Garage under platform bed

How Much Does Vanlife Cost?

Key takeaways

If you’re thinking about transitioning to vanlife, it’s important to consider your budget.

The popularity of vanlife in recent years is partly due to the potential savings it can bring, but the true cost of vanlife varies greatly depending on the type and size of van that you have, the number of people living in the vehicle and the kinds of amenities you want.

Typically, vanlife requires a big initial investment for the van conversion (anywhere from $10,000 – $100,000+) — after that, it can cost anywhere from $850 to $3,000 per month depending on what spending will make the experience for you.

Here are the average expenses of vanlife:

  • Gas: $200 – $500/month
  • Insurance: $80 – $165/month
  • RV park/campsite parking: $450 – 900/month (or $15 – $30/night)
  • Food: $300 – $1,500/month
  • Emergency expenses: $50 – $75/month
  • Phone & Internet: $150 – $200/month
  • Laundry: $15 – $20/month (or $2 – $4 per load)
  • Gym membership (for showers): $20 – $50/month
  • Maintenance: $100 – $150/month
  • Buying/building the conversion van: [$5,000-$15,000 lower end] – [$20-$50k median] – [$50,000+ higher end] (one-time cost)

It’s important to note these are general prices — the actual cost of vanlife comes down to what you’re willing to spend. To avoid going over your budget, it’s best to plan ahead.

For example, if you have a budget on the lower end, you can cut costs by converting a smaller van, cooking in your van rather than eating out, and researching free overnight parking spots. Even just a little planning can go a long way!


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