Over the last decade, the RV lifestyle has become less of a vacation and more of a way of life for many people. The term “van life” refers to a similar lifestyle to living in an RV, tiny home, or sailboat – but it has become a trendy way to live among digital nomads, social media influencers, minimalists, and outdoor enthusiasts.
Full-time van lifers travel most of the time, living in self-converted vehicles that can park overnight for free on public lands. Individuals typically have a remote work arrangement, although many pick up gig economy jobs wherever they are – such as delivering Uber Eats. The desire for true financial freedom and to be unfettered by materialism drives many van dwellers to this simpler way of life.
Van Life is Awesome – But Not for Everyone
The van life experience is unique for everyone. Some reside in homemade campers, while others invest significant money in purchasing a professional camper van conversion.
Of course, these two extremes bookend an entire spectrum of options. Living in a camper van is not a traditional choice, and those who choose this lifestyle are as varied and diverse as the vehicles they live in.
There are both benefits and downsides to van life. These may include:
Freedom: Van life accommodates wanderlust and requires no commitment to one location. This “location independence” allows travelers to experience new places and lifestyles at their own pace.
Affordability: Camper vans are generally more affordable than RVs, and the lifestyle can eliminate rent or mortgage payments and utility bills. Van conversions are easily customized according to personal preferences.
Adventure: Living the van life means a new experience every day. For those with a sense of adventure, this freedom and spontaneity is right up their alley.
Natural & Serene Settings: Van life allows individuals to escape the rat race, reconnect with nature, and appreciate the great outdoors. In addition to the peace this can inspire, it also provides the opportunity to meet other like-minded people.
Unexpected costs: Although van life is typically more affordable than living in an RV or tiny home, mechanical issues and rising gas prices may cause unexpected financial strain.
Additional stressors: There is something to be said for knowing where you will sleep every night and being in familiar surroundings. The lack of structure proves problematic and unsettling for many people.
Limited space: Van life requires existing in a small space, often without basic amenities such as indoor plumbing or a comfortable sleeping area.
Privacy concerns: Van life means sacrificing privacy, especially when you’re parked in public areas or staying in communal campgrounds.
Sleep challenges: Sleeping in a van can be challenging – outside noise, temperature fluctuations, and safety concerns can disrupt your normal sleep cycle.
Loneliness: Those who travel full-time often experience loneliness, as it can be difficult for others to relate to your lifestyle.
Create a Van Worthy of Adventure
Experts recommend determining your most important amenities and then prioritizing them in your van design. While some people may be fine cooking on a grill every meal, others may wish to install kitchen amenities indoors. If temperature fluctuations bother you, be sure the van is well-insulated and has a heating and cooling system.
One of the most essential elements of van life is ensuring you get a comfortable, quality night’s sleep. Facing a new day of uncertainty and adventure is easier when well-rested.
This is why many who choose van life have joined RVers and tiny home architects in installing a Murphy bed into their custom vehicles. The Murphy bed can fold away during the day and transform into a dining table, shelving, or a work desk – but open to a full-sized bed with a standard mattress at night.
Whether you are an apartment dweller, customizing a van, or designing a beautiful guest room in your luxury home – a Murphy bed provides the solution you need.
Ready to Learn More?
Although we love the romance of van life, Monarch Murphy Beds doesn’t currently install our products in vans or RVs. But if you are looking for ways to improve your tiny home, optimize your apartment space or add functionality to your home – call today for your private showroom tour.
The Monarch Murphy Bed showroom is located in North Sarasota. Call owner Shelly Renee today for your private tour and consultation.