#vanlife not just for influencers, says Colwood security guard

Overnight security plus a place to sleep a win-win for van dweller

Raffi the dog pops his fluffy head out the RV window, eager for pets. Judy Dreger shouts a greeting from the kitchen in the back of her van, a 76 Dodge Chinook Sportsman with moss-green siding, where she lives with Raffi and Dexter, a 70-pound Labrador cross.

Dreger doesn’t just live in her van, she’s turning it into her job. Not as a heavily sponsored social media influencer, but as a security guard.

Nightly she pulls into Fennel’s RV Repair in Colwood. She sets out grass welcome mats, water bowls for the dogs and links in to the WiFi to start the cameras recording.

The owner at Fennel’s has contracted Dreger to keep an eye on the lot where a dozen or so RVs are parked for repair. The trade gives her a safe place to sleep and a location to train fellow van-lifers as parking lot security. She’ll show them what activity to look for, how to set up security cameras, how to approach business owners themselves.

She wants to start a business connecting van dwellers with business owners, but for now it’s just her and a couple of friends. Dreger is also a certified security guard during the day, working standard patrol shifts throughout Greater Victoria.

She’s been living in her van since 2018. Fitted with a full bathroom, stove and fridge, everything has its home. Pantry cupboards hold food and an occasional case of blackberry vodka sodas. Clothes and the air fryer (chicken wings are killer) go on the shelf above the large bed, plenty wide for her and the dogs.

And the view! Well, it changes on a whim.

“You’d be foolish to live in a van and not spend a night at the beach. There’s nothing better than sitting at the beach listening to Led Zeppelin and having a beer. Or in my case, I like those Nudes,” she says of the vodka soda beverage. She might stay in Oak Bay and work in Esquimalt, or sleep at the beach in Colwood and work in Sooke.

Read the full article here: https://www.goldstreamgazette.com/news/vanlife-not-just-for-influencers-says-colwood-security-guard/

Mobile security gurard Judy Dreger has all she wants in her camper van, with lots of space for her buddies Dexter (left) and Raffi. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Mobile security guard Judy Dreger has all she wants in her camper van, with lots of space for her buddies Dexter (left) and Raffi. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Ragamuffin Raffi is due for a haircut, but he’s still a pro at fetching balls in the parking lot. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)