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Are more people considering  van life during the pandemic?

Are more people considering van life during the pandemic?

Posted by Heatso on 16th Jan 2022

Are more people considering
van life during the pandemic?

As work from home gained popularity, more people realized that home can be anywhere they wanted. With more van lifers on the road, van builders and conversion shops experienced a surge in demand for custom-built vans and RVs. Social media overflowed with posts of couples traveling to the most picturesque corners of the world, boosting the popularity of the off-grid lifestyle even more.

But the pandemic also came with its own challenges. Just like everybody else, van lifers had to adapt to a new lifestyle, limited by travel restrictions and quarantines. Self-isolating with very little space is emotionally tough, and storing food with fewer shopping runs required innovation and wit.

Overall, we’ve found that the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more people than ever towards the bohemian freedom that comes with living in a van instead of a more classic home.

Vanlife is growing in popularity

The lockdowns in 2020 and then in 2021 forced many people to readjust and reconsider their lifestyles. As working from home gradually replaced office work, and travel restrictions nullified vacation plans, thousands of people turned to van life to reconnect with nature.

According to a survey from Move.org, all that instability also has more Americans considering getting rid of their homes altogether. Instead, they would opt for van life and a cheaper, more nomadic way of life.

The moving company review site asked hundreds of respondents about how they felt about van life. They found that a staggering 52% of Americans are now more open to the idea of living off-grid. From weekend warriors to full-time van lifers, everybody felt a desire for roaming the great outdoors.

The majority of respondents said they would try van life if it meant they could pay off all their debt, and 74% said they would try it if it meant they could comfortably retire. Another 23% said they would be motivated primarily by not having to pay rent or mortgage.

Nonetheless, finances weren't the only draw for some respondents. The poll found that 35% liked the idea of living by the beach or spending more time outdoors. Another 33% said their prime motivation would be the opportunity to travel.


On social media, van life is rising in popularity at unprecedented speeds. Searching #vanlife on Instagram shows over 12 million posts, which is a 605% increase from

Challenges of living off-grid during the pandemic

Even though van life sounds like the ideal way to spend these challenging couple of years, it has its pros and cons. Like most people, van lifers had to adapt their lifestyle to the new reality posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

While lockdowns have been a struggle for many, those living in tiny vans have felt the impact in different ways. Those who depended on being able to travel to make a living were suddenly forced to remain stationary, limited by international and local travel restrictions. As national parks shut down and RV parks restricted their capacity, finding a safe space to stay the night became more difficult.

Van life vehicles need a few basics:
A place to sleep, a desk or table space, kitchen equipment, and some sort of bathroom setup. But perhaps most important is the computer and internet equipment.

Many van lifers rely on public places like gyms and cafes for amenities like showers and Wi-Fi. These places closing down meant that van dwellers had to become even more self-reliant.

Although the toughest restrictions are now gone, some lifestyle changes remained. Nowadays, many van lifers carry at least two hot spots from different network providers so they can catch a signal from at least one of the services as they hit new locations. And installing a shower inside, or on the back door of your van, is now a necessity.

How has the pandemic affected van builders?

A sharp increase in the popularity of vans turned into homes is perfect for van builders. The pandemic proved to be a great time for van builders and van conversion shops. The allure of travel and the simplicity of the van life lifestyle has given birth to a worldwide social media phenomenon, which has only been fuelled by the pandemic.

With higher competition on the market, the quality of van builds has reached new heights. After all, who wouldn’t want to live in a custom-built luxury van conversion with floor heating and a fully-equipped kitchen?

Many have taken these professional builds as inspiration and saved money on building a van of their own. Not only is building your own van a great project, but it also lets you really get to know the ins and outs of your off-grid home, so when something goes wrong you know just how to fix it.

Mercedes, whose Sprinter van is the vehicle of choice for many #vanlife followers, appears to be the biggest winner. Mercedes-Benz U.S. van sales soared 22.5% in 2020, even as the brand's overall sales fell 8.9%.

Future of vanlife

As vaccines roll out and borders start to open up, some workers are returning to their offices. But many who’ve adopted living on the road don’t want to give it up. Work from home is here to stay, which means that so is remote work van life.

It’s interesting to notice that in the move.org survey, millennials were most likely to consider van life because of COVID-19. 60% of those considering life on the road because of the pandemic are between the ages of 25 and 44. One thing is clear: van life definitely isn’t as unconventional as it used to be, especially among younger adults.

In any case, getting a van as your vehicle and home is cheaper than paying for a car and a house separately. In conclusion, if you’re fine living in a space that’s about the size of a small studio, van life is definitely worth considering. The benefits of constant travel, closeness to nature, and minimalistic living are something you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

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