April 2021 Minivan Recipients

After carefully considering all of the applicants for the minivans, four recipients were chosen by the HOWA staff. Each recipient was responsible for providing their own transportation to Pahrump, Nevada where they joined a small group of HOWA staff and volunteers. Two recipients came for the first two weeks in April and two more for the second two weeks. Recipients and volunteers camped together on BLM land during this mentoring period which also gave the recipients a chance to experiment with the best arrangement for their furnishings and belongings.  Since coronavirus was still a concern three builds used ready-made furnishings, a 100W foldable solar panel, and a portable power station. The fourth minivan had a Camp N Car’s prototype bed and shelving kit installed. Camp N Car is a new HOWA sponsor and has committed to donating a kit to HOWA for every 10 they sell.

  Meet the new minivan recipients!


Richard has been a vehicle dweller for 24 years, spending the spring and summer in Washington state and the fall and winter in Tuscon, Arizona, and Florida. He camps on the property of family and friends, helping out with chores and house sitting. While traveling to Florida, he became stuck in traffic on the interstate in Texas during the winter storms of February 2021 and the transmission in his van failed. With his van inoperable he rented a room in a motel to assess his options. A chance encounter with a fellow nomad staying at the same motel led to a conversation about HOWA and the minivan program. Richard applied and was accepted – HOWA’s first male minivan recipient! Most of the applicants to the program are female due to the large population of women who have not been able to build up a retirement fund and receive a low monthly Social Security check so we are pleased that Richard applied and was accepted.


When the apartment building where KayT rented was sold, she was left homeless and without a vehicle. She borrowed a car from her mother and found a small cargo trailer. A church gave her permission to park the trailer in their lot. KayT spent the winter in the lot, grateful for the place to stay and for the use of electricity to power a space heater and a small refrigerator. But this was a dull and colorless existence for KayT who is an avid camper and nature lover so she eagerly waited for the minivan applications to open in Feb. 2021. After being accepted as a minivan recipient and completing her two-week mentoring program KayT hit the road in her newly outfitted 2006 Chrysler Town & Country minivan.


Roxy had been living with her daughter in her mobile home in South Carolina when she decided that she wanted to be on her own but at the age of 55 and disabled, she was struggling financially. Vandwelling seemed like a good option so she wrote to Bob Wells of Cheap RV Living for advice on buying a van. Bob encouraged Roxy to save the money that would be used for a van and apply for a minivan instead. Roxy’s new mini home is a 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan that came with orange flames on the sides which she decided to keep. The interior was provided by Camp N Car. The Camp N Car Kit needed a few modifications to fit into the Grand Caravan. The work was done by staff and volunteers along with Steve from Camp N Car. A Homes On Wheels Kit will be donated to HOWA for every ten that Camp N Car sells. Thank you Camp N Car!


Marla couldn’t make ends meet with her social security disability funds. Her rent and utilities took up too much of her income so, at 49, she applied for a minivan. A little home on wheels would satisfy her desire to travel and also allow her to stretch her funds. Marla is an experienced camper but not technology inclined so she found the information that her mentor shared with her very helpful. Marla’s minivan is a 2006 Honda Odyssey with 101,000 miles, previously awarded this past summer to Esther. Sadly, Esther passed away in March, and as outlined in the application process, the minivan was returned to HOWA.

Thanks to all of the staff and volunteers who came together in Pahrump for four weeks to make the minivan no-builds a success! Applications for the next four minivans will open at the end of August 2021.   Thank you to all who donated to the HOWA minivan fund and those who bought the wishlist Items!


  1. Linda Sand says

    I looked on Amazon for a wish list but didn’t find one. Maybe you could post a link to it just before the next build date in August?

    • Phyllis says

      Thank you for your desire to support the minivan award program! The Amazon wish list for the fall build will get posted after the recipients are selected. As part of the application the recipients go through a list of typical items and indicate if they will be bringing them with them or if they need the item. In that way, the wish list is custom made for each recipient and we can avoid duplications. The application for the fall build will probably be posted the middle of August and the recipient selected about mid September. At that time, the wish list will be posted. Keep checking back!

  2. PHYLLIS says

    i want to car camp in my Prius. i would like to meet up someone going to mt rushmore . end of april.

  3. Michelle Todd says

    Thank you for all the resources. I’ve been trying to convince my husband for 11 years we need to do this. I got multiple sclerosis, legal blindness & the list goes on and on. Wanted to see & do before I no longer could.

  4. Bonnie Page says

    I want to become a caravan camper…right now I’m in my 2017 dodge caravan, got most of what I need, 12v/110v fridge, portable flushable toilet, a bed and electric burner, dry goods & dog food/treats container…. I will be heading out later in October, but when I try to dign liability release it does nothing and I can’t get into more info???is it the internet or website problem???

    • Phyllis says

      Bonnie, congratulations on all the work you have accomplished to get on the road. You do not need to do anything but click on the liability statement, read it and then you can read all about the caravan below the liability statement.

      Safe Travels,

      Homes On Wheels Alliance

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