Van Living Challenges
Living in a Van has challenges. One is the size of the bed!! In the Toyota Coaster, there are two small beds on either side of the rear of the van. I’m really too tall for them. I can make changes to give myself more space so that my head and feet have more room, but it is a challenge! It takes a few minutes to change and it is quite heavy to do. It means that I have to set it up at the end of the day preparing for sleep and change it all in the morning. Otherwise, I have limited access to some of the storage.
Other challenges include the Porta Pottie and having to empty it at Dump Points etc.
I am learning too, that on a hot day, the van can be oven-like. I am intending to keep it for 12 months or so, so another 6 months to go, but I am quickly learning that as a long-term option, it is not going to be suitable for me.
As one gets older and has more mobility challenges, it certainly is not the best option. Even climbing into the bus and exiting can be painful for me as one of my legs does not like the steps!! Manageable at the moment, but long-term, NOT.
Also, I continue to have trouble with the refrigerator. It works well most of the time, but there has been some food spoiling.
Travelling vs Living
Space is fine for travelling, but living in the van, requires different space management. For example, I now have my printer in the van as I need to do some printing. I have to move it around in the limited space. When I want to use it, I need to have it on the sink/bench, and I store it on the spare bed. It is quite heavy too – though just manageable.
Weigh up the pro’s and con’s for you. If you have some physical challenge check how you can manage. The big issues are emptying the toilet and managing the waste water, and checking the oil and water in the engine, I think.
Try before you buy. (I confess I didn’t) but spend some time with someone living in a van if you can. Talk with them about their challenges.
Make sure you have the funds to pay for any work that needs to be done on the van, and make sure you have insurance and road side assist.
Rent a van for a short holiday to test if you can.