This van life FAQ answers some of the most popular questions around van dwelling and what it’s like living in a van. The post is broken up into three sections:
- Living the Van Life
- General Questions About Van Life
- Solar Setup/Living Off-Grid
Living the Van Life
Background: 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 van living since and this post is a collection of all the resources we’ve shared around van life.
About Our Van: We live out of a ProMaster conversion van built by Hymer. You can read more about our 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. Many of the questions are answered in the video below. You can watch the entire video or browse the list of questions and jump directly to the answer.
Does the van have bathroom and shower? timestamp 02:34
Do you cook in the van? Is it easy to make meals? timestamp 20:00. Favorite Kitchen Gadgets for RVing.
How do you run electric cooking devices in the van? timestamp 20:48. 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? timestamp 13:11
Would you tow a vehicle behind the van? timestamp 15:02
How do you deal with being off-level? timestamp 06:03
Would you go with a shorter or longer van? timestamp 01:54
Why not build your own conversion van? timestamp 05:14
Is a 24′ van at 24′ too long for National Parks? timestamp 16:40
Would a camper van be a good fit for a student? timestamp 18:26
How is the ride of the ProMaster van compared to a bigger RV? timestamp 07:44
Do you regret downsizing to a camper van? timestamp 00:37
How is the clearance on the van? timestamp 08:54. To see some of the places we’ve stayed in the van check out our free camping posts.
Do you ever take any alone time, do you even need any? timestamp 10:07
Which direction do you sleep in the van? timestamp 07:15
Have you experienced any negativity for being van life nomads? timestamp 12:16
How do you get drinking water in the van? timestamp 15:36
How long do you plan to live the van life? timestamp 27:56
How do you decide where to travel? timestamp 25:37
Is the cassette toilet easy to use and where do you dump? For an in-depth answer to this question, head over to our cassette toilet post.
What’s the MPG on the Ram ProMaster 3500 van? Our average ranges between 14 MPG to 16 MPG.
What tools do you carry in the van? 18 Must Have Tools.
What is it like to live in a van with a dog? Head over to our post on RVing with dogs.
How do van lifers make money? We answer this question in detail over at How to Make Money Traveling.
What are the downsides about van life? We share some of the stresses of van life in this video.
How do you do laundry on the road? Watch our laundry day video below.
Is it easy to street camp or stealth camp in the city? timestamp 20:48. You can also check out our video where we spend a week street camping in the van around San Francisco.
How much does it cost to live the van life? Check out our monthly cost of van life reports or watch the video below.
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 WeBoost cell signal booster setup? timestamp 20:17
Would you upgrade to an 800 amp hour battery bank? timestamp 22:47