What is a Vandweller or as some call it a van dweller?
In the following discourse I will compare the lifestyle of the van dweller
with that of one who practices the Vanabode lifestyle. In some
cases the lifestyles are similar. In other ways they are vastly different
even though they may seem the same at first glance. Either way: you can
happily live a splendid life, in the greatest country in the world, for
almost nothing, if you do it right.
First an overview of each term as it is most commonly understood and
used. PLEASE don't start writing me and telling me how you saw an exception
to the following and how I have it all wrong. This exercise is designed
to help you understand the biggest overall differences between
the two methods of living. There are hundreds of exceptions, variations
on what I am breaking down for you, and minor unimportant details both
shared and not shared between the two. It may help to think of Vanabode
as a subset of the vandwelling community. This statement makes the point
All those that Vanabode are vandwellers but not all vandwellers Vanabode.
Vandweller - one who uses a van as his principle residence.
Vanabode - special lifestyle strategies employing a specifically
outfitted stealth van enabling the least expensive but comfortable travel
and living possible.
Vehicle choice - vandwellers use any kind of van to live
from regardless of age, shape, size, or condition. The Vanabode
lifestyle employs a simple plain white non-attention grabbing short wheel
base Chevy or Ford van.
Perception by Others - vandwellers typically do not care
that they are perceived as camping because they are often living in areas
where it is legal to camp for long periods of time. Vandwellers
can be seen with awnings out, solar panels on the roof, house style air
conditioners protruding from rear windows, bicycle racks mounted on the
back, large containers stored outside their van for big quantities of
water or food, and toys like kayaks or 4 wheelers. If you Vanabode
you would not do this. Vanaboders travel extensively and demand
maximum flexibility to go anywhere they want. Those that Vanabode
insist on the freedom to spend a month in a wild outdoor place like Yellowstone
National Park followed by a month in a plush big city like San Francisco
or Las Vegas without paying. So, they employ strategies and equipment
that eliminates the need for the items listed above. This way they can
park and live anywhere, rather than designated camping areas only. The
book Vanabode explains how and comes with free updates for life, plus
free direct contact with the author forever for personal assistance, help,
and advice solving any problem.
Power - vandwellers often use complicated electrical systems
like solar panels managed by control panels that send energy to batteries
where it is then converted and used by appliances like microwaves and
lights using an inverter. If you are staying in one place months at a
time, and if you can afford the initial cost of the equipment,
and you don't mind camping only in designated areas, and
you can handle the risk of theft when you are gone, then these can be
of help. However, a person on a 2-3 year Vanabode journey would never
employ such a system. Those that Vanabode use strategies outlined
in the book to generate all the power they need to cook, stay warm, watch
TV, charge a cell phone or laptop, etc., making these systems an unnecessary
expense and hassle.
Water - vandwellers often use RV style plumbing to solve
the problems of drinking, bathing, and washing dishes. Vandwellers
often dedicate a portion of their van to a water tank, a small sink, and
sometimes even a micro shower. They do not care that the introduction
of these items "reclassifies" their van as a "camper"
or "rv" by nearly all state, county, and city governments and
subjects them to laws that apply to "recreational vehicles"
but not those that Vanabode. There is too much to cover in this
one page but suffice it to say this is a VERY important point. When you
are wanting to be left alone and live cheap there
are many entities that want to stop you. Once you introduce plumbing
to your van it is VERY difficult to do many things when a police officer,
parking official, or city government employee makes the case that you
are "camping" or using a "recreational vehicle" where
these are prohibited. And they are prohibited nearly everywhere unless
you pay for a campsite.
Those that Vanabode never have these problems because they use
strategies outlined in the book to accomplish the same things without
the expense. Vanaboders use up less room inside the van solving
these problems because there is no plumbing. They also spend less money
solving these problems, and retain their freedom because their van is
classified as a personal vehicle just like a car. This allows them to
legally park in places vandwellers cannot, legally stay overnight
in places Vandwellers cannot, and bathe, drink, and clean up for
Employment - vandwellers give up some work opportunities
because of the appearance of their van: they cannot park, sleep and live
close enough to their place of employment to make the amount of money
they earn worth the effort. Those that Vanabode can literally drive
their "house" to work, eat lunch in the parking lot, and even
sleep on property or within a few miles of work in places like San Francisco,
Seattle, Miami, Las Vegas, Dallas, San Diego, etc. Vanaboders are always
welcomed into National Parks, State parks and recreational areas, and
private campgrounds for the special seasonal job opportunities offered
because their vehicle is simple, clean and non descript. The Vanabode
book includes a chapter and list of resources for where you can find seasonal
work, stay as long as you like and earn enough in 4-5 months to travel
the rest of the year.
Cost - Vandwellers and those that Vanabode can operate
on just about any kind of budget they choose to. The main differences
are vandwellers will spend more initially getting their offgrid
van setup and will spend more operating all the electrical, plumbing,
and other RV style amenities most choose to use. However vandwellers
enjoy less fuel cost and mileage depreciation because they typically stay
put for 6 months or even permanently in one spot. Vanaboders simply
buy the book which provides all the information needed to travel forever
on $20 a day including food, lodging and transportation. Vanaboders
can get started for nearly nothing because all the special equipment needed
to live comfortably costs less than $900. Vanaboders tend to spend
more on fuel than the average vandweller because it is a travel
based lifestyle where one is empowered to work and travel to and through
many different places every year.
What is a VanDweller?
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Why be a vandweller?
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