Why van dwelling?


Humans have a tendency to pursue the familiar and comfortable. We find our way into a life that provides a seemingly reasonable compromise between happiness and security, dig ourselves into a rut, put down roots, and wait a few decades for death to find us. Some of us tend to move around and do it several times, but the pattern is the same. In doing so, we basically throw our hands in the air and declare “Good enough.” While people have the right to pursue happiness, at some point, they just stop doing so. This is an antipattern that demands fixing.

Why do we move from place to place every few years or decades? Because we get bored with that place. We pick a new location, tell ourselves we’re going to explore it and see what it really has to offer. Ultimately, however, we end up right back in the same rut we just came from, and probably with more debt. The cycle itself prevents us from pursuing happiness, let alone finding it.

Yet our tendency to move does indicate a desire to explore. When people take a vacation from work, the first thing on their minds is usually to get as far away from home as possible. For many of us, if we had a way to explore without the expense of a house or apartment holding us down — and anchoring us in one place — One must question whether this desire could be obtained. In fact could it not be obtained at a substantially lower cost than what we are doing?

Enter van life. Turns out there are millions of people just within the US who live in their vehicles, and many of them spend their free time visiting the great wonders the world has to offer.

Many people are forced into it, so they start out with a cheap van or whatever vehicle they already had at the time. Yet despite the huge paradigm shift, many of them end up happier than they were before. Beyond them, there’s a whole realm of people who did the research and chose this lifestyle on purpose.

Bob Wells, who’s been doing this for 15 years, and who’s helped countless vandwellers – “You don’t like where you are, you turn the key, you drive away. That’s freedom!”

Randy Vining, who’s been doing this for 40 years – “The things you really enjoy are really not that expensive […] I have purchased freedom with the savings in my pail”

Eric Jacobs / Nomadic Fanatic – “I’m completely self-reliant”

Becky – “Happier than I’ve ever been”

Jim – “I could stay out for weeks [without resupplying]”

Jude – “I love it”

Christopher and Melissa – “Security takes away your freedom”

Lou – “I knew I would be a slave to my property and my home […] 95% of the people in this country, you hear ‘boy I wish I would’ve done that’… and then you die. So, do it now.”

Allie – “It’s a much, much more rewarding life”

Lee – “I got nothing holding me in one place […] and mobile sounds like a good idea.”

Jen – “I very much enjoy it”

Jo – “I’m not gonna pay one more time to have this furniture moved. In fact, I think I’m done with this furniture.”

4 thoughts on “Why van dwelling?”

  1. Bob Wells? Really? The scum of the earth that has written about how he lied and cheated to get on disability so he wouldn’t have to work, and has encouraged others to do the same. Somebody who promotes really bad choices for the sake of making money. Somebody who has ruined far more lives than he’s helped.

    What people need is a roadmap to success that they can follow. The most important ingredient people need to know about is how to make the money to support such a lifestyle, and this subject gets ignored for the most part. Next we need to hear more about all the failures and problems involved. Nobody seems to want to give the whole picture, only the positives.

    Let’s hear from all the people who spent good money for solar panels, and were disappointed. How about all the moisture problems caused by unvented propane heat, or about how those 12 volt fridges they like to promote, that die almost immediately after the warranty expires. Tell us about how wood floors are a bad idea, hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and how they warp because of the moisture. Tell us about the off gassing of all these reccommended materials that make people sick. What about the propane leaks and explosions?

    Tell us about how winners put others first and only losers put themselves first. Tell us about how important friends, family, and a good job are. Tell us how to deal with extreme temperatures without moving, and how to do this while staying near our friends, family, and jobs most of the time. The web is full of crap we don’t need, but severely short of the good, honest information we do need.

    Nobody needs to be -sold- products, or -sold- on the idea. We need the facts, the good, the bad, and the ugly, with greater emphasis on the bad and ugly.

    I am a full timer now, in my home town. But I was a failure thanks to pukes like Bob Wells, who cost me my life savings, and a whole lot of pain and suffering. I got things figured out finally, no thanks to them. If I would have followed my own instincts instead of listening to self proclaimed gurus like them, I would have been much better off. They put the blame on me for my failures, when the truth is that they caused all of my initial failures. Garbage in, garbage out, and that’s the truth of what they’re spreading. They never cared about me, they only cared about the payday from my purchases. In truth, all that hype and promotion about freedom and happiness is really all about somebody making money.

    Give us the dirt instead of the hype, and you might have a very popular site.

    1. Thanks for your input, Don; I had no idea about what you mentioned regarding Bob. I’m sure a lot of information was lost in the videos he made Enigmatic Nomadic take down ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyJMWakvatU ).

      I have every intention of publishing what downsides I can find as well, and I look forward to seeing whatever discussion develops. I’m sure everyone has a lot of the same problems, but also different problems. I certainly do want to get as much information out there as possible, so people can make the best decisions.

  2. I have an idea for you, if you could start a forum, an honest one, that is actually overseen by people with experience (I might even be convinced to help out…) and not about pushing products, I think you could make it big time.

    On every forum I’ve seen so far, it seems if somebody offers the truth but it goes against the grain of the money makers, they are ridiculed or dealt with harshly. Even though these forums appear to have multiple people pushing the same bad advice, I have a suspicion that there are a few with many multiple accounts.

    I believe good advice rather than product pushing advice, could make a new forum much more popular than any of the existing ones. Money could still be made by you, just in a more honest fashion. Instead of pushing dumb high priced items, you could just become an Amazon and/or others affiliate, and then just supply a link for people to buy through you on their sites, but without you recommending specific products. You could also have a donation link.

    All the BS needs to be outed, starting with cargo vans and going right down the line all the way to the gym memberships. More emphasis needs to be put on jobs and income. Free camping that doesn’t involve being in the middle of nowhere and driving over horrible roads. Free and easily accessible campgrounds should be a hot topic. The army corps of engineers offers lots of these for example.

    Just a thought, hopefully you get the gist of what I’m trying to say…

    1. It sounds like a great project for the future. Starting a forum is a serious undertaking; especially the moderation aspect of it. I haven’t spent much time on the forums so far, so I haven’t really seen the rotting cesspool you seem to be describing. Perhaps I should go take a look.

      I’m not even sure I can drive enough traffic to make such a site useful, but obviously helping others is a very worthy goal on its own. I’ve performed and organized so much research that I basically figured I would be doing the world a disservice by keeping it all to myself. That, and hopefully a bit of passive income from noninvasive ads, are basically why I started this website.

Leave a Reply