More and more people today are downsizing and living in vans. Hitting the road in true vagabond style. There is a care-free and magical draw to this living that makes it understandable. A life full of new adventures. What could be more exciting?
Jumping into van life is a thrill but you need to think things through. There are a few things to consider so you know what to expect. This guide of the pros and cons of van living will get you prepared before you make the leap.
Van life is just as it sounds. Packing up (possibly selling your home) and moving into your camper, RV, or van. Saving money is guaranteed but it does not have the comforts of home. There are many good things about living in your van. But, it isn’t always rosy, so you need to consider both sides.
To decide if van living is for you, ask yourself a few important questions.
Do you have a strong sense of adventure? You must have this if you plan on living on the road. Every day will be full of new experiences and challenges. Things will not always go as planned and you need to be able to handle that constant-changing lifestyle. Going with the flow is very much a requirement.
Are you good with small spaces? Vans and RVs are not big. While some are pretty decent, they are not homes. You need to be okay with the smaller space as well as limited storage and fewer belongings.
How are your problem-solving skills? There will be problems along the way. Leaks need to be patched up, finances need fixing and you have only yourself to rely on. You have to take all matters into your own hands when it comes to van life.
Try Before You Buy
Before you buy a van and change your lifestyle, try renting one first. This is the best way to determine if you are cut out for the vagabond life. Some are surprised how much they love it, Others cannot handle the small spaces. Either way, you get a close look at how living will be and whether you can handle it or not.
Benefits of Living in a Van
There are numerous benefits to van living, some are more obvious than others. Below are some of the benefits you can expect when you live on the road.
Travel: When your home is on wheels, you can go anywhere, anytime. This freedom is priceless and makes the whole van life worth it for most people.
Perspective change: Space is limited which means so are your belongings. This changes your perspective as to what really matters to you. The idea of what is important shifts and you identify things that you cannot live without.
New friends: Living on the road may seem lonely. But this is not true. Full-time travel means new places and new people. This means making new friends. The van life is a large community and it gets bigger every day. Everyone is welcoming and eager to share adventures. You can get a close-knit community that would surprise you. The more people you meet from all over, the wider your mind opens and the more you grow.
Save money: Most people enjoy this benefit the best. The van life saves you money. If your RV or an is set up right you can live outside campgrounds for the most part and save more. House mortgages and utilities are all gone.
The Down Side
There are cons to living in your van and that is to be expected. People will be quick to point out all the cons to you but miss the wider picture. Some people are not aware of the downside, so this list will help you make a more informed decision before you dive in.
Small spaces: Living in a van is cramped and tiny. You get to live minimally which can be a bonus, but small spaces can also be annoying.
Uncomfortable: You can make your van comfy but it will never be the same as a house. The small space is uncomfortable and the minimal furniture means you’ll lose that favorite chair. You will have a bed and likely a table, but that is it. Depending on the van or RV you get, you may not have a bathroom either. It can even be a gamble as to whether you get air conditioning and heating too.
Things going wrong: There will be unexpected problems on the road. Living in a van puts more wear and tear on it than when you just used it for vacations. Problems will appear more often and this can increase stress levels and reduce fun.
Guidelines to Van Living
You should know by now if van living will be a good fit for you. The next step is learning to live in a van. The tips below will help get you on the right path.
Seek out remote work to keep – you don’t need to earn much since van life is cheaper
Downsize – This is harder than you think. Make sure you give yourself time to go through everything. Sell what you don’t need to provide funding.
Find a little home – and by home, we mean van. A factory-made one is fine or if you can get one custom built. Make sure you are 100% happy with whatever van you get before you buy.
Create a budget – This is one of the most important things to do. Make sure you stick to your budget and revisit it regularly.
All that is left now is for you to hit the road. Enjoy your new van life and all the adventures that are sure to come your way.