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This van life FAQ answers some of the most popular questions we’ve received about camper van life and what’s it’s like to live out of a van full time. We hope this information is helpful in your van life research. If you have additional questions about van dwelling that are not covered, please leave a comment at the end of the post.
The FAQ is broken up into three sections:
Living the Van Life
Joe and I have been living a nomadic lifestyle since 2015. In 2017, we downsized from a large motorhome to a small camper van (more about our downsizing journey). We’ve learned a lot about living out of a van since then.
This post contains a collection of all the resources we’ve shared around van dwelling and what it’s like to live out of a camper van.
ProMaster Conversion Van
We started in a 2017 Ram ProMaster 3500 conversion van. You can read more about the camper van or watch the full van tour below.
General Questions About Van Life
In this section, we answer general questions about living in a van. If you prefer to listen or watch videos, you can check out all the van life Q&As we’ve hosted below.
This video answers many questions about the ProMaster conversion van and general questions about van life.
Questions answered in the above video include:
- Does the van have bathroom and shower?
- Do you cook in the van? Is it easy to make meals?
- How do you run electric cooking devices in the van? See how we make healthy meals in the van over at my post on Instant Pot Recipes.
- If you could change anything in the van what would it be?
- Would you tow a vehicle behind the van?
- How do you deal with being off-level?
- Would you go with a shorter or longer van?
- Why not build your own conversion van?
- Is a 24′ van at 24′ too long for National Parks?
- Would a camper van be a good fit for a student?
- How is the ride of the ProMaster van compared to a bigger RV?
- Do you regret downsizing to a camper van?
- How is the clearance on a ProMaster van?
- Do you ever take any alone time, do you even need any?
- Which direction do you sleep in the van?
- Have you experienced any negativity for being van life nomads?
- How do you get drinking water in the van? See Berkey Water Purifier.
- How long do you plan to live the van life?
- How do you decide where to travel?
- Is the cassette toilet easy to use and where do you dump? See Cassette Toilet Review.
- What portable toilet do you recommend? See Best Portable Camping Toilets for Vans, Cars, and RVs.
- What’s the MPG on the Ram ProMaster 3500 van?
Additional Questions About Van Life
- What tools do you carry in the van? See 18 Must Have Tools.
- What is it like to live in a van with a dog? See RVing with Dogs.
- How do van lifers make money? See How to Make Money Traveling.
- What are the downsides about van life? Watch Stressful Side of Van Life.
- How do you do laundry on the road? Watch Laundry Day video.
- Is it easy to street camp or stealth camp in the city? See Stealth Camping 101
- How much does it cost to live the van life? See Cost of Van Life Reports.
- How do you get mail? See How to Get Mail and Packages on the Road
- What do you do about health insurance? See RV Health Insurance
In this video, we answer more questions about living out of a van and working on the road.
Solar Setup and Living Off-Grid in a Van
This video covers many of the questions we’ve received about solar and battery. You can watch the entire video or browse the list of questions and jump directly to the answer.
What type of solar setup do you have in the van? timestamp 00:53
Can you run the air conditioner off solar? timestamp 01:45
How do you run the Instant Pot when you’re not plugged in to power? timestamp 02:46
Why didn’t you get a generator for the van? timestamp 03:46
How is the VoltStart system working? timestamp 05:04
How much solar should I get for my RV? timestamp 06:26
How often do you have to plug in to shore power? timestamp 08:08
Does the system charge well on cloudy days? timestamp 09:20
How do we keep your dog cool in the van? timestamp 09:47
How do your panels do during hail storms? timestamp 11:38
Is the RV solar system standard or aftermarket? timestamp 13:00
Where do you get drinking water? timestamp 14:00
How long can you stay off grid? timestamp 14:50
Have you tried off grid cold winter camping? timestamp 16:24
How do you access internet on the road? timestamp 18:25
How is your RV cell phone booster setup? timestamp 20:17
Would you upgrade to an 800 amp hour battery bank? timestamp 22:47
Learn more about Solar For Your RV: Portable vs Rooftop
Check out these van life gatherings to meet fellow van dwellers and learn more about the lifestyle.
Looking for a unique overnight RV camping experience? Read our Harvest Hosts Review and discover their camping on farms, winery camping, and museum programs.