Where do you find a camper van to buy
There are loads of places where people have found camper vans, whether they are coach built or empty panel vans for self conversions. The most common places are Ebay, Gumtree, local dealerships, AutoTrader and Facebook buy and sell groups.
What type of van would you recommend? What are your thoughts on [insert make of van]?
This is far too difficult for anyone to answer, people have had good and bad experience with every make and model of van out there, really the question is, do you like the van, can you afford it, can you see yourself living/holidaying in it and do you know what you’re buying. There’s no perfect van model.
Where do you get your camper van insurance?
Everyone has their preference but the two that get mentioned in the UK Vanlife Facebook Group most are Adrian Flux and A Plan.
Do you know any good park ups/camping spots in [insert place]?
Yes we all have great park ups, some are a secret so people don’t share them but most aren’t and they are easily findable using a couple of apps and scouting around, check out https://ukvanlife.co/campervan-park-ups/ for how to find the best park ups. Just remember, leave no trace and don’t over stay your welcome, we want these spots to remain available for everyone once you’ve gone.
What's the best type of insulation to use in a van?
Opinions vary wildly, the two main ones that come up are Celotex (https://ukvanlife.co/celotex/) which is sheet foam that is used in houses as well and then Insulation Roll (https://ukvanlife.co/insulation-roll/). I’ve used both and they both work great. It really comes down to your budget, your environmental ethos and how comfortable you are using the products. You can’t really go wrong with either of those two options and no matter what you read, all insulation ends up making the van feel pretty much the same, insulated.
Is [insert amount] of solar and batteries enough for me to run [insert appliance]?
Again this is such a tricky one to answer as your needs will vary. You need to do an energy audit (listing all the appliances you are going to use, how many amps they draw per hour and then how many hours you are going to use them in a day) once you have all of that information you can see how big a set up you’ll need. Here’s a solar kit we bought for our first van, it had everything we needed except the battery (https://ukvanlife.co/solar-kit). For more info on batteries check out this groups article on them here: https://ukvanlife.co/campervan-battery/
As a rule of thumb, you’re going to need two leisure batteries and at least 200W of solar to try and run a fridge in the UK year round and the same if you want to run a diesel heater in the winter in the UK.
What heater should I get for my camper van?
Here’s our article on heating options for your van: https://ukvanlife.co/campervan-heating/ it covers the main options you have and the pros and cons of each.
Personally I’m (and many others are) a fan of the cheap diesel heaters because they are efficient and value for money. Here’s the one most of us use: https://ukvanlife.co/diesel-heater/. They are relatively easy to install and use even by the most untechnically minded so don’t be put off by the thought of installation.
How do you shower in your van?
There’s loads of great options from solar showers to gas fitted ones as well as using the gym, more specifics about what we all use can be read here: https://ukvanlife.co/showering-in-a-van/
What do you do for work? How do you make money living in a van?
Everything you need to know about this is in this article: https://ukvanlife.co/making-money-on-the-road/
It covers the ways we make money online, how other van lifers run businesses from their vans as well as seasonal and local work which we all use to make money on the road.
What security measures do you have in your van?
When your van is also your home it’s so important to make sure you feel safe and that you are comfortable leaving it. Unlike a house a van is more vulnerable to break ins and being stolen than a house and so we use a bunch of trackers, cameras and locks to deter criminals and give us a sense of safety in our camper van. You can read about the specifics of that here: https://ukvanlife.co/van-life-security/
What is a split charge relay?
A split charge relay allows you to charge your van’s leisure battery from the engine when it is running. It also protects your vehicles battery from being discharged when you are using your leisure battery. It’s a great way to get some extra charge into your battery in the dark winter days, read more about it here: https://ukvanlife.co/split-charge-relay/
How do you get internet on the road?
Getting internet on the road is easy, getting good strong internet signal takes a bit more effort. Here you can read how an expert gets their internet in even the most remote places in the UK and Europe: https://ukvanlife.co/internet-on-the-road/
How do I know if vanlife is for me?
You’re right to question it, as great as van life looks on Instagram it might not be for everyone. While it’s a massive adventure there are plenty of compromises you have to make to live successfully in your van for a long time.
The thing I recommend everyone does is to borrow or rent a van for a week before they get into their own conversion. Using great van rental companies such as www.spaceshipsrentals.co.uk you can cheaply book a holiday and get a sense of whether van life really is for you first.