Introduction to Vanning
Picking Out the Perfect Van
Many people go through an elaborate process of finding the perfect home. Lots of television shows feature happy couples meticulously searching for the "perfect" home, often looking like characters from a romantic comedy. This seems to be the dream for many American couples. Often times we are told that we need to "settle down", which often means buying an overpriced house we may not even want. We are told we must have a permanent residence and a job that keeps us in one place five days a week. If all of this sounds like bologna to you, you have probably considered buying a "mobile home." With so many internet careers, it is now totally possible to have a full-time job while traveling the world. If the thought of van life has ever crossed your mind, you have come to the right place. This guide will cover everything you need to know about van living and van life essentials.
Van Living Essentials
Van living isn't easy. While living out of a vehicle and traveling the continent sounds exhilarating, there a few van life essentials that need to be covered before you pick out the perfect van.
Tools, Tools, Tools!
Anything that can go wrong probably will go wrong. All vehicles can break down at any given point in time and you don't want a minor issue leaving you stranded on a dark highway. Bring anything from wrenches to hammers to duck tape and batteries.
An Open Mind
When it comes to van living, be prepared to change the way you think about pretty much everything. You will have to be open to leaving behind most of your belongings, and potentially getting rid of them if you don't have a place to store them. Van life is essentially mobile minimalism. You will learn to get by with a lot less, and that's where true freedom comes.
Choosing the Van
If you are still gung-ho about living your life out of a van, now its time for the exciting and daunting task of choosing a van. There are a few things to consider when choosing your van such as:
- your mechanical ability
Types of Vans
VW is probably the most iconic van ever made. Some come with the interior already built to live in, and there is a large community around these types of vans and a range of mods. VW may require a lot of mechanical repairs, so you need to have some mechanical knowledge or a lot of money to spend at the repair shop. While these vans are classic, they are also expensive. Your van may draw attention, making it hard to stealth camp in.
The Van Life Sprinter
While this van lacks style and the iconic look, this style is spacious and reliable enough to be transformed into a perfect "van life sprinter." This van gives you space without the creepy white van stigma of its counterpart, the cargo van.
These cheap, pre-built vans can be bought cheaply with low-mileage. The round top, however, can make it hard to install roof racks. It can be hard to stealth camp in this type of van.
The trick to van life is improvisation. When it comes to storage, showering, sleeping, and fixing your van, all you need is an open mind and some creativity to make the road your home.