Have you ever wondered in the Nomadic Life is for You? Or have you wondered should you sell your house to live in a van? If so you’re in the right place, we’re going to go into the advantages and disadvantages of vanlife
Have you ever thought about selling your house to buy a van and travel the world? I know we did! The idea of living a simple life on the road is truly thrilling. If you’re feeling trapped in your current situation, maybe it’s time to sell everything and hit the road!
But…. is it really feasible to live in a van? And if so, what are the pros and cons? The van-dwelling lifestyle is growing in popularity as more people choose to live mobile lives.
While there are many benefits to this way of living, it’s not for everyone. We’re going to explore all aspects of living in a van so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to become a nomad. Sure, only you can decide if this lifestyle is for you, but hopefully, this article will help make the decision easier.
Let’s now dive deeper and see what could come your way if you make your van, your home!
Living a Mobile Life – Less Hassle More Connection With The Locations You Love
Are you feeling suffocated by the monotony of your everyday life? Do you long to break free from the 9-5 grind and explore new horizons? If so, selling your house and living in a van may be just the adventure you’re looking for. Let’s explore some of the pros of this unique way of living first to help make this decision easier for you:
1. Explore Nature and Go Wherever You Want, Whenever You Want
The main positive about selling your house and living in a van is that you can go wherever you want, whenever you want. This nomadic lifestyle allows you to explore new places and experience new things without being tied down to a fixed location. You can follow the weather, chase the waves, or explore different parts of the country.
When you feel like spending a month in the mountains chasing powder, pack up and head to the nearest mountain range for some time on the slopes. Or when there’s a sudden urge to see the ocean, it’s just a matter of parking your van by the beach and enjoying the waves.
This flexibility is one of the main reasons people choose to live in vans and why many digital nomads can travel full-time. They don’t have to worry about finding a new place to live in each city they visit – they can simply bring their home with them.
2. No Worries About Expensive Repairs or Maintenance
Another big advantage of living in a van is that you have lesser worries about house repairs and maintenance. Of course, some touch-ups will always be needed in your van, but it can be cheaper than living in a house.
For example, if a window breaks in your van, it can be less expensive to replace than if a window breaks in your house. Additionally, if your van needs a new engine, it will be less expensive than if your house needed a new roof.
This is not to say that there are no maintenance or repair costs associated with living in a van – there most certainly are. However, these costs are often lower than the expenses of maintaining a house.
As a result, the nomadic life can be more affordable and allow you to save money – but only if you’re smart about it.
3. Cleaning Is Quick And Easy
When you live in a house, cleaning can be a major hassle. You have to clean the floors, do laundry, vacuum, dust, do yardwork – just to name a few of your responsibilities.
Living in a van allows you to cut out most of these tasks. Of course you’ll still have your fair share of laundry and tidying up but the square footage of cleaning a van versus a house makes a huge difference.
4. Vehicle Option- Travel Trailer, Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter Van
When it comes to living on the road whether it be in a van, an RV, or whatever you choose its important that you choose the right one. If you choose a van you need to be sure you’re ok with living in small spaces. And I mean really small spaces. Take into consideration if you want a shower, toilet, full kitchen inside your van.
The benefits for some in choosing something like a travel trailer is that they can park the trailer at a campsite, detach their truck from it and hit the road with ease in a smaller vehicle.
This is especially nice if you are exploring a new city or area and want to be able to park your vehicle easily. There are also toy haulers which as the name suggests, allows you to bring your toys with you. This is great for those who like to go off-roading, mountain biking, etc.
Read why we chose the Ford Transit Over The Mercedez sprinter here.
5. Parks Nature And Backcountry Roads Become Your Best Friend
We all have different motivations for living in a van. For some, it’s exploring the backroads, breathing in nature and avoiding the cities. Living in a van encourages you to get off the freeways and take the scenic routes instead. Many vanlifers quickly learn that some of the best campsites and views are found down the dirt roads less traveled. The further you get away from cities and crowds, the more you’ll find yourself enjoying peace, quiet and solitude.
6. Much Lower Living Expenses Without A Mortgage Payment
A notable benefit of living in your van is that your living expenses can be much lower than if you were renting an apartment or paying a mortgage on your house.
This is because you eliminate many of the fixed costs associated with traditional living arrangements, such as rent, utilities, and insurance – instead, you only need to pay for gas, food, and occasional repairs.
This nomadic lifestyle can free up some of your cash that would otherwise go towards housing costs, giving you more flexibility to pursue your passions and enjoy a simpler life.
This flexibility also allows you to choose how you want to live – whether you stick to remote camping spots or park in city parking lots, the choice is yours. In addition, living in your van can help simplify your life and focus on the things that are truly important to you.
7. A Smaller Environmental Footprint In The World
Do you want to live a thoughtful life but find it’s difficult to make things simple? Living in a home on wheels might get you there. By living in a van, you can have a much smaller environmental footprint than if you lived in a traditional house. Vanlife forces you to consider every decision because of the limited space–this encourages people to lead simpler more minimalist lives.
For example, when you live in a limited space, you must carefully consider what items you bring with you and only keep the essentials so your van or RV doesn’t get cramped.
Cutting down on unnecessary items helps save space and reduces the amount of stuff you have to transport, which can lower your contribution to pollution.
In addition, van lifers typically avoid single-use plastics and opt for more sustainable alternatives. And since vans are usually equipped with solar panels, you can live off the grid and survive on sustainable energy sources.
Now, some might argue that traveling in your R.V. or camper van means burning fuel, and in no way is that being “environment-conscious.” And although it seems correct, you can reverse it with effective planning.
When you equip your van with sustainable essentials (like solar panels) and do mindful spending (thrifting, living a minimalist life, etc.), you go off the consumerism grid, and that’s a big win.
8. Simplify Your Life- Get Rid of Unnecessary Clothes And Comforts
For anyone who’s ever daydreamed about ditching their stuff and hitting the open road, the appeal of van life is obvious. But what some people don’t realize is that living in a van can also help you get rid of unnecessary possessions.
Because of space and mobility limitations, you’re forced to choose only the essentials when packing up your home on wheels. And while this may seem like a burden at first, it’s actually liberating to live with less.
With fewer material possessions to weigh you down, you’re free to pursue experiences instead. Whether it’s crossing state lines or simply exploring your backyard, van life gives you the flexibility to follow your wanderlust wherever it takes you.
9. More Freedom and Flexibility With Less Attachments
The traditional 9-5 lifestyle simply doesn’t offer the kind of flexibility most of us crave and aspire to achieve. But when your home is on the wheels, and you make a decent living as a nomad, the flexibility issues are drastically reduced.
However, the objective here is to first obtain a steady income and then hit the road once you’re financially stable.
With van life, you can pick up and hit the road whenever the mood strikes you without feeling restricted. And because your home is with you wherever you go, you don’t have to worry about finding a place to stay when you’re on the road.
Van life gives you the freedom to live your life on your own terms. If the idea of selling your house to live in a van and travel freely strikes your fancy, make sure you have a well-paying remote or freelance job lined up before taking the plunge. Once you do, there’ll be no stopping you from seeing all that the world has to offer!
10. Van Life Festivals And The Van Life Community Are Great Resources
If you’re tired of the people around you not understanding your van life dreams, then head to one of the many van life festivals that are popping up around the world. At these festivals, you’ll meet other people who are living the van life and who will totally get where you’re coming from.
You can also find an online community of van lifers to connect with if you can’t make it to a festival. This is a great way to get advice and tips from people who have been living in vans for longer than you have. Plus, it’s just nice to know that you’re not alone in this! Some of our absolute best friends are people we’ve met through the van life community.
11. Mail And Packages On The Road
If you plan on living on the road full-time, you’ll need to figure out a way to get your mail. This can be challenging, but there are a few options. One option is to have your mail sent to a friend or family member’s house. This way, you can pick it up when you’re in town.
Another option is to use a mail forwarding service. This way, your mail will be sent to a central location and then forwarded to you.
You can also rent a post office box in the town that you’re currently staying in. This way, you’ll have a permanent address that you can use for all of your correspondence.
The Cons About Living in a Van
Living in a van is the new black. Seriously, look on Instagram, and you’ll see all sorts of people living out of vans (or R.V.s), giving up their stationary homes for a life on the road.
But is it all rosy skies and rainbows while living on the road? Or are there some definite drawbacks you should consider before making the switch? Let’s find out!
1. Selling Your House Means Giving Up a Lot Of Security
When you live life on the road, you quickly learn to appreciate the little things. A warm bed at night, a home-cooked meal, or even just a hot shower can all be luxuries when you’re constantly on the move where everything is smaller.
Besides these, there’s another major downside to this nomadic lifestyle: security. When you sell your home and hit the open road, you’re leaving behind the safety net of family and friends.
If something goes wrong, you don’t have anyone to rely on but yourself (at least at that particular moment). If you’re habitual of living a sheltered life or your comfort zone is great at home, tossing it away for van life might be stressful.
P.S. This drawback will only be applicable if you feel comfortable at your current residence. If the people around you are giving you a tough time, just pack your bags and go because you can learn to protect yourself better when you’re in a good mental state.
2. You Have to Downsize Your Belongings Significantly
One of the biggest challenges is downsizing your belongings to fit into a smaller space. This can be difficult for those who are used to having a lot of stuff or attached to their belongings. In addition, living in a van can be cramped and uncomfortable at times, and there are definitely some sacrifices that come along with the nomadic lifestyle.
For example, you may have to say goodbye to your comfortable furniture, beloved art collection, and extensive wardrobe. However, it is important to remember that material possessions are not worth sacrificing your freedom.
In the end, you will be happier living a simple life on the road than being chained to a house full of stuff.
3. Storage Units And Storage Facilities May Temporarily Become Your Best Friend
If you’re not ready to part with all of your belongings quite yet, don’t worry. That’s what storage units are for. You can keep all of your stuff safe and sound in a storage unit and then access it whenever you want. When we first transitioned to vanlife we were in and out of storage unit pretty regularly as we’d swap out summer gear for our winter gear.
Plus, if you ever get tired of van life (which we highly doubt), then you can always go back to your stored belongings and pick up right where you left off. No harm, no foul.
4. Campgrounds Campsites And Reservations Can Become Expensive
Booking a campsite or campground in advance is a great way to ensure that you have a place to stay when you first start out on your van life journey. It allows you to find a safe place to stay as you begin your vanlife adventure. It also alleviates the stress of finding bathrooms, showers or places to fill up your water while living life on the road.
However overtime it can really add up and cost a lot of money.
That’s why we recommend finding free or very affordable camping spots whenever possible. This could mean boondocking in the desert, parking on BLM land, staying at a Harvest Host location or simply stealth camping in an urban area.
As you become more comfortable with the van life lifestyle, you can start to branch out and explore different types of camping, such as boondocking or wild camping. But when you’re just starting out, it’s best to stick to campgrounds and campsites that offer amenities like bathrooms and showers.
If you’re not sure where to start looking for campgrounds, we recommend checking out Hipcamp or Campendium. Both of these websites offer a wide variety of camping options, as well as reviews from other campers.
5. Electricity And Power Can Be Challenging
Keeping up with power and electricity needs can be a challenge when living in a van. There are a few different options for powering your devices and appliances, such as propane, solar, generators and battery power.
Each option has its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research and figure out which option is best for you. For example, solar power is a great renewable resource that can be used to power your devices and appliances. However, it can be expensive to install and it might not be able to provide enough power if you’re using a lot of energy-hungry devices.
On the other hand, battery power is a great way to store energy for later use. However, batteries can be expensive and they need to be regularly maintained and replaced.
6. Public Restrooms Become The New Norm
One of the things you’ll have to get used to when living in a van is using public restrooms. This is because some vans don’t have their own bathroom, so you’ll need to find other places to do your business.
This could mean using the restroom at a gas station, rest stop or campground.
Now even if your van does have a toilet you’ll need to be mindful and plan ahead for dumping the toilet. I HIGHLY recommend (if it’s in your budget) to get a composting toilet. I can’t tell you how much more pleasant they are to use and maintain then a traditional cassette toilet.
Compost toilets drastically reduce the amount of smell and they don’t require any water to use. This means you can save a lot of water when living in your van (which is important when boondocking).
7. Winter Season Can Be Brutal
If you’re planning on living in your van full-time, you need to be prepared for all seasons. This includes the winter season, which can be brutal in some areas. When the temperatures drop, it’s important to make sure that you have a good heating system in your van.
This could be a propane heater, electric heater or even a wood-burning stove. You’ll also want to make sure that you have adequate insulation in your van to keep the heat in. This could mean adding extra insulation to your walls and ceiling, or using thermal curtains.
During the colder temps you’ll want to make sure you have extra down blankets just in case you have issues with your heating system. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit in your van that includes things like food, water, first-aid supplies and warm clothing. This way, if you get stranded or stuck in bad weather, you’ll be prepared.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you might need to adjust your driving habits in the winter. This is because icy roads can be dangerous and make it difficult to drive.
We recommend being extra cautious when driving in the winter and giving yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
8. Wifi And Internet Can Be Challenging
If you rely on the internet for work, you’ll need to be prepared for some challenges. This is because it can be difficult to get a good wifi signal when you’re constantly on the move. One way to combat this is to invest in a good wifi router that can amplify your signal. You can also look into getting a mobile hotspot if you need to be online for work.
Another option is to find co-working spaces in the cities that you’re visiting. This way, you’ll have a place to work and a good wifi connection. The latest and greatest way to connect to the internet is through Starlink. You can watch our video here
9. City Driving
If you’re not used to driving a van, city driving can be tricky. This is because vans are larger than most cars and can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. One way to make city driving easier is to practice in an empty parking lot before hitting the streets. This way, you’ll get a feel for how your van handles.
Another tip is to avoid rush hour traffic if possible. This is because it can be difficult to navigate through city streets when they’re crowded. You also need to be aware of parking restrictions and make sure that you’re not parked in a tow-away zone.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a good navigation system. This way, you’ll always know where you’re going and how to get there.
10. It Can Be Difficult to Find Steady Work That Allows You to Live a Nomadic Life
Another notable challenge of living in a van is finding steady work. Having a dependable income stream as a nomad can be tough, especially if you’ve adopted this lifestyle to travel as much as possible.
Because you’re constantly on the move, keeping a steady job gets trickier. And even if you do find work, it can be low-paying, short-term, or irrelevant to your preferred field.
Also, many employers are reluctant to hire someone who doesn’t have a permanent address and is always moving. That’s why van-dwellers have to get creative when it comes to finding work.
For example, nomads often take on odd jobs, start their businesses, workcamp, do freelance work, or live off their savings. While it’s not impossible to find work while living in a van, it surely is a challenge.
Are you looking for some inspiration? Here’s some jobs you can do from the road
- Get Paid! Teaching English Online With VIPKid
- How This Virtual Assistant Has Created A Life That Allows Her To Travel
- Passive Income Ideas You Can Start Today
- Remote Work Where To Find Digital Nomad Jobs
- 16 Best Side Hustles for Introverts (Make Good Money And Avoid People Heck Yeah!)
- Best Van Life Jobs (Say Goodbye To Location Dependent Jobs)
- Creative (And Sustainable) Side Hustles for Digital Nomads
- Full Time RV Jobs: Jobs You Can Do On The Road (For Vanlifers Too)
- 12 Best countries For Digital Nomads
- High Paying Freelancing Skills To Learn While Living On The Road
- Keep The Money Rolling In- Best Freelance Jobs For Beginners
- The Vanlifers Guide To Finding Freelance Work For Beginners
11. A Safe Or Safe Deposit Box Is A Good Thing
If you plan on living in a van, it’s a good idea to have a safe or safe deposit box. This is because you’ll need somewhere to store important things like your passport, birth certificate, and other documents.
It’s also a good idea to keep cash on hand in case of an emergency. You can keep this in your safe or deposit box as well. If you have a laptop, it’s also a good idea to keep it in your safe or deposit box when you’re not using it. This way, you won’t have to worry about it getting stolen.
12. Price Of Fuel
The price of fuel is one of the biggest challenges of living in a van. This is because vans are not very fuel efficient and can be expensive to fill up. One way to save money on fuel is to plan your routes ahead of time. This way, you won’t have to waste gas driving around aimlessly.
Another way to save money on fuel is to use apps like GasBuddy or Upside. We saved a ton of money on gas in Arizona using Upside
13. You’re Responsible for Everything – The Sewer Included
One of the least glamorous aspects of living in a van is the whole going to the bathroom situation. Some people opt to have no toilet at all while others have cassette or composting toilets.
This contrasts with living at home, where all you have to do is flush the toilet and everything disappears. Dealing with toilet is a dirty job, but someone has to do it. And if you don’t do it, your van will start to smell, and you’ll be the one who has to deal with the consequences.
In addition, dumping your toilet can be a challenge if you’re not familiar with the process. Each toilet or cassette system operates a bit different, and if you don’t do it right, you could end up with a mess on your hands.
So, if you’re thinking of hitting the open road, be prepared to get your hands dirty from time to time – it’s all part of the adventure.
Get Out and Explore If Selling Your House To Live In A Van Is Right For You!
For many people, the allure of the open road is too strong to resist. The idea of living in a van and traveling wherever the mood strikes is doubtlessly enthralling. When your whole house is on the wheels, and you’re free to go whichever direction you like, it feels liberating.
Weighing the pros and cons is crucial before taking any plunge, so that you know what you’re getting yourself into.
In this case, I feel that the only thing you have to lose by being adventurous is your fear.
On one side, van life is freeing and offers a unique way to see the world and enjoy the solace it brings. On the other hand, living on the road can be cramped, isolating, and not suitable for everyone.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if this lifestyle will bring more joy to your life. But whichever way you choose to go, make sure you do your research and know both sides of the coin.
Good luck with your travel plans, have fun!