There are some interesting people out there in the world. I'm sure I am not the only one who has noticed this. I'm also sure you hardly needed me to tell you about the interesting people of the world. You probably see them every day and sigh a little as you pass them by. But there is one special group of people you may not always see kicking around because they are living somewhere you might not expect...their vans!
I'll be totally honest. I was once going to be one of these people. It's perfect. Gut a van and you have a mobile home. So long as you can do your work on the road (which I can) then you're good to go. Rent? You just have to worry about paying insurance and gas. Obviously, you'll have repairs every once in a while but that is something you need in a home too. And you can live in any city this way. It's a pretty solid deal if you can make it work for you.
That being said, let's go back to the very first line of this intro. There are some interesting people out there in the world. And you will get an insider view of just how some of these van-dwellers live. And they are interesting people indeed. But there's nothing wrong with that. It makes for some fun viewing and reading.
25 Desk Top In The Woods.
This is interesting. I'm going to guess that considering all of the cables going under the bed that there is a separate battery that this person is using to run the laptop and whatever other electronics are on board there. I like that the desk seems to pop out for use but I think that, given this person is sort of out in the woods a bit, it might be a bit silly to leave that back door open while you work on whatever it is that you're working on with the computer. I mean, bugs exist outside and I don't know if you know what it's like to leave your tent door unzipped all day before tucking into bed at night, but it sucks to have a tent loaded with flies, spiders and/or mosquitoes when you're trying to sleep.
So, while I think the desk idea is cool, I think it's ultimately pretty pointless and silly. But that's up to them. And I can only imagine how those bags of chips or whatever is on the top of that shelf end up after a bit of a drive. It doesn't seem like things are very well secured. It might be cute to live in a van but the reality has got to be a bit more practical.
24 The Backpacker's Camper Van
This guy seems to have a pretty simple van setup and I think that's ultimately the best way to work out living in a van. I mean...you're already living in a van...that seems pretty simple to me. Why would you want to make it complicated? And it also seems that this guy really aims to keep his camper van clean. There is a dustpan right on one of the doors. And on the other door, there is a Backpack hanging so he's always ready to go if he wants to venture out into the woods or needs to go pick something up elsewhere. Always ready for an adventure. That is the best way to live in a van, I think.
I noticed also that there is a fridge in there which I have to assume he's using propane to run. I wonder where the tank gets stored. I'm not sure if I would go for a propane refrigeration unit. I think I would probably want to go solar but I don't think a single one of the vans in this article has anything working on solar at all. Which is sad because that is just a wasted energy source that you can almost always find while living in a van.
23 Blue Jays Prospect Lives In A Van
This is just weird. At least it is to me. I had no idea that there was a prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays who was living out of a van. I mean, I guess it's kind of cool to think that this guy who could be potentially making millions in the next few years is just cruising from game to game in his van and cooking outside wherever he can manage to be. Somehow, I'm not shocked that a professional baseball player is actually pretty much a slob when it comes to keeping his van home clean.
It looks like there are cans all over and things are just thrown around. That is what happens when you don't secure your stuff to the cupboards or the walls.
Everything will just slide while you drive and then you have a perpetual mess. But I guess he doesn't need to really care. He will soon have the money to do whatever he wants and he still happens to live in a van. I'm guessing he's not afraid of a little mess. I'm just wondering if he stays in Toronto with this thing. I would be pretty worried about someone trying to bust in. I hope he has secured parking.
22 Love Birds In A Tiny Nest
This is just adorable. I have to say that they must have never really thought about the space issue though. Or practicality. I mean, the racks up at the top of the van are pretty smart but unless they have a dog, I'm wondering why they've clogged up the space next to the bed with another tiny cushion or mattress. Either way you slice it though, they seem pretty happy and that is what counts.
Because if you decide to live in a van as a couple and you're not happy with each other then oh boy, you'd better believe you're going to have some pretty intense issues pretty quick.
Well, maybe not intense since they're in a van (intense...in tents? Get it?), but they'd still likely have some pretty significant issues. Good for them though if they can actually make it work because it doesn't seem like they have much space. Yes, I know that they are in a van but I mean that they seem to have not really used their space to the best of its potential. Obvious, it's not really my place to say anything. It's not my van. But on the flipside of that...it's literally my business because I'm here to tell you about it.
21 Just Relaxing After A Long Drive
Here it is confirmed! The Mercedes Sprinter. Now, the thing about this van is that it is huge. This is really only good as a camper van if you're not ever looking to drive down dirt roads to get to those gem-like places in the wilderness. And while I'm sure it was already pretty top-heavy because of its height, I can only imagine what the racks and boxes up on the roof would do to make the van even more flippable. And that is just terrifying.
That being said, if you're just taking regular roads and aren't taking turns too quickly, you should probably be fine. I have to be totally honest that when I first looked at this photo, I thought there was a laptop on the table there and that there was a cable running to it. But that's not the case. The line is actually the dog leash and what could look like a laptop at a glance is actually the camp stove. This lady, apparently, has a fold-out kitchen that she can store in her can. That's pretty fun. I also like the little storage boxes on the inside of the back doors. Though they seem a bit impractical. But they look good.
20 He Seems A Little Unsure...
I don't think that this guy is quite sold on the idea of living in a van. I mean...he's got an Autumn jacket, a toque, slippers...I guess he's dressed for the occasion. But he really doesn't look like he's sure about what he is doing. I like that his place is clean though. He must have just finished this van when the photo was taken. I also really like how the cab is opened right onto the living space. That is something unique to a lot of these van homes. A lot of people don't seem to like having a clear route from the cab to the apartment. I don't know about you, but I think that is a much safer way to organize a van home. You know, in case of attack or fire or whatever. The sink setup and what looks like it could be a grill is pretty interesting. And I'm not sure what those two blue lights are all about but I have a feeling that it either has to do with internet that he got set up in the van or part of the battery setup he might have put in there to run the electronics.
19 Friends Go Van-Tripping
It's kind of cool that friends can get together with identical vans (well the actual make of the van anyway) and go out on trips in their little van homes. It is also an interesting thing to see just how different the two vans have been set up. For example, the one van on the left is the very first van in this article so far (and I think the only one in the whole entire piece) that actually has a toilet in the van. I think this is a pretty key thing to have. I mean, you can't always find a truck stop or store or a place off the side of the road to relieve yourself. So it makes total sense to go out of your way to make sure there is a toilet in there. Just have a compost toilet or a combustion toilet. That way it's easy to get rid of the mess and you don't have to really worry about people freaking out over it.
Either way, it's pretty clear that one of those vans only needs to house one person. How can you tell? Well, the amount of space still available in the van on the left. I think that is a pretty clear indication.
18 The Puppy Palace
I didn't realize that a puppy could swing a ritzy place like this. Obviously, I'm not being serious but that's not the point. The bigger point is that this is one hell of a cluttered van, I think. I'll just say that I'm glad it's not mine. I will say that it is good of the owner to have put a fan in that van because even if they don't need it often, I'm sure that dog will need it when he's left to his own devices in there for whatever length of time. It is interesting that the interior walls seem to look like a sort of wooden cabin. I do like that.
I wonder why it is that everyone seems to have a dire need to have a nice wooden interior. I mean, it's not like vans typically come with that at all. Nor do most homes.
You may as well drywall the van interior if you want to be reminded of when you lived in a stable house. Anyway, on another good point about the setup here is the storage underneath the bed. It also looks like it could double as a little crawl space if you, for some reason, could only escape from there. I just hope that the two wooden boxes on either side of the space are actually shelves on the other side. Otherwise, that is a huge waste of space.
17 The Surfer's Camper Van
Hey bro, sick board. I totally dig your welcome mat. I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist. It's a bit too typical. That being said, it's a pretty cool van. I'm sure it's pretty ancient but it is also pretty cool. I like the color coding of the tanks on the back. I'm wondering if those are split up for water and gas so that neither the driver nor the van gets dehydrated. I always find it interesting when I see a little stovetop or oven in a van home. I think it's a little much. I mean, why would you want to waste that space when you could simply use a camp stove.
Seriously though, it's not all that difficult and it would make a whole lot more room available in the van for other things like a bookshelf or food storage or...whatever else you want. I have to say that I also like the vaulted ceiling that this can has. It sort of makes me laugh but I also think it would be an amazing feature to have if living in a van. Some stretch room and fresh air without bugs (you know, if the owner actually kept the other doors closed.
16 A Tight Squeeze
Wow, now that is a tight squeeze, for sure. I mean, it's cool. Don't get me wrong. I think this might actually be a camper van that you can buy from a dealership but that doesn't change the fact that it is one hell of a tight squeeze in there. I mean...the guy in the photo seems to be pretty depressed about this fact. And he doesn't look like he's a small guy either. I could just imagine what would happen if he stood straight up.
Anyway, going back to a previous point, this really does look like a camper van that you can buy off the lot somewhere. I say that because the walls aren't finished with some nice wood paneling and the shelving looks a bit too well-placed and purposefully placed for it to have been a job by the owners of the van. Nothing against them and maybe they are just very handy but I really don't think this is exactly what they would choose if they designed this thing themselves. But let's just say that I would be shocked if this was actually their own design. It's very organized if it is...even if it really only has space for one person.
15 She's A Bit Young To Drive...
I don't know what you think about this but I think this is either a very small woman or this girl is just too young to be living in a van. Well, I guess there is no age bracket for living in a van but she is certainly too young to drive the thing. At least you know that her parents are keeping her hydrated though. And it looks like wherever they have gone is quite scenic. Just look out that window and you can see mountains and a nice body of water.
I think whoever planned the trip, even if they didn't plan the interior of the van just right, definitely did a good job.
Now, with regards to the van's interior here, one of the first things I notice is the bunched up curtains over the doorway. I know it might be a cheap way to get some privacy but why not just tint the windows? Then you can free up space by not needing the curtains at all. And if you are going to start complaining about suddenly not having as nice a view...all I have to say is, well, go outside and enjoy the scenery up close rather than from behind a piece of glass.
14 The Mountain Climber's Camper Van
Why do I call this the mountain climber's camper van? Well, I think it's mainly to do with the fact that this person has all sorts of carabiners hanging off him. That's a pretty good start, I think. Now, I can't really see much rope kicking around anywhere so that might be an issue. Especially because he's going to need some rope just to get up into his sleeping area when he's done with the day. That aside, I think that having the whole space open for storage below the sleeping section is pretty smart. I think it really helps to keep thing organized and allows you to vary the size of the things you are storing. If there were many tiny shelves installed there and you needed a place for an extra water jug or gas can, you'd be looking elsewhere and maybe cluttering up the place. But thanks to this big and open concept right at the back doors, it is trivially easy to store all sorts of things and just be ready to open the doors, grab and go. Either way, it looks like this guy is prepared and has the gear he needs to get by for what he is doing. I like the practical approach.
13 Best Way To Escape The Tech World...
This just makes me laugh. Now, I know that if I ended up gutting a van and setting it up to become a little mobile home for myself, I would end up having a similar need for a computer of some sort so that I could still produce work for you all to read. However, I still can't help but laugh at least a little bit when I see two people who are living in a van with their back doors open to the wilderness while they sit there, both typing away on their laptops with a phone charging nearby. It just really is a bit of a strange thing.
That aside though, the van looks pretty clean and cozy, I have to say. I mean...I think this one might actually be a bus. And I say that only because of the massive space where the back doors open and because of the way the window opens. Now, true, they could have modified the windows, but that would be a huge pain in the ass for anyone to do and would certainly be more costly than you need to bother with. I like that the two couches look like they fold down (or at least one does) and while I wish I could see the rest of the space beyond the coffee machine in the corner, I think it's pretty nice.
12 ...She Actually Used A Hashtag...
I kind of have lost respect for this van-dwelling woman. And it has nothing to do with the fact that she's probably got what looks to be the most simple setup in the smallest van yet in this article. No, it has way more to do with what she's got written on the back window. "Living The #VANLIFE". Seriously? If there was ever a way to advertise to someone that this van is your home and the moment you're out of it or asleep I can have access to all of your stuff...this would be the definitive way.
Why would you just let everyone know that you're living in your van?
Also, I find it kind of lame that, now that you're living in a van you're just going to Instagram and tweet about it all the time. I mean, do what you want but just don't be surprised when someone comes along and criticises the whole #VANLIFE thing. I know it's the whole way the world works now but...it's actually not the way the majority of the world works. Just go enjoy your life and stop giving a flip about what people think. You're already driving a bad Ford van anyway.
11 The Gin Drinker's Camper Van
This is a very cozy little van home they've got going on here. And I hope they get along very well given that it is so cozy. I mean there really does not seem to be all that much room. And there's nothing wrong with that (aside from the fact that the oven is very close to the bed). What I will say though is I think there just might be some trouble in van paradise. Why would I say something like that just by looking at a photo of beardy and his girlfriend? Well, unless they are both functional alcoholics or enjoy a good drink every once in a while without having to stock up for a year.
I think the case of Gordon's gin up on the top shelf there might suggest that there could be some issues around the home. Also, I'm really left confused here. Are those dish rags that are hanging up above that couple or is it just some colorful bunting to give the place a little more of a special party look? If the former, wouldn't it drip on them? If the latter...well, that's just silly and it should probably just come down don't you think?
10 The Pooch Patrol Van
Ok, this just had to make the list if for no other reason than that this girl's dog is just adorable. And sort of matches with the decor of the place. And the girl's dress strangely matches the mattress for her bed. Which is pretty crazy given the design. Otherwise, though, to look around the place I'd say it's pretty messy. I mean...it looks like there is just an incredibly giant length of hose just sitting stacked on some big pile of other junk. I assume it all serves some practical purpose, to some degree, but I don't think it's going to help anyone to find anything when everything is just piled in a heap in the back.
I mean sure, there are mug racks and a relatively clear counter, but I think that means pretty little when it comes to living in a van. I think you want to try and maximize the space of the place. It's already pretty confined...why would you want to clutter it up even more than it already is? Also...get your feet off the damn counter. I assume food is going to be prepared on there at some point. Show some manners and hygiene for goodness' sake.
9 Simple And Clean
This is kind of nice. I actually think that this is one of the best little van homes to feature in this article. Why? I mean, it is not particularly elaborate or ornate at all. There's nothing really special about it aside from the staple woodwork that seems to feature with almost every single van so far in this article (with maybe the exception of one). But I think it is the simplicity of this van that really makes it seem to work well.
The bed fits with enough room for a side table and a little aisle in between. And some people don't need anything more than just a little table and a bed.
I'm going to guess that this girl has some sort of food prep area closer to the front of the van or she must have a fold-out kitchen of some sort like seen in a previous entry...that or she just eats take-out food an awful lot. The only thing about this van that I think is a bit of a waste of time is the curtain setup. I think it's a waste of time simply because of the fact that each curtain has three ties that you have to worry about every time you want to either put up or let down the curtains.
8 The Drum Circler's Camper Van
This is most certainly what I would like to call the 'drum circler's' van. Why? Well, you have the Meinl Cajon there, not to mention the little hand drum kicking around behind the driver's seat. I have a feeling that this van might actually be a bus, if for no other reason than that there is a very interesting sailboat facade up above that looks like the shape of what would have been a school bus marquee. Of course, I could be totally wrong given that the dash and wheel look just like that of a van but either way, this one definitely belongs to some sort of drum circle guy.
I picture this dude hauling up to the beach and drumming away the day and night because...well, why wouldn't you if you lived in a van and had a bunch of hand drums? What else are you going to do with your days? Get henna tattoos and do your hair up in dreadlocks? All jokes aside though, I think this is the ideal home for a hippie. Go chill by the beach or in the woods and just be right there with nature. And then just let the road carry you somewhere else man...what a trip!
7 The New Age Camper Van
This van is very trippy. And what do I mean? Well, I mean how many different pieces of new age sorts of things can you have in one van when it comes to decor and furnishings? The yin and yan on the door that leads to the front of the van, the many different colored patterns that are kicking around on the pillows and mattresses, the paper cranes hanging on the left...the guitar hanging on the right. There is some new age stuff mixed with some Eastern religion, mixed with some hippie-style living right here.
And that's cool enough I guess but there isn't much in terms of living space when it comes to this van.
I mean, sure, there are the two couches and then a door that leads to the front seats...but where do they sleep? Do they just sleep in the back on those couches? It seems a little too cramped with that table there. I think this must be more of a day-tripping van as opposed to a real van home. I mean, there is just something here that suggests this van might be a silly van to actually try and live in. Maybe a good place for some meditation though.
6 The Cyclist's Family Camper
This is one of the most practical van homes that I have seen yet. I mean, it makes perfect sense to have a bike rack in the back. It makes perfect sense to have this sort of setup. And then to have the bed area up above is great. Just crack open the back doors, jump out of bed, pull out the bikes and go for a ride. Why not? It saves on gas, that's for sure. Spend the night in the country, drive into town, and bike around town to get your errands done before you come back and get yourself sorted for the next ride out.
It sounds like a pretty wicked way to spend one's life. I can't really see much of the living space through the bike rack here but I have to say that this is still a great way to live for both comfort and practicality as well as for the environment. I'm sure that since this is a site for cars and car nuts that there is quite a number here who don't really give a flip about the environment. But there are some of you who drive Smart cars and a Prius or two, I'm sure.
5 A Good Way To Ruin The Paint
Alright, look. I think that this is actually a pretty cool camper van. It's like the VW hippie vans of old but it's got that extended rooftop screen for space and ventilation. You can see that this couple has modded the interior to some extent for living in but there isn't much detail at all given that they're sitting in the way, playing music by the fire. There is one very real thing though that I think these people must not really give much of a toss about.
They are sitting mighty close to that fire with their van and I can tell you that it is just inevitable that they ruin the paint job on that thing. How? Well, sparks and coals flying wherever they will are just not that good for the van.
Melted paint is definitely going to happen at some point. It's not like they have a great paint job on that van anyway, but still. They may want to prevent injury to their home. It is already dented after all. If my home were mobile like that I would certainly do everything I possibly could to make sure that it didn't get messed up. That's for sure.
4 The Lazy Man's Camper Van
This guy is just way more than lazy. Sure, you can live in your van in that way. It's easy enough, that's for sure. But come on now. I guess that it is better to not have to worry about all of that wood paneling that everyone else seems to throw up in their vans. But come on now. Just a mattress, some blankets, and a couple of pillows? That is just too simple. I kind of admire this guy's spirit though. I mean, there is a sad thing about this guy's setup. Can you guess what it is? I think it is clear that this guy has been kicked to the curb.
Now, I don't know if it's a wife or girlfriend who pushed him out or if he got evicted but anyone who sets up their van to live in like this is just very odd to me if they didn't just get pushed out on the street. That being said, this guy could very well have done this on purpose just for kicks. I mean, what are the chances that his mattress would just fit perfectly in the back of his car? I don't know that there are many people who make sure they have a mattress that fits perfectly in their van, unless they're already prepared for the worst.
3 For Those Who Still Need The TV
I sort of feel like whoever put together this van is actually just a teenager who just really, really needs to have a tv in every section of the van. That, or someone who just never really grew up, didn't want to actually have a life without the "essential tech" for gaming and Netflix. It's nice that they play music as well. That's a good start at least. But it sort of seems like this person just couldn't afford a house or an apartment so they loaded their stuff in the van.
The carpet isn't neatly laid down, and there are two tvs, a heater, a guitar and a uke, and it also looks like they just threw in some random futon and then just attached a cooler to the door.
I have to say that if I wanted a non-stop gaming machine that had a fully stocked bar, I would certainly choose this machine right here. I mean it has a tv to play with at the back and one to play with on the front...which is all sorts of danger for the driver, for sure. But it would be a good way to keep up with the gaming going on in the back...so long as they hooked up both of the screens. That would be fun. Passenger playing the tenant in the back. Fun times. And a few brews in the back.
2 Woodwork In A Sprinter?
Given the sheer size of this van along with the big step by the sliding door, I'm inclined to think that this van is a Merc Sprinter. That or a Ford Transit. Either way, it's clearly a cargo van of some sort with back and side doors like this. What I find kind of fascinating here is that this van has woodwork all over it. It's not just accents like the stick shift and some door panels and the dash, it's the floor and counter and bed and walls and ceiling! Why on earth would you ever want to just add hundreds of pound in wood to this machine? I can't imagine what it's like taking this thing up a hill.
That being said, this van has obviously been parked for some time because there is no way that pan on the counter with the fruit in it would manage to stay on the counter when the van is in motion. It's interesting that they have Christmas lights to illuminate the back of the van but I'm wondering if it is separately battery powered or if they wired the string lights into the van's battery itself (I hope not the latter).
1 Bunks And Shelves
I don't understand the need to put so much woodwork on these van jobs but these doors look simply silly. I guess that back door slab of wood must be there for just for aesthetic purposes because I don't see it having any practical value beyond that. That being said, the rest of the woodwork on the van makes total sense, in my mind. I mean, the bunk looks a little bit thin and I would be worried about snapping it when hopping into sleep, but it makes sense to have the shelving below it for storage and the walls for reinforcement. I'm not totally sold on that curtain hanging out the side of the van. I mean...the windows of the van aren't floor length.
The only reason I bother to bring that up is that there is already only so much space in the back of this van so you may as well only have curtains that are going to only cover the window. Van life isn't the most spacious so you don't want to muddle up even the tiniest things like curtain material bunching up by you when you're trying to do something in your van home. I like the high up shelf but would be paranoid that contents might land on me when I'm in bed.