People have been camping for such a long, long time but in 2020 because everyone had to keep their distance from people because of Covid, camping became a worldwide phenomenon because people were able to get out of the house and travel, have fun but all while being socially distanced so many, many more people were jumping on the bandwagon.
And along with seeing people traveling in campers and RV’s, many people were and still are camping in their cars and SUV’s, turning vans into micro-homes and also renovating school buses into houses on wheels.
My love for tiny living started with tiny houses. I really do love them so much and about 6 or so years ago, I was determined that I was going to buy one to live and travel in it full-time. At that time, I was able to visit a tiny house community near where I live and realized even though they’re tiny, they’re big to haul and pull with you everywhere you want to go. First of all, I was driving a Nissan Altima, at the time and that wasn’t pulling anything let alone a tiny house. And, not to mention, I was scared even thinking about driving and pulling something as big as a tiny house!
I’ve gone through many different phases of researching, planning, saving and dreaming of owning many different modes of transportation for traveling and camping so I decided to write this showing my lists of pros and cons for each that I’ve researched. My disclaimer is, I know this isn’t all the pros and cons for each type and I know people may not have the same lists but I’m hoping it will give you a good start, if you’re interested in doing the same.
- Can be build specifically for your wants/needs
- No need to worry about towing anything, everything is contained in the van
- There are many other people who travel in vans so meeting other like-minded people is great
- Living in “stealth” mode so unlike a camper, this can be done without anyone knowing you’re living in your van
- If you have a kitchenette built in the van, you can eat at any time without building campfire
- Easy to park, fit in most regular parking spaces
- Takes time, money and creativity to build out a van
- Depending on type of van, might not have height to stand
- Limited space for comfortable bathroom & shower
- Limited storage space
- In the summer, vans are often hard to keep cool
- If your van breaks down and is being fixed, your house is not available
School bus renovation
- Can be built with all comforts of home including bathroom
- Extremely safe since they’re built to haul kids
- Buses can be found to purchase at reasonable prices
- Can be expensive to convert a bus depending on needs
- Takes time to be comfortable with driving
- If your bus breaks down and is being fixed, your house is not available
- Able to stand and have all the comforts of home
- Unless you’re renovating an older camper, everything is already done so no building out
- Do not need to drive your “house” everywhere you go
- No engine in the camper to worry about
- Even if you have to put your vehicle in for service, you still have your home where you can be comfy
- Have a bathroom and tanks for toilet and shower
- Equipped with full kitchen (stove, fridge and sink)
- Since they’re already built out, you have to make the footprint work for you instead of building it for you
- Depending on the size, might have to worry about finding a parking place if there is a time you’re not using
- Need a vehicle with proper tow hitch to pull it
For me, I really have gone through wanting every single one of the above for various reasons and at different times over the last few years. I just knew I wanted something and wasn’t completely set on any specific one. Whichever one came to me first, was the one I was going to embrace and move forward with.
Because I remained positive and kept thinking good thoughts, my way came to me within the last couple of months. I was able to trade in my small Nissan Sentra for a newer SUV that will be able to tow a travel trailer and I couldn’t be any more excited!!