No matter how much one researches and prepares, some things are only learned by doing. Here are some things 'dwellers wish they knew earlier.
The most common sentiment among full-timers is they wish they had started earlier. For those who are called, it can be a great life.
The pretty vans you see on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube are not how most vandwellers live. Most of us have practical, simple, builds that meet our needs.
If vandwelling appeals because you want to run away, it may be an expensive and frustrating exercise. After all, “no matter where you go, there you are…”
It is possible that living in a van could make matters worse, as you are confronted with the realization that
Having said that, vandwelling can be therapeutic for people who are hypersensitive to social stimuli, noise, chemicals, etc. Many PTSD sufferers camp away from others to calm their nerves. And some people just get more work done when they are left alone.
Vandwelling can also provide emergency shelter for folks faced with homelessness, and can help others save money for other purposes.
Mild winter isn't too bad, because it is possible to heat cheaply and easily with propane.
Summer can be terrible, particularly in humid areas. Vans aren't practical to run off solar power. Some get by with generators, who have their own set of tradeoffs. Folks who live in the desert may be able to use evaporative cooling to good effect.
For this reason, folks who aren't tied down tend to follow good weather.
“Stealth is a lie…” – bkrassn2)
Stealth doesn't have to mean that no one notices, it means that no one calls the cops to harass you. If your bright yellow vehicle blends with other bright yellow vehicles then no one cares. Setting out lawn chairs, extending slides, or making a mess generally antagonize the locals.
Almost everyone brings too much crap at first. Take as little as you dare. Commit to not having self-storage anywhere. Be brave.