If someone dared you to go live in a van, even for just a year, would you do it? It sounds like an unusual way to live. How can a person go about their daily lives living in a small van? As crazy as it sounds, plenty of people do reside in vans.
Although this lifestyle trend found its way to social media in 2011, the concept of living in mobile homes is not as novel as it sounds. Mobile homes were around as early as the 1870s. But the first modern mobile homes we see today weren’t made up until 1926. But of course, a van is a different story.
It was recorded that in 2019, there were around 140,000 people who lived in vans and other recreational vehicles. The COVID-19 pandemic has even intensified this lifestyle trend. More people are now experiencing this unique way of life.
This can be an intriguing concept, especially for those who love to travel. Living in vans can mean that a person can drive virtually anywhere in the country. With that, let’s explore who can benefit from this unconventional way of life.
Made for the Van Life?
Living in vans is certainly not for everyone. But some seem to prefer this way of living. Let’s find out how this setup can benefit certain living situations of some people.
For one, living in vans is much cheaper than owning a house. A vehicle is much easier to obtain than a house as well. This lifestyle can be ideal for people who are on a tight budget at the moment. It may also be for those who need to downsize their living.
This means that people who have trouble keeping up with their mortgages and rents may prefer this lifestyle. Or if one wants to break free from these financial obligations, this may be how they do it. The van life can be a cheaper alternative for living.
Apart from that, this type of living can also benefit those who love to travel. A vehicle can take them virtually anywhere. Residing in a van can be beneficial for countries such as the United States, where most places can be accessed by land travel. With that, let’s take a look at several implications on what it may be like to live in a van.
Living the Van Life
Living in a van constitutes multiple major changes in one’s life. For one, it may require a person to let go of some privileges. This means having to let go of some material possessions. It may be recommended to do this because not everything can fit in a van. One should only take what they need for their daily living.
Although van life is a cheaper alternative to home living, it does require a bit of money to do. One has to spend on a vehicle and other fittings that are needed to make the van livable. This means going to mattress sellers to fit inside the van, and buying other fixtures such as small cabinets, and even a small sink.
This can be a chance for a van dweller to customize their vans according to their needs. They have the option to purchase a new vehicle or a used one. Their operation expenses such as gas and vehicle maintenance should also be part of the equation, as this can be a regular expense for van dwellers.
Apart from that, there is also the concern of daily living. It’s nearly impossible to put full kitchens or even bathrooms inside a small van. When needing to cook, van dwellers opt for portable burners for cooking food. There can also use camp stoves. There is also the option of buying food to lessen the hassle of cooking.
As for daily hygiene, there are plenty of public restrooms and bathrooms that they can use. These are often located in community centers, truck stops, and public parks. There are also 24-hour gyms that have showers. But these gyms typically have membership fees.
There is also the question about where to park the vehicles. Campsites exist all over the country. Some may require van dwellers to pay a fee in exchange for their stay. This ensures that nobody will bother them during their stay in certain areas. If these campsites are not available, they may find a quiet area where people do not frequent. But it is best to just find a spot and rent it to ensure that their stay is legitimate.
Living in vans can be unconventional. But for some, this is a way of life. Van life has its challenges, but it is hard to deny that this experience can be freeing.