Westfalia campervan as minimal nomadic home in Santa Barbara

Last year Sam Jacquette was paying over $1100 a month in rent and working a job he didn’t enjoy to pay the bills. For his New Year’s resolution he vowed to stop doing things he didn’t enjoy so he quit his job (and found a new one with Airstream restorers HofArc), gave up his apartment and moved into his Westfalia campervan full time.

“The beauty of living in Santa Barbara out of your vehicle is that for 90 dollars a year you get a pass. It’s a waterfront pass, basically it’s my beach condo,” explains Jacquette.

His 1985 VW Westfalia (“Westy”) comes loaded with a two-burner propane stove, on-board water and sink, a refrigerator (which he’s replacing with a 12V fridge), 2 beds and tons of storage (including a mini-closet). For bathroom and showers he uses the gym.

At night Jacquette pulls into the driveway of some good family friends and pops the top of his portable home. He sometimes shares the space with his girlfriend (he has found storage space for her pilates gear). He hopes one day to upgrade to an Airstream, but for now he’s happy with minimal mobile home.

Original story:

Previous Mark Kermode's Cult Film Corner: Planet of the Apes
Next Dance Party for Teens - Icebreaker Games to Energize your Group


  1. Luc
    August 22, 2016

    oh my god this is cool, I live in the Netherlands and it is my dream to just ride around Europe in a van like this

  2. Guess Who
    September 19, 2016

    Thinking of converting our van, who will insure it?

  3. TJ Devereaux
    September 21, 2016

    Seriously, you're living in a van, but manage to keep a GF? She must be really understanding, especially since you can't shower without going to the gym. Ever think about your future? How can you afford to survive without a job? This is so 60's. I don't mean to be critical, after all, to each his own, but I just can't see not having a home to live in, I'd feel like I have no future. What do you think will happen as you get older? Yes, rent or a mortgage isn't cheap, but it's stability, and security, that van won't last very long, what then? You're young, but as you get older, trust me, you'll want to settle down. What if you want to get married and have kids? Can't do that in a van, but, again, who are we to condone you, if you're truly happy, more power to ya!

  4. Echobase71
    October 1, 2016

    So he lives in a van down by the riveer errr…ocean

  5. Tamara Weber
    October 2, 2016

    Very smart young man. Very neat no excess junk. I love what he's doing. He is no longer a slave to a job or rent. He is living the good life.

  6. Alan Heath
    October 4, 2016

    As a full time RVer – and former resident of Santa Barbara – you have my admiration. What got me there was seeing how many vans were moved on by the police. I lived in a VW too but I needed a shower, toilet and much more space for clothes!

    Regards from Norwich, UK!!

  7. George Freman
    October 7, 2016

    Taking up space with toys 😀 lol

  8. Josephine Tyree
    October 12, 2016

    Nice….Isn't this similar to what your family has….Kirsten ?? : )

  9. Cedar Bay
    October 16, 2016

    Cool stuff. Wonder if dude is still living this lifestyle.

  10. Azuhaa Coleman
    October 18, 2016

    every time I watch these videos hardly anyone mentions a bathroom. I'd think hygiene would be the most important thing. Showers, using the bathroom on time and cleaning yourself properly would seem more important than a kitchen.

  11. RetroJoe
    October 19, 2016

    "“The beauty of living in Santa Barbara out of your vehicle is that for 90 dollars a year you get a pass. It’s a waterfront pass, basically it’s my beach condo,” explains Jacquette."

    Were does the money for food, insurance and other necessities come from?

  12. Paul Zeus
    December 14, 2016

    kick ass video!

  13. Mwmen Shaker
    December 16, 2016

    few months ago I started wanting to own a westfalia and live in it in LA,just like this guy!but after more searching I realized that it's actually horrible to live in because it's always breaking down,always needs fixing and it is expensive to fix it!it catches on feir sometimes!it don't know…..maybe it's better to search for better options!

  14. BurtBartlow
    December 29, 2016

    Whereas I like what this guy is attempting….I have a issue 8:35 connecting a hammock to a back hatch strut. Typical California crap. Great ideas shitty execution.

  15. Maya Aung
    January 13, 2017

    He is beautiful!! A minimalist, a vegan, a hippie, somebody who's worldly and open minded, defo my dream man!!

  16. jbaz007
    January 17, 2017

    "have the girls over some wineeee…. ive got my knife everything you need really" what?

  17. Adventures Now
    January 23, 2017

    How much did the van cost

  18. hilmir
    February 13, 2017

    Hi Kirsten, this video seems to be one of the more polarising stories you have shared. Any updates on this gentleman here, and how he has progressed or upgraded his set-up? Thank you and keep up the excellent work, it take so much effort and dedication. Thank you for sharing your passion!

  19. vanessa Boman
    March 11, 2017

    how do you work living on the road? do you stay in the one area and work locally? or do you just work odd jobs when you need to?

  20. Christian Naydenov
    April 3, 2017

    "THATS YOUR CLOSET ?" ahahahhaha that was funny ;D you dont really need a lot of clothes anyway…

  21. Rocco LaRosa
    April 4, 2017

    Right on man. Thanks for the inspiration.

  22. petepetro1
    April 12, 2017

    This guy is fucked on the 3 "s"…shit, shower and shave. He will soon be single.

  23. lady boywonder
    April 17, 2017

    Toilet and shower?

  24. escritorcubamex
    April 27, 2017

    It's only missing a toilet…

  25. Qris TV
    May 9, 2017

    i saved this to a playlist. i would be interested to hear an update on his situation. like if the van is still working properly and if he got tired of living this way. i would like to do something like this someday or get a smaller rv

  26. lue lunsford
    May 30, 2017

    Rent is nothing but a rich man trick !

  27. L'Archonte
    May 31, 2017

    You have to know : to choose a small camper on the road (for ex. "Westfalia") signify to live on your knees ! For cook using u.s.o.If you want to have more comfort and keep standing, take an other way.

  28. Zoe Emiko
    June 7, 2017

    I had a Westfalia back in the 90's. Letting it go was one of my biggest mistakes ever! Road trips were hardly ever pre-planned since I didn't have to arrange lodging. My favorite road trip in my Westfalia was traveling Route 101 along the west coast one end to the other. 2 weeks of the most fun traveling the most beautiful country ever. A week in Zion national park came in a close second to Bryce Canyon. Had I not had my Westfalia there was no way I could have afforded to travel as extensively as I did. All this in the complete comfort of your own home on wheels. How I wish I still had it!

  29. Jen Ocean
    July 11, 2017

    Wow, absolutely beautiful! Go Michigan Wolverines. You said you might "upgrade" to an Airstream. I don't know if you could call anything after this an upgrade. It is just a wonderful van!

  30. Michael Lawson
    July 20, 2017

    A van like that would be livable in Santa Barbara, but if you were in the Southeast, you would cook in the hot, humid summers. Likewise, in much of the country, you would freeze in winter.

  31. Daniel_81
    August 22, 2017

    Certain places are awesome as they allow you to have this lifestyle. I am Italian and I live in Italy and back here nobody in his right mind would live this way, mostly because everything revolve around appeareance. I really appreciate people who follow their dreams and live the life they dreamed off.

  32. Devester One
    October 17, 2017

    Notice how she said that's your closet! Lol woman

  33. alan koza
    November 27, 2017

    Bro me and my wife are in our 50s we admire how u live .. we want to do the same .. tired of drama and bills .

  34. Precious Pecans
    November 29, 2017


  35. Nicholas Peckham
    December 10, 2017

    Get a job clown

  36. MegF
    December 28, 2017

    Santa Barbara is ridiculously expensive. Yep!

  37. Sherri Robinson
    December 29, 2017

    Love this video! Could you do more van dwelling or car dwelling videos?

  38. Nick Korta
    February 12, 2018

    This is the first van that has everything I need / want.

  39. brettduffy19992
    March 27, 2018

    Can you run window a.c. on shore power

  40. Diane R
    May 16, 2018

    Try a hammock and one small box per person. The more you build and carry, the more you pay in gas. Change your lifestyle.

  41. tree feller
    May 18, 2018

    Absolutely practical. I love it.

  42. IVAN3000
    June 6, 2018


  43. Jim Bronaugh
    June 18, 2018

    If he wants to do this for the rest of his life he should keep the girlfriend as only a girlfriend. This excites girlfriends, but scares wives.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *