Hello UK Hippy - New UK Van Dweller

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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • Hi folks, not new to UK Hippy, I created this account a few years ago when I was looking into things, but I am gonna say hi as this is the first time I will try to be more engaged.


    So, I moved into my van/campervan conversion on the 15th May. It is a Vauxhall Vivaro LWB. I got 320watts of solar on the roof and roof vent fan etc.


    For me moving into a van was about saving a bit of money, but also sticking two fingers up the system. So far I have done about a week and half of stealth camping, but I have also been staying on campsites, and am just about to do another 14 nights stint on a sight.


    Finding park ups has been actually quite easy and stress free in Kent, despite my initial fears that I would be driving around for ages falling asleep at the wheel trying to find somewhere to spend the night. However, one thing I am finding a little difficult is what to do during the day time. I work most days but have two days off a week and not having a base to be is a little unsettling - hence the staying on campsites. I know I can spend a couple of hours in a supermarket carpark and then couple of hours in a park etc, but this seems to be the biggest change and shock to the system - at least from my perspective.


    I have a blog which I started for van life and for my other passion - Trains. No idea if I will keep it up for either of them, but for now I am.


    https://antaresonwheels.uk


    Anyway, "hi all" and I hope to spend more time here now reading comments and learning from others experience.

  • I'm only an occasional van dweller, so I can't answer your question properly. I'm in a boat much of the rest of the time, but I realised that I would have to find a way of doing what I would normally do if life was going to make sense. What would you be doing if you were living in a house? I imagine that finding some favourite park-ups would be useful once you've got used to this life change and you will begin to feel you have some sort of routine ... even if it is not the kind of routine that might be recognised as such by house-dwellers.

  • Hi marshlander, well the truth is I have mostly always been a homebody. stuck in front of a computer screen or tv or watching movies etc. So after chores done just plonked down in front of a screen - which is another reason I wanted to try van life, give me an excuse to get out more and walk more etc.


    I have already got used to sleeping in the van and that side doesn't phase me any more, its just the "right its 7:30am in the morning, I've left my sleep spot, so now what?"


    Anyway, I am sure I will get there. Thanks for the reply.

  • Hello, hello!

    I also love sticking 2 fingers up the system, I might even be going for a fist ?

    Do you like trainspotting? ?

    Welcome to UK Hippy, ants are on wheels!

  • Hi marshlander, well the truth is I have mostly always been a homebody. stuck in front of a computer screen or tv or watching movies etc. So after chores done just plonked down in front of a screen - which is another reason I wanted to try van life, give me an excuse to get out more and walk more etc.


    I have already got used to sleeping in the van and that side doesn't phase me any more, its just the "right its 7:30am in the morning, I've left my sleep spot, so now what?"


    Anyway, I am sure I will get there. Thanks for the reply.

    All the action of moving on and faffing around can become quite tiresome/exhausting for us homebody types...(it's almost like holding down an extra part time job)... personally I try not to feel that I have to be stealthy.


    I've found comfy, noiseblocking type earphones and adopted the idea of: 'why stand when you can sit and why sit when you can lay down'.


    White noise type apps are a blessing for helping with relaxation in busy park ups and noisy campsites.

  • What is the rough monthly cost of living when you stay in park ups and the like?

    Can't give you a simple answer.


    Some people are skilled at maintaining and self servicing live in vehicles which can reduce some of the financial costs.


    Buying and maintaining a roadworthy van can easily range from £200 to £400 per month before tax and insurance and internals.......fitting out the inside for living plus fuel for light, heat and gadgets adds more to the sum total.

  • So are you just lucky or are you skilled? And do you put many miles on it?


    My van cost equation for 3 vans over 3.5 years averages out at just over £200 per month. This current van stands at £320 per month (but is included in the average) and still needs expensive fixes but it gives 27mpg.....I am mechanically clueless though....

  • Neither , insurance and tax is less than 500 a year,MOT varies and I have been lucky so far , 500 quid in welding this year, I have owned it 6 years and thats by far the biggest spend.

    Im tempted to ask my insurer about permanent cover away from home address. I'm already insured for a perpetually incomplete conversion with decent roadside recovery and above average mileage with no 2nd vehicle and multiple places of work and extras at £700 per year.


    I saw a post somewhere from a driver who allegedly obtained permanent away from home insurance and reckoned it added about £80 to the insurance cost.

  • Hello, hello!

    I also love sticking 2 fingers up the system, I might even be going for a fist ?

    Do you like trainspotting? ?

    Welcome to UK Hippy, ants are on wheels!

    Thanks and Lol about ants


    I am not a trainspotter as such. I am not quite that level of geek. I don't walk around with a notepad and pen taking now train numbers, or rattling off the names and numbers. I prefer to think of myself as a train enthusiast. I mostly prefer the virtual kind at the moment. I play Trainz A New Era simulator and make videos about that.


    Now I am more mobile with van life I may start to go visit train related locations and events and take footage of that and add it to the blog.

  • Hi zendaze, yeah I get you on the faffing around part.


    I have a couple of USB fans which I leave on over night as well as leave my roof vent fan on low at night and between them they create a nice white noise hum which is what I am used to.


    So far I have only had one problem sleeping and that was last night when I parked up in an industrial estate - lorries constantly thundering up and down. Am sure they sped up as they passed me just for shits and giggles causing the van to sway as they passed!


    At 1:30am in the morning I had enough and drove off round the corner to a different park up. Slept the rest of the night uninterrupted :)

  • Ive little doubt that some drive close as they pass with the intention of rocking ones world.


    It's definitely a stressor. I'm not sure that I will ever get used to it but based on my experience of flats and rooms I'll take the van swaying cuntitude over passive aggressive cunt neighbours.

  • Im tempted to ask my insurer about permanent cover away from home address. I'm already insured for a perpetually incomplete conversion with decent roadside recovery and above average mileage with no 2nd vehicle and multiple places of work and extras at £700 per year.


    I saw a post somewhere from a driver who allegedly obtained permanent away from home insurance and reckoned it added about £80 to the insurance cost.

    What is this 'away from home' insurance ? , its got wheels and you are paying them for the privilege of using them. I know that they ask where it will be kept and with mine off-road at rear of sisters semi or slap bang on the high street (same village so similaer postcodes) cost exactly the same.

    Flux have mine as on the high street outside my Mums cottage and its been there maybe 3 times in last 2 years and they were fleeting visits.

  • Allegedly the guy was constantly travelling in his car and staying in hotels. He was able to provide a 'home' address but could not say that it was 'where the vehicle is normally/usually kept'. He allegedly stated such and the insurer allegedly added apx £80 to the premium.....


    Allegedly ?