Hey Van Fans! UK Based new person here!

Hello Van Fans!

Myself and my partner will be leaving our 3 bed semi this year to start a new adventure living full time in a van.

We’re yet to purchase one, or even have a firm idea of what van we’ll get, but being flexible is going to be such a big part of our future lives we’re OK with that. We’re totally ready to make loads of mistakes and have a great time learning a new way of life.

We’re excited to see new places, meet likeminded people and learn loads as we go. The lack of a proper toilet, trying to fit van life around work, drying clothes, these are a few of the things that I worry about.

I’m hoping this will be a great resource to share ideas and learn, and make a start of figuring this way of life out before we leave our house.

Thanks for reading!

Greetings & Welcome!

Do you have the jobs/income angle figured out yet? Many suggest that should always be the first step.

Having your own toilet & shower will increase your overall enjoyment exponentially.

Drying clothes can be relatively easy depending on the weather and your location. Obviously if remote, you can simply string a clothes line outdoors, weather permitting. With good ventilation, and dry heat when needed, a clothesline inside the van can work as well. If neither of those are practical, laundromats are always an option. During wet weather, I have a rain jacket, pants, & hat. simply shaking them off will get them nearly dry, and the rest of my clothes never get wet. I rarely wear the pants, but they sure come in handy when needed.

If all else fails, some people will put their put their wet things in a waterproof storage container to deal with it later. There are also a lot of quick drying clothes & towel options available now, so you might check into those as well.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible." ~ Einstein

What is your budget going to be for the van and the build?

I would suggest considering your budget and check prices on used motorhomes too.

Something like the Adria Twins that are built in normal Ducato van chassis but feature toilet/shower and they should be pretty good. Or a Hymer version of the same… Fiat Ducato is very popular base for factories to build on.

Thanks so much for your advice! I definitely need a toilet in a room, I think that’s a for sure now. I’ve been changing my mind so much during our search for a van.

We don’t know if this life is for us yet, so we will be going for a used van at first. The long term plan if we like living this way is to look into having a custom conversion. But for now, while we figure out the ins and outs of van life, going will a low-ish cost 2nd hand van seems the right thing to do.

We’ve seen a WILDAX CONSTELLATION for £22k that seems right for us in terms of size/cost/storage. These sort of vans are coming up regularly too so that might be a great option.

My partner can work remotely so he’s going to find co-working spaces or work from the van if wi-di is goon in the area we happen to be in. I will be working part time at my current job, then we will be going on trips later win the week and the weekend. I work at a pre-school and do dressmaking so neither of those translate well to remote working! There is a campsite about 10 minutes from my current job so thats perfect!

I need to be nearby to my dad regularly, so travelling full time isn’t an option right now, but I work term time so have regular time off to go away for longer every now and then.

There is so much that we’re going to have to figure out along then way, it’s going to be such an adaventure!

Thanks again x


Sounds like you’re thinking smart, good for you.

We’re here to help for any questions or advice you need to make things easier.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible." ~ Einstein

Thanks! Now we just have the task of finding the van. Used vehicles are not something either of us know much about unfortunately.

We prefer the look of the wood panelling, bed at rear type of converted panel vans, but they are few and far between in our price range with everything we’d need in the design. We are thinking an autosleeper type van will be the probable purchase as it has the toilet, hob, somewhere to that sit converts to a bed space saving layout plus storage, so although we don’t love the aesthetic it’s probably what we’ll end up getting.

Few of them i’ve seen have much, if any, service history and have done very few miles per year, which as I have read might not be the best for longevity of a vehicle.

What are your thoughts on this? For around £20k and probably a 15-20 year old vehicle, should we really be looking for a service history? Obviously great if it has one, but is it important?


Taking it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection will usually get you better insight than service records, which may or may not be accurate. There may also be people who will go with you and perform pre-purchase inspections on the spot. Some might even specialize in campers & RV’s.

I think the older vehicles were built better, and are of higher quality than the newer stuff, camper parts included. Many campers & RV’s are like new even though they are older because they were only used a few times a year. It’s not unusual for people to take these rigs into a mechanic every year before use, and tell them to make sure everything is in top shape.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible." ~ Einstein