Van life is the ultimate dream if you ask me. Traveling nonstop, being on the road, living minimally- it’s everything I could ever want, and I know a ton of you feel the same.
If you’ve made it to this post, you’re probably interested in van life just like me. I challenge you to comment below and tell me all about your number one van goal!
I have a few upcoming lists with the top van life destinations, so today I’m just going to focus on the features I want for my van. At the end of the day, as long as I’m traveling, I’m happy- but it wouldn’t hurt to have a nice van to do it in.
It’s super important for me to be able to go anywhere I want. If I had a huge van, it’d be hard to blend in a neighborhood, or even a parking lot without looking like somebody live in there. This also deters me from painting my van- I love painting and art in general, but I don’t want to draw any extra attention to myself!
Having a very private van would allow me to park wherever I choose without looking like it’s a van somebody lives in.
2. Running Water
This is the one luxury that I could probably live without in my van- but I’d prefer to have. It’s not difficult to stop at a gas station or Walmart to use a sink, but it means you have to be somewhere around humanity… No thanks. As much as I love the city, I want to be able to go off the grid for a little bit and be able to sustain myself.
This water would be for drinking, showering, washing dishes, and everything else you need water for! It’d be much more convenient having a water system in my van.
As a blogger, this one is a deal-breaker. It also comforts me that FaceTime phone calls can be made through WiFi in case I didn’t have access to cellular service. Luckily, there are a ton of ways to get connected while on the road: a mobile hot spot, a WiFi hotspot, and a WiFi extender.
I need to be able to be on the internet, but I don’t want to spend all my time sitting in Starbucks.
4. Mini Fridge
I would love to have a whole kitchen set up, but at the very least I want to have a refrigerator. This way I wouldn’t have to limit what kinds of food I could store in my van. Fresh fruit, almond milk, and salads don’t last in the heat for very long. Like I mentioned, I want to be able to go off the grid and be able to sustain myself for at least a week!
Having a fridge would make it feel like a real “house.”
5. Solar Shower
I talk about the Solar Shower in my Top 10 Road Trip Tips post. It’s a bag of water that has a hose attached- allowing you to shower anywhere you want! Just like with Starbucks’, I don’t want always to have to find a gym to shower in.
In the future, I’d love to build a more full “bathroom” setup with a shower head and everything- but this will work in the meantime.
6. A Passport
Duh! I didn’t realize I even wanted to go outside of The United States until I started researching the amazing place people were going! I want to visit all of North America and South America- Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Peru- the possibilities are endless.
If you really want to focus your van life on traveling all over, then you have to have a passport. Make sure you get this settled early as they can take months to prepare.
7. Solar Panels
I need electricity for a ton of different items so having it is a must. I know there are a ton of ways to have power, but I will opt for having solar panels. They’re a bigger invested from the jump, but over time they will save you a ton of money.
Being outside all the time, a van is a perfect home to utilize solar panels!
8. An “Office”
The whole point of van life, for me, is being able to work from anywhere. I need a desk area with a set up for my paperwork, laptop, iPad, printer, Cricut- the whole 9 yards. I thought about having just a bed since I often sit on my bed to get some work done anyways- but I also realize how unproductive this makes me, and flat out sleeping.
9. An Interchangeable Bed and Seating Area
I need to be working in a setting that feels like it’s meant for work- not for sleeping. I plan on building a bed frame that can transition smoothly into bench seats. I’ll cut a foam mattress or find a topper for the structure. This way I don’t have to take up extra space, but I can have two distinctly different settings.
Van life is all about making the most with the minimal space you have, and I feel like this method does just that.
Although this is the last item on the list, it ranks number one for me. Living in a van puts your home right in front of everyone. I need to have window coverings, and extra locks on all of my doors to make sure I’m entirely safe. I want to be able to change and do whatever I need without anyone peering in.
I would never sleep at night if I didn’t have these necessities!