Planning a van trip is no easy task, but with the right planning and equipment, you can make your van an enjoyable (and comfortable) place to travel. Before you hit the road, check out this list of van conversion essentials for long-distance travelers!
Find Lodging For Your Trip
Finding a place to shut down the engine and sleep can be hard. But it’s even harder when you’re van camping because that means no hotels or motels to stay in, only campsites and other van-dwellers.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources for finding places where the van is welcome! One great option is a service called Nomadness Travel Tribe which connects travelers with like-minded people who will let them camp on their property. There are also websites geared towards van dwellers such as VanLife Diaries and RoadTrippers, both of which have pages dedicated to lodging options. Check those out before heading off on your next adventure in an RV!
This way, you’ll be sure to have a place to stay and the van will be able to rest easy too!
Get Something to Sleep on That Will Fit in the Van
Having a bed in your van is an asset when you’re on the road. It ensures that you can sleep comfortably at night and not settle for a cramped couch or endless hours in the driver’s seat.
This bed doesn’t need to be expensive, but it should be relatively lightweight so as not to take up too much space and heavy enough to stay secure while driving down bumpy roads. Carpet padding is also an excellent idea if van hopping with family, and especially children! A folding cot will work just fine here, although some van dwellers have crafted their own beds out of plywood boards or more durable materials like composite wood (a popular choice among van conversion enthusiasts).
The type of bed chosen may depend on personal preference, though mattresses and sleeping bags are often standard van fare.
If you’re looking for more luxurious accommodations, a memory foam mattress with an inflatable bed frame is the way to go. Just make sure it’s small enough not to take up too much van space!
But no matter what type of bedding will be used, consider investing in some vehicle-specific camping gear like waterproof tarps or under-vehicle storage boxes. These can help protect your belongings from any unfortunate accidents that may happen on the road while also ensuring they stay dry if there ever should be rain (or snow!). And don’t forget: when planning a trip with your van, always err on the side of caution by packing safety supplies like first aid kits, blankets, and roadside flares.
What’s really important is to consider the size of your van to know how to fit your bed inside. Once you measure you’ll know which bed sizes actually fit in there. That way you’ll have no stressful situation when it comes to storing the bed.
Make Sure You Have Enough Food and Water
Food and water are a must-have when on a van trip. You should always pack something to eat and drink before your van travels so you don’t have hunger pains or dehydration when you’re out in the van all day. It’s also best to bring food that will last as long as possible, like dried goods such as jerky or granola bars.
Water is equally important just because of how easily it can be lost from sweating, especially if it’s hot outside. Make sure there are plenty of water bottles with at least 24 ounces for each person inside the van too!
Make sure they’re stored in a cool place so they don’t melt or freeze.
Prepare for Emergencies, Like Tire Trouble or Broken Down Car on the Side of the Road
Emergencies can happen when you least expect it, like if your van breaks down on the side of the road. That’s why you should look at some of these tips tips for making sure that the emergency kit is ready and prepared so you can get back on the road faster than ever!
- Make a checklist ahead of time for all emergencies, large or small
- Pack things like jumper cables, spare tire, gallons of water (at minimum), AAA card/emergency number
- If possible: pack extra clothes, sleeping bag(s)
- Have at least one person in your van know how to change a tire as well as perform other basic maintenance
- Remember to have a van emergency kit with all these things in the van at all times, so that you’re always prepared for whatever might come your way.
You have to be sure to know what’s ahead and what to do if the van breaks down or your tire goes flat. The emergency kit is a great way to be prepared for whatever might come up and take care of it with just a phone call away!
Get Some Maps
Maps are a van driver’s best friend. You don’t want to get lost on the road! Make sure you buy maps of your destination before leaving so you can plan out your route and avoid getting lost or running into unexpected detours along the way.
Maps should be kept in the van for easy access, but make sure they have not been left behind anywhere. That would be bad news if you’re driving away from where you parked!
It’s also crucial to learn how to read maps, so you’ll know what all the different symbols mean and how to use them. Learn more about maps here!
Research The Best Routes For Your Trip
One of the most crucial things to do before heading out is to research the best routes. Find out where you can stop for food, what gas prices are in your van’s range, and how much of a toll it’ll cost to cross bridges or highways.
You should drive on one side of the road when possible so that there is less chance of hitting an animal (especially at night)
You want to avoid taking any unnecessary detours during your trip because time equals money. You already have a van designed for long trips, rather than making stops all along the way across state lines like regular cars do. Stick with van life and take all necessary precautions before heading off into unknown territory!
When you’ve planned out the logistics of your road trip, it will be time for some fun. Researching what to do during your stay in each area is a good way to make sure that you don’t have any regrets about skipping an opportunity. With all these tips and advice, planning a van-based vacation should be easy! Remember to look up local restaurants or attractions so that when you arrive at your destination, there won’t be anything left on your list of “must-dos.