Van life has become popular among people who want to try new things and live a simple life. The Sprinter van is a popular choice for living in a van because it is reliable, gets good gas mileage, and has a big interior.
But making the switch to living in a van can be hard without the right planning and preparation. This guide will give you all the information you need to get started living in a Sprinter van. We will talk about everything you need to know to make the most of your van life, from choosing the right van to making a functional living space.
Read on to learn more.
Choose the Right Van
Choosing the right van can depend on several factors, including your budget, the truck’s intended use, and personal preferences. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:
Consider the size of the van that you need. Do you need a large van for transporting cargo or a smaller one for city driving and parking? Think about the number of passengers you need to cart and the required storage space.
Fuel costs can increase quickly, so consider the van’s fuel efficiency. Look for vans that offer good gas mileage or electric/hybrid models.
Consider the maximum weight that the van can carry. If you plan to transport heavy cargo or equipment, choose a van with a higher payload capacity.
Maintenance costs can vary significantly between different models and make of vans. Look for a van known for its reliability and low maintenance costs.
Safety is essential, so look for vans with good safety ratings and features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, and backup cameras.
Determine your budget and look for vans that are within your price range. Remember to factor in additional costs such as insurance, taxes, and maintenance.
Consider the reputation of the brand and the dealer you are buying from. Choose a brand that is known for its reliability and has a good reputation for customer service.
Design Your Space
Designing your space can be a fun and creative process, but it can also be overwhelming if you need help knowing where to start. Here are some tips to help you design your space:
Define Your Style
Start by identifying your style. Do you prefer a minimalist, modern, rustic, or bohemian look? Look for inspiration online or in magazines to help you define your style.
Plan the Layout
Determine the function of the space and create a layout that works for your needs. Consider the flow of traffic and how people will move around the room.
Choose a Color Scheme
Select a color scheme that complements your style and creates the desired mood in the space. Use a color wheel to help you choose complementary colors, or opt for a monochromatic or neutral palette.
Select Furniture and Decor
Choose furniture and decor that matches your style and fits the space. Consider the scale and proportion of the table and how it will be arranged in the room. Add sets like rugs, pillows, and artwork to add texture and interest to the space.
Lighting can significantly affect the ambiance of a space. Consider natural and artificial lighting sources, and choose lighting fixtures that match your style.
Plants can add life and freshness to a space. Consider adding plants that are easy to care for and fit the lighting conditions in the room.
Installing amenities in a Sprinter van can help transform it into a comfortable and functional living space for travel or van life. Here are some extras you might consider installing in your Sprinter van:
Put a platform bed to maximize space and create a comfortable sleeping area. You can use storage space underneath the bed for clothing and gear.
Invest in a small kitchenette with a sink, refrigerator, and cooktop to prepare meals and store food. Consider using a portable stove or grill for outdoor cooking.
Install a compact bathroom with a toilet and sink for added convenience. Consider using a portable shower or utilizing public shower facilities.
Install a power system with solar panels and batteries to power appliances and devices. Consider installing a converter to charge devices while driving.
Heating and Cooling
Install a heating and cooling system to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the van. Consider using a portable heater or fan for additional temperature control.
Establish cabinets, shelves, and storage containers to maximize space and organize the van. Consider using storage solutions that are lightweight and modular.
Put a sound system, TV, or projector for entertainment while on a road trip. Consider using wireless headphones or portable speakers to minimize noise.
Packing wisely is essential to living in a Sprinter van, as space is limited, and you want to ensure you have everything you need while on the road. Here are some tips for packing wisely while living in a Sprinter van:
Create a Packing List
List essential items for van life, such as clothing, cooking supplies, bedding, and toiletries. Prioritize things that are necessary for your health and safety.
Start by identifying the necessities, such as a sleeping bag or blanket, pillow, cooking and eating utensils, basic toiletries, small kitchen items, and towels. Be mindful of the weight; the heavier your items, the lower the gas mileage. Pack light, but remember to bring what you need to enjoy your new life on the open road.
Use Packing Cubes
Packing cubes come in various sizes and can be used to store clothes, toiletries, and other personal items. They are stackable and lightweight so they won’t take up much space in a tight van. Plus, cubes come in many colors and patterns, making it easy to customize and organize your gear for an efficient and organized van life experience.
Utilize Space-Saving Hacks
One of the most critical aspects is utilizing space-saving hacks. This means thinking outside the box to find solutions to fit all your necessary items in the van.
You can purchase a countertop that also functions as a bed or install shelves to create more storage. Additionally, you can make the most of your walls with wall mounts, hooks, and even magnetic boards. These solutions help optimize your space and make it feel more homey and organized.
Living in a Sprinter van can be a great adventure but presents some unique organizational challenges. Here are some tips for staying organized while living in a Sprinter van:
Before moving into your van, take some time to declutter and remove items you don’t need. Consider donating or selling items that won’t fit in the truck.
Maximize Storage Space
Use every inch of space in your van for storage. Install cabinets, shelves, and storage containers to keep items organized and accessible.
Use Modular Storage Solutions
Consider using modular storage solutions that can be easily rearranged or removed. For example, use stackable bins or hanging organizers.
Keep Things in Their Place
Designate a specific place for each item and put it back in its place after using it. This will help prevent clutter and make it easier to find things.
Utilize Multifunctional Items
Rather than purchasing new items, you can use multifunctional items to save space and conserve money. For example, an outdoor table can also serve as a bed, and a rolling storage cart can hold food, décor, containers, cups, and more.
Re-purpose other items from home, such as plastic containers to store small items, a camping trunk to store more oversized items, and collapsible hampers for garbage.
Keep It Clean
Regularly clean and tidy the van to prevent clutter and maintain a comfortable living space. Use a handheld vacuum and microfiber cloths to clean up messes quickly.
Staying connected while living in a Sprinter van is essential for many reasons, including staying in touch with loved ones, staying on top of work responsibilities, and accessing information while traveling. Here are some tips for staying connected while living in a Sprinter van:
Install a mobile internet hotspot in your van to access the internet while on the road. Consider using a provider that offers unlimited data plans and data rollover options.
Look for Wi-Fi hotspots like coffee shops, libraries, or campsites while traveling. Some public areas and rest stops also offer free Wi-Fi.
Cell Phone Plan
Choose a cell phone plan with unlimited data or high data allowances. Consider using a carrier that offers coverage in your travel areas.
Satellite Internet can be a great solution to staying in touch while living the van life. It provides high-speed internet with coverage almost anywhere in the world, and with various subscription options, you can be sure to get the most convenience and value out of the service.
With satellite internet, you can keep in touch with the world around you, stay updated on the latest news, and access data, videos, and more to maximize the van life experience.
Work from Anywhere
Look for remote work opportunities that allow you to work from anywhere with an internet connection. Many companies offer remote work options, or you can start a business anywhere.
Stay Connected with Loved Ones
With Skype and FaceTime, you can talk to loved ones anywhere. You can also set up a regular schedule for talking on the phone or via video chat to avoid missing out on a crucial moment. Other connecting forms don’t involve technology, like letters, postcards, or even post-it notes in different places.
GPS and Navigation
Use GPS and navigation apps to stay on track while traveling. Some apps offer offline maps that can be used without an internet connection.
Be Prepared for Challenges
Living in a Sprinter van can be an exciting outdoor adventure but it comes with challenges. Here are some tips for being prepared for challenges while living in a Sprinter van:
Plan to ensure a hassle-free van life experience. Decide a route, scoping out places to stay, campgrounds, and other amenities. Ensure you have a solid plan for where to park, shower, and use the bathroom—research campsites, public restrooms, and other facilities ahead of time.
Carry a First Aid Kit
Carrying a first aid kit while having an unconventional living in the van can be a lifesaver. A basic first aid kit has bandages, antiseptics, and other medicines to help you deal with unexpected injuries. In addition to the basics, you should include items such as a thermometer, a blood pressure cuff, and even some non-prescription drugs.
Stay Aware of Weather Conditions
Different conditions can affect your daily activities and the comfort (or lack thereof!) inside your vehicle. Additionally, take note of any wind, rain, or snow your route may be subject to.
Excessive humidity can make for uncomfortable sleeping and living conditions even in warm climates, so remember to monitor potential rain systems and adjust your route accordingly.
Have a Backup Plan
When it comes to having a successful van life experience, having a backup plan is critical. Have a plan for where you will go if you hit a snag and need to get to a mechanic or a qualified person to handle the issue.
Make sure you have emergency funds saved up to cover any unexpected costs. Also, plan where you will stay if your van breaks down. Research free camping spots or campsites before hitting the road, so you always have somewhere to go if necessary.
To choose the best van, check out how converted vans are making a difference in people’s lives.
Start Living in a Sprinter Van Today
Van life is a liberating way to travel and see the world, to be able to explore, reinvent and create a lifestyle you love. You have all the tools to explore and find original, creative ways of living and learning to manage your resources.
Take a chance and start your journey to live in a Sprinter van today and push yourself to the limits!
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