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Interesting Van Life Documentary: Van Boom

"I wanted to get to the bottom of why vans are booming so I interviewed 80+ people and made a documentary film about it."

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
405,000 new vans hit US roads every year. Sprinter vans, Ford Transit vans, and Dodge Promasters are literally everywhere with some media outlets speculating...
4 Replies

Thanks @REI-EllisB. This is a refreshing perspective and a reminder that one can live freely without a static home but rather a mobile one. To some degree, I feel like #vanlife is a predominantly economic reaction to the lack of affordable housing options. At the same time, it's also a sign that people are looking for ways of life outside of materialism and capitalism.

That being said, do you know if this is an American phenomenon? Is #vanlife a prevalent lifestyle in other parts of the world, and if so, is there any noticeable pattern or similarities among the nations where it is popular? It would be interesting to see whether vanlife is predominantly an economic reaction, a cultural rebellion, or something else entirely.

Lots of cities are clamping down on sleeping in vehicles overnight. Many wal-marts that used to allow boondocking now, no longer allow it. I think this will be harder and harder. I thought it was hilarious that the one guy being interviewed was able to reduce expenses by cooking his own food - wow mind blowing. 

No mention of showing or restrooms (at least not in the bits I was able to get through). How are people managing that? 


@dmz, That's a great point on the affordable housing comment. I'm also very curious if van life is as popular in any other countries besides the U.S.?! 

@cbslc, I've also noticed and heard of cities really cracking down on the parking as well! That's a good question about the restroom, I don't know anyone personally who is actually living out of their van to ask that question. 

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.

How to survive without a toilet in the van is  widely discussed as it is a choice of many people using their vans to live in full time and people using their vans for travel and camping. And there are more than quite a few options for a toilet in the van, both built in and portable, also widely debated and discussed. Showering is a whole other topic addressed in a variety of ways. If you really care just do a google (or the browser of your choice) search. Barefoot Theory has a very nice post about choices as her first van has a bathroom and but she chose no bathroom for her second van.