Frequently asked questions
Here are some short answers to questions I get often, I also have a Q&A video you can check out.
How do you afford van life?
I had a part time job as a cashier for 2 years, an made money a few other ways, which you can learn about in this video.
How much do you spend a month?
In the first month I spent about $1800 and (I’m writing this during my second month) by goal is to spend less that half of that for month 2. You can see my breakdown for the first month in the video linked above.
How do you make money on the road?
I make money through YouTube AdSense and Amazon Affiliate links I have here on my website. That’s about it.
Where do you go to the bathroom?
Where do you shower?
Planet Fitness. I also have washed my hair and body in the van when there isn’t a PF in the area.
Where do you sleep?
Walmart, Cabela’s, campgrounds, trailhead parking lots, climbing area parking lots, a repair shop parking lot once when I had to get a repair.
Where do you do laundry?
Where do you get and dump water?
I have 2 one gallon jugs that I take into places like Safeway or any store that has places to refill jugs, and then I have 2 five gallon jugs to store the water in. I’ve also gotten water from campgrounds and rest stations. I have a five gallon grey water tank which I’ve dumped at rest stations, campgrounds, Cabela’s, and gas stations.
How do you keep cool/warm?
I have a Fan-tastic Fan and a small USB fan, and I just keep warm by layering up in clothes and blankets and these have worked good enough for me.
How do you get electricity + wifi?
I have 3 solar panels up top that power my fridge and charging electronics. I often go to libraries for wifi, especially when uploading videos, but also have an Ellipsis Jetpack Hotspot from Verizon which gives me 15 GB of wifi a month.
What's the best thing about van life?
Being able to travel pretty inexpensively.
What's the hardest thing about van life?
Finding the motivation to do simple thinking like cooking. I think just the small space and not being able to stand up makes it too easy to want to not do much at certain times.
How do you stay safe?
By using common sense, and I have pepper spray, bear spray, a stun gun, 3 kitchen knives, a softball bat, and maybe even a flamethrower or two.
Do you ever feel scared?
Only slightly during a few animal encounters, otherwise no.
Do you ever feel lonely?
No, I am content with myself and am also very introverted and enjoy being alone, but I also am interacting with people on social media a lot.
How do you cook and store food in the van?
I have a Coleman Propane Camping Stove, Dometic CFX-35 Fridge, and store my food + kitchen stuff under the bed, in the kitchen cabinets, and in a little ottoman cube between the two front seats.
What are you doing after your road trip?
I will only be road tripping for a few months (by the end of 2018, I’ll probably be done) and afterward plan to do work exchange for another few months, after that I do not know.