How to Live the Van Life

Every year, it seems like more and more people decide to quit their jobs and travel around the world. Some people want to explore new cultures, others need a break from their careers to reassess their lives, but many just want more freedom.

If you search the hashtag #vanlife on any social media, you’ll see there’s a group of people who choose to get rid of everything they have and live constantly in a van. It’s kind of the ultimate freedom as they’re able to take their home to any location they wish.

It’s a unique way of living and it’s not for everyone. Read on to learn more about how you too can get the van life.

1. Choose the Right Van

The first step to living the van life is to purchase the right van. You’re either going to buy an already converted one or do the work yourself.

Remember that as charming as old VW buses are, they can break down often and the parts are hard to come by. Try to find vans with low mileage and avoid the ones that have been around salt (salt water, salt flats, etc) as they’re probably rusty and will be a nightmare to take care of.

Francesca Pianzola / Shutterstock

2. Have Good Insulation

If you’ve ever camped during the winter, you know how important it is to make sure your van is warm. Insulation is essential even if you don’t live in cold regions as temperatures can drop considerably in the evening. You’ll need to cover the interior walls with reflective insulation and hang thermal curtains on the windows as they lose a lot of heat. Make sure you also spray foam in every little gap you can find so you don’t have the cold night air creeping inside.

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3. Pick the Best Appliances

The main qualities you want for your appliances are portability, lightweight, and energy efficient. A 50qt fridge/freezer should do the trick, but you can also buy smaller ones. If you don’t like the idea of dealing with propane cylinders, you could consider buying an alcohol stove, which can be much safer than normal gas stoves. Don’t forget to purchase a fan for the hotter months, a five-gallon water jug, and also to build a sink with a water pump to make cooking more pleasurable.

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