Is Van Life for You? 

A couple with their rigged-out van.

Van life can offer an ideal lifestyle. (Image: via Winnebago)

Are you thinking about packing it all up and living the van life? Over the past decade, van life has grown in popularity. Many people choose to live in vans to have more freedom, travel more, or save expenses on home rental. It must be a dream not to have to pay rent to live, and to meet people from all over the world! Van life can offer an ideal lifestyle.

But of course, there are some essential things to consider before jumping into this life-changing decision. You’ll’ be surprised that this lifestyle isn’t always as glamorous as it appears on social media. Here are the pros and cons before living the on-the-go van life.

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What is van life?

Living in a vehicle that has been modified with the bare necessities is known as van life. Most basic vans come with a bed, a small kitchen, a battery for power, storage, and a heater. A toilet, sink, shower, oven, solar power system, computer workstation, and other amenities may be included in larger or higher-end van life vehicles. 

Also known as van-dwelling, van life is an alternative way of life. For some, van life means being nomadic, traveling from place to place. They enjoy the freedom and mobility to travel at their own pace. Others maintain a residence and travel in their van on weekends and holidays. Finally, some van lifers live in a single city and park in the exact location every night. Van-dwelling is an exciting lifestyle. Find out if it’s’ for you by knowing the pros and cons.

van-life
A toilet, sink, shower, oven, solar power system, computer workstation, and other amenities may be included in larger or higher-end van life vehicles. (Image: via Thor Industries)

Pros of van life

You can save on rental fees

This is the primary reason why many people choose to live in a van in the first place. But unfortunately, living expenses have risen dramatically in recent years. When living in a van, you don’t have to pay for rent, electricity, water, sewer, trash, cable, or the Internet.

You don’t have to pay rent if you live in a van. Most people who live in vans never pay to camp. You can locate a free spot to park and set up camp every night. You are free to camp in some corporate parking lots and on residential streets. Additionally, camping is permissible without charge on public lands.

You’ll spend less on utilities

You won’t have to pay for electricity if you live in a van. A solar power system is frequently installed on vans by people who live their lives in them. Some people use the motor of their car to charge batteries. In addition, you never have to pay sewage dumping costs if you use the restrooms in public buildings or a composting toilet. 

In public areas and at gas stations, trash cans are available for the free disposal of your rubbish. Typically, you can either filter your water or acquire free drinking water. You can use your phone’s data plan and free public WiFi to access the Internet. There won’t be a high Internet and cable bill for you. 

You can travel freely and frequently

You have the freedom to travel when you live in a van. You can discover the delights of the national parks if you love the outdoors. If you enjoy hiking in the mountains, you can travel from trailhead to trailhead by car. Surfing and taking in the sun and sand are popular activities for beach bums to do along the coast. You can travel through remote locations in a 4X4 van when other vans cannot. 

A van is a fantastic method to tour other destinations. Parking options vary by neighborhood, allowing you to explore each city you visit in depth. In addition, you can visit tourist attractions when traveling even if they are challenging to get by public transportation.

van-life
You can discover the delights of the national parks if you love the outdoors. (Image: Thor Industries)

Cons of van life

Minimal privacy

No matter how much you try to make it seem to be, a van is not a house. Because of this, you can’t fully enjoy the little things in life, like dancing around your kitchen to loud music or sleeping in your most comfortable pajamas or without them. 

The fact of the matter is that you’ll be spending the majority of your time in public settings. You still face the danger of being seen by passersby even if you park in a private lot, which could be highly uncomfortable. Van life might not be for you if privacy is important to you.

Difficult to develop a routine 

Living in a van makes it tough to establish a routine as well. Being on the move all the time may need you to wake up and go to bed at various times each day. You may need to search till the wee hours of the morning for a secure parking spot. You may need to get up early on occasion to move your vehicle to avoid receiving a ticket. You could have to prepare meals, dine, clean, exercise, work, or study at various times and places every day. 

It is particularly distressing not knowing where you will sleep or what you will eat. If you are more used to a routine lifestyle, then you may need to rethink things if you want to dive into van-dwelling.

So is van life for you?

There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to living in a van. For some, it is a liberating way of life filled with travel and adventure. Others find van life uncomfortable, unstable, and generally difficult. Before embarking on the van life, remember to weigh all of the benefits and drawbacks so that you can make the best decision on what you will potentially call your “home.”

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