How to make your campervan a home

Have you ever dreamed about a more liberated way of life by living in a van?

The idea of being able to move your home anywhere you want at any time can be exciting for those with a serious case of wanderlust.

Follow hashtags like #vanlife and #vanlifeuk on Instagram and you’ll soon get an idea of how other people live in their vans.

Lots of people love it – especially as rent has been rising faster than the minimum wage in most countries. This means vanlife can be a way to save money and enjoy a more simple lifestyle.

Before you start transforming your van into a home though, let’s take a look at a few things you’ll need to consider first.

The realities of campervan living

Don’t romanticise living in a van. Sure, it’s Instagrammable, but the space is compact and you’ll have to be smart about how you use it.

You’ll need a bed, some storage and an area to prepare food.

If you have a pet or children vanlife could be especially difficult.

Showering might not be possible either. Some people rely on friends and family or even the local swimming baths to take a shower.

Campervans don’t have central heating, so you’ll need to find effective ways to stay warm on winter nights.

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s often illegal to drink and sleep in the van unless there is someone there who would be a designated driver. This means staying with a friend might be best if you are planning a night out. 

Where will you park your van?

There may be restrictions on where you can park up and stay.

For the most part you can park up and sleep in various places but you won’t necessarily be able to stay all night.

You’ll also need to consider where you’ll stay if you need to be in commuting distance to your work and be aware that internet connection might not be great if you choose to set up in a remote location.

Working from your van is definitely possible. But you will likely need access to a good internet connection to make it happen. 

Making a campervan a home costs money

Making sure you have enough money available to transform your van is crucial.

Many choose to install a fitted kitchen, a bed and a toilet (although you’ll usually need to empty it yourself).

There are many kinds of vans you can choose to do this with, including reliable Vauxhall Vans.

Then, once you’ve transformed the van, you’ll also need to pay the ongoing costs of van maintenance, road tax, fuel, MOT and insurance.

It’s still costly but much less so than renting or buying a house.

Family and friends might not understand

Finally, think about the stigma you may face from your family and friends.

This can be the hardest part to deal with when it comes to living in a campervan. But if you’re confident you can do it, living in a van could be the most liberating thing you choose to do.

Find out more about essential kit for a life on the move with our travel accessories article.

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