BEST VAN LIFE TRICKS AND TIPS FOR OFF-GRID LIVING
Van life – also referred to as van-dwelling – is a lifestyle for many people who appreciate the freedom and flexibility that comes with living in a van. For many people, it brings limitless opportunities to explore new places and meet new people, which can be a refreshing change of pace from the typical lifestyle. Overall, van life offers a unique and rewarding experience that is not easily replicated in a traditional home setting.
Regardless of all the out-of-the-world adventures that come along with van life, it also brings huge responsibilities and, sometimes, adversities. After all, not every social media story is as perfect as it appears. Van lifers encounter many obstacles, just like anyone living in a house; they just choose to find creative solutions to the challenges associated with living on the road.
If van life is something that anyone you find interesting – or if you are already a van lifer - and want to be comfortable enough to enjoy the journey to the fullest, here are some van life tips and tricks to help make the most of your off-grid life.
A quote for inspiration by Theodore Roosevelt:
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
STARTING YOUR VAN LIFE
Transitioning into living in a van is not complicated if a person is too passionate about it. Although job, money, family, and friends concern everyone; nonetheless, all of this can be achieved in a van – with a lot more fun and excitement. To get started on the right foot, here are a few things to consider before taking the plunge.
Choosing a Van
The enthusiasm for embarking on a van life journey is incomparable. Deciding which van to get, which route to take first or what items to bring can all be jumbled up with the excitement. The truth is van life is possible in any car, depending upon the comfort requirements.
However, if selecting a van is still confusing, create a list of questions to comprehend the needs and budget to find a suitable vehicle. Are you on your own planning to travel and explore new places, or do you need something that can accommodate a family?
Here are a few most common types of vans to get the idea:
- Minivan: A minivan is a small, discreet choice for those who prefer a basic van camping setup. It is great for couples or solo travellers.
- Cargo Van: When it comes to custom-built vans, cargo vans are some of the most popular options because they offer a lot of space and can be easily modified.
- Pop-Top Campervan: A pop-top roof extends when parked for more interior space and standing room, unlike a fixed-roof campervan.
- Class B RV: These bigger, more luxurious campervans generally have a full kitchen and modest bathroom on board.
In the case of owning a van already, it is always worth considering converting it into a campervan to create a home-like environment.
Electricity in Van Life
Van life requires preparation. Continuing the journey with everything set up beforehand such as figuring out ways to power domestic appliances, tools and other devices will make things comfortable enough to enjoy the off-grid life to the fullest.
Here are a few tips and sources of electricity in a van:
Portable Power Station
Portable power stations are eco-friendly, unlike traditional generators, as they use clean energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines. They do not produce any harmful emissions, making them perfect for use in an enclosed area, such as inside a van.
Portable Solar Panel
A solar panel generates electricity from direct and indirect sunlight to power electrical devices. The solar panel’s size depends on how much energy is required to power the devices. A 400W solar panel can charge a power station within 4 hours, which, in turn, can power a regular refrigerator for up to 20 hours.
Portable Wind Turbine
A wind turbine is a great source of energy for power stations as it can generate energy round the clock. The most important benefit of having a portable wind turbine over other energy sources in the off-grid life in a van is that you can generate the energy at any time of the day or night regardless of the weather conditions.
Besides having a suitable energy source to power the devices, keeping extension cords and power strips are very essential to have more flexibility for plugging multiple devices. Additionally, unplug all the appliances that are not in use to prevent them from draining the battery fast.
Taking Advantage of Campsites
Campsites are a great way to take advantage of amenities such as bathrooms, showers and even laundry facilities. They offer a place to meet other van lifers and swap stories around the campfire.
They are often located near some of the best sceneries. Whether the van lifers are looking for beautiful mountain views or a placid lake to relax by, chances are there is a campsite nearby that will fit the bill.
Some campsites may not be interesting or can be costly, while others can be captivating. Take some time to research before hitting the road. It is not practical to drive hours out of the way to find a great spot if there is one nearby.
Find resources online to explore new campsites, including websites like Campendium and The Dyrt, as well as apps like AllStays Camp & RV and KOA Kampgrounds.
Moreover, while on the road looking for a good spot to camp, do not hesitate to ask other van lifers for recommendations. Chances are someone has been through the area close by and knows of a great spot worth checking out.
LIVE A COMFORTABLE VAN LIFE WITH ESSENTIAL OFF-GRID TIPS AND TRICKS
Van life provides a sensational journey of life. Some may have to go against the grain, at times, but the lifestyle transformation is way more fruitful.
Just follow as many tips and tricks as possible, ensuring everything goes smoothly and comfortably to enjoy the most of the off-grid life adventures. Most importantly, always keep the van equipped with power sources to keep the essential appliances running.
Utilise sustainable energy sources, such as wind turbines, as they are safe from dangerous fumes and reliable in generating round-the-clock energy for a van. You can check out Texenergy’s Infinite Air 18 portable wind turbine that generates 18V of output to conveniently charge big batteries like portable power stations that can power most domestic appliances and other tools and devices for hours.
Finally, go out, explore and get acquainted with other van lifers who are living this unique lifestyle. There is so much to learn from the van life community.