While there are many positive aspects of vanlife, there are also downsides. Anyone who is considering living in their van full-time should be aware of these drawbacks:
- Minimal space: Most vans are between 30 and 90 square feet in size, which doesn’t give you much room to walk around, store supplies or invite guests. Furthermore, if you live with other people, you may not get much privacy.
- Limited amenities: Many vans don’t come with showers or functional toilets (and those that are equipped with bathrooms require frequent maintenance). If you’re not willing to install and care for a van bathroom, you’ll need to rely on public toilets and showers.
- Parking challenges: If you plan to travel in your van, you’ll need to locate parking spaces where you can leave your van overnight. Many states have strict rules on where you can (and cannot) park, and neglecting these rules can result in hefty fines.
- Lack of stability: When you live in a vehicle, you can expect to be constantly on the move. While traveling from place to place will expose you to new experiences and adventures, it can also be tiring.
- Negative stigmas: Unfortunately, vanlife is susceptible to harsh judgment from people who have never tried it. While you don’t have to explain your choices to anyone, you should be prepared to get some weird looks
Of course, there are many positives to vanlife itself, and the experience can be very rewarding. Just make sure you’re up for the challenge first!