We’re Going To Start Living In A Van!
No, we did not quit, and we are still sailing! We still have lots and lots of plans with the boat, and we enjoy having it. We are still on it right now, in fact, and couldn’t be happier.
So then, why did we get a van?
Last hurricane season, we mainly stayed on our boat. We did several short sails, but we wanted to do something different this hurricane season.
We talked to so many sailors, and we have quickly realized that many take a few months away from their boat each year during hurricane season, and we completely get it.
To have the best of both worlds (in our minds), mountains and beaches, we quickly realized that having a 4×4 van along with the boat is exactly what we want.
We’ll mainly be living/cruising on the boat, but we will also be occasionally living in our van so that we can still do all the hiking, biking, and rock climbing that we’ve been wanting to do. We’ve been feeling like something has been missing from our lives, and now we feel refreshed and ready again!
We have a lot of travel off the boat this summer, for family reasons, a wedding, and events, so having the van will make traveling everywhere much more comfortable for us and our two dogs too.
Also, another positive of living in a van is that the systems are pretty simple, and there isn’t a whole lot that goes into it. So, it’s less likely that we’ll have large repairs that take up a lot of time and money.
We really wanted it to be as simple as possible. Since we already have a sailboat that is quite complex (when compared to a van or RV), we wanted our time in our van to be as carefree as possible.
I know that some of you will think that we are nuts, so I won’t lie – I hesitated talking about this until we drove the van off the lot because I was afraid of being judged. When we sold our motorhome last year, we already agreed at that point that we’d like to try living in a van when we’re off the boat. So, yes, this was all in the original plan. And, the van makes us even more excited for our future sailing plans!
We are so excited for the future and cannot wait to start exploring!
P.S. If you’re following me on Instagram, then you already know this news. If you’re not, then please follow me on Instagram to stay up-to-date
P.P.S. This is not an April Fools joke (unlike the one linked here).
- Why I Love Living In A Vehicle
- How I’ve Paid Off $29,000 In Debt By Living In a Van
- How This Couple Does Van Life with A Baby (and a dog!)
- Welcome To Paradise – We’re Living On A Sailboat!
Here are some answers to questions you may have about living in a van:
Was getting a van planned?
Yes, when we bought our boat, we knew we would probably be getting an RV so that we could still enjoy the activities that we love doing off the boat.
For us, we think it will be the best of both worlds – sailing and living in a van.
We have a lot of outdoor goals that we want to achieve, and a van will make all of that much more realistic. We don’t have to wait until we’re finished boating to do those things, and who knows if and when we’ll ever be finished sailing. Now, we can do both of the things that we love!
What kind of van did you get?
We’ve been looking at vans for quite some time, and decided to get a Winnebago Revel. This is a four-wheel drive van that also has:
- Solar panels on the roof
- A small rooftop AC
- A very small bathroom (you shower over the toilet)
- A bed that can be easily brought up and down, which gives lots of space for the dogs
- A kitchen (again, very small haha) with a stove, fridge, and sink
It sleeps the two of us and our two dogs just fine. Honestly, we were a little surprised with the space (the layout is PERFECT!), and we don’t think we’ll have any big issues living in a van during hurricane season each year.
No, we did not pay full price or anywhere near it. We’re master negotiators when it comes to RVs, haha. We got the RV at a little over 30% off MSRP, which is a normal percentage when it comes to new RVs.
Sadly, I do know of many people who paid full price for this same van! In fact, I know of people who have bought this same van used for a higher price than what we bought it for new. We got such a good deal on it that we are still scratching our heads on why and how it happened.
Where are you going in your van?
We don’t have any firm plans as of yet, but that’s the great thing about living in a van.
It is so easy to go to so many different places, many times without any reservations and very minimal planning (especially when compared to the boat!). This way we can also travel deeper inland anywhere we want to go.
We’re excited to just go wherever we want, and we will probably plan as we go.
Some places we’re hoping to visit include:
- Baja. We’ve been having dreams of bringing the boat over to Baja, but with senior dogs we realized that would be quite the trip. So, one big benefit of living in a van for part of the year is that we plan on driving through Mexico and exploring Baja!
- Alaska. Alaska is so big and having a van would make a lot of things much more accessible.
- Canada. There are so many places in Canada that I want to visit.
- Up the east coast. Going up to Maine sounds like a dream!
- Anywhere else we want to explore. We’ll definitely be visiting a lot of our favorite places, such as Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and the Pacific Northwest. Maybe one day in the future we’ll even visit South America.
We also want to be able to visit friends and family, and living in a van means we can just park in people’s driveways. That’s something we loved about our first RV – moochdocking.
Why not just keep your last RV?
Right before we bought the boat, we sold the RV. Some of you are probably wondering why we didn’t just keep the last RV we had, especially if we knew that this was all in the plan anyways.
We didn’t want both a big boat and a big RV – we didn’t want all of the maintenance that goes along with a big RV, we didn’t want a big RV just to be sitting there for months without being used, and the cost difference is fairly large as well. We also sold our last RV for nearly what we had bought it for, so it made sense to get something that better fit our new situation.
We also wanted to be able to pull up to all the amazing trails that we are used to exploring, and since we are only doing it for a few months each year, we don’t need anything massive. The boat will still be our “main” home, so living in a van will be something we do during the off season.
What will you do with the van when you’re on the boat?
Since we’ll mostly be living on our boat, we will most likely be storing our van while we are away. We have no plans of transporting the van to everywhere we go, and we would rather store it when we are on the boat for long periods of time.
What are you going to do for internet?
We currently have AT&T for our phones and internet. We used to have both Verizon and AT&T, but we switched to just AT&T and have been happy with it.
Even with that being said, sometimes our internet connection is not that great. This means I always try to work ahead as much as I can so that a lack of internet or a bad connection doesn’t create any stress.
I did just get a WeBoost which I will be installing on the van so that I can improve my signal and work in more places. Since living in a van means we will be off the grid a little more often, this will be a must for us so that I can still work!
Are the dogs going to live in the van too?
Yes, the dogs are definitely coming with us!
They’ve already done a few weeks in the van when we did a little shakedown road trip, and they did extremely well!
They are both really used to RVing, so living in a van will be an easy transition for them to make. There’s also a good amount of space for them to relax in the van. Lastly, being in a van makes it so much easier to let them out for walks, especially when we are in a big campground or on public land.
They are really loving all of the outdoor space.
How much does living in a van cost?
As I answered in How Much Does It Cost To RV?, RVing can be extremely cheap or it can be very expensive.
We paid for our van in cash, so we don’t plan on having many other costs that go along with it, except fuel and insurance (we did go ahead prepay for a year of insurance). Of course, we’ll still be paying for food, cell phones, and other normal expenses too.
One of the big reasons for why we chose the van is because it is small and can get almost anywhere. That also means that we can park for free in more places, such as family and friend’s driveways, boondock wherever, and more.
You can read more about this here – How To Camp For Free, Even In Beautiful and Desirable Places.
What other questions do you have for me? Would you live in a van?
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