Van Life FAQ

We often get questions from friends and strangers about van life so we thought rather than respond to them one at a time we’d go ahead and create a blog post about our most frequently asked questions related to van life. Here ya go: Van Life FAQ’s

What kind of van are you traveling in?

We’re doing van life in a 2018 Dodge Ram Promaster City that’s been outfitted with a Wayfarer Conversion Kit.

Why did you choose this van?

In a nutshell, it gets pretty good gas mileage and was within our price range. It was also a departure from the “vintage” era vehicle we were previously living in which was way too stressful and costly for us. We’ve been toying with the idea of getting a van you can stand up in but so far this one is working out nicely for us. You can read more about our thoughts behind why we chose the Dodge Ram Promaster City HERE.

Do you like van life?

Van Life FAQ

We do! We’ve become quite accustomed to living, traveling and working out of such a small space. Though there are some hardships to living like this, it’s all worth it when you get to see the sun rise from a new place or run on a trail in the mountains or see a bison in a valley. Those moments are priceless.

How do you stay clean?

Haha, staying clean is all relative isn’t it? Lucky for us we don’t mind being dirtballs and can get by with bird baths here and there. We do get to a certain point though where we start craving a shower. It usually happens after six or seven days and we’ll break and end up paying for a campsite so we can access hot water. Van life is definitely not for those who need to shower at least once a day. Interested in more tips on how to stay clean on the road? We’ve got some of our suggestions on the blog HERE.

Where do you live?

Asheville, North Carolina is home base for us. Home these days, though, is just wherever we end up parking for the night.

How do you cook?

We’ve got some basic cooking supplies (knife, pot, pan, utensils, coffee kettle) and couldn’t live without our Coleman Campstove. You can see a full list of our cooking essentials HERE. Whenever there’s a picnic table available we set up on it so that we keep grease and cooking odors out of the van. When they’re not available, we usually just open the backdoors and set up on top of the kitchen boxes. How we keep our food cool is a whole other ballgame. Click HERE to learn more about that.

What do you eat?

Though we’re almost always in a new spot all the time, we do our best to eat as healthy as possible: organic, whole foods (food that isn’t processed). We do our best to stay away from fast food as well as binging on random gas station snacks. That said, we do sometimes cave to the ease of Cup Noodles, pre-packaged salads and chips. Snack-wise we eat a ton of bananas and peanut butter and yogurt.

Do you workout?

butt kicker exercises
Time to kick some butt!

Yes! Though there are some additional challenges to working out while traveling, we manage to exercise at least 5 times a week. Most of the time it’s a run (we love both roads and trails). We’ve also recently added the Yakima Backswing Bike Rack to our van which means on days when we need to stretch our legs but can’t bear to run, we can ride. So far they’ve also proven to be a great way to see more of a new place. On days when we do a lot of driving we do van life workouts! We’ve got two posts about them HERE and HERE that have over 20 activities for you to choose from.

How do you afford van life?

Before we ever left Asheville, we saved and saved. I was a teacher for ten years and had socked away a good bit to give us a cushion and Caroline did as well (she sold a doughnut shop a couple months before we hit the road). In addition, we also built a tiny house in Asheville that we are currently renting out. On top of all that, we are freelance photographers, travel writers, web designers and social media influencers and are able to do most of the work wherever we are so long as we have access to wifi. Our current life is a huge departure from the consistent life we used to live but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. In addition, we do our best to keep our expenses down, cook a lot of our own food and try to reuse and repurpose as much as we can.

Van Life FAQ recap

Do you have a question for us about van life? If so, we’d love to hear it. If you’re considering a road trip or just want to learn more about living in a van, be sure to check out our story on The Things No One Tells You About Van Life.

We’ve also got some other info related to Why We Chose the Dodge Ram Promaster City as well as Van Life Myths vs. Reality.

Please leave your comment below and thanks for visiting Authentic Asheville!


Published by Erin McGrady

Erin McGrady is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer exploring Asheville and beyond. My work focuses on sharing about LGBTQ safe spaces, camper van life, and the outdoors.

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