The Ultimate Guide To Starting The Van Life

by Staff

Are you craving for freedom, adventure, and a touch of the unconventional in your life? Has the desire to break free from the predictable cycle of nine-to-five left you dreaming of distant horizons? Welcome to the world of van life – a lifestyle choice that combines the simplicity of minimalistic living with the thrill of constant mobility.

Over the past few years, van life has gained traction among adventurers, digital nomads, and those longing for a lifestyle that doesn’t fit into the usual four-walled box. But don’t mistake this for a downgrade; many van lifers are turning their homes into chic, modern living spaces, upgrading from camping to what can only be described as ‘glamping’ on wheels. In this article, we will go over the essentials to be able to hit the road and live the van life of your dreams. 

Setting up the van

Transitioning to a van lifestyle requires more than just buying a van and hitting the road. A significant part of the journey is making the van a comfortable and functional home. 

One of the most important steps for van life is to set up your camper for solar. Being able to generate your own power is a game-changer when living on the road. It allows you to stay off-grid for longer periods, giving you the freedom to travel without worrying about finding a power source.

Optimizing your van’s limited space is crucial. Consider multi-purpose furniture that can serve more than one function, such as a bed that converts into a seating area or a table that folds away when not in use. Make use of vertical space for storage. Install overhead cabinets or use hanging organizers.

Lastly, personal touches can make your van feel more like home. Consider adding curtains, rugs, cushions, and pictures. Choose materials and colors that make the space feel warm and inviting.

Have the essentials

Equipping your van with the right items is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable van life experience.

In your kitchen, space-saving appliances like a portable stove, a compact refrigerator, and collapsible kitchenware are great options. For the bathroom, consider a portable toilet or a composting toilet, biodegradable toiletries, and a solar-powered shower. For your bedroom, choose bedding that’s suitable for all seasons and consider blackout curtains for privacy and to block out light for better sleep.

Life on the road

Living on the road is a unique experience, and while it can be full of adventure and freedom, it also presents its own set of challenges. 

Finding a place to park and sleep can be one of the trickier parts of van life. It’s essential to understand local laws and regulations about overnight parking. Many van lifers use a combination of camping grounds, national parks, and designated overnight parking areas. Some retailers and fitness centers allow overnight parking. 

For water, consider using biodegradable products to lessen water usage and impact on the environment. For electricity, monitor your usage, especially if you’re relying on solar power. On cloudy days, you may need to conserve your battery power.

About the Author/s

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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