Once we made the switch, we were instantly drawn to its zen-like qualities and the freedom it provided us both. We quickly realized how much simpler life could be if you didn’t have access to a cell phone or a car.
Traveling without those things gave us so much more time to explore new places, meet people and connect with friends and family who weren’t always able to visit.
What is van life?
Van life is a lifestyle choice in which people live in a van life (also called an RV or motorhome) full-time. Many van dwellers enjoy camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities, while others prefer to live more urban lifestyles, with their van often parked next to their office. Some people choose to live this way permanently, while others do it as a temporary escape from their routine.
Either way, to find the right van for your lifestyle, you’ll want to think about what makes RV living ideal for you. For some, it’s simply about traveling the country. For others, it’s about working remotely. For others still, it’s about claiming a different kind of freedom.
Why would you want to live a van life?
It’s affordable. Many people choose to live in a van full-time because they can save money while they’re on the road. Especially if you are a young person on a budget, van life can help you travel and experience life without breaking the bank.
Practicality is king. There are few things in life more frustrating than living in a space where you can’t find the right tool. Unless you want to retrofit your van with an entire toolset, you’ll want to choose a vehicle that’s ready for duty.
You can enjoy whatever lifestyle you want. You can live in a van at the beach if that’s what you want to do. You can live in a van in the mountains if that’s what you want to do. You can live in a van in the city if that’s what you want to do.
Finding the right van for your lifestyle
- Put yourself in the van. Before you decide on any particular van, spend some time living in a van. Get comfortable with the logistics of daily life, and what it’s like living in that type of vehicle.
- Invest in a good quality vehicle. Before you make the purchase, make sure that you get a good inspection of the van to make sure there are no problems with the vehicle that you’ll need to fix later.
- Research what you want to get out of your van. Being clear on your needs while you’re shopping can help you avoid making purchase mistakes.
- Ask yourself what you want to get out of your van. If your van is a way to travel, but you really just want to travel, you might be better off renting.
- Shop around for insurance. Make sure you shop around for the best rates on car insurance, as some providers may have better rates for van insurance than for cars.
- Shop around for the best rates on parts and maintenance. Make sure you look into which shops will have the best prices on parts and maintenance.
- Stay informed about local laws and regulations. Be sure to stay up to date with the latest laws and regulations around where you live and park your van.
Finding an affordable used vehicle
- The research used vehicles. Invest in a good quality used vehicle and it can be a great value. Get used to the idea that used vehicles will likely have some level of wear and tear, which can be fixed at a low cost.
- Go to a car meet. Check out local car meets to find used vehicles at a lower cost than online. These car meets are often held in low-income neighborhoods, where people are often looking for wheels to get around in.
- Shop around for the best prices on used vehicles. Shop around for the best prices on used vehicles to make sure you’re not getting ripped off.
- Invest in an extended warranty. An extended warranty can save you money in the long run if you end up with a lemon.
- Drive carefully. Drive carefully, and don’t abuse your vehicle, and you may be able to drive a low-cost used vehicle for many years.
Ready to buy a new van life?
- Research financing. Before you head to the dealership, make sure you research the different types of financing available. Don’t just focus on getting the best deal on the purchase, but also on the financing.
- Shop around. Make sure you shop around when selecting an auto dealer. There may be a better deal at a different dealership.
- Get an independent appraisal. An independent appraisal can help you make sure that you’re not being overcharged for the purchase price of your vehicle.
- Buy used. Consider buying a new van and trading it in at the end of your lease. This can help you afford a new vehicle in a short amount of time.
- Buy a well-built vehicle. Make sure you invest in a well-built vehicle. This will be worth more and last longer than a cheap vehicle.
- Consider van leasing. If you have the option of a van lease, you may be able to get a new vehicle much more quickly.
Things to look out for when buying a new van life
- Make sure you get a vehicle that’s well-built, as this will save you money in the long run.
- Make sure you test the tires to make sure they have at least 50% of their original air pressure.
- Make sure the vehicle has no major issues, like an engine with a lot of miles on it.
- Make sure the vehicle has a warranty, as this will help you if something goes wrong on the road.
- Make sure your vehicle has sufficient space for your lifestyle.
- Make sure the vehicle has enough power, as this will help you to get places on the road quickly.
- Make sure your vehicle has enough road clearance, as this will help to prevent you from getting stuck in the mud.
- Make sure the vehicle has enough ventilation, as this will help to keep your vehicle cool on long drives.
- Make sure the vehicle has enough room for your gear, as this will help to keep you safe in an emergency.
- Make sure the vehicle has enough power for your appliances, as this will help to keep your battery from dying quickly.
- Make sure the vehicle has enough power for your internet, as this will help to keep your internet connection from dropping.
- Make sure the vehicle has enough power for your kitchen, as this will help to keep your devices from overheating while cooking.
- Make sure the vehicle has enough power for your TV, as this will help to keep your TV from getting too hot while watching.
- Make sure the vehicle has enough power for your laptop, as this will help to keep your laptop from overheating while you’re working.