On Instagram,

 van lifers’ lives appear to be gorgeous and flawless. That, unfortunately, is not the case. Today we’ll go behind the scenes and show you what it’s like to live in a campervan. Before delving in, all devotees deserve to see the tough and unglamorous side of this lifestyle. So, don’t be fooled by this deceptive content; instead, let’s take a closer look at what it’s truly like…

Remember, our purpose is just to educate you on everything you probably didn’t know about this lifestyle, so don’t let this blog article discourage you.

Preparation
Getting ready to live in a campervan entails much more than simply constructing your mobile home, packing, and organizing your excursions. Before embarking on your quest, you must mentally prepare and educate yourself.

Preparing oneself entails the following steps:

Discovering diverse and valuable resources to assist you
Choosing whether or not to live in a campervan is the correct lifestyle for you (making your final decision)
Recognize that certain things will not go as planned, and that this is normal.
What to avoid
DO NOT make decisions based on Instagram material, as we mentioned previously. Yes, Instagram will provide you with inspiration to get you started, and sometimes that is enough to convince you to jump right in. However, doing so may cause you to underestimate the amount of work involved and what you’re really getting yourself into.

Regardless of the incentives, you will need to conduct thorough investigation. Discover what it’s like to live in a campervan. Find the solutions to all of your questions and concerns.

This must be taken extremely seriously because you are about to embark on an entirely new way of life. This will certainly take some time and cannot be accomplished immediately. Finally, you’ll want to do enough research to feel entirely comfortable and confident that living in a campervan is the right choice for you.

Obtaining the necessary resources
Because van living is still a very small niche, there aren’t many resources that will walk you through every minute detail and issue step by step. That is why we are attempting to create an exceptionally in-depth, content-rich environment on ProjectVanlife that will cover all facets of living life in a campervan, bus, RV, or any sort of mobile home or nomadic lifestyle.

While many things will not happen as planned, it is still a good idea to plan and prepare for the future. Having said that, many vandwellers succeed despite approaching van living without a strategy. But it’s better to be cautious than sorry, especially when there’s a lot at stake. 

 

You should consider the following:

Preparation – What should you think about before leaving?
Income – How do you intend to make a living from your campervan?
How much will your build cost? Where will you get your materials? How long will the construction take? This virtually never goes precisely as planned; nevertheless, a loose strategy will help keep you on track.
Oh, the possibilities for your first road trip!

 

Sacrifices
When you are trying to live your life in a campervan, you will understand how many sacrifices you must make. These sacrifices will differ based on your unique circumstances.

Vanlifers have made the following sacrifices:

Family and/or friend relationships
Living area
A “normal” way of life
Many of their possessions
Acceptance in society (this is slowly fading as van life grows)
Consistent earnings
Negative feelings
Overall, if we want to see a difference in our lives, we must make sacrifices. Don’t be discouraged by the list above. 

Commitment
It is not as simple as selling your belongings, purchasing a campervan, and hitting the road. It will need both commitment and effort to get you through the rocky and bumpy roads you will encounter.

There will be highs and lows!

Beautiful sights from your own backyard are not common when living in a campervan. Some days you’ll feel on top of the world, but others you’ll be stuck in a Walmart parking lot with nothing to do.

Whatever the circumstance, you must remain dedicated to your true cause and survive to fight another day.

Uncertainty
Nomads frequently interpret not knowing what awaits them the next day as a positive or unpleasant experience. In fact, it’s because of this that van life can be so surprising, interesting, and unpredictable. The satisfaction you gain from overcoming hurdles and challenges is sometimes what motivates you to keep going.

You have no idea what you’ll find when you open your front door the next morning. As a result, you should plan for the worse while hoping for the best.

Personal Security
One of your main concerns will most likely be keeping yourself and your loved ones safe on the road. While traveling or camping, you become an easy target, and everything/everyone with you becomes exposed.

The majority of the reported incidents involve stolen property. These types of incidents are uncommon, but they do occur, and you do not want to be a victim.

Consider the following safety precautions:
Keep an eye on your valuables at all times.
Nothing should ever be left neglected.
Keep pepper spray or a weapon on hand for self-defense.
Parking somewhere with an easy escape route
Camp in the shadows
Avoid parking in dangerous areas.
Make a safe and convenient plan for using the restroom in the middle of the night.
Have emergency communication gear on hand in case of a power outage.
Always keep your driver’s seat unoccupied.
Trust your instincts.
Risk
Your vehicle contains approximately 8,000 moving parts, some of which may eventually wear out. Keeping up with your campervan’s maintenance is arguably the most difficult task. Unfortunately, there is no other option. While you’re on the road, your most valuable asset is constantly at risk.

Furthermore, you will be required to replace dozens of different types of fluids on a regular basis. Not only that, but your mobile home is also at risk while driving along the road due to the possibility of an accident.

We can do everything we can to prepare for and avoid circumstances like this. However, there is no way to completely avoid them.

Vehicle maintenance suggestions:

Learn the fundamentals of automobile repair and maintenance.
Make sure you read your vehicle’s owner’s manual so you understand everything.
To prevent being ripped off by mechanics, only get your oil changed when it’s recommended in your owner’s manual 

Investigate the most typical issues that occur with your vehicle’s make and model.
Drive carefully.
Maintain a regular inspection schedule for your car.
When you run into a difficulty, try searching for a solution online; this might save you a lot of money.
Discover the significance of warning light indications.
Challenges
Aside from the sacrifices, you will face certain challenges. The daily problems that nomads confront are frequently ones that we take for granted in our usual lives. On the contrary, the problems you meet and how you respond with them will shape your entire campervan living experience.

It is critical that you approach everything with a positive attitude, or else you may lose hope and become regretful. One simple method to do this is to remember why you started in the first place; your overarching aim should help you get back on track.

What you don’t see is the hustle and hard work that goes into successfully maintaining a campervan lifestyle. Your daily existence will be filled with fresh and unusual challenges that you will strive to overcome.

When living in a campervan, you will face the following challenges:

Parking
Having to deal with the law and the police
Trying not to bother others
Camping in stealth mode
Space constraint
Organization
Concerns about safety (vehicle accidents, health, privacy, etc…)
Vehicle preservation
Money
Insurance
Winters that are too cold or summers that are too hot
Hygiene
Money
Yes, van life is an economical and cost-effective way of life, but it still requires a considerable amount of money to sustain. Failure to sustainably afford life in a campervan will generate numerous financial issues in the future.

 

Costs
It all starts with your initial costs, which include the purchase of your campervan and its conversion/construction. This will be the most expensive portion, but thankfully, it is only a one-time purchase (excluding future repairs and upgrades).

Once that’s taken care of, you’ll be faced with a slew of monthly and annual bills. These will differ greatly depending on what you buy and how you live. Remember that van life is just as cheap as you make it.

Among the most frequent monthly expenses are:

Insurance
Fuel
Grocery/Food
Parking
You can read this discussion in our Forum to view a complete list (compiled by the community) of all the different types of fees. Or

Income
One of the most difficult aspects is attempting to generate a steady and consistent income while on the road. You must find a way to earn enough money to sustain your nomadic existence comfortably. This could be difficult for some folks. Mostly due to constraints and skill sets.

Consider the following when looking for a source of income:

Will you be passionate about this job?
The degree of liberty
Is the salary adequate?
Your expertise
Education
Requirements
You should avoid occupations that limit you in any way or require you to always break even on costs. That being said, you may have to take a job that contradicts everything we’ve discussed above, which is fine. One of the reasons you might do so is to create additional options for yourself in the future.

By clicking here, you can learn how different nomads make a life on the road.

Experience
If you’ve read stories about nomads living the van life and are picturing yourself in their shoes, you’re making a big mistake. Because everyone has distinct demands, requirements, and lives, it is impossible to follow someone step by step.

Consider your ordinary life as an example. Despite your commonalities with the people around you, you cannot live a life identical to theirs because your aspirations, goals, and lifestyle are fundamentally distinct. The same holds true for van life.

As a result, you must base your decisions on your particular lifestyle, needs, and requirements. No two stories will be the same, and if you believe you can just copy and paste, think again. Instead, get knowledge from as many people and resources as possible. This is an excellent strategy for influencing and guiding your overall selections.

Myths
When newcomers or aficionados first begin researching this lifestyle, they sometimes encounter misconceptions. The majority of these misconceptions are fueled by Instagram photos that make van life appear extraordinarily attractive. Regrettably, this is not the case.

It is critical to distinguish between myths and truths so that you are not confused or misled when the time comes.

Here are some typical misconceptions regarding traveling:

Everywhere we camp is magnificent – in fact, you may occasionally end up stealth camping in parking lots or on streets.
Always keep campervans clean.
Always waking up to stunning landscapes
Having a lot of spare time
Always on the move
Keeping up with hygiene is simple.
Van living is the ideal way to live.
It’s simple.
Discrimination and stereotyping
Living in a campervan or other sort of home-on-wheels will make you understand how many stereotypes there are about the community.

At first glance, these folks don’t comprehend or recognize (in most situations) that you have chosen to live your life in this manner, and it should not be perceived negatively. Furthermore, they are likely unaware of the independence and benefits that the van life has to offer.

Our community has faced discrimination:

In general, negativity and hatred
In society, they are looked down upon (low class).
People feel sorry for vandals but are unaware that they have chosen to live in this manner.
Some people despise the way of life.
Many people believe that living in a vehicle is something you do after failing in life.
Most people are astounded when they see this way of living, while some are skeptical. People will not go out of their way to bother you, as it is mostly simply what they think in their heads. Overall, it’s not too significant and shouldn’t concern you too much.

Clear the Sky
When given the chance, you should always strive to explain and interpret to people why you are living in a campervan. It is critical to make an excellent first impression. This way, we can gradually but steadily contribute to the abolition of stereotypes and discrimination against our community.

Fortunately, as the van life community increases and this alternative lifestyle gradually becomes the norm, old misconceptions are dissolving.

The truth
The van lifestyle is not for everyone. There are many ups and downs, and anyone who thinks it’s a glamorous and adventure-filled lifestyle 24 hours a day is mistaken. If you decide to pursue van life, you need first conduct some study to ensure that this is the lifestyle you want to live.

What Motivates Nomads to Live in a Campervan?
After learning about the ‘behind the scenes’ of van life, you might be asking why individuals chose to live in a campervan in the first place.

Among the primary reasons are:

In practically every way, freedom
Adventures
Getting away from the monotony of everyday life
We’ve covered all of the benefits of van living in another blog article, so please go check it out.

Conclusion
For those of you who want to explore the world, live simply, save money, have fun, and so forth.
There’s no doubting that living in a van is the ideal method to do so.

This blog post should not disturb you if you are sincere and passionate about trying to live the van life. This blog post was not written to discourage you. Its purpose was to draw your attention to all of the things you probably didn’t know about living in a campervan.