This whole Van Life culture is picking up, with one of my favorite pro athletes even getting in on it. Now I am not sure if I could live in one long-term, say over a year, but the idea is great on many levels. I love the Outdoors and I see the Van Life as a way to spend more time enjoying it, rather than setting up camp.
While there is initial start-up cost, it’s definitely a money saver overall. I am all for DIY and handle projects myself as much as I can. However, my abilities in welding and grinding, are not exactly strong, more non-existent. I think I could afford getting someone to put together the framework for me, and I could fill in the rest.
Now they do have pre-made ones, but a lot are pushing the six-figure mark, or, the cheaper ones, are very basic and will require some work anyway. Might as well buy an empty one and make it what you want it to be, and work specifically for you.
The main thing that draws me to this is the utility aspect of it. Having one that is made specifically to your needs, means not one inch is wasted on something you use/need. When I went camping in Olympic State Park it was cramming whatever I could into my Forester. This makes it really hard to keep thing organized.
The other aspect I like is saving a lot of time. During that camping trip up to Olympic we stayed in three different campgrounds while using a tent. We did this so we could see a lot of the park in a short time, however, we spent a lot of time setting up and taking down the camp. Van’s seem like you save a lot of that time, as your sleeping area is set.
I see it as a great way to save some time, money, and really amp up your camping experience. If you can set up your camp quicker, and have a more comfortable shelter, while also having your gear and food in easy to access areas, it just makes sense.