We are SOOO ready for vanlife. We started talking about it when we retired in February 2019. We watched YouTube videos, saw a LOT of Instagram and Pinterest photos and it really looked like a lot of fun. But was it for us? We had never done anything like this before.
Some of the research we came across showed people converting their SUV’s into little campers. We look at each other, “WE have an SUV”, we thought. Before investing in a van, we thought trying out the lifestyle on a small scale would give us a taste for what it was like.
And so we built a platform for our bed, bought a single burner propane stove and in July 2019, set off for Atlantic Canada. Our plan was to sleep in the car for a day or two, then find an Airbnb or motel to “rest”, and repeat. It turns out, “rest” was not required! It was pretty wonderful sleeping by the water, watching sunsets and sunrises every day, and cooking simple meals all along the coasts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In January 2020, we took another trip down to the Florida Keys.
Camping in New Brunswick, Canada
Camping in Florida, USA
We are often asked, “Where did you shower and do your business?” Finding bathrooms was very easy: gas stations, coffee shops, McDonalds, rest areas, local parks, and when we were in solitude, out in nature! Showering needed a little more planning. In Canada we purchased a Discovery Pass which allows entry to all the National Parks. Most of these parks had shower facilities in their campgrounds or by the beaches. In the United States, we got Planet Fitness premium membership. This allows a member to always bring a guest for free. The gyms have hundreds of locations in the US, and most are open for 24 hours, so we showered whenever we wanted to. The bonus was taking a little time to work out, and also free wifi! Both of our trips were pre-Covid, so the current concerns did not even exist back then. Because of the reliance on public facilities, it is not possible anymore to travel the way we did.
We Are Ready for VANLIFE!
Which brings us to our decision to buy the van. We determined that vanlife was for us, and so our next step was to decide on the van. We narrowed it down to the RAM Promaster and the Ford Transit. We drove both, we researched both, and decided on the Ford for the following reasons:
– we can choose an all-wheel drive for rougher roads
– higher clearance under the van, again for rougher roads
– easy to find parts and affordable for maintenance
– easier and more comfortable to drive
We are ready to order, but it seems Ford is not ready to take our order. The 2020 can not be ordered anymore, and the 2021 pricing guide is not yet on the Ford.ca website. Soon though! We’ll order, get the van in a few months, and travel as soon as we are able to again.
I have had time to plan 2 big trips. Our first will be to Western Canada, hopefully in 2021. Our second will be to California, hopefully in 2022. And there is a lot of talk about going back to Eastern Canada, back to Florida, and lots of places in between. So much to look forward to!
If you have any favourite places to visit and would like to share, we’d love to hear from you! Thanks for visitng our site.
Yours Truly …. Yula