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!

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Bearfoot Theory VanLife RoadMap

One of my favorite VanLife YouTubers has a 50 Video series on VanLife!

Check out the first one here, and be sure to subscribe!

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.

WiFi/Internet Options

As you will see when you start researching this, that there are a lot of different options for doing this.

Use your unlimited data plan, if you have one, on your cell phone and set up your device as a hotspot. Most vanlifers will recommend something like a WeBoost to help get better cell coverage when traveling.

Simply use your smartphone to do everything you need online.

Using the many publicly available WiFi Hotspots that are available all over.

Purchasing your own WiFi device like ATT Nighthawk, Verizon JetPack, or the many others now available, and Elon Musk’s new Sattelite system might end up being a great option.

I will link to a few of the best YouTube reviews from other vanlifers, offering their “Real World” experiences with this.

 

 

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?
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

The number one recommended method, to keep you safe while traveling, is the Parachute Safety App!

For an extensive list of other products and ideas for your protection.

Go Here

Top questions people are asking about getting into the “VanLife” Updated Constantly! Answered by seasoned Vanlife, RV, Travelers, and Campers.

Why waste countless hours, scouring the Internet, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and more, when it is all available in one convienient place, available 24×7, and you can ask anything you want, and it will be answered! It is also helpful to get the thinking juices going for your own adventure, with questions you had not even thought to ask, because they come only with experiencing it yourself.

Help other people wanting to get into this by providing anything you know or have learned that maybe we missed.

How to get into the "VanLife"

Some of you might be asking if you should even get into this, whether or not you would like it, and many other “what if” questions.

I highly recommend anyone thinking of getting into this, should definitely rent a van, or whatever type of RV you are interested in, and take a week to see if you like it.

I can’t tell you how many stories I have heard from people who see all the glamourous and even fake #VanLife YouTube videos that are out there, and think, wow I want to do that, only to find out that they hate it, and it was nothing like they expected.

Simply going out for a night or weekend may not be a good enough test, and I would make sure you allow yourself to adapt to it because it can take a bit to adjust, or you might just decide that fulltime is not for you, but maybe you still would enjoy part time.

It’s a pretty big commitment, and it really is worth making sure!

There are also a whole slew of different issues that can come up with travelling with a partner, so make sure you consider that, in your “testing”.

I won’t even try to get into children and/or animals!

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.

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.

Where can I buy a Van?

I created a seperate page for this topic here.

VanLife Sales – Flokis VanLife

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. The same video recommended for which van to buy, by Bob Wells and CheapRVLiving is a great place to start for this.

How much will it cost to live this style

This one is a little easier to answer because it simply depends on your personal income, 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 way for as little as $300 to as much as $3000. It also w2ill be hugely impacted by how much traveling you do, Insurance, and many other costs that fluctuate greatly.

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 strictly up to you.

Nate Murphy has a great video on this.

Where can your park?

Parking is a more important decision than you might imagine. In my own build for example it was very important that I be able to park in any standard-size parking space. 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. Of course, there are many other ways, like asking locals, but I have found if you use the right apps, you are covered.

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 like the most popular trend for this are gym memberships and use those facilities for showering and toilet.

Another cheap option is a solar shower and/or on-demand hot water system.

Nate Murphy did a great job on this one too.

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 accommodate 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.

Here is a video explaining vanner’s experience with adding a workspace to his rig.

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. Many people have found the newer generation of power packs like, Bluetti, Jackery, Goal Zero, or many other models, are all they needed. You have to love the ability to just buy one of these and be done with it, and even as in my case you also want a complete wired solution, it also serves as a great additional power source, or portable power source. I love mine!

I just saw the other day that Harbor Freight is now offering Jackery at their stores and many of the Home Depot, Lowes, and other retail outlets, are offering these poer sources now. That is a great option if you ever need service or repair!

Here is a YouTube Playlist on “VanLife Electrical”

vanlife electrical – YouTube

This is a great page with a bunch of diagrams

12 Volt Wiring Diagram For Camper – Wiring Diagram (2bitboer.com)

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 preferred battery options are now Lithium batteries, but again, very expensive.

There are so many ways people have done this in their builds, and it can easily overwhelm anyone.

There is no bigger YouTube channel on the topic of Solar Power, then Wil Prowse, and he is considered one of the foremost experts on the topic. Keep in mind that this is a place for “Everything” about solar, and might be more then you care to dive into!

One of the simplest ways to get started with a solar setup, is to buy one of the Solar Battery packs, and then either charge it with portable solar panels, or your own mounted on your rig.

 

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.

Sara & Alex James – Custom Crafted Vans explain these options

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.

Bearfoot Theory has a video on “Temperature Control” that you should watch.

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 went with an unknown solution at that time called “HaveLock Wool” – I am so glad I found that solution, but it was more expensive.

Wool Insulation | All Natural & High-Performance | Havelock Wool

Refer or cooler

Man, this is a tough category to cover. There are so many choices , and really folks can only tell you about their own installs, or products they were sent to review for free, and with so many choices, the only thing you could do is say “Well, I trust what this user is saying, so I will buy that” – Tough Call and I found that even after watching hundreds of hours of reviews on just this subject, I still keep coming up with new choices I might like better.

So, what is the answer? Probably a chart system with many reviews rated by actual VanLifers, who have used the products, in the real world. I am working on that!

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.