Hoping to do instead of dream

Introduce Yourself…

Hi there. My name is Lauren and I started dreaming about vanlife when I took my first cross-country trip around 20 years ago. It’s been a vague dream, but as time keeps slipping away I’ve realized I have to just take a step and another step until I make it a reality. So this is a step. Thanks for the inspiration!


Welcome to the forum. Life is short, and there’s no time like the present to do what you want to do.

Keep putting those feet in front of you! Don’t stop!
I am somewhat in the same boat. My youngest is going to be 18 in February. I had a couple of trips planned for my tiny travel traveler until the virus. Since we will be empty nesters soon, I rescheduled some trips and will be out and about traveling more! Once we are retired, Maybe half-time or full-time. But we have always traveled.
My youngest has decided to outfit her SUV to live and travel in. She will be going with a friend. I will be helping them with their build!
Even if you do one thing at a time to your build, you will complete it. Take your time. You will get there! Have fun!

Greetings & Welcome!

For most people weekends & vacations work out better than full timing, and you shouldn’t limit your options to just vans either.

Most of the #vanlife presented online is fiction & fantasy, not reality. It’s not all rainbows & roses like the promoters want people to believe, and in reality they are setting many people up for failure, for their own gain.

For most of us, a reliable income is required to make things sustainable, so I always suggest that such an income be in place first and foremost. For 30 years I was a traveling construction worker. Now, I work for myself from the comfort of my camper van. Many work from home jobs can work well for nomads. I’m doing remote computer tune-ups & repairs, so I can work anywhere I have an internet connection. I’m currently booked up for over 2 months out using just free advertising. For retirement, I’m transitioning into more or less hands free money making websites.

I believe that people shouldn’t gamble more they can afford to lose, and that this lifestyle can be enjoyed on even a tiny budget if done right. My typical monthly expenses are $500-$600 a month, all in, and I’m not even trying to maintain such a low budget, it just works out that way.

Older motorhomes can often be found cheap, in excellent shape, and with low miles. They can be more comfortable than camper vans, and move in ready. If they’re fully depreciated before purchase, and you keep them factory stock & in good shape, they will hold their value very well. Remodeling them or painting the woodwork usually hurts their resale value. They’re not as fancy, but that also means that there’s a lot less to go wrong with them. For me, the older, pre-electronic everything is much more enjoyable anyway. I’m currently in an old school high top camper van, but I’ve had many motorhomes I’ve enjoyed as well.

A lot of this lifestyle depends on your personality, perseverance, and problem solving skills. Not everyone’s dreams work out in reality, and an exit plan should be in place before starting. A large emergency fund is also highly recommended. I dont like relying on insurance or anything else other than myself , my savings, and my skills & experiences. At 75 years old, I’m slowing down, but I have plans in place for any eventuality.

I suggest trying it cheap and part time for starters. Risk as little as possible while deciding if your dreams can become a reality.

Good Luck & Keep Us Posted!


"Friends don't let friends convert cargo vans." ~ A Friend

Thank you all for the warm welcome and thank you @Van_Dweller for the wisdom. I’m at the very beginning of making this journey a reality. I’m not sure what I want and how I’m going to get there, so I think hearing other people’s stories, decisions, mistakes and advice will help me home in on what kind of van life is in my future. Thank you all again!

Hi, Lauren!! This is so great! This is proof that when a seed is planted it is only a matter of time for it to sprout.