Join Digital Nomads and Remote Workers to Ask Questions, Share Experiences, Find Remote Jobs and Seek Recommendations.

A beginner’s guide to buying and outfitting your first van for the road

Last Updated on 24 May 2023

Part 1: Buying Your Van

When it comes to buying a van, there are many options available. The first thing to consider is the size of the van. If you’re traveling alone or with a partner, a smaller van like a Volkswagen Bus or a Ford Transit Connect might be perfect. However, if you’re traveling with a family or a group of friends, you’ll need something bigger like a Sprinter or a Promaster.

Once you’ve determined the size of the van you need, it’s important to inspect it thoroughly to make sure it’s in good condition. Look for rust, leaks, and other signs of wear and tear. If you’re not comfortable doing the inspection yourself, consider hiring a mechanic to do it for you.

Budget is also an important factor to consider. Vans can be expensive, so it’s important to set a budget and stick to it. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to budget for the cost of outfitting your van.

Finally, think about what features are important to you. Do you need a bathroom and a shower? Do you want a kitchen? Do you need a lot of storage space? Make a list of your must-haves and use it to guide your search.

Part 2: Outfitting Your Van

Once you’ve bought your van, it’s time to outfit it for the road. This can be a fun and creative process, but it can also be overwhelming. Here are some things to consider when outfitting your van:

  1. Sleeping: The most important part of outfitting your van is creating a comfortable sleeping area. You can either buy a pre-made bed or build one yourself. Make sure it’s sturdy and comfortable, and consider adding curtains or blinds for privacy.
  2. Kitchen: If you plan on cooking in your van, you’ll need a kitchen. This can be as simple as a small camp stove and a cooler, or as elaborate as a full kitchen with a sink, stove, and refrigerator. Think about what kind of cooking you’ll be doing and what appliances you’ll need.
  3. Bathroom: A bathroom is not essential, but it can make life on the road a lot more comfortable. If you have the space and budget, consider installing a small toilet and shower. If not, a portable toilet and outdoor shower can work just as well.
  4. Storage: Storage is key in a van, as space is limited. Think about what you’ll need to store and create storage solutions that work for you. This might include shelves, cabinets, and drawers.
  5. Power: You’ll need power to run your appliances and charge your devices. You can either install a solar panel system or use a generator. Make sure you have enough power to meet your needs.

Part 3: Living the Van Life

Now that your van is outfitted and ready to go, it’s time to hit the road. Here are some tips for living the van life:

  1. Stay organized: With limited space, it’s important to stay organized. Keep everything in its place and make sure you have a system for storing and finding things.
  2. Be flexible: One of the best things about van life is the freedom to go wherever you want. Be flexible and open to new experiences.
  3. Stay connected: While van life can be isolating, it’s important to stay connected to friends and family. Use social media to share your adventures and stay in touch with loved ones.
  4. Stay safe: Van life can be dangerous, especially if you’re traveling alone. Make sure you have a plan for staying safe and always trust your instincts.
  5. Enjoy the ride: Living in a van can be challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Enjoy the ride and embrace the adventure.

Part 4: Additional Tips for Van Life

Here are some additional tips for living the van life:

  1. Plan your route: While it’s important to be flexible, it’s also a good idea to have a general plan for where you want to go. This will help you stay on track and make the most of your time on the road.
  2. Stay clean: Keeping your van clean is important for both your physical and mental health. Make sure you have a system for cleaning and organizing your space.
  3. Meet other van lifers: Van life can be isolating, but there are many other people out there living the same lifestyle. Join online communities or attend van life meetups to connect with other van lifers.
  4. Be mindful of your impact: When living on the road, it’s important to be mindful of your impact on the environment. Practice Leave No Trace principles and try to minimize your waste.
  5. Have fun: The most important thing about van life is to have fun! Enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with living on the road, and make the most of every moment.

In conclusion, buying and outfitting a van for the road can be a daunting task, but with the right research and preparation, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Whether you’re traveling solo or with a group, van life offers a unique and exciting way to explore the world. So, what are you waiting for? Hit the road and start living your best van life!

We Work From Anywhere ?

Find Remote Jobs, Ask Questions, Connect With Digital Nomads, and Live Your Best Location-Independent Life.