Hey everyone! Zak and I are going to try to get out some more Q&A videos on Youtube and Instagram and follow them up with blog posts. All of these questions are based on things that other people have asked us about our Vanlife journey or they are questions that we have had ourselves. If you are interested in starting Vanlife yourself, or if you are just wanting to know a little bit more about how we live, please leave your questions in the comments or feel free to shoot us an email via our Contact Page!
How often do you do laundry, and where?
Zak and I tend to do laundry about once a week (recently less) at laundromats. Sometimes we will also do laundry at hotels, or when we stay at or at friends’/ our families’ homes. Really, anywhere that has a washer and dryer where it isn’t a complete inconvenience, we try to wash our clothes. Most laundry mats are coin operated and not all laundromats have ATMs, so we like to make sure we have just a little bit (maybe $20) of cash on us. Usually our laundry won’t be $20. It’s generally closer to $7-10, but we just like to be prepared. Just know that you’ll need to store your extra quarters somewhere!
Is Vanlife Affordable?
Overall, I would say yes, Vanlife is affordable– ESPECIALLY when you (or you and your partner) are working a full-time job. Vanlife has a lot less expenses than living in an apartment (which we were doing previously). We no longer pay for water or utilities and we also do not pay for rent (just the car payment and insurance, which we split). Zak and I both sold our cars as well, so we are no longer paying for separate car payments, or separate insurance. With a stable income, Vanlife is very easy to maintain, especially if you can budget appropriately. I will say though, if you are not careful, you might go out to eat too much, etc. So, our advice: Budget, budget, budget!
However, even though the daily/monthly Vanlife fees are low, it has a very large upfront cost. Buying the van, building it out, and the time that you put into the build are all things that you will have to save and budget for beforehand. Overall, we spent about $38K (USD) after tax, tag, and title on our used Ram Promaster with ~37K miles on it, and about $16K to build it out over 9 months. Buying a building out a van can certainly be done for less (and for more!) but those were our numbers. Our advice is to save and budget for your goal!
What do you do for A/C? Especially on Hot nights…
AC is definitely a tough one. We do not have either AC or heat in our van, however, we do have two MaxxAir Fans and two windows, which can help create a cross breeze when it is hot outside. Honestly, we can’t do too much about the heat now, so at night, we just try to stay as far away from each other as possible, and sometimes we will even put wet bandanas over us to make the night a little more comfortable! We created this van to travel with the weather, so once it gets too hot for us in one place, we move either to the coast or up north. Truthfully though, now that we have been living full time in the van, we both wish that we had taken the extra time and money to make it truly 4-season.