Last Updated on February 15, 2021 by Dani
Life on the road offers a huge amount of benefits. No lifestyle attributes freedom quite as much as this one does. So, if you’re an adventurous soul looking to travel whenever and wherever you want – you should definitely give living on a road a shot.
Having all that in mind though, as with everything – you need to do some planning beforehand. There definitely are some downsides to such a lifestyle, but, you can indeed tackle them if you plan well. In fact, we have prepared some tips that are going to help you with this. So, let’s see what it is that you need to do to avoid any problems while living on the road.
Let’s talk about stealth camping
Sleeping might not sound like such a problem to those that have only started planning to live in a van, but there are some things that you need to be aware of. In most cases, you’ll have to pay to leave your van in a certain area overnight.
That means that you can either pay every night or opt for urban stealth camping. Stealth camping is quite simple in its concept, but when it comes to van life tips, the following ones are going to be essential to your quality of life. This practice involves pulling up to a city street or a certain parking lot – anything similar works as well. The most important thing that you need to do is to conceal that you’re actually sleeping inside. How so?
First, you want to make sure that you leave as early as you can. The same goes with pulling up late – right before you plan to go to bed. You also want to have this aspect in mind when constructing your van. If you plan to stealth camp a lot, you really don’t want a van that is conspicuous. The plainer the exterior is, the better the chance that you will go unnoticed. Lastly, if you do end up being caught, just be polite and comply. If you’re asked to leave, then leave. No point in arguing, as you don’t legally have the right to sleep there.
Be prepared in case your ride malfunctions
As the first tip on this list, we need to talk about how important your van reliability is. You shouldn’t focus only on housing aspects, as your van doubles as your home as well. So, if you happen to experience any problems that cause your van to malfunction, you depend on how fast a local mechanic can fix your van. Worst case scenario – you’re in the middle of nowhere and you can’t even find a mechanic. So – in which way can you prevent this?
It’s imperative that you have the means to get you moving if you experience any problems. That means that the crucial parts of your inventory are a car battery charger, AAA, and jumper cables. If you’re able to find anything else, make sure to take that as well. We all know how precious space is when it comes to this lifestyle, but these things are essential.
Always have a plan B in mind
Make sure that you invest in a backup budget. A backup budget is going to be your lifeline in case you experience a major issue. For instance, it could happen that you are in need of quite an expensive repair. Maybe you’ll have to wait for it to get done for a few days, which means that you’ll need to opt for staying in a hotel room. In these situations, it’s either the option that we have presented or leaving your van and buying a plane ticket and going home.
Tupperware bins and labels are your best friends on the road
Tiny spaces require a high level of organization, there’s no getting around it. Making sure that you’re organized well will make your life a whole lot easier.
In most cases, campers don’t come with a huge set of pre-made drawers, which is why you need to come up with an alternative. The best way to tackle this problem is by using clear Tupperware bins. These are a great storage solution as they are waterproof, you can stack them and see what’s inside – it just works.
Now, if you want to take it to the next level, introduce labels to your van. It will make organization way easier, and in the end, you will know where anything is with just a glance.
Best options for showering
Showering is indeed one of the biggest struggles when it comes to life on the road. Here are a couple of options that can help you.
Think about gym memberships
Opting for membership in a gym will give you access to a shower whenever you need it, wherever you are. Of course, we’re talking about a Planet Fitness Black card and similar analogs.
State parks and campgrounds
These are the most comfortable options out there, but you are going to end up paying a bit more. If you want to shower every day, a gym membership is probably the better option for you financially speaking.
Having a shower included in your van
There are many options when it comes to the inclusion of a shower in your rig. Now, it’s all about the compromise between space, finances, and comfort. The simplest way to go is to include a bag-style shower that gets heated with solar energy.
Even though this lifestyle has some obstacles, after you tackle them appropriately – it’s absolutely worth it.