You can live in a sedan, or a station wagon, a truck with a bed cover, an SUV or… you can live out of a van! If you manage to find the right van, you could end up with a decent amount of room to live, move and breathe in (compared to what most other vehicles have to offer). A van seems to be the next best thing to an RV, and is far more affordable on gas compared to that RV or bus.
First of all, it is important to consider the expenses of maintaining a vehicle. There are more affordable options (like living in a tent), but people will differ in their desires and needs or wants.
Such van (or vehicle) expenses include:
1. oil changes
3. hose leaks
4. tire replacement
5. cracked wind-shields
6. bad parts like a starter or fuel pump (and many others)
7. fuel costs
8. vehicle insurance
9. potential towing fees
10. plate tags
11. potential vehicle property tax
12. police tickets
13. major oil leaks
14. bad belts
15. dead battery
16. bad rust
17. bad transmission
but don’t let this list scare you! Many people have survived just fine while on the road.
You must be patient to find the right vehicle before making any purchase. Make sure the vehicle is what you want, is reliable and is coming from a seemingly honest seller.
Some accessories that will make your life easier are:
1. steel spork
2. power inverter: this handy device will charge a laptop or other while on the road. It might blow your lighter socket fuse at times. Check sites like Craigslist or Letgo before spending full price on one of these. You might even find one at a junk yard from time to time.
3. additional fuses
4. battery packs: these can be purchased at locations like Best Buy. They will keep your phone charged and can be recharged while driving or from a plug outlet.
5. cig lighter phone charger
6. shades: for your windows. Privacy is a thing when sleeping in parking lots.
8. mp3 to stereo player
9. propane setup
1. cooking pot
11. 2 steel water canteens
12. healthy organic laundry detergent
13. ice scraper
15. flash light
16. car vacuum
19. bluetooth speaker
20. phone holder
22. pen and paper
23. cutting knife
25. laundry bag
26. solar panel and battery
Living in a van comes with both positive and negative aspects. Some minor positive aspects are the abilities to be sheltered from the elements and also for immediate privacy.
but the negativities can be bothersome…
1. police will usually only check on you around 3am. They will wake you up, ask for your identification, some times asking if you have “grenade launchers or any other weapons” (for real), and then will tell you to leave the area.
2. loud music: parking toward the back of parking lots can be a nice way to have some privacy and silence, but be prepared for morning alcoholics or just any random person to park beside you (also looking for privacy), while they blast music and talk about sex and drugs.
3. the sound of traffic is worse is some places than in others, but one thing is for certain, is that traffic is endless and not similar to the waves of the ocean. Eventually, your ears will become sick from the excessive sound of traffic (unless you like those things).
4. winter is nothing to joke about. Even if you are usually tolerable to the cold weather, you might find that once your body temperature decreases to a certain level, it might be nearly impossible to gain that warmth back. Cold is cold but too cold can be too cold and it does get too cold out there some times. People have also died from leaving their heat running. Migrate with the birds or have at least 3 other alternative options to keep warm.