The average first-time house buyer is now 36 years old, up from 33 last year. Housing prices are skyrocketing not just in the United States but also in other parts of the world. Many young people unhappy with their inability to buy property are turning to nomadic lifestyles, traveling and sleeping in campervans. However, campervans cost a small fortune, especially vintage ones.
Instead of buying actual campervans, many people are buying cargo trailers and then converting them into campers, giving them somewhere to sleep on the road. Here are some tips for doing just this:
Purchase the trailer.
The very first thing you need to do if you are interested in the van life is to purchase a trailer that’s suitably sized. There are many types of trailers; the best are custom enclosed trailers with built-in insulation and windows. A lot of first-time van lifers overlook the importance of insulation and windows. In the summer, throwing open the windows of your van will be a great way to let the heat out. During colder times of the year, insulation will keep you warm. If you have ever slept in a car before you will know how cold they can get, which is why insulation is vital.
Hire a professional to do it.
You don’t have to buy a trailer and convert it yourself, you can pay somebody else to do it for you. Custom trailer conversion companies have become very popular with van life devotees in the last few years. These companies can be expensive to work with but offer unrivaled quality and service. Spend time doing your research if you are intending to work with such an organization so that you can find the one that’s right for you.
Fix the interiors.
The vast majority of van lifers do not hire people to design their vans, they do it themselves. If you are on a budget and do not have enough money to buy a campervan or employ a professional to work on your trailer for you, do the conversion independently. As mentioned earlier it is important to ensure that you install insulation. Other than that you must make sure your van is comfortable. Install all of the fittings you would find in a house, i.e., a bed compartment, chairs, and tables. Don’t forget to bring your television either.
Buy the campervan.
Campervans are not cheap. Notwithstanding costs, they can still be a great investment, especially for individuals who’re interested in committing to van life wholeheartedly. Instead of paying for a trailer conversion you could buy a campervan on finance. Buying on finance means paying with credit. Rather than paying the entire cost of the campervan up front, you pay a small deposit and then make monthly installments. Buying yourself a campervan will mean you won’t have to worry about installing chairs, beds, or any other fittings yourself – these things will already come with the van.
Try renting one first.
Going back to the very beginning, if you are new to van life then rather than rushing out and buying a campervan or a trailer, rent a van for a while. Travel the open road and get to know what it’s like living life like a nomad. Until you are fully confident that the life of a wanderer is for you, you cannot confidently invest money into a campervan or trailer. As was already mentioned, these things are substantial purchases and should therefore only be made with complete and total confidence. Renting a van for a week shouldn’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars.
Choose what you need carefully.
When looking for a van or trailer, look carefully. There are many different options available. The one you choose needs to be perfect for you and your lifestyle. If you travel alone, then you don’t need a large space. If you have a partner or pet, then you will want a little more room. More space does not necessarily mean that you will have to pay more money as sometimes smaller vans are more expensive. It really comes down to utility as far as cost is concerned. The more a van has to offer, the more expensive it’ll be.
In terms of a nomadic existence, it’s best to travel light. You, therefore, do not need a lot of room if you are a single person as already mentioned. Traveling as lightly as possible will also be more comfortable in the long run. Living in a confined space with lots of clothes and bags will make things cramped. If you have a lot of stuff, they could even weigh your van down and make it move more slowly. Traveling light is easier said than done though. People who used to live in a house struggle with it at first.
Don’t forget your personal hygiene.
This is a major concern when you’re living in a van or trailer. At first, a lot of newbies let their personal hygiene slip, mainly because it’s downright inconvenient to shower and brush your teeth in a converted trailer unless you have a sink or shower built in. If you do not have these things then you will want to make sure that you park your van or trailer near a local swimming pool. Doing so will mean you can then go into the pool’s changing rooms whenever you need in order to to brush your teeth, shower, or shave; most pools are fine with this as long as you are a member.
Stock up on non-perishable goods.
The last thing you need to think about if you are interested in trying van life is food. Most converted trailers do not have cooking facilities, meaning the vast majority of the food you are going to eat are going to be canned. Alternatively, you can buy a gas stove and bring it with you, using it outside when you are hungry. Make sure you build enough space inside your van for food storage. Stock up on food, water, and fresh produce so that when you are on the road you do not have to stop several times a day.
More and more Americans are turning to the road, living in vans and trailers. The greatest advantage of this kind of lifestyle is that individuals are free to go wherever they want to, whether that is Florida or Louisiana, or even Mexico.
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