The popular Chris Farley skit on Saturday Night Live had him play a “motivational speaker” who lived in a van down by the river. It was his way of telling his audience that they would become failures and also end up living in a van down by the river. Most people would probably be surprised to know that there are thousands of people who live in vans all around the world. They do this not because they have failed. They live in vans willingly and are doing well.
We’ve featured interviews with Adventure Photographer and vandweller Trevor Clark here before (Part 1 & Part 2), and we have more features in the queue. Readers have told us they love his 4×4 Sportsmobile Van, as it is one of the best vehicles you can buy for a camper-type van.
Several people have asked us how to live like this. They have told us they would like to do what Trevor and so many others do, but usually follow it with a long list of reasons why they can’t. Why would someone want to live in a van instead of a house? How would they go about doing so? Most of the questions are asked in the “yeah but…” format, as it does seem like such an odd thing to much of the population. A lot of people have a lot of questions.
Jason Odom has spent years on the road, living out of a van. His approach is slightly different, using a nondescript van that blends in anywhere, rather than an RV or trailer. He and his wife have spent years on the road, living wherever they feel like being at any given time. They have gone from coast to coast, exploring the country.
Jason also got constant questions about how to create such a different lifestyle. He wrote a book about his experiences as a how-to for anyone considering living this way, called Vanabode™ – how to happily camp, travel and live forever on $20 a day. He sent me a copy to read since I was getting so many questions, and he knew it would be of interest to me.
- Vehicle choice and outfitting.
- Parking and camping considerations in every type of area.
- Safety and Security (which seems to be the most popular worry among readers).
- Money, savings and budget breakdowns.
The self-published book is 113 pages and filled with tips and techniques for making the most of your time, money, and enjoyment while living in a van. The book covers a variety of tips and techniques to overcome the most common objections, as well as a tremendous amount of options. Everyone wants something a little different, and it covers a range of ideas for living in a van no matter what your situation.
As Jason says, “Vanaboding is about spending time living a fun life rather than spending money trying to buy a fun life.” They aren’t homeless, they are home wherever they park their vehicle, sleeping in their own bed every night. They aren’t starving, they eat at some of the nicest restaurants in cities all over the country.
They do more, spend less and have more freedom than the average person working too many hours a week to keep up their mortgage and toy payments. Whether you are ready to sell off your house and live full-time in a van or RV, or you just want a way to get more time and money out of family vacations, I think you’ll find Vanabode will answer any lingering questions or doubts.
Go check out his site and grab the book. If you think people living in their vehicles are just down on their luck, you may come to realize that the people living in a van down by the river might very well be living better than the rest of us.
Do you know anyone who lives in their vehicle? Have you ever lived in a van? Would you ever try it? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.