These are some of the most common questions that people have when starting on this journey. I will add to it as the questions come up. If you have any questions, ASK AWAY!

I plan on answering all of these questions with videos and/or text, depending on feedback

What do you have a question about?

1 + 13 =

Humans have been nomadic ever since the beginning of time. I suspect the next phase might be space travel. What do you think?

Further Reading. RVShare has a great article on the history of the RV

Top questions posted to vanbuild groups before you start a build or if you are going to buy new/used conversion.

I am sure over time more questions may come up and I will add to these as they come up.

Most folks will probably want o do their own research and this can be most helpful to help the thinking juices going for your own needs.

How much does a van comversion cost?

This is a different answer for evry single person, and there is no shortage of people who have created videos to address this. You can even get recommendations based on your vehicle needs and budget. No sense looking at a van build that cost $70,000, if your budget is $5,000, Right?

Another factor to consider is how long ago the conversion video was taken because you have to take rising costs into consideration.

How much will it cost to live this style

This one is a little easier to answer becaus eit simply depends on your budget and then you will have to make the decisions for how you will travel based on that. I have seen folks saying they can live this was for as little as $300 to as much as $3000

What is your budget?

Every decision you make from here on out will revolve around this number.

Do you buy a used or new van?

Again, directly relates to your budget.

Deciding on the right type of vehicle for your needs. Make sure to include Pets or children

Budget will drive this decision too, but you may have to consider larger spaces for pets and children, or other special needs.

Where can your park?

Parking is a more important decision then you might imagine. In my own build for example it was very important that I be able to park in any standard size parking spaces. If your rig is larger, it will affect where you are able to park, and the best way to figure that out is by using the apps listed on our apps page for locating places to park your rig.

Do you want a bathroom? Also, toilet type?

Another huge area of discussion, and many different opinions. Everything from digging a hole, to high end toilets and this decision will be stricly up to you.

Do you need a shower?

Same situation as the toilet, opinions all over the place. In my own opinion, you definitely need a way that works for you and it seems likethe most popular trend for this are gym memberships and use those facilities for showering and toilet.

Will you need a workspace? And all that implies like internet, cell booster?

This is a big one for those that plan on working remotely and need connectivity and a space to work. My rig would have required a smaller bed for example to accomodate desk space and I decided when I need that, I will just set up outside to work because a large bed was a priority for me.

How much power will I need, and what kind?

This will probably be based on what appliances you will need to run, and the best answer here is to be able to run a combination of 115V and 12V or 220 in Europe provided by solar, hookups, or a generator or a combination of those. 

Stove propane and/or electric

Many vanlifers are not comfortable with gas and prefer all electric, which will obviously affect all other choices for your van build.

Solar yes or no and type of batteries

Almost always the answer for most for solar is absolutley! It can be very costly unfortuantely and may not be an option. The preffered battery options are now Lithium batteries, but again, very expensive.

Insulation Type

Oh my god I wasted so much time and money on this one. It might drive you a little crazy if you start watching videos on this one and in my case, I must have watch hundreds of hours and then deciding on rigid foam, and then deciding that was too much of a pain and I wen with an unknown solution at that time called “HaveLock Wool” – I am so glad I found that solution, but it was more expensive.

Heating and/or cooling needs

Priority for heat & cold will be based on your travel needs. Many folks decide the best solution for them is to travel where the weather best suits there needs. I think it is ideal to have a way to both heat, and cool yourself because you never know what you will get caught in.

Refer or cooler

Almost everybody will make this decision based on cost becasue the most popular is a 12 volt or other refer, but usually will require solar to have enough power to run, and the cost gets into the thousands. Sometimes it is best to try this out for yourself, before committing to the cost.

Bed

Based on your own needs and people to accomodate. My build was easy because I wanted a queen size bed, so I built that first, and then built the rest of tha van around that, because that was a priority for me. You might even need multiple sleeping areas for children and pets.

Sink and water setup

Most builds folks will put in their own solutions for this and the most popular is sinks with simple water pumps and small capacity cans for fresh water and greay water, but can go all the way up to recirculating systems. There are many that have decided they did not need this at all for how they plan to use their rig.

How long to convert

Obviously dpeneds on complexity of your build, and could be anywhere from a few days, to many months. I am still building things into my rig and it ahs been 2 years already, but I think I am slower than most.

How to you deal with smells in such a small space

All that needs to be said here, is that it is important to consider paying attention to this, because sometimes we don’t smell what others might, and we don’t want to offend anyone. There are so many great ways to deal with this, really the same as you might expect in any small space, and will largely depend a lot on adequate ventalation.

Plumbing

If you decide to do your own plumbing for sink, shower, and otherv needs, the most popular by far is to use the Plex tubing and something like the “Shark” fittings. I will find a great video on this one for you.

Ventilation

Probaly one of the most important considerations in your build will be a way to provide good ventilation. This can be done with windows, fans, and or a combination of the two. I have even seem some use some clever roof solar venting and floor vents. My rig had no windoiws so I felt I needed 2 fans, one to pull air in, and one to pull air out.

Roof racks

Everyone will find a good use for a roof rack, whether it be to carry extra equipment, or house your solar panels. There is a huge array of solutions for this topic and I will find some great videos for thsi one.

Do you own the tools to build a van?

Of course you will either need your own tools, or access to tools to do your build. I have seen people accomplish there build with a handful of tools, and having your own is odeal not jsut for your build, but addon and repairs too. I personally found a benefit to buying all my tools from the same MFG because then my battery needs would be greatly simplified. More on this later.

Where can you park?

Parking is a more important decision then you might imagine. In my own build for example it was very important that I be able to park in any standard size parking spaces. If your rig is larger, it will affect where you are able to park, and the best way to figure that out is by using the apps listed on our apps page for locating places to park your rig.

How to make money on the road?
How do you do laundry?

I think most folks go to friends or laundrymats, but also it can be done with portable systems I will cover.

Is it scary to travel solo as a female and does it get lonely?

Since this question pertains mostly to womens concern, I will post a video from a female

How do you get water?

Again, I will post video suggestions for this.

How do you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer?

Priority for heat & cold will be based on your travel needs. Many folks decide the best solution for them is to travel where the weather best suits there needs. I think it is ideal to have a way to both heat, and cool yourself because you never know what you will get caught in.

Do you worry your devices will drain your car battery?

The main point to make here is whatever system you decide on, it needs to be seperated from your vehicle system battery and the design will be based on your requirements.

Cooking and meal suggestions

Lots of great content I will share on this.

Simple kitchen tips

For organization and ideas for helpful items.

Staying Clean

Everything from wet wipes, to full shower systems.

Living on the Road with Pets

Pretty cool innovations and ideas for travelling with pets.

Staying Healthy and Fit

Something I should pay more attention to.

Safety for all VanLifers

I will include video opionions from other Van Dwellers and my own suggestions for how to stay safe.