Is it worth living in a van? (5 pros & cons)

In this article, we will discuss: Is it worth living in a van? We will present the pros and cons of living in a van and help you decide whether living in a van is for you or not. 

Is it worth living in a van?

Living and travelling in a van may be worth it and a real joy for some people, but don’t think that everything is easy and #vanlife definitely isn’t for everyone. Of course, It would be impossible to talk about #vanlife without addressing the sense of freedom that comes with it. 

In our opinion, this is the whole point of this type of camping: combining hard-shell, and therefore comfortable, accommodation with immersion in nature. You are free to move as you wish. Free to sleep in a different place every night. Free to wake up by the sea. Free to be a nomad. Free to get out of a sedentary routine in which you do not feel fully fulfilled.

In short: Free to forge your own path.

Of course, if we ask different vanlifers, they will all give you a different definition of what is like living in a van! It will be intimately linked to the personality of each individual, and to their way of exploring the world.

To help you decide whether is it worth living in a van, let’s see the pros and cons of #vanlife.

The advantages of living in a van:

  1. Freedom: When you travel in a van, you are free to move at your own pace, to stop wherever you want to take a photo, have lunch with a view, take a nap in a beautiful pine forest, or even sleep where you are. 
  1. Comfort: For some, #vanlife can seem a little precarious, I would say that it all depends on their travel habits, their priorities and their desires. Travelling by van is in fact the comfort of having a mini multifunctional house on wheels. 

All your belongings are kept in one place, no need to pack/unpack your bag or suitcase every day. Everything is there, tidy and within easy reach for any situation: moving, eating, sleeping, if the weather is good, if it is raining and even for work. 

  1. Close to nature and to oneself: This is one of the big advantages of #vanlife in our opinion. Being able to live as close as possible to the elements. Luxury no longer comes from the number of stars in a hotel, but rather from the stars we see in the sky! 

Travelling with your van also allows you to get to know yourself better, understand yourself and discover your limits. You will often have to get out of your comfort zone.

  1. Taking your time: Space-time is different when travelling in a van. Regardless of the destination, it’s the entire journey that matters. In the long term, having your van allows you to adapt the adventure to your pace and needs. 

Having your van allows you to have this flexibility and to discover the joys of slow travel. Slow down to make the most of your trip and not miss out on your trip.

The disadvantages of living in a van:

  1. Promiscuity: Living in a van is living in 5m2! So you might as well tell yourself that you have to organize yourself to avoid letting yourself be invaded and overwhelmed by the mess. It is a confined space that must be functional, clean and practical. 

A golden rule: everything has its place! Very quickly, when travelling in a van, a routine sets in. Who does what, when and how. Essential habits that allow you to live together, as a couple or as a family in a van on the road.

Tidying up is really essential so as not to collapse under the disorder and not find anything on board! It’s true that travelling in a van accentuated our manic side. The bed is folded up as soon as you get up, the dishes are done after each meal, the clothes are put away in their cupboard and the floor swept several times a day. This makes it possible to cohabit without a fight in such a small space.

Other questions you may be interested in

What is the best minivan for camping?

Should I insulate the floor of my van?

Where can I fill my van for water?

  1. The toilet uses: We’re not going to lie to each other, life in a van is not like living in an apartment or in a hotel, especially when it comes to hygiene.

In a van, apart from going camping every evening, the showers will not be daily, the toilet will have to be adapted and be done with less water (which makes it possible to be aware of the scarcity of resources). 

The luxury of the solar shower is a supplement and if the weather is neither sunny nor hot, then a cat toilet with a glove and a basin will be the alternative …

Unless you have a dry or chemical toilet in your converted van, you can use the toilets in public places, but honestly when you are well installed in a beautiful place and far from everything, the wee and wild poo (and sometimes with a view ) will be the rule! Equip yourselves with a small shovel, paper roll and garbage bag so as not to leave traces.

Life in a van means getting out of your comfort zone, but you get used to it quickly!

  1. Not so comfortable in cold weather: It’s still a lot more fun to live and travel in a van when the weather is nice! To be able to enjoy the outdoors and not have to stay locked up waiting for it to pass! After that, you can also easily kill time on a rainy day, but it doesn’t have to last a week …

Conclusions and final advice

Before heading out on the roads behind the wheel of your van, don’t forget to think about insurance. A part less glamorous, but essential for travelling in a serene way. Rental companies offer more or less protective insurance packages in the event of an accident, check with them the applicable coverage and deductible.

Have you ever tried the van life experience? Does this life appeal to you? Note that there are now many rental companies to take the plunge and discover #vanlife. There is something for all tastes, profiles and budgets. 

If you want to share your experience, feel free to leave a comment!

FAQ on Is it worth living in a van?

Why live in a van?

Living in a van all year round seems like a great idea, often synonymous with a change of life. But beware, a van is cramped, and the comfort is not the same as at home. Still living in a van offers you simple happiness, a life of encounters and discoveries, an adventure for two or on your own.

Why Van Life?

Van Life is a trend set to encourage people to get out there and live long or short-term in a van. The idea was to get away from it all, to go and see nature after three months of confinement and to get a taste of nature. 

Can you live permanently in a van?

You can live permanently in a van as long as you have a type of static van known as a park home. If the caravan is on private property, you will also need the local council’s permission. 

Can I live in a touring caravan?

Technically you can live in a touring caravan, but you need to prepare your route in advance. In most places, you are allowed to spend up to twenty-eight days on one caravan site before moving on to another. Make sure you have space during high seasons or winter when most of the sites close. 

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