Van dwelling, or the life-style of dwelling in a van, is turning into an increasing number of common as a approach to journey full-time. Since we purchased a van a couple of months in the past to dwell in, I’ve obtained quite a lot of questions on van dwelling.
Whereas they appear humorous to us now, I do know that we had a few of these similar questions earlier than we began RVing.
A few of the questions we’re requested are from those that assume we’re loopy for dwelling in a van. Whereas, others are from people who find themselves concerned about van dwelling however are not sure about sure issues. Both method, I hope to clear up quite a lot of the widespread questions we obtain about dwelling in a van.
You by no means know, perhaps I am going to convert a few of you. 🙂
Beneath are questions that I have been requested by mates, household, readers, and even strangers. It is at all times fascinating making an attempt to elucidate RVing/van dwelling to strangers who cease me on the retailer after they’ve seen me get out of our van.
It is quite a lot of enjoyable, although. I really like answering questions on what it’s like dwelling in a van full-time and getting others hooked on this life-style!
A few of the questions I reply in right this moment’s put up embody:
Are you performed crusing?Why not simply hold your final RV?Largest professionals/cons of van dwelling in comparison with boat life?Do you bathe on a regular basis?What do you do when it’s a must to use the lavatory?How a lot does dwelling in a van price?Is van dwelling protected?How do you obtain mail?Why would you wish to discover the U.S.?What do you do for medical insurance?How do you have got web whereas touring full-time?
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Listed here are the van dwelling questions you have requested me:
Are you performed crusing?
If solely I had a greenback for each time I have been requested this query.
I do know a few of you might be considering, “You give up crusing to dwell in van?!”
No, we didn’t give up crusing! We’re splitting our time between van dwelling and boat life. We nonetheless have tons and plenty of plans with the boat, and we get pleasure from having it. We’re getting again to the boat in just some weeks and can’t wait!
So then, why did we get a van?
Final hurricane season, we primarily stayed within the marina on our boat. We did a number of quick sails, however we wished to do one thing totally different this hurricane season.
We talked to so many sailors and shortly realized that many take a couple of months away from their boat every year throughout hurricane season, and we fully get it.
To have the very best of each worlds (in our minds), mountains and seashores, we shortly realized that having a Four×Four van together with the boat is how we obtain our dream dwelling scenario.
We’ll primarily be dwelling/cruising on the boat, however we will even be often dwelling in our van in order that we will nonetheless do all of the climbing, biking, and mountaineering that we’ve been desirous to do. We’ve been feeling like one thing has been lacking from our lives, and now we really feel refreshed and prepared once more for crusing!
We’ve performed quite a lot of touring off the boat this summer season, for household causes, a marriage, and occasions, and van dwelling made touring in all places way more snug for us and our two canine.
Additionally, one other constructive of van dwelling is that the programs are fairly easy, and there is not an entire lot that goes into it. So, it is much less seemingly that we’ll have giant repairs that take up quite a lot of money and time.
We actually wished it to be so simple as potential. Since we have already got a sailboat that’s fairly advanced (in comparison with a van or RV), we wished our time away from the boat to be as carefree as potential.
Associated: Welcome To Paradise – We’re Dwelling On A Sailboat!
Was getting a van deliberate?
I do know some individuals assume we’re nuts for our non-traditional dwelling scenario, and I hesitated speaking about getting the van till we drove it off the lot as a result of I used to be afraid of being judged.
Once we bought our motorhome in 2018, we had already deliberate on dwelling in a van after we’re off the boat. So, sure, this was all within the authentic plan. And, the van makes us much more excited for our future crusing plans!
For us, we predict it will likely be the very best of each worlds – crusing and van dwelling.
We’ve quite a lot of outside targets that we wish to obtain, and a van makes all of them way more practical. We don’t have to attend till we’re completed boating to do these issues, and who is aware of if and after we’ll ever be completed crusing. Now, we will do each of the issues we love!
What sort of van did you get?
We have been taking a look at vans for fairly a while, and determined to get a Winnebago Revel. This can be a four-wheel drive van that additionally has:
Photo voltaic panels on the roofA small rooftop ACA very small toilet (you bathe over the bathroom)A mattress that may be simply introduced up and down, which supplies plenty of area for the canineA kitchen (once more, very small, haha) with a range, fridge, and sink
It sleeps the 2 of us and our two canine simply tremendous. Truthfully, we have been a little bit stunned with the area (the structure is PERFECT!), and we have now actually beloved being in it this summer season.
No, we didn’t pay full value or wherever close to it. We’re grasp negotiators relating to vans and RVs, haha. We received the van at a little bit over 30% off MSRP, which is a traditional share relating to new vans.
Sadly, I do know of many individuals who paid full value for this similar van! The truth is, I do know of people that have purchased this similar van used for a better value than what we purchased it for brand new. We received such a superb deal on it that we’re nonetheless scratching our heads on why and the way it occurred.
Do you really like van dwelling?
We’re willingly dwelling the Sprinter van life, haha!
Our van is 19 toes lengthy, which surprisingly is not for much longer than your common car at round 15-18 toes (sure, we measured different automobiles as a result of our household turned curious as a joke).
Many individuals even make jokes about dwelling in a house with wheels, prefer it’s one thing you should not aspire to.
“Dwelling in a van down by the river” – I’ve heard that so many occasions now, haha.
However, it is my life, and I actually, actually adore it!
Listed here are among the issues that I really like about van dwelling:
I really like the liberty. Whether or not you are dwelling in a van, an overland car, an enormous motorhome, or the rest, dwelling in a car provides you quite a lot of freedom. You may select the place you wish to dwell, and you may combine it up and alter it on a regular basis. You may as well determine how lengthy you’ll keep someplace and journey nonetheless you need. Maybe town is for you? Or, perhaps you simply wish to hike on a regular basis! No matter you determine, it’s about dwelling your life the way in which you need.I really like having all of my stuff with me. I actually get pleasure from touring in a van as a result of I can journey to tons of wonderful locations and convey every thing I’ve with me. Whereas which will sound like I am a hoarder and should have suitcase packing issues – it is actually simply that I like to have the ability to carry my husband, canine, my work, my garments, meals, outside gear, and so forth with me. Van dwelling simply is smart for me as a result of I can simply carry every thing wherever I’m going. And, it’s extra than simply happening a trip, which is good too, however I really like with the ability to carry my whole dwelling with me. This manner, I’m not forgetting something, and since my house is at all times with me, I nonetheless get to dwell comfortably.I can spend extra time exterior. I am way more lively than once I lived in a “regular” home, and I consider that is as a result of dwelling in a car takes me to all of those wonderful locations that I’m simply dying to discover. We love with the ability to do issues outdoor, and we normally decide locations that make that even simpler. So, we prefer to park subsequent to climbing trails, bike trails, mountaineering routes, and extra. That is nice as a result of we will normally simply stroll or experience our bikes to wherever we wish to go, which permits us to spend a ton of time having fun with the gorgeous outdoor.I can simply journey with my canine. A significant motive for why we selected to dwell in a van was as a result of we, in fact, needed to carry our canine with us. They’re part of our household. By touring by way of van, our canine can go in all places with us. Whereas it could be potential to journey full-time with them and never dwell in a van, I believe it simply makes it simpler on everybody to have a spot to name dwelling.
What do you not like about van dwelling?
Dwelling in a van is not excellent. If it was, then everybody would do it!
We are able to solely carry a lot water (21 gallons). So, lengthy showers aren’t actually potential.We’ve a really small fridge. In a van, you may’t have a residential fridge.We don’t have a washer/dryer. Since we’re actually lively outdoor after we’re in our van, meaning we have now plenty of soiled garments!
These issues aren’t actually negatives, although, as there are methods round all of them. You merely refill water extra usually, go to the grocery retailer extra, and have to go to a laundromat.
How’s van life in comparison with the large RV you used to have?
Earlier than we began boating, we lived in an RV for a number of years. Our earlier RV was a Tiffin Allegro Bus, which is an enormous diesel pusher. It had heated flooring, a hearth, a residential fridge, a toilet larger than the one in the home we used to personal, Four TVs, and extra.
Whenever you assume RV, you most likely do not consider the one we used to have (though, it is really fairly widespread in actual life!).
Our van is way, a lot smaller. For instance, our WHOLE fridge is smaller than the freezer within the RV we owned.
However, the van is nice as a result of we’re capable of get in to some wonderful locations attributable to its smaller measurement and it being Four-wheel drive.
One among my favourite issues about dwelling in a smaller car is that we will pull the van in to locations that the majority automobiles cannot get to, after which comfortably sleep and eat there!
Why not simply hold your final RV?
Proper earlier than we purchased the boat, we bought the RV. A few of you might be most likely questioning why we did not simply hold the final RV we had, particularly if we knew that we have been planning on dwelling in a car after we weren’t on the boat.
We didn’t need each an enormous boat and an enormous RV – we did not need the entire upkeep that goes together with an enormous RV, we did not desire a large RV simply to be sitting there for months with out getting used, and the price distinction is pretty giant. We additionally bought our final RV for practically what we purchased it for, so it made sense to get one thing that higher match our new scenario.
We additionally wished to have the ability to pull as much as all of the wonderful trails that we’re used to exploring, and since we’re solely doing it for a couple of months every year, we do not want something huge. The boat continues to be our “essential” dwelling, so dwelling in a van is just one thing we do throughout the boating off season.
Largest professionals/cons of camper van life in comparison with boat life?
I do know that everybody desires me to inform them which one is best, however they’re so very totally different that it could be unattainable to reply it that method.
Each van dwelling and boat life are each nice. They’re each very related, but in addition drastically totally different with sure issues.
The largest professional to van dwelling/RVing is that it’s a a lot simpler way of life and touring than being on a ship. The diploma of ease/issue is not even comparable between the 2.
RVing/van life can also be nice as a result of you may drive straight to the very best hikes, bikes, climbs, and sleep proper there. Whereas it is potential on a ship, it is not practically as straightforward to entry the entire fantastic land adventures that the world has to supply.
Boat life is nice, although, since you’re on the water, it is extra eco-friendly since you may make your individual water, are inclined to have extra photo voltaic, can use the wind, and crusing is a ton of enjoyable. Boats may also carry you to wonderful islands and assist you to entry extra water-based actions. Crusing may be very rewarding as a result of it pushes you to be taught actually enjoyable and new expertise.
I believe we are going to at all times do each for so long as we will as they permit us to do various things.
How lengthy will you keep within the van for?
We can be again on our boat in just some weeks. We can be heading to the Annapolis Boat Present in October after which going to the boat proper after that.
What’s going to you do together with your van if you’re on the boat?
Our plan for now’s to retailer our van after we’re not utilizing it. So, in a few month, we can be tucking her in till we wish to use her once more.
This is an possibility when you have an RV that you just’re not utilizing full-time – How To Make Additional Cash By Renting Out Your RV.
Do you bathe in your van?
Sure, we bathe. We’ve a bathe in our van dwelling. I exploit cleaning soap, shampoo, and every thing else. I bathe just about the identical method I might at dwelling.
See, our water tank solely holds 21 gallons, and since we do quite a lot of off grid tenting, I’ve to take quite a lot of quick showers.
We even get scorching water as a result of we have now a water heater. Now, it’s not at all times essentially the most enjoyable bathe, however I’m nonetheless capable of bathe.
Do you bathe on a regular basis?
Yep, I am tremendous gross.
I bathe just about after every outside exercise I do. However, if it is an uneventful day and there is not a lot water, I am most likely not showering.
And, once I do bathe within the van, I’ve grow to be the grasp of the one gallon of water bathe.
I do brush my enamel like regular, wash my face on a regular basis, and so forth. That hasn’t modified in any respect.
What do you do when it’s a must to use the lavatory?
We use it.
Haha! For actual, we have now a bathroom in our van, so we use the lavatory, similar to if we have been in a “actual” dwelling.
It is solely totally different in that it’s a must to dump it.
That is usually one of many first questions individuals have about van life 101.
How/what do you eat?
We make meals in our kitchen. We’ve a really small desk, fridge, range, and a gradual cooker. We’re capable of cook dinner simply as if we have been at dwelling.
Sure, our kitchen is tinier, however it works effectively for us.
We attempt to hold our meals to one thing extra easy, as cleansing quite a lot of dishes simply implies that we’ll shortly undergo our water tank. We additionally solely have one range burner, so we attempt to solely use the range prime or the Immediate Pot.
How a lot does dwelling in a van price?
As I answered in How A lot Does It Price To RV?, RVing might be extraordinarily low cost or it may be very costly. It’s the identical for van dwelling.
We paid for our van in money, so we do not plan on having many different prices that go together with it, besides gas and insurance coverage (we did go forward and prepay for a 12 months of insurance coverage). After all, we’ll nonetheless be paying for meals, cell telephones, and different regular bills.
One of many large causes for why we selected the van is as a result of it’s small and may get nearly wherever. That additionally implies that we will park without cost in additional locations, corresponding to household and pal’s driveways, boondock wherever, and extra.
You may learn extra about this right here – How To Camp For Free, Even In Stunning and Fascinating Locations.
Resides in a van protected?
Sure, I consider that dwelling in a van dwelling is protected. We have by no means actually felt unsafe whereas touring in our van.
We hardly park in cities and are nearly at all times both within the backcountry or in somebody’s driveway (it is our favourite approach to go to household and mates!).
Can you reside in a van with a household?
I like to recommend studying this van life information to dwelling in a van with youngsters – How This Couple Does Van Life with A Child (and a canine!).
Additionally, this one – Changing into an RV Household – How We Journey Full-Time With Four Youngsters and a pair of Canine.
How do you do laundry in a van?
Curiously, this is likely one of the prime questions I get about dwelling in a camper. I might most likely write a whole van life information nearly laundry due to how individuals are in how we wash our garments.
Sure, we do laundry!
We both use a campground laundromat or discover a public one.
It normally takes us lower than an hour to do our laundry and fewer than $10. We do our laundry round as soon as per week.
How do your canine do within the van?
We selected the Winnebago Revel as a result of we thought it could be excellent for our canine, and it’s!
Our mattress retracts up, so it’s fully out of the way in which after we’re not sleeping in it. We use the world under the mattress as a sleeping area for our larger canine. Our smaller canine has his personal space as effectively.
In addition they get to go on plenty of hikes and walks and discover plenty of wonderful locations.
The van simply stays local weather managed, so that’s nice for our canine. We’ve an AC for when it is actually scorching, and we even have an awesome van fan (if you do not have an RV, then you definitely most likely do not know what that is, however it’s merely a extremely, actually good fan). We attempt to observe good climate as a lot as we will, in order that the temperature is good for our canine.
Do you hate one another but after dwelling in such a small area?
Probably the most widespread issues about full-time van dwelling that we hear from others in relationships is that they assume they couldn’t do it as a result of they could find yourself hating their partner.
We dwell in lower than 100 sq. toes, and we’re nonetheless doing nice!
We’re simply tremendous with the small area and it is by no means actually gotten to us. Positive, there are occasions when it rains all day and you may’t go exterior, however there are at all times different issues to do, corresponding to learn, work on the enterprise, and simply loosen up.
What do you do for a dwelling, so as to journey full-time?
This is not a typical camper van life query that I obtain from readers as you all know what I do! Nevertheless, I hear this on a regular basis once I’m on the highway or once I stumble upon somebody in particular person.
This can be a query that’s at all times humorous to reply, as a result of many do not assume you may make cash whereas touring. Nevertheless, you may!
I make my dwelling totally on-line by my running a blog enterprise. Listed here are useful articles to learn:
How do you obtain mail?
We belong to a mail forwarding firm known as St. Brendan’s Isle. All of our mail will get despatched there, after which they ahead our mail to wherever we’re.
For instance, the opposite day I knew I might be at my sister’s, so I had all of my mail shipped to her home. St. Brendan’s Isle places it multi function tidy bundle and ships it to the place I’m staying.
This is likely one of the prime issues that stops individuals from touring full-time, and I simply discover it humorous. It is really easy to get your mail so please do not let this cease you!
The place do you prefer to sleep within the van?
I will be trustworthy and say that we’re not normally large followers of RV parks. There are some good ones on the market, however we do not prefer to be packed in the course of a bunch of RVs, which is how most RV parks are.
If we do keep at an RV park, we prefer to guarantee that we have now a view, the place at the least one aspect of our car backs as much as one thing superior, such because the ocean, desert, mountain, and so forth.
That is why we choose campgrounds at state parks, nationwide parks, and so forth, since you get a a lot better view and a little bit extra space.
For essentially the most half, although, we’re tenting without cost within the backcountry. That is our favourite approach to sleep whereas dwelling in a van full-time as you will get a ton of area all to your self, you may see the gorgeous night time sky with none gentle air pollution, and it is nice for exploring.
You may learn extra about this right here – How To Camp For Free, Even In Stunning and Fascinating Locations.
Are you able to simply park wherever you need?
Hardly every week goes by with out somebody saying that we should always go to them and that we will park of their driveway, some random lot subsequent to their home, inside their storage, and so forth and so forth.
I at all times snigger – you may’t actually simply park wherever in your RV or van. RV and camper van life is not that straightforward!
There could also be guidelines and legal guidelines in opposition to RV parking in some cities on public streets, there is probably not sufficient area, the area may not be degree, there might be low hanging timber, or there could also be a 9 foot bridge to drive underneath.
There are many locations to remain, although, so for essentially the most half you will not have an issue. We’ve stayed in individuals’s driveways (Google Satellite tv for pc and Road View are your pal in these instances), free public land, RV parks, state parks, nationwide parks, and every thing in between.
Nevertheless, we at all times ensure that to analysis the place we’re going in order that there are not any difficulties.
Why would you wish to discover the U.S.?
That is my least favourite query and it truthfully makes me wish to scream.
BECAUSE IT’S FUN.
The U.S. is filled with superior landscapes and there are such a lot of lovely and enjoyable issues to see right here. Simply check out a few of my Instagram pictures for proof.
What do you do for medical insurance?
Studying about medical insurance choices is a part of van life 101 – and sadly, there are not any practical choices. I did not wish to pay the penalty for not having medical insurance, and I additionally did not wish to go uninsured.
For full-time vacationers, it’s tough to seek out medical insurance corporations that may cowl you.
Some medical insurance corporations will not cowl you when you journey out of your state. In the event that they do supply out-of-state protection, they normally require that you just at the least dwell full time in your house state. Whereas we do have a house state and handle, it isn’t technically the place we dwell full time. So, it was necessary to discover a medical insurance supplier that wouldn’t presumably void a medical expense in the event that they came upon that we have been making an attempt to get round this loophole.
Plus, the one coverage that we certified for (in our state) had an astonishingly excessive deductible of $39,000 for out-of-state medical bills. And, as full-time vacationers, we’re excluded from nearly all of insurance policies anyhow because of the loophole described above, in order that simply did not work for us.
Paying a excessive month-to-month medical insurance premium that comes with a $39,000 annual deductible, and the truth that lots of our claims would most likely be voided, made this resolution a no brainer.
So, in January of 2016, we began a membership with Liberty HealthShare. For the each of us, we pay simply $249 every month.
With this month-to-month charge, 100% of our eligible medical payments – as much as $1,000,000 per incident – are coated after the $1,000 per couple annual unshared quantity (consider this as your annual deductible).
Now, belonging to a well being sharing ministry will not be excellent. Liberty HealthShare will not be conventional medical insurance, which implies:
They’re underneath no requirement to cowl your medical bills.You can not deduct Liberty’s month-to-month prices from what you are promoting taxes.You can not contribute to a Well being Financial savings Account.Pre-existing medical circumstances usually are not coated till years later.
Well being care sharing ministries all have some kind of moral guidelines that it’s essential to abide by, corresponding to no smoking, no ingesting, and so forth. In the event you incur a medical expense attributable to one thing that’s in opposition to their insurance policies, there’s a probability that they won’t cowl it.
You may learn extra about Liberty HealthShare at We No Longer Have Conventional Well being Insurance coverage – Liberty HealthShare Evaluation.
How do you get web whereas touring full-time?
I hear this query on a regular basis, and it is one of many prime issues that stops individuals from touring extra.
And, I fully perceive the hesitation!
Once we first thought of touring full-time, I had no thought what would occur to my enterprise. I did not understand how I might hook up with the web, if it could be tremendous costly, or the rest. I did not even actually know if it was potential.
I nonetheless bear in mind telling Wes (my husband) that I might not have the ability to journey full-time until we had web.
However, now I do know it is really not too dangerous. There’s normally some type of web, and I nearly at all times use my very own supply. It is not terribly costly both. Sure, typically there may be completely no web. Nevertheless, I normally attempt to put together for that by working forward as a lot as I can.
We at present have AT&T for our telephones and web. We used to have each Verizon and AT&T (many full-time vacationers have a number of sources since you journey to totally different areas), however we switched to only AT&T and have been proud of it.
Even with that being mentioned, typically our web connection will not be that nice. Working forward as a lot as potential alleviates any work stress that may come from having a scarcity of web or a foul connection.
I did simply get a WeBoost and put it on the van in order that I can enhance my sign and work in additional locations. Since Sprinter van life means we’re off the grid a little bit extra usually, this can be a should for us in order that I can nonetheless work!
To this point, it has been wonderful, and I’ve been capable of have web nearly in all places that we have been because of the WeBoost. About half of the locations that we have now stayed to date within the van have had no web, and the WeBoost has boosted our sign to some extent that I can really work! I do not understand how I’ve gone the earlier 4 years of full-time journey with out it!
Surprisingly, I’ve discovered that our web connection is best within the Bahamas than something we ever had within the U.S. whereas touring full-time. We used a brand new firm known as MyIslandWifi. It’s actually limitless web for simply $75 a month (and there is no contract!). I could make telephone calls, textual content, and hop on-line every time I would like, and it is at all times a quick pace. For individuals in regular houses, this may occasionally appear costly, however needless to say when touring full-time you do not have entry to the type of reasonably priced (and FAST) wifi that’s normally present in a house.
Once we begin touring additional exterior of the U.S. and Bahamas, I do know that discovering web will grow to be tougher. I am going to replace you as I’m going!
In the event you’re desirous to know extra concerning the varied choices (and there are quite a lot of choices!), I extremely advocate RV Cellular Web.
Everybody’s scenario is a little bit totally different and totally different choices exist attributable to that.
What different questions do you have got for me about van dwelling? Are you interested by dwelling in a van?
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