By Hailey Davis, Contributing Blogger
Many people have been choosing to invest in vans to enable their traveling dreams. There’s nothing like being able to travel but still have a familiar place to relax at the end of the day. Whether you decide to travel full-time and call your van home, or just use your van during your paid time off, there can be some challenges. Thankfully, there are some creative hacks you can use to make staying in your van more comfortable and fun.
1. Have a Large Cooler on Hand
One of the biggest complaints of camping and road tripping is not being able to have cold items. But, there are some things that are best when cold or need to be cold. This could be cold drinks, fruit, meat, or anything else that’s best when refrigerated. One hack for this issue is to invest in a large cooler that fits in your van. This will give you the option to have cold food and drinks, or even keep food refrigerated.
If you sleep in your van, make sure you can somehow fit the cooler inside your van with you laying down. You may also keep your cooler outside. But, if you choose to do this, you will need to secure your cooler in a closed position so raccoons and bears don’t get into it.
When shopping, keep in mind that not all coolers are made equally. Some will keep drinks cold for a few hours. On the other hand, some guarantee that they will keep food and drinks cold for days. Additionally, we recommend buying ice packs that keep your cooler colder longer.
2. Use a Portable Heater Before Bed
Another complaint that many van owners have, especially in the winter months, is being cold at night. Because running your van all night can kill its battery, you must leave it off. Unfortunately, this can leave you feeling cold and make the air stagnant. A portable heater can easily solve this issue!
When using a portable heater, be sure you keep one of your van windows cracked. This can provide some fresh air over night and it will also ensure you are safe. Many people prefer to use their portable heater before bed or when they are eating dinner. This heats up your van, but also ensures you are awake to monitor the portable heater.
3. Make Your Own Privacy Curtains
A big concern for many van owners is a lack of privacy. If you plan to camp in public locations or plan on staying in parking lots while on the way to your destination, you need privacy curtains. It’s very easy to make your own with a dark fabric and an adjustable curtain rod. These will also help keep your van cool in the summer when your engine is idle.
4. Buy a Foldable Table and Chairs
Sitting in the same seats you sit in while driving to your destination to eat and relax typically isn’t the first choice for van owners. But, carrying a table and chairs isn’t realistic for most vans. So, we recommend buying a foldable table and chairs. This way, you can easily tuck away your table and chairs or stack them when you aren’t using them. These will be the perfect place to read with a cup of coffee in hand or finish the night playing cards with your travel companion!
5. Stay Organized with Packing Cubes and Bins
Staying organized in a small van is very difficult. Unless you have a custom built van, you will need to come up with your own storage solutions. Our team recommends using packing cubes and bins to keep your belongings organized. You can choose whatever sizes that will fit your van properly, and even the color you prefer! For extra organization, purchase label stickers so you know what’s in each bin.
We hope these van camping tips and hacks are helpful for you. Camping in a van can be an incredible experience as long as you are prepared. Happy traveling!