Raychel Reimer and her husband, Nick, have been living full-time in their van for three years and have shared five significant challenges of their lifestyle. The challenges range from the exhaustion of basic tasks, high expenses, social stigma, and isolation from family and friends, to concerns about hygiene.
- Basic tasks, such as getting clean water or taking a shower, become exhausting and need careful planning in a van lifestyle. This requires constant awareness of resources, their location, and the feasibility of restocking.
- The van lifestyle has significant costs. In addition to regular expenses such as gas, insurance, and groceries, unexpected costs like van breakdowns can strain the budget.
- Van dwellers face many social stigmas, including assumptions about income levels, job types, or motivations for choosing this lifestyle. It’s important to recognize the diversity within the van life community.
- Living in a van can result in missing significant family moments and requires a concerted effort to maintain relationships. Despite this, new friendships are often formed within the van life community.
- Hygiene is another challenge, as many vans do not have built-in toilets, and showers are often taken at gyms. This calls for strategic planning around sanitation needs.