Vanlife on YouTube

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  • Im afraid i view it in the same negative way as i do tourism which shows people all the idyllic places to visit and suddenly theyre no longer idyllic because theyre overrun by tourists and people who want to make money from them.

    I dont see all the interest in vanllife and van conversions very positive for those of us who already live mobile life on the edge of society or offgrid.

    Not everyone would want to live nomadic nor is it it practical for most, but the more people who move into our sphere the more pressure it puts on it,on finding hideaways and parkups, it attracts more attention and before long will attract regulation,it already is doing that now with changes to taxation on motorhomes and imposition of PSPO's to control nomadic parking and sleeping in vehicles.

    As more folks convert vans it makes it harder to find affordable vehicles and accessories to kit them out with.


    At the end of the day most of those folks who write books and make videos on how to convert vans or live in them (or any other subject) are doing so to make money.Theyre not doing it out of some grand altruistic philosophical motivation.Theyre doing it to make money from book sales and advertising clicks and they hope some sponsorship or freebies along the way or fame.

    They just become paid social media influencers for marketers, social lifestyle media and corporate interests,so they too can make money from it.


    Years back,smallholding and self sufficiency were a niche interest and you could do it really cheaply,buy old tractors, farm machinery and kit for bog all. Now its big money,nothing is cheap and a thousand and one 'experts' all competing to make money from books, videos and 'how-to' guides and thats pretty much the normal state of affairs with any interest now.


    If youve got a nice way of life,keep it to yourself,because sure as hell once everyone else knows about it theyll fuck it up for you.

  • Yeah; I hear what you're saying and a large part of me agrees with all you say NRT but..... just maybe they are showing us in a fairly gd light and just maybe good things might come from it?, the crusty image gone for ever?

  • To be honest what ive seen of them,we seem to be getting overrun by designer yuppies and swish conversions used mainly for weekenders and hols which has drastically hit the second hand van bus and truck affordability for six.

    Look whats its done to VW T4 and T5 s,theyre going for mortgage money and theyre not even practical to live in.

    Its having an effect in some areas already,lije in Scotland where theyre banning overnight parking in many areas and theyre bringing in tourist taxes on motorhomes and campers and we could see an end to wildcamping.

    Sooner or later the government will want its cut for van conversions and lost council tax and want its grubby hands in regulating conversions and issuing certification on the grounds theyre unsafe or a health hazard. The Government doesnt like people living cheap who it cant control.


    Everything is getting sodding gentrified in this country. You cant go normal camping these days,its frowned on as far too basic. Folks want hardwood floors and Persian rugs sofas and luxury beds in their glamping tent now. Shepherd huts with luxury interiors FFS

    With all these newly converted palaces like vans around it will be,easy to spot us crunchy types to be hounded off the road via MOT and habitability certificate.

    Give me crusty any day

  • The best way to make people think well of vehicle dwellers or nomads in general is for us all to be on our best behaviour when needed. If people meet us types and we are always polite and helpful,that will do far more good than a vid on youtube.


    Whereas I can appreciate that a well made vid by someone decent could be a good idea,the mere fact that there is a well visited vid about people living outside the system and being mostly read by people who are stuck in it and paying loads of charges could also generate jealousy and even hate from some of the public.


    I remember meeting some really arrogant people who lived in tipi valley who thought that they were far better than everyone else because of their way of life. It put me right of tipi dwellers for ages until I met some good ones,and in the scheme of things I was fairly open minded !!!!


    We reap what we sow comes to mind :-)


    Too much media coverage of this way of life in my humble opinion is not a great idea !

  • Exactly,its usually (but not always) the brash types with loads of disposable income who go about leaving shitloads of crap where they parked up and blagging to everyone theyre living for free. There was one such person in a plush van pictured on a website emptying his chemical toilet on a public carpark. That kind of thing is going to get us all banned from places.

  • Society needs the house dwellers to keep it all running properly and are already trying to make it hard for those of us doing it. Throw another 100 000 vehicle dwellers onto the roads and it will only get harder.

    Decent park ups will be closed or regulated and will not be free,taps will be turned off so that we dont all get free water,gates into fields will have more barbed wire as will access to forests.

    The last decade in France has seen a huge increase of shiny whites taking to the road and I have seen the downside of this all over the country.

    Lucky enough there is still lots of space here and most shiny white owners are too scared to park along in the middle of nowhere,where most people dont turn a blind eye towards a van spending the night,however all it takes is one shiny white with a pair off balls and all of a sudden all the others driving past stop and park next to it,and before you know it that park up is dead.


    There is room for people to live like this but if it expands too much it will disapear and I will have to think what is my next option for living free and happy.


    I welcome good people on to the road,and see many that I wish would fuck off to planet dickhead and leave us to enjoy the life that we work hard to keep going for us and other good hearted and minded folk !

  • Could it not maybe bring people together? More vandwellers , more political clout, more nice park ups like in France? A whole country living free and off grid, sorry getting carried away ,but maybe??

    Doesnt seem to have worked well for traditional travellers and Roma, or the canal boat dwelling community now saddled with compulsory inspections,certification,permits and compulsory requirements to keep moving on unless youre paying for a permanent marina mooring and council tax.


    You can see where thing were going after The Convoy crackdown years ago and Bristol more recently. Authority just doesnt want people doing what they want.Plenty of holiday towns are stopping overnight parking on seafronts and car parks,same in National Parks.


    In the US,city authorities in some states are outlawing the use of solar panels and catching rainwater or any attempted offgrid development that is not connected to utility companies even on your own land.

    Theyre cracking down on folks sleeping in RVs or trying to make it illegal.That kind of corporate authoritarian stupidity ends up here in the UK.


    Majority of nomads and offgridders just want to be independent and look out for themselves and provide for themselves but that means youre not on the system hamster wheel and beyond control.

    Enjoy the life while you can.

  • Ok most try to make cash from youtube,selling merchandise, or advertising products ,but hey gd luck to em!, why not? It doesn't cost us anything and we dont have to even subscribe! I would never personally do it because I wouldn't want the exposure, but gd luck to them all, let's not be so grumpy hippies. As for the park up arguement, I dont see loads of youtube vanlife followers parking in any of my spots etc the damage has been done in the past by the convoy and the Irish travellers not by peeps in motorhomes !or youtube followers! We need to change the perception and mind set not by hiding away and fearing everything ,but by good example and hopefully good things will come!

  • Weekend warriors with tens of thousands to splash bringing out town and city attitudes are not in for it as a real solid way of being to find an alternative to the stink and repression of modern life. To those types of posh wankers, like most else they have it's an accessory not a life.

    Like the modern eco living on the land, the likes of Mr had it all paid for Dick Strawbridge brought it to the mainsream on TV and it's made it all very expensive and much more on the radar from the authorities, whereas is was relatively cheap and do-able, if you kept your head down you could fly under the radar, it bought those who are doing it into the firing line. Those that can afford the stupid high costs of doing it legally have made those who cant and have to do it on a shoestring and needing to stay under the radar even more illegal, same goes for vehicle and boat life.


    The high rise in the number of people doing it weekend warrior vanlife style is only going to bring it even more into the attention span of law and authorities and that will only mean one thing, more regs and laws and more expense that those of us for real wont be able to comply with or afford.

  • Ok most try to make cash from youtube,selling merchandise, or advertising products ,but hey gd luck to em!, why not? It doesn't cost us anything and we dont have to even subscribe! I would never personally do it because I wouldn't want the exposure, but gd luck to them all, let's not be so grumpy hippies. As for the park up arguement, I dont see loads of youtube vanlife followers parking in any of my spots etc the damage has been done in the past by the convoy and the Irish travellers not by peeps in motorhomes !or youtube followers! We need to change the perception and mind set not by hiding away and fearing everything ,but by good example and hopefully good things will come!

    Boris I respect your optimistic viewpoint and well done to you for sticking with it as its good to believe that there will be happy and positive vibes for all around the corner :-)


    I have been on the road for a lot of years now and have met some great people and have had many great experiences and woiuld not swap my way of life easily for anything else as it gives me excatly the way of life that I want.

    I am not being negative when I say that because of the amount of campers on the road here in France now I have seen many hundreds of great parkups disapear behind height barriers,large boulders and padlocked chains and this is not only because of the numbers but also people who do not respect the unwritten rules of being on the road and doing so in a manner that keeps us all truckin' on quite nicely.


    I am pretty good at sniffing out tranquil park ups and one does get better at it with experience , but they are getting less and less and the only way we can help with that is by teaching by example, and whereas there is room for more decent vehicle dwellers at the moment there will not be forever and we need to give consideration to that if we want to preserve this way of life which is one of the last vestiges of living free in europe.


    All it takes is one dickhead to spoil it for hundreds of good people and the most arrogant travellers that I meet are nearly always those who are coming from posh backgrounds and love the idea of getting out of society for the weekend and sticking twi fingers upto the system and I think that youtube vids to encourage them to do so.


    If it is working for you and you have found the way of life you have always wanted,then best you be a bit selfish and preserve it my friend as in this case a bit of selfishness is actually good for others too :-)

  • My sentiments exactly IT. The folk here who are or were the real travellers are now on long term park ups much like myself these days, 4 years in on long term park up after many years full time on the road and it has grown to suit my needs at this point in my life. There is far more posh weekend warriors out there now and no doubt laws and accessibility etc will change accordingly because of the growing popularity.

  • Quote

    You can see where thing were going after The Convoy crackdown years ago and Bristol more recently. Authority just doesnt want people doing what they want.Plenty of holiday towns are stopping overnight parking on seafronts and car parks,same in National Parks.


    NC, the convoys were fuckups in the face of the working man and the powers that be and Bristol was taking the piss. If the convoys were low key and better organised then maybe there'd been a better outcome and better acceptence, the media coverage made the most of muppets saying ' we're waiting for our giros' and diesel to move on. Bristol from pics looked to the public to be a ghetto decending into suburbia, too many peeps all in one place and it only needs the papers to say they're shitting in peoples gardens and public anger is then aroused causing calls for their removal.


    It really pisses me off to find an empty park-up then to have neighbours decend on my bumper. Nobody is going to take much notice of an old 'camper' on it's own no matter how scruffy it looks if it't parked for one night. (The peeps in their so called 'stealth' vans have no idea how much they stand out in the rural. A parked up van in the sticks is usually thought of as a 'gyp' on the rob.)


    Too many vehicles especially together, cunts leaving rubbish and shit / toilet paper in laybys (regular occurrences nowadays) is what kills it without media coverage to entice more and will just bring more barriers, more regulation and more hate.

  • Ok most try to make cash from youtube,selling merchandise, or advertising products ,but hey gd luck to em!, why not? It doesn't cost us anything and we dont have to even subscribe! I would never personally do it because I wouldn't want the exposure, but gd luck to them all, let's not be so grumpy hippies. As for the park up arguement, I dont see loads of youtube vanlife followers parking in any of my spots etc the damage has been done in the past by the convoy and the Irish travellers not by peeps in motorhomes !or youtube followers! We need to change the perception and mind set not by hiding away and fearing everything ,but by good example and hopefully good things will come!

    You make a good point Boris. Can you give me the name of the shop where you got them rose tinted glasses please mate!?😁

    In an ideal world I would agree with you buddy, but can't help thinking it can only end in tears. Gypsies wouldn't have a bad rep if they kept a low profile, & nobody had even heard of "new age travellers" till the convoy gathered its momentum. Sad to admit but it's all too easy to become a victim of your own success.....

  • NC, the convoys were fuckups in the face of the working man and the powers that be and Bristol was taking the piss. If the convoys were low key and better organised then maybe there'd been a better outcome and better acceptence, the media coverage made the most of muppets saying ' we're waiting for our giros' and diesel to move on. Bristol from pics looked to the public to be a ghetto decending into suburbia, too many peeps all in one place and it only needs the papers to say they're shitting in peoples gardens and public anger is then aroused causing calls for their removal.


    It really pisses me off to find an empty park-up then to have neighbours decend on my bumper. Nobody is going to take much notice of an old 'camper' on it's own no matter how scruffy it looks if it't parked for one night. (The peeps in their so called 'stealth' vans have no idea how much they stand out in the rural. A parked up van in the sticks is usually thought of as a 'gyp' on the rob.)


    Too many vehicles especially together, cunts leaving rubbish and shit / toilet paper in laybys (regular occurrences nowadays) is what kills it without media coverage to entice more and will just bring more barriers, more regulation and more hate.

    And the reason The Convoy and Bristol came about is because people were never reallt free to roam and live as they please and being victimised by police and establishment for their lifestyle choice just as gypsy travellers are and expected to conform to the working mans view... and i guess safety in numbers attitude prevails. Im not saying either was a thought out way to respond to the political pressure and homelessness and The Government subsequent response to outlaw what lead to the Convoy has just made it all harder for all nomads fulltime or part... and still used against informal raves and gatherings.


    End of the day whether folks work or not or whether they live in vans or live in houses or flats ,some are shitheads and arseholes with no respect or common sense and some are decent respectful folk. The only difference is their attitude not what they live in. Settled working men are pretty resentful about everything -mostly for good reason- theyre also extremely intolerant and resentful of folks who arent like them and live the way they do.

    Its always the folks trapped in houses and flats and social conformity doing all the complaining about folks who show a bit of free spirit.

  • Ok I'm old enough to remember the convoy, came across them at festies and nearly signed up but you could see it was going to end in tears, I have never in my life seen peeps in motorhomes etc shit or litter in park ups,seen plenty of lorry drivers ,workmen and hoodrats doing it, we are never getting to a place where the convoy left off , there are still peeps living in Van's on the road,what we fucking need is park ups like in France etc and to get these we need to put pressure on the councils,I'm convinced that the white motorhome owners can help the cause,you might not like them or think they are rich cunts etc but again most of them I have met over the years are decent people and have on occasion given me food etc so let's not cunt all of them off especially as they could be a strong ally.

  • Dont get wrong it would be nice if there was a mutually beneficially community of nomadic dwellers,irrespective of what they live in,who all show respect,look out for each other and cultivate a warm and fuzzy relationship with all settled landlubbers but in reality its not going to happen.

    By our nature we reject most of what settled society represents and although plenty of us try to get along with the normies,plenty take the piss and try their best to antagonise just cuz they can.Its what stopped me going on impromptu camps in the early 80's because i got fed up of spending nights drinking with seemingly ok folks only to find them rooting through my kitchen stores in the morning or nicking my wood and coal.


    I dont know what the ideal answer is apart from providing proper affordable nomad parkups that arent like caravan and motorhome sites and providing more of them even if it meant paying a quid or two a night and not having authorities persecuting people who choose not to live in bricks and mortar.


    I just think its a really bad idea youtubers et al trying to encourage more and more people into this lifestyle like its dead glamorous and cool when we who already live like this are already facing parkup and harrassment issues that will only get worse as numbers swell.

  • Wouldnt it be fantastic if every supermarket amd council and National Patk with an empty fuck off carpark at night offered overnight parking for up to 5 vans or motorhomes for a moderate fee to cover water, hookup if needed and somewhere to tip waste.If theres cctv they can see who is being a cunt.


    Thats the kind of initiatives we need to address the issue not outlawing it and pretending there is no problem.

  • Wouldnt it be fantastic if every supermarket amd council and National Patk with an empty fuck off carpark at night offered overnight parking for up to 5 vans or motorhomes for a moderate fee to cover water, hookup if needed and somewhere to tip waste.If theres cctv they can see who is being a cunt.


    Thats the kind of initiatives we need to address the issue not outlawing it and pretending there is no problem.

    I like the idea BUT it would just cause a huge increase in vandwellers seeing a cheap alternative to bricks as well as the shiny white brigade taking advantage of a cheap parkup instead of using official sites. I was warned off a supermarket carpark in Glasto as they were clamping vans after the numbers increased so who would regulate it?


    The carparks are such a waste at present being empty from 2200 to 0800 and would be ideal for current peeps that is until the irish traveller shitbags spoil it.

  • I like the idea BUT it would just cause a huge increase in vandwellers seeing a cheap alternative to bricks as well as the shiny white brigade taking advantage of a cheap parkup instead of using official sites. I was warned off a supermarket carpark in Glasto as they were clamping vans after the numbers increased so who would regulate it?


    The carparks are such a waste at present being empty from 2200 to 0800 and would be ideal for current peeps that is until the irish traveller shitbags spoil it.

    I dont know,it was a suggestion, But, if people purchased overnight parking permits from their supermarket store of choice and booked their slot like they do booking a home delivery the store only allowed a maximum of 5 units to stay on any night,it wouldnt be diifficult to police.

    Anyone there without permit gets moved on. Supermarkets already have security staff on duty all night and carparks covered by cctv and many have ANPR so you turn up at 10pm and bugger off by 8 am,cause a nuisance anywhere you get barred from using them.

    Same could be applied to council and country parks. It could be income fo them and affordable overnight parking for us.


    Its not much different to the motorhome parking offered on pub carparks in exchange for buying a meal.


    I guess if you didnt offer hookups it would deter many of the Shiney Whites who like their luxuries.


    Nothing is going to be a simple solution but doing nothing at all isnt a solution. Something needs to be trialled.


    The Government answer is ban everything,ban homelessness,ban street sleepers,ban campervans and overnight parking, ban sleeping in lay-bys, ban feeding the homeless... Ban Ban Ban....no useful fucking ideas to offer to resolve anything though.

    Quick enough to impose parking charges in hospitals when youve got to visit sick relatives and clamp you for parking too long.

  • The demise of the convoy days was bought about by itself, it was getting way out of hand, I removed myself as didnt want to be part of something gone rotten, it's no wonder the authorities reacted the way they did. Although I can look back at old film footage and think feck they were a filthy bunch of cunts coming down on folk living on the road and it looked harsh but in reality the scene was imploding on itself.


    I am glad I was around on the scene back then, the good times were amazingly good and it was incredible what folk could achieve if we all pulled

    together. The free festivals were something to behold. There was a real sense of belonging, a real form of tribal connectedness, a real sense of brother and sister hood but in the end the attitude got worse and worse and it spiralled out of control, Castlemorton common being one of the catalysts to fuel the end, then folk drifted aborad and carried on doing the very same in Portugal and Spain much to the chagrin of the authorities there. The soundsystems went over and folk followed and partied on. I packed in vehicle life and went horsedrawn in 94 after it all came on top and the criminal justice bill was introduced in part to curb illegal raves and gatherings of 3 or more vehicles which stopped folk parking up as tribe ( safety in numbers ) which had grown to huge proportions, the parties then were fecking awesome at the time but the state didnt like it as it was messy and I can say understandably, very intrusive on the natives where ever they happened and left carnage behind at times.


    When I went horsedrawn, it was a proper wow moment, within weeks the difference in acceptance from locals and police where ever I went was vastly different, straight folk with land were offereing me park ups with grazing, where as before in a vehicle the very same people would have gladly seen me thrown to the dogs. Once I cottoned on I had gained a large level of acceptability that was it, faith in humanity restored. Yes, back in the end day's of vehicle travelling, we felt frowned upon and hated and the scene reacted in a big fuck you lot, we wanted to party and we did, but the reaction went bad, no wonder really.


    The scene in Bristol was only going to go one way, they were a messy bunch and only bought it upon themselves, a recognisable story from past times for sure that wont be tolerated ever again.

  • I dont know what the ideal answer is apart from providing proper affordable nomad parkups that arent like caravan and motorhome sites and providing more of them even if it meant paying a quid or two a night and not having authorities persecuting people who choose not to live in bricks and mortar.

    This is exactly what I'm saying but to get this sort of investment we do need some sort of pressure group etc and I'm sure the many caravan clubs types and dare I say here the new youtube vanlife converts would sign up for decent park ups , as Wulfie correctly states, the fucking Irish travellers could pose a problem but they do anyway!!

  • I personally think that it is best alone as any type of pressure on the goverment will more than likely backfire.


    In my experience it is best left to the individual to survive on their own wits and initiative to find park ups and not make much noise doing it.


    Its easy to look to France being much easier to live a nomadic life in,but one must remember that there is a shit load more space here with the same poulation as in the uk,in fact we have got three times the space per person here and even with that there are more and more rules and regs appearing and more places disapearing all the time.


    I keep moving and also have a van with foreign plates and loads of tourist stickers on the back,so to them I am just a tourist passing through so again it is easier for me than it is for the locals who live like that here.


    It has been mentioned many times on here and rightfully so. Below Radar :thumbup:

  • Under the radar wins every time! I love my bus, converted 5.5tonne welfare bus converted with a mind to eventually full timing in it, but can't help thinking about a stealth type white van conversion for the reason it would be easier to hide! I see the logic in the argument for banding together as a pressure group, but we have seen that fail many times. Fact is the powers that be don't want nomads in society & will act to discourage us wherever they can. If that doesn't work they will eventually bring in laws to ban us & make us outlaws, been done many times in the past. If you can enjoy your situation low key & not attract attention it can only be in your favour....

  • Indeed I haven't toured around France for 30yrs and sad to hear that things seem to have gone downhill, yeah I guess you are all right about staying under the radar,it wont really affect me what happens, I will keep on keeping on and fuck em all!