VAN LIFE ANYONE?

Travel Forums Travel Companions VAN LIFE ANYONE?

1. Posted by Mvshley (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

HI GUYS!!!

I'm new here! But I am looking for someone to adventure with me! (Aren't we all) I am about to turn 23 and I think its my time to shine. I'm giving myself a year to find a van and build it out before I set of on my lifetime of adventure. BUT, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to share my experience with someone. Male or female, about the same age. If you are already living van life that works too. We can van together (or separately but together.. if that makes sense). Also, looking for someone to thru hike the AT with me!! But so yeah! If anyone is interested please, please, please, feel free to contact me! I am really looking forward to meeting like minded individuals!

So much love,
Marra

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1372 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Hi Marra

I suggest you fill out your profile some, as this improves the number of responses you'll get since people can see who they're getting involved with.

Good luck with your plans. :)

3. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 650 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Hi Marra, there's very large community of Vanlife/RVlife/Buslife/Skoolielife information on YouTube.
Just search under any of these terms.
Everything from covered pickup trucks to purpose built adventure off road trucks, and everything in between.
Quite a few of them are USA/Canada but some are European/Australian/New Zealand etc.
Whilst plenty of them are 'look at me/us, we're cool vegan lifestyle leaders', there are lots of less pretentious ones as well.
Lots of van build info, Cold weather camping info, stealth camp info and 'boondocking' info on there.
Good Luck.

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Jan-2019, at 04:10 by Andrew Mack ]

4. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 934 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

The poster has filled out her Profile Page so if you are interested in Van Life, click on her name on the opening post and that will take you to her Profile Page. This will give you an idea of her interests and travels ideas.

Good luck, Marra. I hope you find a like-minded group to go with you. :)

5. Posted by Musyairi (Budding Member 14 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Hey there. Im really interested. But i have yet to experience van life.

6. Posted by road to roam (Full Member 43 posts) 2w 1 Star this if you like it!

We have lived van life for about 15 months, making into Baja Mexico twice. To supplement, we house sit and are currently doing a 5 month sit.

There are many things to consider when approaching living in a van. Do you have at least basic knowledge of auto mechanics? It helps to know the systems and how simply they function, like the cooling system, ignition system, and so on.

Although our van is 20 years old, it is a tank. However, I have still had to replace a starter, repair some wiring and replace a ball joint. So basic tools and know-how is great - know your vehicle.

Where to sleep is another problem. Many social media feeds feature a gorgeous couple sitting on the roof of the van cuddling up under a swirling cosmos. The reality is, where you sleep from night to night will be far less ideal. Truck stops and Wal Mart parking lots are lifesavers, for free wi fi and other assorted creature comforts.

As for insurance and registration, try to make sure none of that stuff lapses - renewing insurance without a physical address is tough. Insurance companies want to know where the vehicle will be parked on a regular basis, so getting into the semantics of that with an insurance company can be tedious. Also, fibbing to them is a major no-no. But they will not renew your policy if you don't have a physical address......

Time of year and where you want to go is critical - having agreeable temperatures is crucial, but fighting summertime crowds at parks and such can really drain the life out of you. This is just another example of how important it is to have a plan. The Baja Peninsula of Mexico requires no permits or fees to drive your van into that part of the country. We went in late autumn/early winter and the beaches are PACKED with RVs at that time of year and the Baja can become a very small place then. There is basically one paved road that runs the length of the peninsula and everybody is on it going to the same handful of places. Some may call that a community, but it can get to be too much at times - especially when you cannot escape the crowds. We went again in summer and had our own private beach to camp on for 2 weeks. The trade off: it was 110 in the shade. Anyway, the Baja is a right of passage for many on the west coast and offers plenty of beach camping and desert boondocking. The beaches of La Paz and Bahia Concepcion are STUNNING! Bring a kayak.

As for house sitting, it gives us the chance to save money, shower, cook proper food and work on our blog. But after having done it for several months (with a repeat assignment of 2 months coming up in March), we are looking froward to getting back to our preferred way of travel: hitchhiking! Soon, we will sell the van and continue our epic travels by carpooling with strangers, which we did for a year in 2013 - 2014.

We've been very lucky to have had the opportunity to live in the van and travel. However, I just wanted to share with you our mixed feelings on the whole thing. While the freedom and possibility that comes with this way of life is what we are all after, it helps to know it is like anything else - it comes with good, bad, uncomfortable and, at times, boring moments. So, when vanlife becomes too much, treat yourself to a hotel room, or find a house sit for a few days or weeks. Balance, is the name of the game here.

Good luck with it and have a blast!

7. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1180 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

I lived in a camper and truck for three years when I was a Carny. But that life was far more structured (and, to be honest, sort of sucked) In my travelling, though, I met a lot of Vanellers at truck stops and rest stops.

8. Posted by road to roam (Full Member 43 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

Doing your own "build" is a great idea. Sprinter vans are popular for this, for they are wicked roomy. They are also a bit on the pricey side, but...

We have a 1999 Volkswagen Eurovan with almost 200,000 miles on it. This is a base model, meaning it only sports a bench seat that pulls out to a bed and a fold-away table. No pop-top roof. We are both short (me - 5.5 feet, her 5 feet) but we wish we had room to stand up in the van! So, with the roomy and sparse interior of a cargo van you can create a space tailor-made for you and your gear/expectations.

Get a decent power inverter to plug into your cigarette lighter so you can plug in appliances and other assorted electronic goods. There are many cooking gadgets you can buy that'll be suited for plugging into the cigarette lighter such as coffee makers, small ovens and crock pots. We use heating coils to boil water on the go, good for instant coffee, soups and that sort of thing. They cost about 7 bucks and plug into a standard outlet, or your power inverter.

Speaking of stuff plugging into the cigarette lighter, make sure you have something to inflate your tires. Any auto parts shop will sell one for about 20 or 30 dollars. They are about the size of a lunchbox and will save you time, money and anguish. Also, buy a tire plugging kit for 10 bucks - good for when you have a minor mishap like a puncture from a nail. And when you jack up the vehicle, forget about the factory jack - you can get a much safer "bottle jack" for less than 30 bucks at Wal Mart.

I suggest getting a set of sockets, screwdrivers and wrenches to take with you. The nation-wide chain "Harbor Freight and Salvage" sells that stuff cheap and it'll be more than suitable in a pinch. Also, have spare fuses, belts, hose clamps, wiring (of different gauges), oil, jumper cables etc. etc. Again, know your vehicle and anticipate the pesky little gremlins that can, and will, pop up....and they NEVER show up at a good time.

Be prepared for a ton of fun, too!