Did you know that Americans take around 2.29 billion domestic trips each year? Traveling is a great way to have new experiences, spend time with friends, and make memories.
While there are many benefits to traveling, it can be expensive. If you have lots of time to travel and you want to save money, you should consider traveling in a van.
Life in a van allows you to travel whenever you want, take your home with you, and save money on plane tickets. Do you want to learn more about living in a van? If so, keep reading for nine tips to make living in a camper van easier.
1. Choose the Right Vehicle
If you want to enjoy van life, the first step is to choose the right van. There are hundreds of different options on the market. You can choose a large sprinter van, pickup truck, camper van, or SUV.
When choosing your vehicle, the most important considerations will be space, cost, drivability, and mechanical condition. The right van for you will depend on your lifestyle.
For example, if you are traveling with your pets, you should choose a van with enough space for them. If you are traveling by yourself, you may be content living in a small SUV.
2. Keep Your Build Simple
Once you have the right vehicle, the next step is to convert it into a van. When doing a van conversion, many people think about complicated conversations that are expensive and have a ton of different features.
While doing a fancy conversion is an option if you have a high budget, you can keep your build simple. If you are on a tight budget, focus on covering the basics.
You should make sure you have a comfortable bed, refrigerator, a way to use the restroom, electricity, LiFePO4 batteries, and a water tank. Keep in mind that you can always add more van upgrades later.
3. Organize Everything
Because you will be living in a small space, it’s important to keep everything organized. If you don’t, you are more likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed.
One of the best ways to keep things in your van organized is to make sure everything has a spot. Designate space for your groceries, clothing, shoes, and electronics.
Also, avoid buying a ton of extra items that won’t fit in the van. Keeping your van clean is also a great way to make it feel less cluttered.
4. Find Free Campsites
One of the best things about living the van life is that you can travel without spending too much money. If you want to avoid spending money, try to stay in free campsites as much as possible.
Some of the best free campsites include gyms, Walmarts, movie theaters, and churches. Before you stay overnight in a parking lot, make sure you get permission from the manager.
5. Cook Easy Meals
Adding a kitchen to your camper van will allow you to cook meals and save money. While cooking in your camper van may sound amazing, you should stick to simple meals in the beginning.
You will be working in a tight space, and cooking a large meal may feel overwhelming. Try making one-pot meals, such as pasta or grilled cheese. Once you get more experience in your van, you can cook bigger meals.
6. Get a Gym Membership
If you are thinking about doing van life, you should consider investing in a gym membership. When you are in a small space all day, working out in the gym can help you relieve stress and get your recommended daily exercise.
Getting a gym membership also allows you to take a shower. Unless you have a large van conversion budget, you probably won’t have a shower in your van.
While you may not get a shower every day, having a nice place to get a shower every couple of days is nice. When choosing a gym membership, look for a gym with facilities throughout the country.
7. Invest in a Security System
Investing in a security system is a good idea if you want to feel safe while traveling in your van. While you may plan on camping in national parks and the beach, you also may find yourself parking in a Walmart parking lot.
Most parking lots are safe and have security cameras, but you also should invest in a security system. If you have a security system, you can see who is outside without looking out the window.
The security system can also alert the police if anyone tries to break into your van while you are away.
8. Install a Fridge
Even if you are building a van on a budget, you should still invest in a good fridge. While some people use a cooler with ice, you may find this method frustrating.
To avoid dealing with warm, soggy food, get an electric cooler that has plenty of space. Having a good cooler will make it easier for you to save money and eat healthily in your van.
9. Expect the Unexpected
One of the most important things to keep in mind when starting van life is to expect the unexpected. When living in a van, it’s best to go with the flow, have a plan for when things go wrong, and enjoy the journey.
You never know when you will get a flat tire, sit in four hours of traffic or get sick while on the road. Luckily, you always have your house with you, so you can pull over and rest whenever you need to.
When switching to van life, learn to be patient and always have flexible plans.
Are You Ready for Life in a Van?
Living in a van gives you the ability to travel full time, take your home with you when traveling, and make amazing memories. If you want to try life in a van, keep these van life tips in mind.
Did you enjoy reading this article on living in a camper? If so, check out the rest of our site to learn more about living in a recreational vehicle.