Ahhh, life on the open road. No rules, no restrictions just you and the wind in your hair. Well, perhaps. With COVD-19 ramping up all over the country many have taken it upon themselves to think about life outside the box. Literally, thinking outside the box of a traditional home. As in, taking refuge in a totally different kind of box; a camper van. Living full-time or even part-time in a camper van can be full of adventures of all sorts. To help you narrow down your camper van decision we at CashCarBuyers discovered some pros, cons, and five new models of camper vans you don’t want to miss! Read on to discover more!
Five Pros of Living in a Camper Van
There are many pros of living in a camper van full or even part-time. We have compiled a short but thorough list of reasons why residing in a camper van may just be the plan for you, the family, and hey, even the family pet may want to join the fun!
1. Total Freedom of Movement
This has to be the most common reason why people are so drawn to “van life” as it is so often called. When you live in a traditional house you are generally constrained to that neighborhood, city, and state. When living in a camper van all of those restraints are lifted. Want to go to Texas on Tuesday? Can do. Florida on Friday? As long as you have gas in your tank the possibilities are truly endless when all you need is four wheels on the open roads. Also, living in a camper van full-time offers you the choice to pick up and leave whenever you feel like it. Day or night, your camper van will be ready for you to take the plunge again and again.
2. Decluttering The Right Way
Another pro of jumping into the camper van life is the ability to declutter. Downsizing from a modest home can be an undertaking to remove all of the junk that has been accumulating in your home for years. Living in a camper van full-time will allow you to finally be rid of the physical items that have been weighing you down. Check out resources around where you live like thrift stores, local churches, or other places where you will be able to donate these items. You can also sometimes receive a tax discount depending on where you donate your extraneous items. It’s a win-win starting with living in a camper. You get to become more organized, and your gently used items get to be loved by a brand-new human. What’s not to love!?
3. Affordability of a Living in a Camper Van
Penny pinchers rejoice! Living in a camper van allows you to save some pretty pennies on all kinds of sneaky bills that have now been banished from your life. When you live in a camper van full-time you are not paying a mortgage or a rent payment every month. Also, you are not paying for sewer, gas, or a trash bill. And those are just some of the examples of the utility payments that add up when owning or renting a traditional home.
Another money-saving factor is when you live in a camper van you are generally not frivolously spending big bucks on “stuff”. The simple reason for this is you don’t have room in your new downsized living space. This habit of spending extra hard-earned cash may take some time to break but with the time you will be able to shift your focus on spending more money on necessities rather than just material goods. Of course, there are some moments when you will find yourself re-allocating some bills from traditional house payments to your new full-time van living experience. We will fully expand on these other costs later on in this article.
4. Ability To Work Remotely (Or Start A New Career!)
COVD-19 has really turned our world upsidedown. One factor is how the traditional workspace has been disrupted. Now, many offices like Twitter and Facebook have allowed employees to work remotely, forever. Having this mobility and freedom with work also allows individuals to embrace living in a camper van full-time. When living in a camper van all you need is a decent internet connection, computer/laptop, a comfy seat, and bam! You are ready to get your work done completely remotely on the open roads.
One other bonus of living on the open roads full-time is you can also change your career. Since you are already working 100% remotely you can pivot your passions in any way you desire! If you want to try photography, look for freelancing jobs. Maybe teaching is more up your alley? Look for online tutoring or even teaching English in a remote setting. Starting your new journey in a camper van can absolutely spark your interest in a totally new career pathway with new views along the way. Day 1, you could start your day in the city of Austin, Texas, and end your day at the beaches of Clearwater, Florida as long as you have a designated driver of course!
5. Meet New Friends All Over (Or Don’t!)
Living in a camper van creates a fluid environment where you can make new friends at every road stop. Or not! If you are someone who is prone to an extroverted nature then you can absolutely use van life to your advantage. There are even forum groups dedicated to learning about and participating in van life. One example is, ProjectVanLife a website dedicated to allowing users to post, comment, and share information about their travels. These networks are fantastic resources for you or someone you may know who want to keep their social life intact while driving through the open roads. However, if socializing is not your thing living in a camper van full-time is also a great choice. Living in a camper van also allows you all the alone time you could ever want. Once you safely park your vehicle you can stay indoors all day and not have to speak to a single soul! However, you want to form your social circle or not form it at all entering into camper van life will allow you both options.
Four Cons of Living In a Camper Van
Like any lifestyle choice, there are cons to be had. Living in a camper van is certainly not for everybody due to a multitude of factors. Here are four reasons why you may want to leave van life alone.
6. Sneaky Costs of Living in a Camper Van
Unfortunately, there are some sneaky costs to living in a camper van. Josh and Ruby, who own the brand Two Left Feet have been living in a camper van traveling all around the country. They surmise, “One of the realities of van life are the costs of fuel, toll roads and parking. These things can add up quickly without you realizing it. The biggest factor here is how much time you have and how fast you want to travel. Obviously, the more distance you cover in a shorter period of time the higher your daily costs will be. But it’s not all bad if you have some friends or spare seats so you can give other travelers/hitchhikers a ride. Especially on long journeys were sharing the costs is a great penny saver. Hopefully, the car you buy never has any troubles, but you do still have to be prepared for any extra costs that may unexpectedly arise. Having money set aside for things like this or a good travel insurance plan is something that is worthwhile considering. There is also the cost of regular maintenance. Things like new tires and oil changes as you travel. This is just another thing to factor into your budget especially if you want to significantly reduce the chance of something major happening and having to pay for that!”
Also, another factor that will add some cost to your camper van budget is the ability to park your camper van. Many campsites charge a fee for individuals to park in their allocated area sometimes even up to the hour! That particular factor is something to be aware of and we at CashCarBuyers recommend you research the site before traveling there with your camper van just so you know the full cost extent.
7. Time, Time, Time
One of the more subtle cons of embarking on camper van life is the time it takes to travel. Unlike a plane, train, or bus you are the driver and dictate your own schedule. The con of this predicament is if want to drive across the country, great! However, get ready for a pretty long slog. In addition to the driving time, you will need to allocate more time in your day to general vehicle maintenance. As Ruby and Josh mentioned earlier if your camper van is not up to snuff it will cost time and money to fix any damages or issues within the vehicle. Both of these factors create a need for the driver to be diligent in time management and have the ability to manage timeline expectations for travel and upkeep of your camper van.
8. Cramping Your Style
As eluded to earlier in the article, when you move to van life you must be willing to part with prized possessions. Unfortunately, if you have a bit of a hoarding streak within yourself the van life might start to get a little cramped. As you pick up souvenirs from your many travels you will have to figure out where to put them all! The average interior of the Leisure Travel Free Spirit van is 6’3 in height so adding any tall objects will be a hassle. Though you may find it easy to keep your camper van organized it is always recommended to take stock every so often of your items to keep them from filling up in your camping van.
9. Reaching for the Restroom
The fourth con of living in a camper van is the endless quest for a restroom. Of course, many camper vans come equipped with a restroom but it is usually just a single toilet. Imagine a family of three having to schedule and juggle an entire beauty routine with one bathroom!? No way! For many van lifers, the solution is to often drive to a known campsite that has adequate toilets and showers. Did we mention showers? Unfortunately, for many camper van enthusiasts most modern camping vans do not come with showers. This is sometimes the dealbreaker for many who enjoy the idea of living the camper van lifestyle but when faced with reality, may back away from the commitment.
Living The Camper Van Life: The Wrap Up
Here we are, folks! Is living in a camper van the right choice for you and your family? We hope you were able to find the answer to this query by reading our blog article. For those seeking freedom of movement, the ability to work totally remotely, and a desire to declutter van life might be for you. On the flip-side, if you are someone who loves modern luxuries, wants to get someplace in a hurry, and always needs physical possessions then living in a camper van may not be the answer. Whether you are just looking into the concept of van life or you have already purchased your camper van we at CarCashBuyers are excited about your journey! If you are someone who is looking to save for a camper van and want to sell or trade-in your old vehicle don’t forget to give CarCashBuyers a phone call today! We are excited to meet you and get you closer to your dream camper van!