What is Van Life?

Andre Ayala

The average mortgage price in Arizona is $1,030 while the average amount spent on gas yearly is $500.  In the 1970s your grandparents, probably also known as hippies, thought it was a good idea to live and travel in a van. The so-called van life is still a popular trend due to the benefits that come with it. Here’s why your grandma and grandpa weren’t so crazy.

When people go on vacations, they often miss the comfort of their home, especially their bed, but why be away from those things when they can always be with you?  Van life has provided this opportunity to people across the world who love to travel and want to feel free from the stress of working the 9-5 job.

This lifestyle is affordable and has great perks, but it requires some hard work. Just hear it from Judith Bisson, a 20-year old CAC student who is currently converting her van to travel. “Converting the van on a low budget is the hardest part for me right now, especially with school in session. Support from family members is also an issue… because they don’t see it as a correct way to live life.”

With all these obstacles Judith is facing, she continues to see the bright light at the end of the tunnel. “Even though people don’t view van life the same way I do, I look forward to having the security of a home while I travel as well as not having to pay rent, electricity, water and other expenses that come with renting or owning.”

Van life does offer a lot of perks, but getting started is the hard part.

If you decided van life is for you, then you will need a van. The size of the van doesn’t matter, but know that you will need to renovate up to 90% of your van.

Everything needs to be ripped out. Imagine this as demolition for your new home. After the demolition is complete, you must make sure your van is converted into a miniature home by adding the safeties of a house like insulation, wood paneling, floor, electricity, etc. Inserting all these things into your van properly is key to living comfortably; otherwise, your van can catch fire, have severe water damage, or serious temperature changes.

After all the safety items are placed in the van correctly, now you can build it up and place things like a kitchen, a bathroom, a toilet and a few other things.

After that your house is done, but you may be wondering what to do for work and parking. Don’t worry, there are plenty of options out there.

Jobs like Postmates, Uber eats, and DoorDash will earn you gas and food money. You may also inquire if the job you currently have is available for you to do remotely. As for parking, there are plenty of free campsites across the U.S., and if you catch yourself in the city, places like Walmart offer overnight parking.

All said and done van life doesn’t have to be considered a lifestyle but also an activity that can be used as a vacation away from home.

Yes, van life seems like a lot of work, but if you’re up to the task, it can be so much fun.