Why #vanlife Sucks

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Plasmajab

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Good Read with a lot of good points.

I guess vanlife could be considered to be something only obtainable to the single, married with no kids, or the retired. But I see it a lot. Especially where I am, near Toronto where housing prices are insane. I've heard in Vancouver its a serious issue.

There's a lot of downsides to the vanlife. But there are some that embrace it. Some out of choice, and some out of no alternative. But its like anything else, a pro and a con to each.

Personally with my family, it would never work. Kids aside, even if it were just me and my spouse we need our own space to recharge.

Mine seems to be the doghouse. The dog doesn't seem to mind the company at all.
 
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v_man

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My wife and I are both teachers with large blocks of time off. Without fail, as we approached the end of a long summer road trip, we would both want nothing more than to sleep in our own bed and be off the road. I'm not sure I could ever fully commit to vanlife, and it's not just the desire to have a permanent home base.

We really like being part of a community and all the benefits that go with that. Friends, neighborhood get togethers, stability etc. And with small children now that stability is even more necessary.

I've always wondered if the increase in overlanding and vanlifing is based on the advent of social media.
 

Fozzy325

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I lived the biker life for many years when I was invincible , I would ride and stop beside the road away from towns and camp. Everything in the article is interesting and true. When planning my trips I’m going to look at staying away from towns and move into back roads and camp in entrances of fields. Does anyone have advice, pros cons about this idea
 

sabjku

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Awesome article.....funny as well, in his creative, honest, style of writing. When I was a kid I used to want to be a truck driver. Long haul, truck driver. I thought it sounded like the most awesome lifestyle. Until you meet a few long haul truck drivers when you get older. Not so glamorous!
 
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chuckoverland

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I did vanlife for a month years ago during our move to portland. The only time a cop hassled me after parking in the same safeway parking lot the whole time, was my last night before my better half came down and we moved into a hotel.
It sucked having to shower st the gym (naked old dudes with their feet up on benches) there was plenty of suck ,but the couple of times we have been home free it was still not that bad.
The next time , we lived out of our 90' toyota pickup for a month, and a year later heard about overlanding and joined this forum.
Its been a hell of a ride.
 
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RichieFromBoston

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Yea Ive done 5 months at a time, I wouldnt say van life suscks at all. If you need to carry canned foods a portable toilet etc. maybe you shouldnt be the one to say #vanlifesucks If I recall there was a story here as well why Rooftop tents suck, and they are probably hands down one of the best pieces f gear any overlander could use. strange story on an overland forum.
 

Corrie

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Yea Ive done 5 months at a time, I wouldnt say van life suscks at all. If you need to carry canned foods a portable toilet etc. maybe you shouldnt be the one to say #vanlifesucks If I recall there was a story here as well why Rooftop tents suck, and they are probably hands down one of the best pieces f gear any overlander could use. strange story on an overland forum.
From time to time we post op-eds about overlanding, life on the road, and other related topics. The article reflects the authors experience, and is in response to the social media saturation of vanlife.
As far as an article on our site stating that "Rooftop tents suck", I can't recall content of ours that ever said that. We've pointed out the pros and cons, mentioned that we personally don't use one after trying one out for 9+ months, and have never judged or dissuaded anyone from using RTTs. (Because they are a great piece of gear!)
 

James Deaton

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Advocate II

One person's suck is another person's wonderful...

Life is such a difficult thing to navigate. You want to live in the city, but don't want the crowds. You want to live in the country, but don't want the critters... So many choices. So many problems. So many solutions. I've come to understand there is no permanent solution. You simply try things out, enjoy the good, and try to avoid the bad.

Sometimes a lifestyle is just for a season, rarely is it for a lifetime.

James
 

Traveler II

Having lived in our ‘van’ for best part of this year and in various vehicles over the last 20years, most of the negatives in the article are down to planning.

I agree about the size of the rig, after several large van and trucks I’ve now not the smallest motorhome with a bathroom.

I find that ‘proper’ camper living is easier than van living as it has more of an air of respectability ?!

Over the last 12 months we’ve traveled around France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sicily, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany ... we use Camper Contact and Park4night APP’s, drop into camper service points along the way and easily find quiet ‘wild camping ‘ spots.

Apart from Croatia where it’s not very legal and some stealth camping spots were required!

Motorhome life doesn’t suck !


IMG_4401.JPGIMG_3961.JPGIMG_3898.JPG
 
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Polaris Overland

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Last years Big Trip was 8 months from Cyprus through Turkey, Eastern Europe to Nordkapp then down through Scandinavia into central Europe down to Morocco up through Western Europe to the UK then a few months in the UK getting visas and off to Mongolia Europe, Turkey, Georgia, Russia Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan Takikistan including the Pamir Highway at 4655m all over another 8 or 9 months. Total 50k miles travelled.
We used a rooftent, awnings, we wild camped on beaches, in woods and forests, in deserts, by lakes in mountains and on the Steppe. We occasionally stayed in campsites especially if wanting to meet other overlanders for info etc. We generally avoid big cities and if we are in big cities prefer to camp at Hostels where we can use the facilities but sleep in our tent in secure areas.
Our system works because we have routines. Bad weather as in rain is a pain but we can deal with it. High wind can make things a little bouncy in the tent.
I would not insult your intelligence to say every day is a dream life as like anything it has ups and downs. We prefer to interact with locals so our enforced "outside" style of living makes that easier and makes us more approachable.
Too often in the likes of Spain I see White Box Camper vans turn up and you only see the occupants when they plug in the electricity quickly followed by the sat tv dish whirring into position.

IMG_9834.jpg _DAS4121.jpg IMG_4072.jpg IMG_4615.jpg
 

sabjku

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One person's suck is another person's wonderful...

Life is such a difficult thing to navigate. You want to live in the city, but don't want the crowds. You want to live in the country, but don't want the critters... So many choices. So many problems. So many solutions. I've come to understand there is no permanent solution. You simply try things out, enjoy the good, and try to avoid the bad.

Sometimes a lifestyle is just for a season, rarely is it for a lifetime.

James
Well said James! I totally agree! You don’t know what you like until you try it. I always say, you don’t know chocolate is your favorite until you’ve tried vanilla and strawberry. For some reason, I relate a lot to food!
 

The Crowbar

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Awesome article.....funny as well, in his creative, honest, style of writing. When I was a kid I used to want to be a truck driver. Long haul, truck driver. I thought it sounded like the most awesome lifestyle. Until you meet a few long haul truck drivers when you get older. Not so glamorous!
Watching too many episodes of BJ and the Bear.
 
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Xiggi

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I spent about 4 years living out of my sprinter while working as an expediter. The need to have room for freight while also trying to have comfort between loads makes for some creative design. For the most part I enjoyed it. He was spot on about dating I experienced it often. I still expedite I just stay more local now so work from a home base and the sprinter is doing well at over a half million miles.
 

Big E

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Kinda know what ur saying. I started my own travel experience as a truck driver. Now I'm a teacher which gives the wife and I months to travel. We use a truck, tried vans. Longest trip so far, one month. But it's not how we live full time. Going back to a house and job are nice. But good memories.
 
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