Nomadic Newbie Here

I am a solo female vanlifer and have been transitioning to full time over the last few months. I was fighting for my life a year ago after being diagnosed with a severe neurological disease. I use the outdoors to heal my body, mind, and spirit. Now that I am healthier than ever I am craving the open road. Im in my late 20’s and hope to meet other millennials on the road. Just working past these newbie jitters so I can completley embrace this lifestyle. Cant wait to meet you all.


Can;t wait to meet you too.
Welcome to the community!

Greetings & Welcome!

Glad to hear you’re doing better.

Do you have your income sorted out? Lack of this spells the downfall for many newbies. Lack of a large enough emergency fund can mean problems too.

There’s no replacement for patience and proper planning.

Is your vehicle in better than average mechanical condition? Breakdowns can be costly and most are avoidable.

Best Wishes!


My income is small being that I survive on disability. But I am in the process of opening an etsy shop to supplement the best I can. But yes, finances have been a source of concern for me. Luckily my vehicle is in great shape and I havnt had to make any repairs other than scheduled oil changes. Thank you for your advice!!!

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Thank you so much!! Cant wait to meet you as well!

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In process of starting van life and build out with lots of research. Question, what would you at are the 3 most important things with van layout?


Prioritize what you want to be doing in the van. Some people dont want to assemble a bed every night. What will you be doing? Will you need a desk? Do you need pluming? So take that into consideration.

The other important things would be accomodating a fridge or cooler, a trash can, your personal toilet system.

For me I wanted to be able to stand up all the way, not need to assemble my bed every night (For example from table to bed) and I wanted a pretty good sized counter. Those are my most important things. In hindsight I might have actually built a dinnette instead of a permeant bed for versatility.

This is actually all secondary to a willingness to go for it.

Planning is an endless pit.


Some people put a swivel on their passenger seat, then use a TV tray for a table/desk.



Sorry friend, but you’re dead wrong. Willingness to go for it means very little, the planning is what makes people successful at it.

The lack of proper planning is the #1 cause of failure for this lifestyle. Maybe 1 in 100 or less make it without proper planning and a good backup plan, and a large number of those failures find themselves broke, jobless, and homeless. The chance for failure is huge, and the risks are even bigger. Good planning can greatly improve your odds.


There are lots of ways to make money online from the comfort of your van. There are some great classes at many get together’s, to learn many different ways. With arts & crafts you are limited by how much you can produce, but with digital goods or services, the sky’s the limit.


I have been in my 1993 Eurovan for over a year and too much planning is not the way I chose. It’s impossiblw to kno all about what you will need before hand, especially because there are different ways to do it.

Not sure where you are getting (1 in 100) from, I suspect there is a figure you researched?

My point in my comments is, don’t scare the new guy. Of course money and other things are needed to figure it out, this is obvious. However nothing makes up for just doing the damn thing and to make ones mind up.

Studies done sited in Joe Diapenza’s ‘you are the placebo’ show that we have the power to draw to us energetically what it is that we desire. When we absolutely want to say, start that business so we then choose the van life as I did, you make it work because you have something on the line.

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Remember, nothing is more important than simply choosing to do it!

Don’t listen to the haters below, brother.

Figure out what you can with what you have then go for it! :blush:

You’ve got this.

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Please don’t get me wrong, I am not a hater. I want to see everyone who wants to do this succeed.

Some people are blessed with the ability to figure out solutions on the fly, I happen to be one of them, but in my experience, most people seem to get overwhelmed easily. Planning can really lower their stress levels, and help them make better decisions the first time around.

Similar to the measure twice, cut once, philoshophy.

The promoters are very good at what they do, they cause a lot of people to leap before they look. Many of them are setting people up for failure from the beginning. In short they’re con artists, and they don’t care how many peoples lives they’re ruining. For some of us it’s about passion, the lifestyle, freedom, and the road. For them, it’s just about the money. They promote the best of times, and downplay the reality of it all, and they leave a massive string of shattered lives in their wake.

Helping people avoid painful and costly mistakes isn’t being a hater, it’s being helpful. I’ve made practically every mistake imaginable, and most of them were caused by others. The helpful advice I got from people in person, was always countered by what turned out to be terrible advice online, but came very prettily gift wrapped and presented. People are still giving that same bad advice, and it always starts with “Just Do It”, “Do It Now!”, “You’ll Never Regret It”, etc. etc. All of which I now recognize as the markings of a scam. Never give a victim a chance to figure out it’s a scam until after you have their money.

When this is a willing choice, there is no rush, and no need to hurry up and buy things. People don’t need to quit their jobs, sell their houses, or their belongings, to try this out. A string of scam artists wanted to know if I had sold my house yet, and how much money I had to spend so they could be sure to leave me broke. Another sure sign of a scam is when they tell you to put yourself first and escape your friends and family who are trying to talk some sense into you.

Hurry hurry. rush rush, don’t give your victims time to come to their senses. IT’S ALL A SCAM!!!

The people who this life is right for, don’t need encouragement… They already know. They might need support, but the desire has to come from within, not from somebody else. Unless somebody is homeless or already in trouble, NOBODY should be encouraging this lifestyle. Offering support is great, but encouraging it is bad news. The scam artists create far more problems than they solve.

While it’s true that we can’t plan for everything, plans and being prepared for anything, make life better and help keep us out of trouble. Taking our time and doing it right the first time can save us a ton of money and stress. It’s not all rainbows and roses, and the sooner people discover that, the better off they are. The truth is that there is no magic solution to everybody’s problems, and more traditional solutions are better for most people. Our problems tend to follow us, and van dwelling doesn’t solve them, and all too frequently only complicates them further.

When I was younger, if I had known what I know today, my whole life would have been greatly improved. It is that experience that I am now trying to pass on to others, so they may benefit from my mistakes, my failures, and my ultimate successes. It’s easy to think you know it all when you’re younger, but when you get older, it becomes so much clearer just how stupid and naive you really were. The easiest path to success is if we learn from the mistakes of others before we make those same mistakes ourselves.



Windows, floorplan, and no modifications to the van itself, including holes in the roof.


Consider that the guy we are trying to help knows even more than us about his situation and what works for him.

Starting from there is a powerful place to give advice from, brother. Coming from, ‘I am one of the few and I need to help this guy out’ sets them up as the victims and you or us as saviors.

Thanks for all the thought you put into the last post. Clearly you’ve got a huge heart!


I did read where she is coming from, and in no way am trying to discourage her.

My response to you was more for other newbies than for this fine lady. I do believe that she knows full well what she is doing, and has already given it considerable thought.

Since she is getting disabilty, hopefully that will fully cover her living expenses. That was one of my biggest concerns. I know people who can help others create more income when it’s needed. The same people who helped me.

I have friends with severe disabilities that are living this life and making it work, so I want to be a resource for this young lady if she needs it. It’s not about heroes, saviors, or victims, just plain old people helping people.