Home on the Road: The Van Dwelling Phenomenon

After spending the better part of a year living in our 1987 VW Vanagon while we traveled to Mexico and Central America followed by the Yukon and Alaska, I was thrilled to get back home to the comforts of our condo.

Kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces – I like them all.

But for a growing number of individuals, permanent “van dwelling” has replaced apartments and houses as the accommodation of choice.

The glue that holds this sub-culture together appears to be the aptly named “Van-Dwellers” Yahoo chat group.

Canada’s national magazine – MacLeans – carried a story on van dwellers in September 2008 and noted that in a recent seven-day period, a whopping 49 new members had joined the Yahoo Group, exchanging 583 new messages.

Wanting to see what the buzz over the “voluntary homelessness” lifestyle was all about, I registered with the online community.

Three automatic email responses from the group’s moderator immediately appeared in my inbox, including one that told me about the Van Dwellers "spin off" groups.

The spin-off group that really caught my eye was the “VanDwellers Singles” group, billed as “A place for Vandwelling Singles to meet and Date”.

Love, as we know, can flourish in even the most challenging environments.

While the Yahoo Group is highly active, a better place to have your questions answered about permanent van dwellers is www.cheaprvliving.com.

It has lengthy articles on an array of intriguing topics, such as “Workamping: How To”, “Living in a VW Vanagon”, “Where to Park”, “Vandwelling Safety” and “Young Vandweller”.

The “Young Vandweller” story is written by a woman in her mid-20s named Falia. Two years ago, she sold her house and most of her worldy possessions to live full-time in her 1985 VW Vanagon. Her website says that she is a photographer and is currently stopped in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The extensive links she has listed on her website serve as a “How To” manual for the permanent van dwelling lifestyle.

I have just recently become

I have just recently become very interested in the idea of van living and write about it on my blog: http://www.easyvanliving.com. I think it's a great way to get out there and see the country without the normal expenses involved in travel. Plus, you can stay somewhere for awhile and work and then move whenever you want to move. There's no need to sign a lease or deal with any of those issues.

Bob's Cheaprvliving site is

Bob's Cheaprvliving site is indeed excellent! And Sonja's Faliaphotography site is extremely interesting and well worth reading. I just stumbled upon this while looking for other vandwelling type blogs. The yahoo vandwellers group that you mentioned is really a major resource in the lifestyle. The spinoff groups are great and actually, I met my wife on the main vandwellers group.

I just wanted to say, living nomadic in a van can be the greatest lifestyle you can imagine, it really is like anything else in that you get out of it what you put into it. If you want to learn more about our life, you can check out our blog, we love sharing our fun!

-Mike & Heidi
97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"

For another good Yahoo group

For another good Yahoo group about living and camping in a van, try this one....