Most Common Reasons Why People Quit Van Life

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There are many reasons people quit van life, from the expense to being homesick. Van life can be a demanding lifestyle, but the benefits of living the van life far outweigh any shortcomings. Why do people quit van life though?

Here are the 5 most common reasons why people quit van life:

  1. Homesickness
  2. Lack of money
  3. Mechanical troubles
  4. Lack of preparedness
  5. Trouble living in close quarters
  6. Safety concerns
  7. Lack of amenities
  8. Health issues

Van life is a lifestyle that requires sacrifices and dedication, like any other lifestyle. In this article, we’ll see why most people quit van life and discuss the most common reasons.

Why they quit van life

Van life can be an exciting and liberating lifestyle, offering the freedom to travel and explore new places.

However, it can also be a challenging and demanding way of life that isn’t for everyone.

Living in a van means giving up many of the comforts and conveniences of a traditional home, and it requires a certain level of adaptability.

From financial difficulties to safety concerns, there are many reasons why people may decide to quit van life. Despite the challenges, many people find that the rewards of van life are worth the effort, and the experience can be a truly transformative one.

I find this video from Raychel a great summarize of the different reasons:

1. They Quit van life because of homesickness

One common reason why people quit van life is that they struggle with homesickness. This can be challenging to deal with in such an isolated environment where there aren’t many distractions from day-to-day chores and tasks. 

There is a good chance that homesickness may set in for anyone with a huge support group in their hometown or have something that they left behind.

It’s possible to overcome homesickness by immersing yourself in your new surroundings and surrounding yourself with positive friends who are experiencing similar challenges as you are.

One way around this issue is simply staying in the same place longer than anticipated, as it may take some time before you feel completely settled into your new routine.

You can always mediate homesickness with smaller short trips to and from your home base more frequently.

Plus, these days, you can effortlessly stay in touch with your loved ones and buddies, thanks to the internet and all the tech goodies at our fingertips.

2. Lack Of Money

empty black closed wallet on a table

Unfortunately, I encountered a lot of people quitting van life due to financial difficulties, often because they spend more than they had initially budgeted for.

In addition, some people may believe that they can figure out the van life lifestyle as they go or find a job that allows them to work from their van, they often come to the realization that it’s not as easy as they initially thought.

Before embarking on van life, it’s essential to save up enough money to cover your expenses. Living in a van can be expensive, and unexpected costs (like machical repairs) can quickly add up. Gas, maintenance, and campground fees can all take a toll on your finances.

Being well prepared often means setting aside more money than what you had originally budgeted.

3. Mechanical Troubles

 rv open engine bay

One of the main reasons that people quit van life is because of mechanical troubles with their van. Since most people are not mechanics, this is very understandable.  

If you have someone in your group who knows their way around cars and vans, then they might be able to help out with some of the issues while on the road. But if not, it’s essential to know where local repair shops are so that you can get back home without too much trouble.   

Another option would be for one person or another in your van life community to take a class on auto repairs so that they could do basic maintenance themselves. This will allow them to save money on mechanic bills by doing simple fixes at home before taking something major into the shop next time there’s an issue.

One other solution for mechanical troubles is looking into purchasing some extra roadside assistance through your auto insurance.  

4. Lack of Preparedness

black campervan in a remote area

People may quit if they aren’t prepared for the lifestyle and all that comes with it, including driving through rough terrain at night without proper lighting to having a hard time finding amenities like showers and bathrooms.

It’s also common for someone not to know what to expect when they start their journey or where exactly they want to go. They feel lost.

While it can be easy taking off down an open road daydreaming about being free from responsibility, reality will set in eventually after months of cramped quarters traveling across nearly empty highways with no end goal. 

Most people fail at their ventures into van life because they underestimate just how hard this lifestyle really is. 

Some may think that simply choosing what kind of vehicle will suit them best makes up for anything else lacking in their lives, such as solid savings accounts or several months of food storage. 

Van life isn’t always as glamorous as many make it out to be. 

Related Article:
How To Prepare for and Deal With Storms During Van Life

5. Trouble Living in Close Quarters

interior of a small camper
The intererior of @lesmariolestrotters van. Their tiny tiny house for more than 5 years.

Another thing that causes people to give up on their dreams of living full-time in a van is that they become uncomfortable with the idea of living in such close quarters. 

Sleeping, cooking, and socializing with your partner within an enclosed space can make it easy to grow tired of each other if they don’t get along, or if they have different priorities when it comes to life on the road.

If you’re having trouble living in close quarters with another person, one solution is to spend more time outside of the van. Lifestyle changes are also very difficult to adjust to when you’re accustomed to having friends around constantly or going out every weekend with your old crew during work hours. 

And if you don’t have much in common with other van lifers/the outdoorsy types who were already friends before quitting life on the road, then finding new friends can feel like hunting for needles in haystacks.

6. Safety concerns

Living in a van can also be dangerous, especially if you’re traveling to unfamiliar places. Some people find that they don’t feel safe living in a van and decide to quit as a result.

Here are some reasons why van life can be dangerous and some examples of situations that can be risky:

  • Crime: Living in a van means that you’re constantly on the move and may be staying in unfamiliar areas. This can put you at risk of crime, such as theft or assault. For example, if you park your van in a remote area, you may be more vulnerable to theft or break-ins.
  • Accidents: Accidents can happen, and they can be more dangerous in a van than in a smaller car. For example, if you’re driving on a narrow road and encounter another vehicle, you may have difficulty maneuvering and could be at risk of an accident.
  • Weather: Living in a van means that you’re exposed to the elements more than you would be in a traditional home. This can put you at risk of extreme weather, such as storms or heat waves. For example, if you’re parked in an area that’s prone to flooding, you could be at risk of water damage or being stranded.
  • Wildlife: Living in a van means that you’re often in areas that are close to wildlife. While this can be exciting, it can also be dangerous if you’re not prepared. For example, if you’re parked in an area with bears, you’ll need to take precautions to avoid attracting them to your van.

7. Lack of amenities

Living in a van means giving up many of the luxuries that we take for granted, such as a full kitchen and bathroom. Some people find that they miss these amenities and decide to quit van life as a result.

  • Lack of bathroom: Many people find it difficult to live without a bathroom, especially if they’re used to having one in their home. For example, if you couldn’t afford toilet in your van, you may need to find public restrooms or pay a gym membership to overcome this issue . This can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, especially if you’re parked in a remote area.
  • Lack of kitchen facilities: Most of the time, you won’t have access to a stove or oven in your van, unless it’s a big one. This can limit the types of meals you can prepare.
  • Lack of storage space: You’ll have to give up many of the possessions that you would have in a traditional home. This can be difficult for some people, especially if they have a lot of belongings. After sorting through all of my belongings and getting rid of unnecessary items that I had accumulated over the years, I felt incredibly happy and relieved. Less is more!
  • Lack of electricity: You may not have access to electricity, especially if you’re parked in a remote area and you don’t have a great solar setup. For example, if you want to charge your phone or laptop, you may need to use a portable battery or find a place to plug in. This can be inconvenient and may limit the amount of time you can spend working or using electronic devices.
  • Lack of shower facilities: Having a shower is not a standard feature in every van or RV, which can be challenging if you’re accustomed to using one on a daily basis.

8. Health issues

Van life can be physically demanding, especially if you’re constantly on the move. This can put you at risk of health issues, such as back pain or fatigue.

For exemple, driving long distances without taking breaks can be strenuous on your back, and it may lead to health issues associated with prolonged periods of sitting.

In addition, when you’re not behind the wheel, van life often involves a range of activities such as cooking, cleaning, performing maintenance on your vehicle, and exploring the surrounding area.

It’s a lifestyle that can be physically demanding and requires a certain level of stamina.

Finally, in this video, Kels discusses the various reasons why she and her husband decided to leave van life, as well as why other van lifers have made the same choice.

Why You Need To Maintain Van Living

There are ways to mitigate most issues with van life, but it’s important to consider all of your options. 

Van life can be a difficult lifestyle to maintain, but the benefits of living in your van outweigh any shortcomings. One of the most popular reasons people quit is homesickness or lack of money, and mechanical troubles. 

However, it’s easy to overcome these setbacks if you plan appropriately and know what to expect when starting out with this type of lifestyle.

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