plan to show fly-on-the-wall life on four wheels in a documentary series they’ll shoot on their experiences called Vanlife Sagas.

Marie looks enthusiastic about the prospect of living in a confined space

Marie looks enthusiastic about the prospect of living in a confined space

Marie looks enthusiastic about the prospect of living in a confined space

This image shows how the once utilitarian vehicle is now a romantic mobile homestead 

This image shows how the once utilitarian vehicle is now a romantic mobile homestead 

This image shows how the once utilitarian vehicle is now a romantic mobile homestead 

Dom said: 'Here are a few reality checks we often give people thinking about van life: It is not glamorous (although it looks like it on Instagram); it is not cheap; it is not easy; and it is not comfortable'

Dom said: 'Here are a few reality checks we often give people thinking about van life: It is not glamorous (although it looks like it on Instagram); it is not cheap; it is not easy; and it is not comfortable'

Dom said: ‘Here are a few reality checks we often give people thinking about van life: It is not glamorous (although it looks like it on Instagram); it is not cheap; it is not easy; and it is not comfortable’

‘Our documentary has a clear mission: understand why people leave their normal life to live on the road,’ said Dom. ‘Is there a typical van lifer? What does he or she look like? Is the hype all about beautiful pictures on Instagram? What are the main struggles of a home on wheels?’ 

The creative specialist said they had both breathed van life for a number of years – with their relationship steeped in the subculture. 

‘When I met Marie, we went to work for Happy Campers in Iceland: a camper van company. Writing, shooting, and editing on the road came up as second nature for both of us,’ said Dom.

‘We decided to build our own little home and office on wheels since we knew we would not stop driving around from that point on.’      

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