5 Things I Learned About Van Life (While Living in a Van)

5 Things I Learned About Van Life (While Living in a Van)

Simon Gooder

Get a yoga pass ( or a gym pass )

Some of these places are oases of refreshment and relaxation. Aside from the yoga, many offer top notch shower & bathroom facilities, saunas, towels, lounge areas and even hot and cold teas. Often, they offer pay-what-you-can rates for certain classes (often weekly), or great introductory rates which come in very handy, especially if you are going to be sticking it out for the whole month.

Don’t camp in fancy neighborhoods

When we lived in our van we had much better luck camping in average neighborhoods. For a while, we thought it would be nice to camp near the nice beaches in town, which happened to be a very well off area. We had the police called on us more than once. Most of the time, the cop was nice, and just told us to move in the morning. We got talking to an officer one time, who was actually quite interested in the fact that we had opted for vandwelling, in the big city. She even had a laugh with us about how the person who had called us in, had thought that we were “casing houses”. We also had several incidences of drunk people attempting to enter our van in the night. Nights we spent in average neighborhoods, the only thing we ever occasionally had to deal with was ambient drunken yelling in the late hours of the night / early hours of the morning.

Living in a van is not always awesome. But neither is living in a house. Actually, most of the time living in a van is awesome.

Get a pee bucket

If you’re going to be stealth camping, you absolutely need an emergency pee bucket. Ours was excessively fancy, something a previous owner of the van had installed in a small closet at the back. It even had a toilet seat! It’s hard to be stealth with your pants down, peeing on somebody’s lawn under the moonlight, not to mention in broad daylight.

This bucket is for emergencies, and it is not advisable to keep an open bucket of urine in a moving vehicle.

Keep an emergency repair fund

When living in a motorised vehicle, especially a classic, there are always going to be unforseen incidents, and mechanical issues. Do your best to keep on top of these. If this is your home, it won’t do you much good stuck in a shop being repaired.

Consider your diet

One of the major downsides to living in a van, is the lack of cooking and preparation space. If you’re not actually camping (or if you’re stealth camping), its difficult to spread out and find room to properly prepare a meal. This is definitely not something you have to do, but we enjoyed paring down our usual diets to afford a more raw / dry food diet. Since room in the fridge is tight (if you even have one), and maintaining a cooler is not the easiest of tasks, we managed a healthy raw and paleo-template based diet, which helped with the fresh food storage problems, and ended up being quite enjoyable.

Don’t let this stop you

Living in a van is not always awesome. But neither is living in a house. Actually, most of the time living in a van is awesome.

#GoHobo