Travelling in a Van from Europe to Africa and possibly to South America --> Questions

Hi guys,

nice to meet you all :slight_smile:

I am new to this forum, so I hope this is the right place to ask my questions here.
I have the following plan (inspired by a Youtube video about a bunch of students who travelled from Europe all the way down to Senegal in a school bus) and would love to receive some advice from you guys so that I can avoid rooky mistakes when trying to live this lifestyle:

In July, I will be in Spain and want to take 2 weeks of vacation to buy a Van and transform this Van into a Van where I really enjoy living in and be able to work in it, too.

I am not super tight on a budget, but also cannot afford to spend 20k USD on the van, so the Van should cost all in all maximum 7000-8000 USD

What kind of model would you recommend?

Questions about the Van:

Things that I need in my Van/what I need for living:

  • Queen Size bed

  • A desk where I can work with my laptop and a second person can join to have lunch together

  • A shower

  • A toilet

  • A window

  • A small kitchen where I can cook & clean plates

  • A toilet

  • Air conditioning/maybe heating (not sure yet)

  • Electricity outlets to charge my Laptop & smartphone

  • Always being able to have Internet (mobile internet or some other connection) ← Please give me advice on how to do that?

  • The Van should be small enough to be able to park at public parking lots (so that I don´t have to look for special Camping Parking lots because that´s quite uncomfortable & expensive as well).

  • An alarm system maybe?

  • What equipment do you recommend for this? What equipment might I have missed?

  • How much water should you take with you for having enough for a quick shower/for the toilet?

→ So basically what I want is a small one-bedroom appartment in a Van (I have seen videos on Youtube/Tiktok that this seems to be possible).

What kind of equipment would you recommend for this? Do you think 2 weeks for installing all that stuff is enough time (I am a very efficient working person, but have few home-working experience tbh)?

Also if you have good tutorials on how to install those things that would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Questions about travelling from Spain to South Africa and possibly to Latin America:

I would like to do the following travel: From the north of Spain, I would like to travel all the way down to South Africa with the Van and this also while working 70% as an IT helpdesk guy (so I have to be able to take videocalls from Monday to Thursday). After that travel I could imagine taking a ship and shipping my Van to Argentina or Asia and travel all the way up to Mexico with this Van, but at the moment I am focussing on that travel from Spain to Africa (First things first :slight_smile:

Here are some questions regarding this:

  • How do I cross countries with a car regarding insurance/license plates? Is there a car insurance that covers all Africa/the whole world? What can you recommend?

  • What knowledge should I have about repairing cars? Imagine I travel through the dessert, what should I know to repair in case there is a problem?

  • How can I cross a continent with my Van? From Europe to Africa, but also from Europe to the American continent or is it better to sell the Van and buy/build a new one?

Do you know people who sell their van completely installed? How could I find a Van that already works and has all the stuff installed already?

Thank you very very much for reading my post & for your recommendations!

All the best,


Greetings & Welcome!

That’s a very big wish list, with a very low budget… While it is possible, it is highly unlikely.

You will want a van that can be repaired any place you wish to travel, and which you can get the proper fuel for it. This will take considerable research on your part.

Internet connectivity is likely to be extremely problematic and costly.

There is customs at many borders, and it can take days/weeks to get your vehicle approved. Once again, much research will be needed. The right vehicle might get instant approval everywhere. I believe VW might be the most widely accepted, but that could have changed.

Good Luck & keep us posted!


"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller

The answer with VW seems like a very good advice. I guess in those African countries, you can arrange a lot of problems with “money” if you know what I mean or they might even expect that for you to keep going. In the Youtube video about a bus travel from Denmark to Senegal (the website doesn´t let me post a link here),
they were able to drive with a bus through all those countries so it should be possible to do that with a Van as well somehow