Vanlife. Is it actually a thing? Can I Physically LIVE in my campervan conversion?
The nomadic lifestyle is hugely appealing to many of us who would simply love to make road tripping a conscious career move. As much as a relentless destination.
However, dreams and ideals don’t always translate that well into reality.
And whilst Hollywood breezily suggests we can all sell up, throw our materialistic possessions in the nearest skip, buy and convert a campervan and turn our back on society, a few important obstacles will probably present before this vision comes to fruition.
Life has an uncanny habit of doing that.
Still, with contemporary campervan conversions literally (and physically) home-from-homes given the luxurious way in which they’re appointed these days, the draw of venturing towards alternative lifestyles is very strong. Plus, a campervan conversion is significantly more cost-effective to own - and maintain the upkeep of - than a traditional bricks and mortar property.
Yeah, But Can I Actually Live In My Campervan Conversion?
Yet returning to the original question/title; ‘Can I Live In My Campervan Conversion?’ and the answer is a somewhat surprising, ‘yes’.
Would you WANT to actually live in your campervan being a totally different proposition.
But as you’d expect, there’s some basic rules and regs which need adhering to all the same. Although not laws cemented into the constitution or anything as legally troublesome as you might otherwise imagine.
Essentially, anyone can make a campervan conversion their fixed abode. There is no single law which prevents folk from making a camper their primary residence, if they so wish.
An Englishman/Woman’s Home Being Their Castle, Etc, Etc.
Whether it has a moat encircling it, a cul-de-sac of other houses or a campfire. Same rules apply.
The only legal stipulation is that said campervan conversion must be roadworthy. And be in possession of a current MOT certificate, as well as being both taxed and insured.
And then there’s the golden rule of where you can pitch up. Which as far as England and Wales is concerned, that being 'permitted places' only. Don’t even think about wild camping, as you WILL be penalised for your flagrant ignorance.
Typically slapped with hefty fines and/or having your campervan wheel clamped for your oversight. Unless that is, you have gained permission from the landowner on whose land you intend to stop over on. Or you’re travelling through Scotland; where the rules of engagement are slightly less archaic.
Landowners don’t take too charitably towards campervan conversion owners who rock up and stay on their bit of England (and Wales’) green and pleasant land. So it’s definitely worth doing your homework beforehand if you plan on setting up camp anywhere off the more beaten track.
Research therefore is key to living in your campervan conversion. To locate suitable overnight stops as you adventure around the UK. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, as the old adage goes.
What’s It Like Living In A Campervan Conversion During The Less Hospitable Winter Months?
In a word, potentially chilly.
OK. That’s two words.
Which might explain why some - arguably less hardy - campervan conversion folk decide to head off to the continent with their (sun-seeking) vans.
Yet if you opt to remain in Blighty, it’s worth noting that some campsites don’t operate throughout the calendar year. Often closing their doors for business during the habitually quieter winter months, as demand wanes. It’s also against the law for most campsites/leisure parks to stay open all year round, FYI.
That said, there are plenty of private landowners willing to rent out pitches to campervan owners, when the availability of sites is a bit, well; thin on the ground.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that should you choose to park your campervan conversion on empty land for a significant passage of time, then you may require planning permission. In terms of referring to it as your place of permanent residence. If that’s factually accurate.
Of course, there’s always friends and family’s driveways, should all your other plans go Pete Tong, and you want peace of mind.
Downsides To Actually LIVING In Your Campervan Conversion
Yup, there are some, if we’re keeping our expectations realistic.
Space and privacy tend to be fairly restricted when you opt to live in a campervan conversion full time, and this lack of personal space can be seen as a drawback to some. If you’re considering setting up your campervan home for just yourself, this isn’t an issue.
Another problem will be your means to get around whenever and wherever you pitch up with a view to putting down roots in one particular geographical location. Hence why you observe many owners of larger motorhomes towing a small compact car. Enabling them to nip here and there whilst their campervan conversion essentially serves as their base camp. Especially if you decide to pitch up in the wilderness, yet want to keep in touch with society. Although keeping it at arm's length.
It might get a tad chilly unless you fit your campervan conversion out properly. Which is of course something WE CAN HELP YOU WITH. Comfort is key if you’re wanting to convert to actual, physical #vanlife.
Our team are past masters at fully insulating your campervan conversion, whilst all your van’s utilities issues need to be prioritised.
Typically this includes gas, electric and water connectivity. Plumbing being a hugely important factor, given you’re going to make your campervan conversion your ‘forever home’. Especially bearing in mind that many camping site bathroom facilities aren’t always that appealing an alternative proposition.
Basically, optimise your future space and ramp up your creature comforts when running the rule over van living.
And Moving Onto The Advantages Of Vanlife……
We’ve saved the best bit to the last chapter. Extolling the virtues of dedicating yourself to vanlife.
Like this part needs the ‘big sell’. The USP's are there for all to see.
* FREED from the societal shackles of mortgages
* Being able to RELOCATE as and when your heart desires
* NOT having to worry about tumbling property prices
* NO neighbourly disputes over hedge or tree heights. Ever. Again
* Waking up to a DIFFERENT VIEW whenever and wherever you like. Ish
* And a PANORAMIC one at that
* REMOTE WORKING, thanks to the advent of technology, the expansion of 5G and Wi-Fi here, there and everywhere remote these days (means those who opt to work from home can do so wherever their new home rocks up)
* YOUR EARLY RETIREMENT PLAN if your working career is nearing its end. Dedicating yourself to a lifetime of leisure on the most casual and unplanned of whims.
* In a single word - ‘ADVENTURE’
* Another word being, ‘FREEDOM’
It was once the hippie dream and slacker’s calling, yet now #vanlife is a viable and attainable #lifegoals for many of us. #trendinghashtags aside, the fact/truth of the matter is that you CAN choose to live in your campervan conversion.
And yes. We heartily suggest you do, should the opportunity present itself.