11 Reasons Why Vanlife Better Than Living in a Regular House?

Written by Freedom Strider

On June 26, 2019
11 Reasons Why Vanlife Better Than Living in a Regular House?
To sum up Vanlife in one word: Freedom.

It gives you so much and takes very little, aside from that initial jump to launch yourself out of a convention. But banks, governments and employers all have no clue about why vanlife is great?! Why would they, because they then can’t sell you expensive mortgages and trap you? O.o

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‘To scale’ box template of the approximate loadable space in both Mercedes Sprinter and VW Crafter LWB.

Advantages of Living in a Van

(or similar compact vehicle of some description) in no particular order (aside from the first point because that is the #1 best reason)

1

Car and Home in one

If you live in your vehicle, it means you don’t have to worry about bus, plane, train, submarine, camel or donkey tickets! You can travel wherever you’d like, whenever you’d like…as long as there is a road.

if you have portable accommodation, expensive Airbnb’s are a thing of the past, along with dodgy looking shacks in the middle of nowhere.

Vanlife is great not because it save you money and give you much more flexibility and freedom. You also have the huge added benefit of actually travelling around in your own home. No more packing suitcases, only to arrive at your beach resort to realise you need those nail clippers or your 13th favourite t-shirt.

2

Encourages simple living

Vanlife strips away all the goop of life’s stereotypes and conventions and really helps you figure out what you truly need to live a fulfilled life.

Imagine taking away everything you have, and then only taking on board things you actually use on a daily basis. – instead of keeping draws and boxes of things you never even know you had. Starting from square one in terms of things you own, helps you eliminate things you never even thought you could live without. And it makes you appreciate everything you do have even more.

Everyone is different, and perhaps Vanlife is not for you permanently. But you will have learned your limits and you can carry that knowledge with you for the future.

HOUSESIT

3

Easier and quicker to clean

Any space gets messy, and a smaller space gets messy fast. Unless you stay on top of being organised, odd socks and loose papers will engulf your floor space (and your soul). Being in a more compact space actually helps you to keep on top of things. Vanlife is great as it allows you to stay tidy (most of the time). Due to their being less room from wall to wall, you clean faster.

 

Smaller space = less stuff = less to tidy. Win-win!

4

It costs less to build, maintain and repair

Smaller space = less materials = lower cost.

If it is smaller, it will be cheaper – from diamonds to diapers – that’s just how it is.

Even if you pump a lot of money into a van build (excluding the van cost) you will struggle to pay more than some of the cheapest real estates. Going all out, buying the most efficient solar systems, going full out on the electrics, smart design solutions. Even getting someone else to build one to the perfect highest end specs, you’d be struggling to spend more than £50,000. I mean…you have to want the granite kitchen counter, the mahogany cladding…quadruple glazing…(just remember the weight limit though).

On average £10,000 – £15,000 will get you a very decent van build, with a few luxuries thrown in. Going cheaper, you might have to start sourcing your materials more carefully, like from a recycling centre, or be handy with a saw and hammer. 😉

Vanlife is great in being able to allow you to customize everything.

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5

Renewable energy becomes more affordable

Not only will it cost you less to build and maintain, but also it will require less power and water to run. Therefore, a solar system for your van build will most likely be able to run everything you need. – Bearing in mind you’ve done your maths correctly…and the weather stays sunny.

 

But if the clouds do come, then the biggest advantage is that you can simply move your house to where there is sun. ;D

Even things like biofuel or using your van’s alternator to recharge your vans battery bank is possible. If you really want to get creative try charging your batteries up with a bike-driven generator. ;D

HOUSESIT

6

Reduces the environmental footprint

Using less of everything: materials, electricity, water, consumables – it means that your environmental footprint will reduce significantly

Things like heating a regular sized house takes an enormous amount of energy, but do you actually use every single room you heat?

No.

7

Easier to customise

Due to a significantly lower cost of building and maintaining a home on wheels, you find yourself being able to spend more on the things you really want in your home. (instead of wasting cash on square meters that you don’t particularly use).

These extra savings open more possibilities, allowing you to build a fully functional high tech kitchen, a multi-level wardrobe. Or a cleverly designed backpacking tri-folding ultra-lightweight tie rack. All of these are actual possibilities, not only making vanlife great, but also making your imagination the limit.

Multi-functionality and smart solutions will be your new best friends. You can tailor your home exactly to your needs and wants, and dedicate money and space on things that will fulfil your life. Not on the things society and convention dictate.

Like a self-raising plasma TV… or an epic tie rack.
(I don’t even like ties)

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‘To scale’ box template of the approximate loadable space in both Mercedes Sprinter and VW Crafter LWB.

8

Builds stronger relationships

Although a van is a smaller space, it might seem counterintuitive to hear that smaller spaces encourage and nurture stronger relationships.

Living in a small space requires teamwork, and good communication, which brings people closer together. It’s almost like a boot camp.

This lifestyle builds a supportive environment which has significant positive effects on mental health. Although the space is small, the lifestyle allows you to take your ease off the gas pedal on your life which is beneficial both for you and those around you.

HOUSESIT

9

Allows time to be more creative

Having to spend less time cleaning, maintaining, procrastinating, you gain a simpler and clearer mind-set. You can focus your time and energy on something new or something you’ve always wanted to improve at. Like yoga, baking, car mechanics (don’t experiment too much on your van), reading papers on how the universe came to be. Even archery (perhaps take that one outside the van though).

10

Easier to reach things without getting up

A simpler life…simpler problems.

Let’s be honest – we have all had the time when the thing we want is 10 steps away but we do not get up to get it. In a van, that is less of a problem – all your essentials are within an arm’s, a stretch or a rolls reach.

11

Better opportunities to connect with nature

Living in a van allows you to be surrounded by nature. Most van conversions aim to work with nature in a renewable way, rather than flatten it. Being in a small space encourages you to venture outside. Whether it be for fresh air, a hike, the aforementioned archery practice or just to buy your next dose of instant hot chocolate powder.

Look at it this way: you might not have your backyard garden, but in exchange, you get the biggest garden in the world – the world.

Depending on where you park, you can be in a desert, the mountains, on the beach, by a river and enjoy your garden with the added bonus that you don’t have the mow the grass (or buy the expensive lawnmower that comes with it).

HOUSESIT

2 Comments

  1. Benglian

    Good article, although it should probably be ‘Why Van life is better than living in a regular house’ because quite a few of the points are equally valid to living in a fixed Tiny house.
    And for balance, will you address the opposite side? ‘Why Van life sucks sometimes’ 😉

    • P.S. Strider

      Hey mate, thanks for the feedback… we are considering your title suggestion, as you are right, it is tricky to separate vanlife and the rest of the tiny home options. 😀 As for the counter-argument… it’s already in the queue to go up I believe not this week but the week after that.