I can’t believe we’re actually writing a post van life tips and how to stay clean on the road. Mostly because I can hear my mom saying, “Ew, Erin…you should take a bath every day!” (Sorry in advance Mom and Dad, please don’t be upset!) But also because I really don’t want you, my friends, to think we’re gross! Okay, maybe I bragged in the past how one time I didn’t take a shower for 12 days but technically I was in the ocean every day … so that counts, right? Right??Β In any event, if you are looking for some van life hacks or you are just plain curious about how gross Caroline and I have become, read on! Van life tips: How to Stay Clean on the Road!

Take a bird bath

This requires a towel of some sort and some clean water. We each have a lightweight and quick drying towel. We use the Microfiber Towel by MountFlow. Each of us has one and we just hang it off the mirror or on the clothesline when we’re done and it’s dry by the time we need to use it again.Β Soap takes things up a notch, for sure. We ‘sponge’ bath (that somehow sounds a little better than bird bath doesn’t it?) usually just before going to bed. It helps us to sleep better. Basically, we start with our faces and then work down from there. Neck, arms, stomach, etc until you’ve wiped down your body. Pro Tip: Don’t start with your body and end with your face! Gross!

Van Life: How To Stay Clean on the Road!
Psssst … did you hear she took a bird bath?!

Play in the rain

Of course, this is most fun if you can do it in your birthday suit! Most of the time we have to do it in our bathing suits, though. A great way, when the temperatures are nice and warm, to get your hygiene needs met. We’re not joking. This is van life, not the Hilton lol.

Planet Fitness

We got this van life tip from a fellow van lifer. Planet Fitness has over 1,400 locations across the US and for only $10 a month, you can get free fitness training, take a shower, get access to free WiFi, and they will even give you a free t-shirt! We think it’s a bargain but we actually haven’t purchased a membership.

Use Epic Wipes

Baby wipes are cool, but recently we found a company called Epic Wipes that has something even better. They’re made with Eucalyptus essential oil (not alcohol) and are also non-toxic. Our favorite part about them, however, is that they are biodegradable. They come in Large (2 ft by 1 ft) and XL sizes (2.5 ft by 1.6 ft).

Keep your toiletry kit clean

Our Eagle Creek Pack It Specter Cube Set , Brilliant Blue, 3pc Set toiletry kit has been a lifesaver as far as keeping the ick factor down. The small bag houses our toothbrush and toothpaste and acts as a barrier between the rest of the world and well, our mouths. We’re assuming most people aren’t comfortable setting their toothbrush down on random sinks, so make sure you get one with a handle or a hook (the Eagle Creek we recommend has a handle) so you can hang it from something. The larger bag holds our deodorant, contact lens solution, hair ties, etc. (The biggest bag I unfortunately lost!) Oh and the best part about this toiletry kit is that when it gets super gnarly and dirty we can throw it in the wash and it’s as good as new.

Van Life Tips: How to Stay Clean on the Road
Does a horse ever brush it’s teeth?!


You were hoping we’d write about this, weren’t you? Oh boy, you are really getting the inside scoop aren’t you now? Well, truth be told when we haven’t been able to get to a laundromat in a while, we maaaaybe get 2 days out of each pair of underwear? Maybe? On the second day we maybe just turn them inside out? As far as we can tell, no one else can tell what we are doing, so hey! (Burying our face in our hands in embarrassment!) Going commando is also a real option, too. In the summer it can make you feel a lot cooler. Facts are facts. Are we getting too real for you???

Make sure your van is tidy

You’re still with me after that underwear tell-all? Haha ok. Well our next suggestion is to keep your van clean. If your van is clean, YOU by default will be a little cleaner! If your van is filthy, you’ll be a little dirtier … pretty common sense but pizza boxes at your feet mean that there’s a good chance pizza grease will end up on your clothes. Luckily since we’ve converted our cargo van into a camper van with the Wayfarer kit and we’re able to stay organized because of all the storage boxes. If it wasn’t for those…I’m not sure what our van would look like.

Van Life: How to Stay Clean on the Road
Our Wayfarer kitchen boxes help us keep things neat.

Van Life Tips: How to Stay Clean on the Road Recap

So we took our Tips for Road Tripping in the US a little further and discussed personal hygiene. What do you think about our van life tips? Was this too real for you?!Β Do you have any others that you’re willing to share? Do you want to guess how many days we’ve gone without a shower?! What’s YOUR record?


18 thoughts on “Van Life Tips: How to Stay Clean on the Road!

      1. Never to much cause the ones that care need it and the ones that don’t don’t haha bring that I’ll be starting my van life in a couple months, it’s very refreshing for me to real the real deal from women that are doing it rather than all the fluff especially since I’m going solo 😍 so thank you..I am grateful πŸ€—πŸ™πŸ€—

      2. You got it – glad our stuff can be of use to you! can’t wait to see you hit the road.

      3. Not sure if you got my response cause it said error sending message yet I’m so glad you are real… Bring that I’ll be embarking on a van life in a couple months as a solo female it’s fantastic to read from other women that are doing it and being real rather than putting only the fluff out here.. So thank you…I am grateful πŸ™πŸ˜˜πŸ™

      4. sure did! and thanks for saying that – we’re doing our best but a lot of it is still trial and error for sure. hope you had a great weekend!

      5. I believe loving a van life will always be trial and error haha yet it’s what we choose so embrace it all especially the lessons… Much love to you both and hope you’re having a great weekend too πŸ€—πŸ’—πŸ™πŸ’—πŸ€—

      6. Yes it’s been a good one. exhausted and heading to bed. Hope you have a great week ahead of ya!

  1. This is a great guide no matter you’re traveling the country in the back of a van or you’re on a two-week road trip across the country. This is definitely getting shared in the Adventure Bent Facebook communities!

    I really love the fun and rambunctious writing style you guys have. It really makes every blog post a joy!

    1. Wow thanks so much. We’re honored you would share this in the group. Really appreciate it. You made our day :-)!

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.