Can Van Life Be Difficult, Living in Such a Small Space?
California – From the way she speaks about it, I can tell the van is more than just a means of transportation to Jess, it’s a home. Despite the inevitable lack of space and sometimes messy practicalities, the freedom makes it all worth it.
I discover the van has a full size double bed, wardrobe, seating and kitchen area. Jess and Will have even managed to squeeze in a small shower/tub – and a fridge that pulls out from a drawer under their bed!
“We wanted the ability to live off grid without needing to stay in campsites. The van has solar panels on the roof that generate all the electricity we need for lights, fridge and charging ports.”
When I dare to ask how they dispose of waste on the road, Jess laughs, “without sounding too gross, the worst bit is definitely the bathroom department.” They decided a ‘porta potty’ was a necessity for the van, especially during the winter in the mountains. But it’s not as messy as you’d think, “we just dispose of the wastewater at campsites or service stations sewage dump locations.”
Living a Minimalist Van Life, Sustainable Lifestyle
Jess concludes that living minimally is more of a state of mind. “We actually travel very lightly in the van – we quickly realized from our first trip how little we use.”
The key is to conserve your resources and live within your means, she says. The couple explain that their 80-litre water tank can last them three days, while still showering and using the water for washing up.
“On average, one person in the UK uses approx. 140 litres of water a day,” Jess tells me, “so what we’ve realized is, it’s not about sacrificing, it’s simply about being considerate.”