How to Live/Travel in a Conversion Van

May 2nd, 2014 by

Traveling in a conversion van can be a fascinating and enlightening experience, giving you the opportunity to choose almost any location as your backyard. It offers benefits that can’t be found in traditional homes plus, you get to call what you do van-dwelling! There are a few things to know about living in them, though. The limited space means there is a decent amount of ingenuity involved.

You?ll need a place to store food. Coolers usually work for this; you can get one rated for 5-6 days for relatively low cost, allowing you to carry perishables with you wherever you go. If you can, make sure to purchase a cooler small enough to fit underneath the bed of your van; you want to maximize storage space as much as possible.

You’ll also need a place to cook. You can carry a small microwave and find an adaptor for it to run off the power of the van, or you can take a few steps to do something a bit more ingenious: utilizing a small burner or stove top like you can find at most big box stores. What you should avoid, however, is using a camp stove or anything that generates smoke. Even with proper ventilation, it will dirty the interior of your van. Cleaning smoke stains can be a pain in the backside.

Another thing you’ll need to install is a roof vent. This will use minimal power and allow air to flow into the van from the exterior; you want to avoid running it all the time, so normal air conditioning isn?t possible. By placing on overhang on the top of it, you can prevent rain from entering while still enjoying all the benefits of cool air. It might be a good idea to put a screen around it to prevent bugs from finding their way in, too.

Another item that is essential are batteries. With a bit of rigging or professional help, you can set it so that these will be recharged as you travel from place to place, providing you with a nearly unlimited supply of power when you aren’t on the road. These batteries will provide power to all other appliances within your conversion van, including your vent fan, a television if you have one, computer, and miscellaneous electronics.

The best part of a conversion van is the ability to camp in plain sight and not be noticed. To most people, it will seem as though a van is parked on the side of the road. You won’t raise any suspicion, provided you move often enough. Not only is it less expensive than owning a home, but you also produce far less waste and live in a way that is totally environmentally friendly.

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