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Veteran Bay Area Journalist Gets Her ‘Dream' Home on Wheels For Retirement

Mercury News reporter Tracey Kaplan is set to take a permanent road trip in retirement, living out of a customized van

A veteran South Bay journalist is taking a drastic step to deal with the Bay Area housing crisis: a permanent road trip.

Longtime Mercury News reporter Tracey Kaplan is retiring and planning to live out of a converted cargo van while traveling the country. It's her own version of a tiny home but with wheels.

The 22-foot-long customized Ford Transit costs about $90,000 and arrived at Kaplan's home Monday. She surprised herself by becoming emotional.

"For me to achieve this van and complete independence ... I’m getting upset every time I talk about it because it’s just great," Kaplan said, tearing up. "It’s like a dream come true."

The van contains not one but two showers and a fully functional kitchen. Kaplan calls it a "comfy studio apartment on wheels."

Kaplan's plan is to travel the U.S. and, if necessary, rent space to park from time to time along the way. While she didn't specify a timeline for her retirement, she said she hopes she can afford to do it soon.

Kaplan has spent more than 20 years at the Mercury News, covering mostly courts and consumer issues. She also worked for the Los Angeles Times for eight years.

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