FAQ: Van Life

Where Do You Poop?:

Welcome to our most asked question. We don’t have a toilet on board. So, for #2 we find places like rest stops, gas stations, state park / city park restrooms, random porta-potties, the grocery store, Walmart, etc,. It’s not finding a toilet that’s the hard part, it’s more having a toilet when you need it that can get a little precarious. For #1 we have a pee funnel that is really easy to use. Do we regret not having a toilet? Find out in my article all about the bathroom. 

Where Do You Shower?:

We just recently added a portable shower on board and we love it. For only $30 from REI, the thing brings an incredible amount of peace of mind, and has diminished significantly the amount of dirt in our sheets. We also periodically use truck stops, RV Park Showers, gym showers and rivers. Do we regret not having a permanent shower in the van? Not in the slightest. 

What Do You Do When You're On Your Period?:

I do the same thing as I would in a “normal” lifestyle, but just without privacy. We have a crazy lack of privacy so I had to get comfortable not being comfortable in front of Cole. If you’re the kind of person who needs privacy for this kind of stuff,  & you aren’t willing to spend all week in a city desperately circling a Walmart bathroom, maybe consider investing in a bigger van and a more complex build with a bathroom. 

What Kind of a Van Should I Get?:

Read more in my article all about the different types of vans and vehicles for Van Life.

Where Do You Get Internet?:

Ah, WiFi. Right now during COVID-19, we are using our Verizon phone data & our 15GB hotspots (30GB total). During a normal life, we would also go to Starbucks, other coffee shops, and libraries. We might consider adding in an AT&T hotspot device to have all our bases covered & the additional service.  

How Much Does it All Cost?:

Read more in our article about Van Life Money.

DOGS? Alone? Added Complexity?

Read more in our article all about our dogs.

What Do You Cook With?:

We chose not to have a BBQ style propane tank on board, and we don’t have enough Solar/Batteries to power an induction cooktop, so we just have a plain and simple camping stove that we store in a drawer when it’s not in use. We actually really like this method, and when the opportunity presents itself to cook outside, we can easily take it. 

How Long Did the Build Take?:

It’s hard to figure out how long the build took. We bought the van May 2019, and it was totally finished in May of 2020, but we were both working and Mariah was in school full-time the whole year. I’d estimate we could it all again not working at all in 4 months working on the build 40 hours a week. **Keep in mind Cole works construction and has Woodworking experience. If you want to see our complete build guide, click the link below!

How Do Vanlifers Make Money?

Cole works seasonally for a fire company in California and Mariah works in the service industry as a Server. We both have been working to save enough for a few months on the road, and are both trying to currently figure out remote work to be able to continue this lifestyle after we’ve graduated college.

How Do You Do Laundry On the Road?

Laundromats. It makes me laugh when people ask this question.

Is Van Life Easy?

I think it depends what type of person you are. Can you go for two weeks without a shower? What happens if you run out of water? What happens when you have to use the toilet but there is no toilet and you’re in the middle of a big city? Will you flip your lid? 


Do you have dogs? How much money do you have to work with? Is your work remote? I think for some people van life would be the hardest thing ever. But for others, the challenges are so worth it that at the end of the day it starts to seem like a piece of cake. For us, it’s harder in some ways and easier in others. I think that’s pretty normal.

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