6 Months Living In A Van
These are three things I hate about living in a van.
My wife and I have been living in a converted Sprinter van for over 6 months. Needless to say, we are way past the honeymoon stage. I have to be honest, there are some things I really don’t like about living in a van.
Yes, we are traveling across the country and seeing beautiful mountains, oceans, and rivers. But man, there are some things I really didn't think about beforehand. I’m sure my wife has a few comments to make as well. In fact, I think I should let her speak first.
When I first asked Ashley to tell me three things she hated about van life, she questioned if she really had to limit it to three. Anyways… here’s her list.
1. Running Errands
Ashley brought up a great point that if either of us wants to go anywhere to run an errand, we quite literally have to pack up our whole house and bring everything with us. There is no such thing as making a solo trip to Target. If one of us needs a haircut, we both get a haircut. Having freedom is something I miss a lot.
2. The WiFi Connection
Both of us work and to do so, we need a good WiFi connection. Finding a place to park that also has WiFi has been difficult — if you want to park in a beautiful spot. That being said, when we do find a really pretty place, we try our hardest to disconnect.
I think if we weren’t working and were doing van life to take a break from the computers, our experience would be a lot different. Right now we have a healthy balance of working really hard for 3 to 4 days out of the week and exploring for the rest.
Ashley hates cleaning. Even though it’s a tiny space, there are more chores to do than one would think. For example, you can’t just leave your dishes on the counter and wash them in the morning because the counter is right next to your bed. If you leave the door open for too long, dirt and particle blow into the van that needs to be cleaned up. There are no off days.
Now for my list…
The number one thing I hate about van life is the shower situation. Our water takes an hour to heat up so I have to plan when I am going to take one. This is something you just don't think about when you live in a home! If it’s past dark, we usually can’t shower because it will use too much solar energy and not leave us with enough to last through the night. Oftentimes we hit up campgrounds where the showers aren't very nice. If we do shower in the van, we are only in there for 60 seconds to 2 minutes max.
2. The WiFi Connection (again)
I definitely share the frustration of not always getting great WiFi. We did the best research, got all the right tools, and even invested in a WiFi extender and 5g hotspot. However, when you're in the middle of nowhere, none of this matters. The best views in the world have zero service.
3. Emptying The Pee Bucket
This is mandatory if you have a composting toilet. It is absolutely disgusting but again, mandatory. If the bucket overflows… I don't even want to think about the mess it would make. To be honest, there are certain types of foods we don't eat anymore solely because of the pee bucket. It’s not fun. I’m really going to appreciate having a regular toilet someday.
Now it’s time for a bonus segment… here’s what our videographer hates most about van life (even though she doesn't live in the van)
1. Sleeping In A Tent
Anywhere we go, our videographer goes. However, as I mentioned, the van is pretty small. One night, she had to sleep in a tent in Sedona. The temperature dropped to almost 30 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s enough said.
2. Driving The Jetta
Believe it or not, her Jetta was not made for offroading the tough terrain of BLM land. She’s a champ and followed us anyways.
3. The Eating Schedule
Whenever we eat, she eats — even if she’s not hungry. She doesn't complain though.
With all of that said, living in a van has been amazing and life-changing. I’m not the same person that I was 6 months ago when we started our journey. I am at peace. I am more patient than I’ve ever been. I have enjoyed watching the simple things in life like sunrises and ocean waves. I will always look back on these memories very fondly. I’ve had the time of my life (despite the crappy internet).
Thanks for reading.
Peace and God bless.
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