For those free spirits who like living and traveling with no strings attached, or for those who simply like the convenience of packing up and taking to the road wherever and whenever they are, van life is certainly appealing. This trend has more and more people buying live-in vans, or converting vehicles themselves into all-inclusive mobile homes capable of acting as a full-time residence.
Though this lifestyle has its appeals, one drawback is that it isn’t exactly easy. Although no rent or utilities payment does sound simple, finding ways to get hot water, electricity, and a comfortable living space in around 80 square feet does not.
Although there’s no magic solution to make your space bigger, there are adjustments you can make to make van life better. Here are five features you can add to your van to make your life and travel little easier:
Try and get your hands on some solar appliances or equipment to use in your van. Two great examples of this are solar-powered portable chargers for your cell phones and a solar-powered generator. A generator is a brilliant idea as you can connect it to your van’s appliances and get free electricity! If you’re out in the sun all day, then you have plenty of time to soak up and store all of the sun’s rays as an energy source. However, you may want to seek professional assistance to install wiring in your van if you’re using your solar panels to power outlets, lights, and other appliances directly.
A High-Quality Mattress
There are few things worse than sleeping on an uncomfortable bed. Sadly, this is the reality for a lot of people living in their converted van. It’s hard to find a mattress that’s comfortable, long-lasting, and actually fits in the van. Thankfully, you can get your hands on a custom mattress that’s perfect for van life. It will offer the comfort and quality of made-for-houses beds, but the customized design allows it to fit in the smaller confines of a van.
Cell Signal Booster
When you’re out in your van, it’s easy to end up a fair distance from normal civilization. As a result, the cell signal can be really bad. Now, even if you want to disconnect a little bit and spend more time appreciating nature, you need a cell signal. What if you need to make an emergency phone call or use Google Maps? Or what if someone needs to contact you and you have no signal? With cell signal boosters you use an antenna to increase your signal and gain more coverage so that you can still use your phone for all the essential tasks.
Hot Water Heater
The chances are, your van won’t have an inherent hot water supply. That makes showering into a bit of a problem! To address this, get yourself a portable hot water heater. They’re readily available and relatively easy to install. Now, you have instant hot water whenever you need it.
A Storage Bench
One of the difficult things about van life is the limited space. When you live in cramped quarters, having to scramble or unpack lots of belongings to find what you’re looking for can be a frustrating daily routine. But if you plan your storage right, you’ll be able to easily access your most commonly used possessions.
Add some extra seating to your van with an additional bit of storage built into it. Here, you can have a bench or stool that opens up to reveal storage space. It’s almost like a storage box that you can also sit on. This would go perfectly in a living area as you have a place to sit while also storing some of your important items without taking up too much room. Other storage space can be made under or over your bed. Just remember to pack the things you use daily on top or in front.
Converting a van is difficult, but it’s a highly rewarding and exciting task. When you’ve finished, you’ll have a practical vehicle to live in. If you want to make van life even more convenient, then be sure to add at least some of these features to your conversion.