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5 Steps To Take To See If Van Life Is Right For You

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Have you ever considered if this lifestyle is for you? It feels like almost everyone wants to buy a van to travel now a days. But how do you know if van life is right for you?

Don’t know where to start? Here’s a guide to help you decide!

1. Rent a van!

Renting a van is one of the best ways to decide if living on the road is your sup of tea. Let’s just say it’s like dipping your toes in the water to see if you should go all in. Less long-term responsibility while getting that small taste of the experience. Companies like Outdoorsy make it possible for people to get a small taste of that lifestyle without you having to worry about the difficult side of van life. They handle the legal side of things like contracts, money transactions and everything else that may seem complicated.

What is Outdoorsy exactly? They are the largest and safest RV marketplace that lets people like you connect with local RV owners! Outdoorsy makes it safe and easy experience of renting without owning one themselves. Think of it as an Airbnb, but for trailers, toy haulers, fifth wheels, Class A RVs, Class B RVs and Class C RVs, as well as garden variety trailers and motorhomes.

Check out Outdoorsy to learn more about renting HERE.

2. Financial Situation

KNOW YOUR BUDGET. Knowing and planning your financial situation is another question you want to ask yourself. How are you getting income? There are many ways to make money on the road, but having that consistent income can be stressful and you always have to be prepared for the worst in case an emergency pops up.

Make a list of all the expenses you expect to be spending. That includes gas, food, camping, insurance, bills and everything else you need, minus the cost of the actual van.

3. Self-build conversions or pre-built?

Once you know more about your financial situation, time to consider the time you want to invest in the van itself. Will you be self-building or buying the van fully furnished and ready to go? There are many pros and cons to both ways, but here we break it down to into simple ways to determine what would be best for you.

Self-build: PROS

  • Saving money

Self-build: CONS

  • They take time and patience

Pre-built: PROS

  • Already built for you - comes with all the essentials without worrying about the work

Pre-Built: CONS

  • Paying more - You will be spending more for the labor and cost of essentials.

4. Be prepared to pare down

Organization is key.

  • Take the necessities - What items do you “need” instead of “want”?

  • Sell what you don’t need

  • Use different packing methods and building storage spaces in the van

  • Consider renting a storage unit - If you can’t see to decide on what to keep or give away,

  • Donate! Donate! Donate!

5. Be open to the unknown

Know that there are always going to be challenges along the way, physically and mentally. Nothing is ever perfect, but it’s how you look at a situation. Accepting that anything can happen, good or bad., that is the way to live life on the road.

The lifestyle that many van lifers choose is a life full of freedom and adventure. Even though there can be difficult times, the freedom that comes with this lifestyle can all be worth it depending how you go into it. Van living allows you to change your plans at the drop of a hat. Maybe you want to stay in a place for longer. Maybe the weather keeps changing and you want to play it safe. When you turn to van life, there are endless possibilities ahead of you.

If you’re ready to become a road trippin’ van lifer, our team at Drifter is ready to help! Contact us HERE.

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