People trade in everyday amenities for an adventurous life on the road

Some quit their jobs to live in their vans, sometimes without hot water or even a shower. Others have paid thousands of dollars for special amenities in their vehicles and work remotely.
6:54 | 07/16/21

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Transcript for People trade in everyday amenities for an adventurous life on the road
Reporter: What if your backyard could look like this? Or this? Your commute to work, paying rent, all in your rear-view mirror. Our living room turns into a dining room with just a simple slide of our table. Reporter: Trade it in for a metal box on wheels. Anybody looking for an adventure, for an opportunity to explore, this is a great way to do it. Reporter: This is V life. Aka the real life "Nomadland." Where the open road beckons. For thousands of people, living simply is the only way to live. There's kind of a joke in van life, that you never really know where you're going to go more than a few days in advance. That's really very true. Reporter: Even celebrities like captain marvel herself -- Can I put my hands down? Reporter: Brie Larson joining the movement. This is incredible. Reporter: With a tricked-out Nissan with fancy amenities. Wow, this is so cool! Reporter: But the real O.G., meet Bob wells. He's the real-life van guru who played himself in this year's oscar-winning film "Nomadland." I'll see you down the road. Reporter: His current home, a 2011 Chevy diesel engine ambulance. Tilt your head back. There it is. Right back there is my current vehicle. Ambulances are really big, and built to very high standards. So it will last forever. Reporter: Decades before he hit the screen, wells lived in a van out of desperation. After a bitter divorce upended his finances. On my way to work I drove past this old box van. It was ugly but ran great, and I bought it. Here I was doing exactly the opposite of what society told me to do. According to society, I was a total failure. How did your outlook shift and you kind of became proud of the way you chose to live? I fell in love with it. I fell in love with the freedom, the choices. I fell in love with how cheap I could live. Everything about my life Reporter: Wells has since become van life's biggest evangelist. This is all my clothes -- Reporter: His YouTube channel "Cheap rv living." This is full of extra stuff. Cold-weather clothes, we turned real cold all of a sudden. Reporter: Encouraging others to find the freedom he's found. You can come, you can go, you can be anywhere you want, any time you want. What would you do differently? Everything in your life would Since we are traveling with our dog, we built this custom wall for storage for his crate. Where are you right now? Chatfield state park just south of Denver. Beautiful state park. Nice and sunny and open skies Reporter: After six years of working as tech consultants in Washington, D.C., Corey and jennalin said good-bye to writing rent checks and joined van life. We fell in love with the wide spaces. In the pandemic, we were living the opposite life. Reporter: In August 2020, the couple bought this 2003 Mercedes sprinter on craigs list. They knew it needed sprucing up. How did you guys actually take the steps to build this van out? Once we bought it there were changes we needed to make, did the work ourselves, taught ourselves everything we needed, from solar electricity and battery power to plumbing to vehicle maintenance. Reporter: 25 states and counting. Nine national parks. Documenting it all on their Instagram. For those who aren't do it yourself people, enter Dave Walsh, owner of denver-based vanlife customs. He'll bring your van life fantasy to life for a price. Bring us an empty van, we turn it into your adventuremobile. It's a big investment. Having that plan and being set on it before you sign on the dotted line and commit to a build slot is really important. Reporter: The cost for Dave's average buildout starting at 70 grand. Walk me through the process of a build. We're going to talk about your hopes and dreams. We're going to talk about layout. We're going to figure out everything from what lights you want in it, to where you want your switches. Do you want a heater, a fan, an air conditioner? Even during the covid shutdown, we were still receiving inquiries, more than ever, folks that are saying, we want to social distance in a van. This is the time to do this. We have a long backlog. We're just swamped right now. Reporter: It may seem like it, but van life isn't just a permanent vacation. Natalie and Abbigail Rodriguez have been out and about since 2019. Come on in. When you walk in, our kitchen. We wanted a galley kitchen, so we've got it on both sides. Reporter: They set out for a year of exploring, but that wasn't enough. Now they live in their van full-time and make ends meet. I'm a photographer. Natalie is a chef. We pick up gigs whenever we can. We have little side hustles online, we have our YouTube channel, we have a website. All of these things bring us a little bit of income. And a little bit goes a long way. Absolutely. It has allowed us so much freedom. It has allowed us Tom more intentionally and really think about what it is we want in life. Reporter: Their home, 82 square feet of ingenuity. Pure DIY magic. If you flip around, we've got this custom-made storage that we did. It's got a secret door here. Abby woodburned this beautiful art on it. When you open it, some of our Reporter: For Corey and jennalin, they never left their 9 to 5 east coast time, their van doubles as their office. Our number one priority was maintain our jobs. We use our cell phones and a wi-fi hot spot to give us service. The further west we go, the earlier we start. We've had to navigate taking phone calls at the same time, so we split up in the van. One might sit in the front seat, one person in the back. Reporter: Every van lifer will tell you, it's not perfect. Those insta-worthy moments come with its struggles. But it's all worth it. There's always tough toughness around the chores. Doing laundry isn't fun. Doing the dishes isn't fun. Sometimes you can't escape it. Reporter: Whether taking a break from society or looking to redefine your life, these nomads will tell you, the open road awaits. Able to travel and see and do so much and experience so much along with our pets. It has been just the ride of our lives. Here's to the open road.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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