Mo & Gracie

This post was originally featured on Tiny House, Tiny Footprint

Who wouldn't want to work remotely? That was Mo's thought behind finding a rig that would allow him the freedom to escape but also give him some of the luxuries of everyday life.
Mo & his girlfriend Gracie chose a Sprinter van with the intention of building it out on the weekends, but life got in the way. So they hired an architecture company to help them out. With Mo & Gracie's vision and the company's expertise, they created a tiny house that has already taken them to amazing places.

Square Feet: 80

Coming to a front yard near you.

Make, Model, Year: 2013 Mercedes Sprinter Van 170

We knew it was a high-quality vehicle with an engine that was built to last. Mainly we just wanted something we could rely on.

Months Living Mobile: 2

We took off July 1 and plan to be in it for a year or longer.

Tell us about the process of building out your van from start to finish

We had the architecture firm, Modus Studio, from Fayetteville, AR, build it out. It took them four months with five guys. It was their first van buildout, and we're constantly running into new things we're figuring out, but they went above and beyond.

We couldn’t be happier with the finished product.

All of our items run off solar power and propane throughout the van. Located on the roof, our solar panels power our satellite Wi-Fi, phones, fridge and shower.

Did anything surprise you with the process?

Building out 80 square feet doesn't seem like something too hard, but we were so wrong. With such a small space, small curves in the walls and cuts around the doors, it made everything super custom.

What items could you not live without on the road?

We love our Mini Dyson vacuum because it helps keep things clean with our dog, Olive. Our water heater is a complete game changer. The first time I took a hot shower in the van, I instantly knew I could live in this Sprinter forever. We're definitely not dirt-bagging it.

Give us a day in your life

On a normal weekday, I make breakfast and then we drive to find some Wi-Fi. Mo's company, Fayettechill allows him to work remotely, so he spends his mornings responding to emails and having phone meetings. When he's done, we make lunch and head outside. Depending on where we are, we're either mountain biking, fly fishing, paddle boarding or surfing.

What challenges do you face?

It's easy to work on the road if you're in a spot for a couple days, but it's hard if you're moving every day. Getting into a routine is difficult when everyday looks different and it can be tough finding Wi-Fi.

What's been the most memorable experience so far?

We love hitting up world-class mountain biking trails. The best time was when we went to a prairie in Mammoth Lakes and found a hot spring.

While we were chilling in it with some friends, a double rainbow showed up. Then, at night, we saw the craziest looking shooting star. It was crazy big and lasted at least 30 seconds, but it ended up being a piece from a Chinese spacecraft. Insane!

Has your relationship with each other changed?

We lived in a 100-square-foot attic of a guest house the year before we took off, so living in tight quarters hasn't been too much of a challenge.

It feels like we’ve left everything we’ve known and all our friends, so it feels like all we have is each other.

So that's been a change. If you've ever been on a long road trip with a friend, you know you see their funny/goofy side, and I feel like that's come out a lot more than it has in the last 3.5 years we've been together.

We're both trying to slow ourselves down, eat healthier and be as active as possible. Now that we have all the time in the world, we don't have an excuse.

Do you miss anything from your previous life?

At this time, I'd say we're pretty content with where we are, living in the moment and focusing on the now.

What will you do after the year is up?

We're really enjoying our life right now, we have a few things in our heads, but who knows what a year from now looks like?

What news do you have? Anything you want to share?

It's been a dream come true starting a business and being able to do something like this.

I hope with this journey, it inspires more young people to put their passions first and all else will follow.

Follow Mo & Gracie on Instagram

Produced by Kathleen Morton of Tiny House, Tiny Footprint.
Edited by Kate MacDougall.
All photos credit to Heno Head, Mo Elliott and Gracie Edwards.