Sergei Boutenko

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since May 19, 2014
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Recent posts by Sergei Boutenko


Happy New Year (almost)!

Some of you may recalled that a few months ago, I posted about a new project that I was working on called: "Van Boom." Some of you kind folks even helped me raise funds on Kickstarter (THANK YOU). Well the movie is done and I'd like to share it with you and hear your thoughts.


1 month ago

Jay Angler wrote:Hi Sergei,  

Are these designed to fit on the outside of the window?  

I ask because my husband put insulation on the inside once in a really cold climate and ended up with a condensation problem. We no longer live is such a cold place, but it is still damp and condensation is a problem particularly on the large north windows the owner/builder installed. If your design has worked on the outside, I may try to copy it, although our window design may make attachment difficult.

No, I designed them to fit on the inside of the frame. This is my first year with them so I'm not sure if I'll get any moisture? Ask me again next year.
2 months ago

Hans Quistorff wrote:Did a simlar thing to make shade cloth covering for sky light windows on the roof.Pipe fit tight around the outside of the frame. cloth held on by zip ties.

Pictures please! Sounds cool!
2 months ago
Window insulation kits are annoying and wasteful! This year I made PVC pipe inserts to weatherize / winterize my single pane windows. This DIY solution is cheap, effective, and easy to set up and take down.
2 months ago

raven ranson wrote:Wow.  What a neat idea.  I can't wait to see the movie.

We have two eurovans.  One is a bit beat up and nearing the end of its life, but we haven't had the heart to send it for scrap yet.  We love it so much we bought a second one.

I've been thinking of taking one of these vans and refitting it for travel.  I would love to be able to go places for classes but travel makes things too expensive.  It would be good practice for me to live with less stuff.  I'm thinking it would also make a good place to sleep after an earthquake because I doubt the house will still be standing.

Looking at some of the new ideas that are coming out for electric vehicles, I wonder... I have this crazy dream of transforming the old van once it finally dies.  The body is still good as they don't salt the roads here.  Could it be transformed into an electric vehicle?  Or maybe there are better options for it?  

I'm looking forward to seeing the film and getting some good ideas.

I think you should do it! electric vans are the future. Mercedes is about to launch an eSprinter next year. I know some cats from Ashland, Oregon that are successfully electrifying old VW vans. They call themselves: "Solarrolla." Check it out: webpage
4 months ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:Sergei, I've heard that a lot of people are now living in their vans in major metropolitan areas, like Seattle, because renting, let alone buying, a home is so expensive. These people don't use their vans for traveling so much as a place to live. Does your documentary look into the lives of those that stay more stationary in their vans and use them more like apartments and less like traveling homes?

It sure does. In fact, rising cost of housing was my initial hypothesis for why vans are booming again. While this is definitely a big factor in the trend, there is more to the story. I don't want to give away too much just yet though. :-)
4 months ago

denise ra wrote:I'm in a few Living in Your Van facebook groups that are good sources of info. Many people use a Little Buddy propane heater.

I just bought a Mr. Heater propane heater and it's been a game changer. A lot of folks get a diesel heater installed into their vans. Such heaters come from the marine industry (sailing) and are extremely efficient.
4 months ago

I'm working on a new documentary about a topic that's very dear to me. That subject is van life. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it’s exactly what it sounds like van life (i.e. everything to do with vans). I’m a van fanatic and geek out on everything in this genre. I find vans appealing because they offer easy access to adventure, spontaneity, and freedom in a package that’s affordable. For example, if you own a van and want to go away for the weekend, you can pick up and go without expending a lot of money.

In recent years, vans have seen a big increase in popularity. The reason for this massive spike is anyone’s guess. Major publications such as, The New Yorker, Time, and Vice have their own speculations. In one-way or another they all claim that vans are trending because: "VAN LIFE IS THE NEW AMERICAN DREAM!"

This intrigues me for several reasons:
1.) It’s a big bold statement that I automatically want to challenge.
2.) It might be true.

Is van life really the next American dream? I was curious and decided to find out. Last summer, I jumped into my Sprinter van and crisscrossed the entire Western United States (logging over 18,000 miles). I traveled to meet with 40+ key figures within the van community in order to get the inside scoop on whether or not van life is a fleeting trend or here to stay.

Now, I have enough original footage to make one heck of a documentary about the sociology of van life. That's exactly what I aim to do.

At this time, all the hard work is done! Most of the film production budget has been raised, everything has been planned, and all the traveling / filming has commenced. I just need to raise a little bit more money to cover post-production costs.

That's where Kickstarter comes in! I'm pre-selling copies of Van Boom (along with other cool products) on Kickstarter in order to raise the necessary fund to finish my movie.

Check out my project here:

You can also watch the Kickstarter video here:

And the film trailer here:


4 months ago

Heres another fresh video for ya!

Cattails have one major advantage over other wild edibles… Relative to other foraged foods, cattails are high in calories.
This makes them a great energy food. When you’ve been working hard or hiking all day and your body starts to lack energy,
cattails can answer that call and replenish your muscles with power. Watch this video to learn how to harvest and eat cattails.

9 months ago