think small in a big way

Less is more: the art of small van life

For a DIY small van camper build, it’s important to approach the process with the right mindset.  Don’t  try to  treat your build the same was as you would a large van build.  If you do you will likely end up disappointed with a cluttered, uncomfortable space that you won’t enjoy. Instead accept your small space for what it is and think small in a big way. Embracing an amount of minimalism can make your travels more enjoyable and less stressful.

One way to approach minimalism in small van camping is to take inspiration from the “one bag travel” philosophy. This approach emphasizes traveling with a single carry-on bag in order to increase mobility and reduce the hassle of lugging around excess baggage. While small van camping obviously requires more gear than one bag travel, the same principles apply. By paring down your essentials to only what you need, you can make your travels more efficient and enjoyable.

There are many benefits to building a small van camper. You’ll have an easier time maneuvering through traffic, finding parking spots, and saving money on gas. Plus, a small van is less conspicuous than a full-size RV, allowing you to blend in more easily and avoid unwanted attention.

Of course, there are trade-offs to building a small van camper. You won’t be able to bring along all the luxuries of a full-size RV, and you’ll need to be strategic about the items you do bring. To strike the right balance, start by making a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Be honest with yourself about what you truly need in order to travel comfortably, and be willing to let go of items that you don’t use regularly.  This will be a list you modify constantly as you learn more about living in your small van.

Remember, the goal of van camping is to enjoy the journey, not to accumulate more stuff. By embracing minimalism and thinking small in a big way, you can create a comfortable and efficient travel setup that allows you to focus on what really matters – the experiences and memories you’ll make along the way.

Narrow the choices: sample list

To start working on small van camper, let’s talk about what you want in a small van. Or let me rephrase, let me say what I want in a small van camper as a guide. Decide on your must haves then add the nice to have.

My must haves list:

  • A bed large enough for 2
  • Being able to sit up straight
  • A place to comfortably eat
  • A place to relax
  • A place to cook
  • Supply of water
  • Storage
  • A toilet (I’m older than 60, it’s an age thing)
  • A refrigerator
  • Electricity

My nice to have:

  • Water on tap
  • Shower (outside)
  • Solar power
  • Heat
  • Extra storage

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