It can be easy to get caught up in the beautiful idea of Van life. I know because I’ve done it! All of the Instagram posts, YouTube videos, and Pinterest photos showcase the most glamorous aspects of living in a camper van, but like everything else, there is a downside.
It is important to work through all of your options when making a big decision like purchasing a van to convert. I want to make sure you are aware of the ups and the downs that come with this lifestyle.
If you are considering selling everything in favor of living in your van down by the river, consider these 5 pros and cons.
Living in a Camper Van Pro #1
You can travel anywhere you want and stay for the price of a camp spot or for free! This is probably the biggest selling point of van life. No more outrageous hotel rooms or AirBNBs because you have your own cozy home with you at all times.
Living in a Camper Van Con #1
Not every camping spot will be glamorous. Walmart parking lots, rest stops, and truck stops are commonly the only places available to sleep while traveling from one destination to the next.
It is wise to use an app such as iOverlander to find a place to make camp for the night on your way to your destination and once you get there.
Living in a Camper Van Pro #2
You have the freedom to go anywhere you want whenever your heart desires. If you especially love a spot, you can stay a few more days… or weeks. If you aren’t feeling your new digs, you can pack up and be somewhere new before the sun sets!
Living in a Camper Van Con #2
Gas costs money. Having the freedom to go anywhere on the continent only works if you have the gas to get you there. If you are traveling full time while living in a camper van, your income will not be as consistent as it was when you were chained to that desk.
Living in a Camper Van Pro #3
With Van life, you can work for yourself and make your own rules as you go. If you love to take pictures, you could do freelance photography. Love to write? Start a blog! There are plenty of opportunities to get paid for what you love while you’re on the road.
Living in a Camper Van Con #3
Starting your freelance career can be a tedious process. Whether you want to be a photographer, writer, or exotic interpretive dancer, you will have to build a portfolio and experience before you start making real money. It’s not impossible, but like all things, it takes time and effort.
Living in a Camper Van Pro #4
No more rent payment! Even though you probably won’t be bringing in a consistent paycheck (at first) you won’t have to worry about a big chunk of your money going towards your housing, water bill, power, wifi, etc. Your bills will diminish big time while living in a camper van!
Living in a Camper Van Con #4
Even though your housing costs have disappeared, that doesn’t mean that you no longer have financial responsibilities. A number of those bills you left behind will be replaced with gas costs, insurance, vehicle maintenance, and other surprise expenses.
Living in a Camper Van Pro #5
You will be able to explore all of
Living on the road can be lonely, but more times than not you meet people who are living for the same values that you are, and that is invaluable.
Living in a Camper Van Con #5
You will most likely spend a good stretch of time away from your family. This is especially true if most of them live in one place. It can be difficult for some people to be gone for months at a time and could potentially cause conflict with those you love.
There are ups and downs to being a nomad and living in a camper van, as there are with any lifestyle. If living and traveling in a conversion vehicle is truly something you want for your life, you will take the good with the bad and keep on trucking…. Or vanning?
You get what I’m saying!
Anyway, don’t let the cons scare away from an amazing experience, and don’t the pros cloud your judgment and trick you into thinking Vanlife is nothing but beautiful scenery and sunset pictures! It is what you make it!
Share some of your van life pros and cons in the comments! We’re always learning from each other!
Happy travels, friends!