Last Update: 7/29/2016

Top 10 Questions About Living in a Van

Van is camped with folding chairs and a tarp awning making everything comfortable.

People keep asking Vanholio and other full-time vandwellers the same goddamn questions about van life over and over again. Here’s short answers to the Top 10.

Now understand that these are just Vanholio’s answers. I got my biases. Plus Vanholio is an OTR (on the road) vandweller. I’d do things different if I lived in a city.

Top 10 Van Life Questions Answered


1. What kind of van should I get?


Vanholio’s got a Promaster City converted to a camper. That’s a bit small for most. Full-size vans are more common. But hell, I’ve seen folks live in everything from Priuses up to buses, plus every kind of trailer or tent. What you need is to keep the weather off you. After that, it’s what you like and can afford. If you can work with what you already own, that's what I'd do.

2. How do you heat and cool the van?


Vanholio’s goal is keeping himself at a nice temp. Heat and A/C for a van is one way to do that. Plenty of folks have ways to do that. My ultimate climate control is longitude and altitude. But I also use clothes, blankets, and acclimatization to keep warm; and good fans, ventilation, and moisture evaporation to keep cool.

3. How do you shower?


First off, you don’t need a shower every goddamn day, unless you’re getting truly dirty at work. But showers ain’t hard. If you ain’t got access at a gym or built into your rig, you can get showers at truck stops and campsites, use portable shower gadgets, or clean up with wipes or no-rinse body wash.

4. Where do you go to the bathroom?


In the last year, I’ve only had to shit in the woods about half a dozen times. Mostly, I’ve used regular public or business bathrooms, or else vault toilets in the forests. ‘Course as a male, pissing wherever the fuck I want ain’t an issue.

5. What do you do for money?


Vanholio does freelance writing and graphic design. Lots of traveling vandwellers have businesses or jobs they can do via internet, phone, or mail, or by setting up shop here and there. Others find temp jobs around the country. Really ain’t that tough.

6. How much does living in a van cost?


This is gonna depend on your tastes, but from all I’ve heard the average vandweller lives on $1,000 or less per month. Some far less than that.

7. Do you have a gun?


No. I ain’t opposed to folks 2nd Amendment rights, but personally I don’t feel trained enough to use a gun right under stress. I do carry pepper spray and weapon-ready tools. But, but, BUT, my first defense is using my head to avoid trouble and avoid being noticed. Plus I got dogs.

8. Do the cops hassle you?

Living in a van ain’t exactly illegal. But local statutes and nosy cops can make it hard. I avoid those places and am damned sneaky when I can’t. Plus I move around, am well groomed, and have a clean vehicle, so I don’t catch the LEO’s eyes.

9. Where do you park at night?


Since Vanholio is a traveler and prefers the wild, I usually camp in the backcountry of national forests and BLM land. But I’ve also slept in Walmarts and other parking lots, rest stops, campgrounds, RV parks, friends’ driveways, curbside, and behind abandoned buildings.

10. Isn't living in a van lonely?


Oh, hell no! First off, loneliness is a state of mind. Second, if you want society, it’s easy to find as much as you want, with a little thought. Even pussy or cock or whatever revs your engine.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

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