Many people are living out of vans and campervans these days. Van life is on the rise, with a substantial increase in people interested in this lifestyle. But what’s it like to live out of a van? What’s the worst part about living out of your vehicle for extended periods?
You might expect that living a van life would be fantastic, but the best part is going to sleep at night. Van life can be tricky. Here are a few of the downsides:
It’s hard to find parking spaces.
If you have a camper van, the chances are that you park it on the street during the day. It’s hard to find parking spots in a city with traffic and other vehicles. Even if you do find good parking, you may have to move the van by early afternoon.
There’s no shower and no bathroom.
You can always use public showers and restrooms, but this isn’t convenient if you’re working or traveling. Many companies will let you use their facilities, but others will not. It might be challenging to get a place that allows camping on their property. That is especially true if you are going to be there for several days. A grey water system can be a great addition or modification to your RV.
You have to pay for water and electricity.
Are you supposed to pay for the water you use while you shower at a gym or restaurant? What about using their toilets and sinks? What if there is no electricity? Do you have to pay for the power? It could get expensive.
There are many rules.
Rules are in place for a reason, but they might not be fair for everyone. In many places, it’s forbidden to sleep in your car or van on private property. It is also illegal to park on the street in some cities. Some companies allow others to pitch a tent or park their RV, but not you.
It can be expensive.
You may have to pay for fees and taxes if you have multiple vehicles, and there might be registration fees and other costs depending on your state. If you need plates, they are often expensive. You will also have to pay for gas and maintenance if you use your vehicle regularly while living in your van.
Your van will depreciate.
That always happens if you let it sit, and you may notice that your vehicle’s value is lower than the price you paid for it. If you keep your van for a long time, the value could decrease, and you will have to sell it eventually.
You can’t do a lot of the fun things you might like
It’s hard to go on an adventure or have a great time with your friends when you don’t have a nice place to be. That doesn’t mean that you won’t do anything fun. You might have to work harder to find places where you can go out and enjoy yourself.
You’ll have to deal with less-than-ideal weather conditions.
You might be able to handle the heat or the cold, but you won’t always be in a good place for any season. You’ll have to be resourceful and think of ways to make your van comfortable.
You can’t take risks.
You may be afraid to drive to a safe place in your van if conditions are unstable. You may have to travel on public roads when it isn’t safe, and you won’t be ready to do things you would like if the weather is unsafe.
It will be hard to pay for things.
You might have to buy things that seem necessary at times. Even if you have a job while living in your van, it could be hard to save the money needed for unexpected events.
You might not meet anyone special.
You might think that living out of a van is lonely, but it can help people find new friends. It’s not always about getting a new romantic partner, either. You could get to know great people from all over the country.
You might not meet anyone attractive.
This part is tricky, and it depends on the culture in your area. If you do meet someone interesting, that could make a significant change in your life. You might end up meeting a lot of great people who become friends for life.
You don’t have a lot of privacy.
You have to consider that you are always around people, and it could be awkward if you aren’t comfortable with strangers or other campers. You can pick your friends or at least choose those who understand that you need some privacy from time to time.
You won’t get a lot of personal space.
This issue is similar to the previous one, and it depends on the kind of people who camp near you. You might have to get used to people coming and going.
It isn’t easy to find a job.
You may love it, but some people need real jobs with actual paychecks. If you want your van living experience to be long-term, you are going to need employment. There are several ways you can get a job like this, but they aren’t all easy.
The people you meet might not be pleasant.
You have to be prepared for the people who would judge you. They might be angry or rude, and they won’t want to talk to you. They could even try to prevent others from interacting with you. If this happens, remember that it isn’t your fault that other people have issues.
You can get robbed
The things inside a van are usually pretty easy for thieves to take. If people see that you have nice things, they might see an opportunity and try to take it. You may feel nervous about having your things stolen.
You’ll have to deal with rain.
Rain doesn’t always make a big difference, but it can be unpleasant if you don’t want water inside your vehicle. If you have a place to go during rainy weather, it might not be a problem at all.
You will have to drive a lot.
If you like to travel, it won’t be so bad. If you don’t like driving, however, it can be frustrating. You will have to get used to spending most of your time in the van if you want to live this way.
You’ll have fewer choices about where you stay.
You won’t get too picky about where you spend the night and how comfortable it is. If you want to move around and see many places, it can be frustrating if you feel like there is nowhere to go.
You have to stay on the road for a long time.
If you want to travel, it can be frustrating if you can’t stay in one place. If you want to see a ton of places, you have to put in the time driving between them. It won’t take as much time once you are used to it.
You have to deal with safety issues.
It’s essential to stay safe while living in a van. You have to make sure you are aware of your surroundings and stay safe from potential dangers.
You don’t have as many possessions.
If you like to keep many things, you will see a lot more of the world. Or maybe you don’t need so much stuff anyway, and it would be nice to save some money. Either way, you won’t have as much stuff as you might otherwise have.
You have fewer choices about where your money goes.
You will get used to living on less money than people who own houses do. That can force you to be pickier about how you spend your money, or it might mean that you don’t spend as much money at all. That can be good if you have areas where you want to cut back and save on expenses.
What You Should Know About Van Life
It’s essential to know what you are getting into if you aim to live in a van. You can get through some issues, but there are times when you need to find a new place to stay. Here are some tips for handling aspects of your van living experience:
People will stare at you.
Some people will stare at you if they see you driving by, but many don’t notice. If someone is trying to figure out what you are doing and who you are, they will want to know. You might have to ignore their comments or try not to be upset by them.
You can’t live forever in a van.
If you think that dwelling in a van is worth it, realize that you’re living on a short-term basis. You may love the idea of living in a van, but you might have to move on if you get bored or if other people want to live in a van.
You might start camping with family and friends.
You might decide to reside in a van with someone eventually, or you could start enjoying camping with people that you know and like. It could be a better option if you don’t know anyone in your area.
You can’t move around too much.
If you want to stay in a van permanently, you need to make sure that it has enough space for other people to stay inside it. It’s not ideal if you have rotating groups of people coming and going all the time. That might work for some people, but it won’t work for others.
You should have fun.
Living in a van is great, but you need to enjoy it, or you might get bored. Don’t let your life get boring if you want to be a part of this lifestyle. Living in a van can be exciting if you see it as an adventure to share with the rest of the world.
You won’t have any storage space.
How you deal with storage will determine how functional your van is for daily life and how much storage space there is for your things. If you don’t have enough storage space, you will deal with clutter and disorganization.
You should make the most of the space that you have.
If your van is small, you need to make sure that it has everything you need. You don’t want to feel like your home is too cluttered when it comes time to relax.
You have to stay out of the cold.
It’s essential to stay safe in your van. It’s not a good idea to leave it for extended periods during winter. That will make your van a mess and dangerous, and you may have to deal with frozen pipes inside. You need to make sure that it is heated while you are away from it.
It would help to keep your toilet clean.
Your van toilet is your most important possession. Your health and well-being depend on how clean it is. It would be best to flush the toilet regularly, and you can’t let it overflow. If you want to live in a van, make sure that you don’t have to deal with unsanitary conditions.
It would be best to clean your van regularly.
Living in a van isn’t the easiest way of life if you have a messy and unclean van. If it gets too messy, you will have to deal with it. You can’t expect your van to stay clean all the time, but you have to make sure that it isn’t too dirty for your health and comfort.
It’s often better to stay in a van if you don’t have a job.
Some people can do this with a job or other sources of income. However, most people who live in vans are unemployed or employed on a part-time basis.
You can’t live in a van if you’re a chain smoker.
If you smoke inside your van, it will usually smell bad if you don’t take time to clean it regularly. Ensure that your van smells good so that the people around you don’t mind being close to your vehicle.
It would help to be okay with not having a shower every day.
If you like taking showers regularly, living in a van might not work for you. You will need to be okay with not having a shower every day, and you can always prepare yourself for this eventuality.
You have to work on your social life.
If you want to have fun and meet people, you have to plan things out carefully. If you want more attention from other people, try going out in your van. It might get some weird looks, but it might also make it easy for you to meet others who live in similar circumstances.
You have to stay away from strangers.
The people around you might want to find out where you’re heading, and they may offer suggestions. They may even be interested in becoming a part of your lifestyle. While some knowledge about the best places to go, many of them will assume that life is always easy for people in a van. That can be a problem if they decide to visit you when they have nothing better to do.
Van Life – The Good Aspects
It’s important to remember that living a van life can be significant. You might have some issues, but you also get to see so many places and meet so many people. Here are some good things that come from living a van life:
- You get to meet new people –There is no place safer or more comfortable where you can meet people than your van. You can travel anywhere – it is your home away from home. You meet up with friends and family, or you might meet some people who want to throw a party in their van.
- You can go anywhere –If you have an adventurous spirit, living in a van can be a perfect way of life for you. You can go pretty much anywhere that interests you, and you are completely mobile. If your goal is to see the world, living in a van may be the best way to accomplish it.
- You have plenty of time –The amount of time you have to live can vary. What’s excellent about dwelling in a van is you could arrange your days to fit your needs. You don’t have to cram an entire week into the next 24 hours, and a regular schedule doesn’t tie you down.
- You get to travel as often as you want –One of the most incredible things about living a van life is that you can take it with you wherever you go. Living in a van isn’t very expensive, and it will take less time to arrange for utilities than if you owned property or even a car. You can take it anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about finding a place to stay.
- You enjoy the outdoors –If you like to be outside, living in a van will give you plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fresh air and sun. If you like nature, this could be your perfect lifestyle. The world can seem endless when your only limits are the miles of road in front of you.
Van life provides a sense of freedom that’s hard to beat in other ways. If you want to live in a van, planning can make it easier. You might have to deal with some issues, but many people can handle them well. The more you know about living in a van, the better your results will be on the road.