A new movement of leaving behind normal life and possessions and living out of a van that has been converted into a living space, has become widely popular. A simple search of “Van Life” on Google will bring up pictures of people in a converted van parked in a picturesque location. These pictures are enough to make most wish to leave their busy life and search out a simplistic, more nomadic way of living. Some people choose this lifestyle of rent and mortgage free living in order to save up to purchase a house, but others choose it for the ability to travel and see the world in a very convenient manner.
Living in a converted camper van is not a new way of living; it dates back to 1935, when the first motor home was created (need to store your RV – many of our locations offer this service). The most recent trend of this nomadic lifestyle however, has involved transforming vans into modern and sophisticated places to live, rather than the image that we might all have of a disheveled man throwing a sleeping bag in the back of his VW bus. People convert vans into tiny homes featuring sleeping, cooking, and storage areas. Most converted vans have the space for surfboards, bikes, or whatever outdoor recreation gear the owners might need. Some people even figure out how to add camp-style showers!
Although setting out for the great outdoors and leaving behind your busy life may sound appealing, living a mobile life may not be for everyone. You have to constantly plan out access to amenities such as toilets, showers, and laundromats. Not to mention that there are regulations on where you can park your van overnight. In some cities it is illegal to live in a vehicle. The lack of space is an additional factor to consider when thinking about van life. 60 square feet of living space may not be a feasible lifestyle for you, especially if you will be traveling with a partner and/or a pet! On the other hand, the freedom and simplicity of this lifestyle can outweigh all of the cons. If you do decide to set out on an adventure and live out of a van, there is a lot of planning to be done! You must decide on a type of van to purchase, design a layout for your living space, and then get to work transforming your vehicle. The folks at Gnomad Home have great tips on how to choose a van and they even provide sample layouts for the van’s interior.
Should you choose to live out of a van for a long period of time, you will likely need to move out of your current living space and downsize your belongings. Only the essentials and a few fun items will be able to come along with you in the van. This doesn’t mean that you have to ditch the rest of your belongings, though. Self storage units can be quite helpful here! They allow you to store both the irreplaceable items and all of those extra shoes that you won’t be able to bring with you in the van. If you live in Southern California, Arizona, or Nevada, Dollar Self Storage has over 20 self storage locations to help out with all of your storage needs! Safe and happy travels!