Mariajose, Chase, & their baby daughter Isla all live in this awesome sprinter van. Before they had a baby, the couple had lived nomadically for four years — first in a skoolie and then in a van. Some people thought they’d settle down after having a child, but instead they’re working on renovating the van [...]
Van dwelling seems to be gaining in popularity lately. More and more people are hitting the road in converted vans, RVs, or even just tents or cars. And there are lots of reasons why people are choosing this lifestyle. Maybe they want to downsize and simplify their lives. Maybe they want to travel and see more of the world. Or maybe they just want to be closer to nature.
But van dwelling isn’t for everyone. It can be challenging, and it’s definitely not the same as living in a traditional home. So if you’re considering van dwelling, here are some things to think about.
* You can go wherever you want
* You can live a simpler life
* You can be closer to nature
* It can be cheaper than traditional living
* It can be challenging
* You have to give up some conveniences
* You have to be prepared for bad weather
* You might have trouble finding a place to park
* Your van could break down
So, what do you think? Is van dwelling right for you? If you’re still not sure, why not check out some of the resources below. You can read stories from people who are already living the van life and find out more about how to buy or build your own van conversion below.
What is van life?
Van life is a popular way of living among young people and digital nomads. It’s a great way to save money on rent and travel costs while still having the freedom to live your life the way you want to. If you’re considering van life, here are some things to think about:
* Are you ok with living in a small space?
* Can you live without a lot of stuff?
* Are you comfortable with minimal amenities?
* Do you mind being away from civilization for long periods of time?
If you answered yes to all of the above, then van life might be right for you!
Why People Choose Van Life
For many people, van life is the epitome of freedom. You can live and many even find ways to work from almost anywhere, making it the perfect way to see the world and experience new things.
Common Van Life Challenges
Van dwelling has become a popular way to travel and live minimally. But, it’s not without its challenges. If you’re considering van life, here are some things to keep in mind:
* You have to find the right balance in planning and letting the adventure unfold.
* You need to keep your van and belongings secure.
* You have to figure out where to park and sleep every day.
* You have to maintain all of the moving parts of the van.
* You have to adjust to very limited space.
* You have to overcome any of the constant obstacles that may come your way.
If you’re still interested in van dwelling after considering these challenges, then you might want to start considering what your dream van looks like.
Types of Van Conversions
There are several different types of van conversions if you’re considering van life.
* There are cargo van conversions.
* Class B motorhomes.
* Minivan conversions.
* Shuttle bus conversions.
* Short school bus conversions.
* You can hire a builder to customize a new van for you, or convert one yourself.
Van dwelling is a great way to explore the world and live an adventure, even if you start out by just doing it on weekends and vacation periods. There are lots of resources available to help you figure out what sort of van to build or buy.
Buy or build a van
For anyone considering van dwelling, reading stories of others who have made the lifestyle switch can really help you figure out if it’s right for you. Van dwelling can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it’s not for everybody. So weigh the pros and cons of van dwelling before making a big decision, and don’t hesitate to ask others who are van dwelling for advice.
There are pros and cons to both buying a van conversion and building one yourself.
If you buy a van conversion, the main pro is that someone else has already done the work for you. All you have to do is move in and start living your life. The main con of buying a van conversion is that they can be expensive, and you may not get exactly what you want.
If you build a van conversion yourself, the main pro is that you can customize it to your exact specifications. The main con is that it will take time and effort to do the work yourself. You will also need to be comfortable with tools and have some experience working with them.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to buy or build a van conversion is up to you. Consider your needs and wants, and go from there.
If you’re considering van life, weigh the pros and cons carefully. It’s a great way to see the world and live an adventure, but it’s not without its challenges. There are many resources available to help you buy or build your own van conversion. So, what are you waiting for? Start your van life adventure today by exploring the stories and resources below! And if you like what you see, join our Free Tiny House Newsletter for more stuff like this in your inbox!
His Astro Van Life (And Now He Lives on a Bicycle)
Caleb was in college when he realized college wasn’t for him, and he needed a new direction. A friend urged him to just go for something, so he converted the back of his Subaru and started traveling. Eventually, he upgraded to his DIY Astro Van which he lived in for another year. The video below [...]
Flight Attendant’s Budget DIY Van Conversion
Samantha was flying around the world and paying for an apartment she was rarely in, and she knew something had to give. When the events of 2020 shut down travel, she bought a van and converted it in 3 months. It’s been the best option for her, allowing her to bring “home” to the airport, [...]
Her Shabby-Chic Farmhouse Van For Weekend Trips
Aries Soul Traveler loved traveling but couldn’t keep dropping $600 for a weekend stay in a hotel. When she found vanlife, it seemed like the perfect solution — her own budget-friendly hotel room on wheels! She lives in a townhome and takes her van on adventures during the weekends (and vacations). She hired a local [...]
He Went From Flipping Homes to Van Life
Chad was flipping homes on the West Coast, but the cost of living was getting out of hand. Someone suggested vanlife to him, and at first he balked at the idea of living in a van post-40-years-old. But when he found out he could design and plan the whole thing, he got interested. Due to [...]
Her Van Conversion Has a Clever Indoor Shower
Anjali graduated from college and wanted to travel, so she built out her first van to let her see some of the country. Then her job as a software engineer went remote in 2020, and she decided to build a bigger and better van (named Vinny). Now she travels in her van and also owns [...]
Beautiful Zen Van Conversion with Two Beds
Here’s a really nice 2017 Sprinter conversion with a beautiful slat design all around the interior. It has both a convertible queen bed and a narrow twin bed that becomes the dinette. There’s a great little kitchenette space and is fully off-grid compatible. Check out all the details below and contact the seller via Craigslist [...]
Cynthia & Her Dog in Their Ford Transit Connect Conversion
Cynthia had been thinking of going tiny for a while, but she was initially nervous about telling her grown children and friends about her idea. But she conquered her fear, bought a Ford Transit Connect, and converted it all herself! She made sure her conversion fit her lifestyle and her 60-pound dog. She has a [...]
They Went From Homeowners to Van Life
Josh and Bryn purchased a row home in Baltimore and immediately regretted it — it didn’t fit their goals, and they were sad that they hadn’t traveled around the United States yet. So they started new careers that would allow them to work remotely and bought and converted a van. Their rig has a unique [...]
Couple & Cat In This 1999 Dodge Roadtrek Camper Van
Jesse and Janice were saving up to buy a house when they made a major pivot in their lives and decided to jump into vanlife instead! They found a van already DIY-converted by a family that had used it as a weekender vehicle, and they’ve slowly made it theirs. While the bed could convert to [...]
“Sanctuary on Wheels” w/ Dishwasher, Shower & Hidden Toilet
Sofia and Dennis got started in vanlife by just converting their own to live in. But once people saw it on YouTube, the couple got requests to start converting vans. Now they own multiple shops on the West Coast where they and their teams build out vans! They are living full-time right now in their [...]
Brothers-in-Law’s VanBuild Business & The Sandy Van
Get excited today for the story of how these brothers-in-law started a van conversion business in the United Kingdom, and a photo tour of their latest bespoke creation designed for a tall dog-owner. Jorvik Van Conversions was born in the midst of lockdown, and they’ve been converting vans ever since. The Sandy is their signature [...]
Breaking Free from Society’s Expectations: One Man’s Van Conversion Journey
This man had been chasing a bigger paycheck his whole life, just like he had been told to, but eventually, he decided that wasn’t what was making him happy so he chose to convert a van instead! Now he lives full-time, traveling around Germany’s Black Forest and enjoying nature and simple living. Take a look [...]
Flight Attendant Chooses Van Life
Amanda is a flight attendant who heard about van life years ago, but when she was looking for an apartment in the chaos of 2020, she decided she’d rather put the money into a van and enjoy the changing scenery. She bought her rig second-hand and hasn’t looked back! She uses her van to commute [...]
This Van Conversion has a Wet Bath & Convertible Bed
Miranda and Kyle had done the “mattress-in-the-back-of-the-car” camping for shorter trips plenty of times, but when they couldn’t travel in 2020, it made them pause and consider what they really wanted out of life. Eventually they decided to purchase a van and have it professionally converted, so they could hit the road sooner rather than [...]
Wildlife Biologist Goes From Roommates to Van Life
Jake chose van life for an unconventional reason — he was tired of living with roommates! He enjoys all the other pros of vanlife like the freedom and cost-savings, but those weren’t the driving force behind his decision. He works seasonally as a wildlife biologist, so vanlife works great for his career. In the video [...]
From Teacher to DIY Van Life with Her Two Dogs
Erica had spent three weeks traveling a large swath of the country in her car, thinking she could never sell her house and do full-time vanlife. But when she was about to go back to another year of teaching, she realized how unhappy she was with her current situation! So she went ahead and sold [...]
Traveling the World in Their Self-Converted Van
Cazzy and Bradley are one amazing couple who have been globetrotting since 2016! Their travels have taken them from South America to Sri Lanka to Scotland and the US. While they’ve taken plenty of planes, trains, and automobiles to get around the earth so far, their latest mode of transportation has been their self-converted van. [...]
How This Couple Transformed Their Van into the Ultimate Adventure Rig in Italy
This awesome couple enjoys extreme sports and wanted a way to get closer to the activities they loved. They spent four months converting this van into a gorgeous adventure rig to take them around Italy. Their van includes a nifty hidden kitchen and a corner wet bath at the front of the van. At the [...]
European Travel in their Awesome DIY Campervan
This couple wanted a chance to travel Europe — and do it inexpensively. So they decided to build out a campervan! Before it became their home, the van was a 4-wheeler transporter and completely gutted inside. Now they have a folding couch/bed setup, a bench couch, and a nice kitchen space. Enjoy the photo tour [...]
Former Gym-Owner Turns to Van Life with his Luxury Van Conversion
Kyle’s van has a totally different look and feel from most of the DIY van conversions we see around here — and I love it! He went for a luxurious, modern vibe with black and white main colors sprinkled with gold and “marble” accents. He also made the build comfortable, including a bathroom in his [...]
From Caretaker to Adventurer: How Patty Found Freedom in Van Life
Patty is a truly remarkable woman. After spending four years caring for her mother 24/7, she found herself wondering what to do next when her mom passed away. YouTube led her to vanlife, and eventually, she found herself working with a builder to create the perfect van home. The van layout is great, with a [...]
From Renters to Van Life: The Story Behind A Mano Vans
Sole and Joey first got into campervan conversions when they built out their own van in order to escape the weight of San Diego rent. They adjusted to the tiny lifestyle and eventually decided to make converting vans into a business! So far, they’ve converted 5 full rigs and done some other partial conversions, as [...]
Three Friends Traveling in Their Tiny Camper Van
These three friends all live tiny in Holland and travel together in their converted campervan, creating and selling their artwork. They have an older-style van that required a lot of love to get it going, but now it’s a cozy and rustic little abode! We got the chance to interview Jolein about their tiny life, [...]
Married Couple’s Portugal Camper Van Life
Mónica and João are an amazing couple who have overcome a lot of adversity in the last seven years! They now live part-time in an adorable camper conversion. I’ll let them tell their story…. Having a motorhome was an old dream of ours. When we met, about 7 years ago, we immediately arranged a trip [...]
Vandoit Moov Transit Trail Van Conversion
If you’re not already familiar with Vandoit, it’s a professional van conversion company that specializes in a T-track skeleton and marine-grade modules that fit into popular vans and allow a customizable, modular rig set-up. They already sell the “Liv” and “Do” models, but just yesterday they released the all-new “Moov” model, designed to fit the [...]