Contemplating what it would be like to live in a van....

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  • I have never done it before, but the idea seems very cool. I'd personally not want to live in the UK in a van, I would have to be travelling in Europe or even in the UK. You know so not so much just living in the same old place in a van, I feel holed up in there already.


    But there's a lot to think about. Life in general.


    I looked at my van tonight and thought if I was to do it for now, because rent and bills betting too much, I thought where would I park tonight if I had to.


    How do you folk find it, is every night like some crazy mission impossible or do you just park where you please and deal with anything should it arise? In fact how often do situations arise be it locals, guards, police, wild man eating bears and even aliens? :eek:

  • from the experience of friends of mine who live in vans, you can get away with a day or two or three in one place but eventually you get moved on, police get involved etc.etc.
    Somerset got very paranoid about "travellers" so all the stopping places, layby's etc all now have stonking great boulders blocking them.

  • Some council car parks seem to allow overnight parking, even on a semi-permanent basis. Obviously you have to move out before the parking charges kick in. A lot of it seems to depend on your behaviour, and the appearance of your van. Pick up the odd bit of litter, and be friendly towards the other users and workers. There should be a large board detailing the charges and conditions. If it doesn't ban overnight sleeping, then I reckon it's worth a chance. The worst that will happen is that you will be asked to move, be civil if that happens, and don't make an issue out of it.

  • This is my 10th year living in my van, I am fortunate that I live in the lake district, so finding somewhere to park is not an issue, plus being a tourist town there are campervans/motorhomes everywhere so standing out like a sore thumb doesn't apply.


    I love my van it is where I am happiest, it can be tough at times, but I like the fact that I am in control of my housing and no one else, plus I couldn't imagine giving over a huge wadge of cash to a greedy landlord.:rolleyes:

  • I have been living in vehicles and canvas homes all my adult life and have loved every minute of it. Have been using france as a base for the last fifteen years and the van life side of the equation has only been positive. It is much easier to sneak off into the widerness here.
    I have read that some people on here say that it isnt always easy,well for me it has been. I am quite sure that life in bricks and mortar offer far more stress than what van life does.


    What you put into it is what you get out of it :D


    I guess that goes to any way of life.if we have the power to create our own realities,surely it is best to make them as close to perfect as we can,isnt it !!!!!


    Having read many of harry's posts and Looking at harry's photo,I think that if I was a traffic attendant I would say ' no problem sir,stay as long as you like :whistle:

  • Scotland's your place for van dwelling...if you can handle the weather! I think it's Norway as well that have the "Right to Roam" policy where they encourage people to get closer to nature.


    Lots of people successfully do it, and even with a few disasters along the way, I think to myself "Well what an experience it would be"! I like how many van dwellers say that it forces you to think creatively, but that also a calm mind is essential (particularly if you're co-habiting in a small space). I have some friends that literally cannot do without 2 showers a day and all their "stuff" so the thought of even going camping for one night is horrendous :D


    We're planning on moving into a van full-time next year - buying one today! Loads of times I've thought to myself, what the heck are you thinking? Really!? Did I mention that I'll be expected to turn up looking relatively smart for work 4 days a week in Mayfair...ha!


    Loneliness and parking seem to be the two most common "downsides" for van dwelling. My partner and I lived out of a bag together for 9 months in each other's company virtually 24/7 so I know we'll be ok there and (probably) won't resort to throttling each other, but the parking is an issue.


    I'm hoping we can get around it by using that parking website where people rent their car parking spaces out for very little money and just stealth it (or move to one of the free parking places overnight). As I'll only be working 4 days a week, we hope to disappear off to the coast on those days.


    As this is quite an idealistic way to view it, I've had to budget money for AirBnbs and campsites, but our aim is to boondock as much as poss. I'm hoping I can rely on a dose of my partner's charm to get ourselves out of a spot of bother as it's worked for him with a prior very sticky situation indeed! Our other backup is housesitting for a week here and there to 1) get some animal time 2) give us a break if we need one and 3) provide the much needed parking.


    I am expecting that there will be stigma and looking clean and tidy will help people not form immediate negative preconceptions. I think the suggestion from EnglishLens is excellent - by picking up litter and generally being respectful, it will help people look more kindly upon those opting for more alternative lifestyles.

  • All the full timers I know pick up litter close to their vans as a matter of course, for the simple reason we will get blamed for it anyway. 10 meters does the job, Nice spots you want to come back to. I hate truck stops for this, truckers have the sanitary habits worse than pigs.


    There is little to no stigma of van dwelling if you are clean and tidy looking, van and yourself, looking like a crusty living in a rust bucket shitmobile, loads a stigma.


    I have never had issues with loneliness, I like my own company, and the dog and cat help, they are always entertaining, besides, van dwelling there are always people to talk to as your front room is the whole world.


    I rarely bother with campsites, I just don't like them and think they are too expensive. Free camp always. Rely on no one and no one will let you down. Key to stress free living.


    Keeping clean and tidy is easier than people think. It may take a bit longer, but it isn't like there is a lot of housework to do. Swings and roundabouts.


    The only thing is you do need to plan ahead, conveniences have to be gotten before you need them, no just plugging a microwave in to defrost a joint that was in the freezer because there was nothing else to eat ( my version of that is dried pasta and packet sauces) . Make sure you have enough water and a way to heat it before a shower, sometimes than may mean feeling icky while you refill your tanks, Privacy also has to be planned for, know when you will want a private peaceful day to recharge, stock up on food and drink the day before and drive to spot you know first, Food is the main challenge, the hot and cold of a van it does go off long before its best before date, especially in summer, no 3 week old cabbages, you will eventually end up in hospital or dead from food poisoning, germs love the hot and cold of vans, you tend to buy small quantities very often. But you get used to all that, van dwellers tend to be fully aware at all times how much food is in the cupboard, water in the tank of gas in the bottle. I also tend to decide when I wake up where I am going to park that night, and plan the day accordingly. Or plane the park up based on the day I want to have.


    You also need to learn all about doing all the work on your own vehicle, putting it into the garage for a week while they fix an issue just isn't an option when it is your only home. It also saves money.

  • all the car parks I use in Devon and Somerset all specifically BAN overnight sleeping in vans.

  • plenty of places on Dartmoor you can park up and nobody will bother you. unless you make an almighty mess!


  • Loneliness is for people who do not appreciate their own company and if it exists then spend more time getting to know and appreciate the beautiful person that you really are :hippy:


    Norway is a stunning and easy country to travel in,as is much of scandanavia,though you must remember that the average service or item you buy is three times that of the uk. The wages are also an average of three times,so if you work there it is fine,if you do not,then watch your pennies disapear fast .


    Also hold in in mind that if you get up into the artic circle outside of the summer season you will need studded tyres and water and wood can be a bitch to find.


    The bottom line as pre- iterated by a wise few on here is that by keeping everything tidy including parkups,vehicle and attitude you will find that you can break down the judgemental attitudes of many. some unfortunately will be against you no matter what,but as colin rightfully states on here-smile,it will make them nervous :whistle:


    I am (as often) up in the alps at the moment and keep a good clean van and am very polite and helpful to those who I meet and never have met any opposition towards me parking up where I want. where I want is nearly always a beauty spot with great views,fresh air and water and loads of impressive flora and fauna all around. I fucking loves it :D

  • As a squatting crusty in a spray painted shitbucket I have to say that with careful choice of parking space I still don't get too much hassle. Depends massively on who lives next to where you park. One arsehole with a strange problem with travelling folks can make your life hell, no matter what are in.

  • "rednecks" or "straights" always seem to have a problem understanding anything "alternative".
    take my brother in law for instance "mr financial advisor" his attitude to anything alternative is to get out his shotgun! or so he says.


  • Lots of people successfully do it, and even with a few disasters along the way, I think to myself "Well what an experience it would be"! I like how many van dwellers say that it forces you to think creatively, but that also a calm mind is essential (particularly if you're co-habiting in a small space). I have some friends that literally cannot do without 2 showers a day and all their "stuff" so the thought of even going camping for one night is horrendous :D


    We're planning on moving into a van full-time next year - buying one today! Loads of times I've thought to myself, what the heck are you thinking? Really!?
    Did I mention that I'll be expected to turn up looking relatively smart for work 4 days a week in Mayfair...ha!


    Loneliness and parking seem to be the two most common "downsides" for van dwelling. My partner and I lived out of a bag together for 9 months in each other's company virtually 24/7 so I know we'll be ok there and (probably) won't resort to throttling each other, but the parking is an issue.


    This is spot on. I just stole it and texted it to my ex 😄
    Hope that's ok.