Best tips on how women start with solo van camping if they have never done anything like this before but desperately want to start. Van camping for women – 35+ best tips if you don’t know how to start with this lifestyle.
I can hardly wait, I have been dreaming about it for so long. I am going to buy a Camper Van so I can camp on my own. I just want to bring the dog, or maybe a friend once in a while, but in general, I want to go on my own.
Because I want to feel freedom, I want to do whatever I want to do. I don’t want to compromise or talk things through or give in because somebody else says so… This is why I have decided to buy a Camper Van so I can do it all on my own.
Hooking up is easy and also backing into a tight spot is not a challenge anymore.
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Van camping for women – 35 best tips if you don’t know how to start
But there are definitely some things to consider if you start at zero:
- How much money do you want to spend on your van?
- Are you a weekend warrior or do you want to live in the van?
- How big of a van do you need to feel comfortable in? Select a van that meets your needs and preferences. Consider things like size and capacity.
- What type of van can you drive easily?
- What features should the van have? Do you want a slide, an awning, solar, and a toilet and shower?
- If you are going to stay in your van for a longer period of time then make sure you can actually stand up inside the van and it is big enough to move around a little.
- Are you going to build it out yourself or are you going to get it done for you?
- Do you have enough money for all the stuff you need for your van? Storage, insurance, new tires, camping gear, mattress, must-haves?
- Are you able to downsize all your possessions if you are thinking of living inside your van?
- Are you able to be alone for a period of time and figure things out by yourself?
The best tip if you have no clue what type of van you want or like:
Rent a couple of vans first so you can get to know the van and become familiar with the van’s features and know how to operate them. After driving a couple of different models and using them, decide what you actually like and need.
How to start deciding what you want?
Write down what you want and make a checklist. Take your time, because you are going to spend a lot of money. Do not rush into something because it sounds great. Be careful, people are going to sell you covered-up junk if you look like a greenhorn.
If you found a great-looking van, take someone with experience with you if you don’t have any. Preferably somebody who can check the mechanical side of the van and look at the engine with knowledge. Make sure to check for any water damage. You need to look everywhere. If you find soft spots, that is most definitely some kind of water damage.
If you don’t know anyone you can rely on checking the van, there are inspectors at NRVIA.org that you can hire for a couple of hundred Dollars. It is really well worth it before you make a costly mistake.
Or another great idea is to take a class at NRVTA (National RV Training Academy). It will prepare you to apply technical knowledge and skills to build, test, inspect, repair, service, and maintain RVs, systems, and interior and exterior components.
You could probably also use these skills to finance your new lifestyle if you wanted to and make money as a certified RV Inspector.
My checklist looks like this:
- My budget is between $ 10,000 and $ 15,000.
- If possible I would like to have the floors and a bed already installed as this is the hardest thing to do on your own.
- But I would want to be able to install enough storage for my camping gear to be comfortable, safe, and prepared for any unexpected situations. (This includes a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, gazebo, cooking and eating supplies, chair, cooler, first aid kit, flashlight, and other essentials).
- A bike rack and space for a kayak.
- I know less is more if you travel in a van. I still need some space for a guest and the dog without feeling too cramped inside the van.
- Solar panels are essential for boondocking.
- A raised ceiling so I can actually stand inside the van.
OK, now that I have defined most of my wishes, I am going to find my ideal van.
Where are some good sites to check for a decent van?
Also, driving through some neighborhoods and checking for “For Sale” signs on the vehicle is not a bad option. Often you can find a pretty good deal if somebody just wants to get rid of it without spending a lot of time.
Van camping for women – 35 best tips if you don’t know how to start
As my budget is pretty limited, I mainly checked around Facebook Marketplace in my area for a Dodge Roadtrek or Ford Econoline. I am also checking vehicles out around my town in SC.
What is the average cost of a camper van?
Actually, if you buy a new one there is no limit. You can get some really pretty ones for up to $ 300,000. If you buy used ones, you can get good ones for around $ 20,000 and even less money. But make sure you check if they have been well maintained.
Which van is best for camping?
Well, a Mercedes Sprinter is more or less the best van if you want to convert it yourself. A Doge Ram Promaster or Roadtrek or a Ford Transit is also highly recommended.
Is it cheaper to buy a Camper Van or convert a van?
It is cheaper if you convert a van yourself. Plus you can add all the features you want to have inside your van without making a compromise.
Is it worth buying a Camper Van?
If you maintain your van you won’t lose money when you sell it again. They really hold their value if taken care of and in good shape.
What to do after you bought your Camper Van?
If you haven’t done it already, get it checked by a mechanic. Buy new tires to be safe while on the road.
Now, check through the list of must-haves depending on your Camper of course.
How to glam up your van
The first thing I do when I get a new vehicle is to clean it thoroughly and make it mine. I love to add my touches, my colors, and my decor to feel comfortable in my new-to-me van.
Are you planning your first trip? Here is how to start.
Just make sure you are not going too far on your first trip. Make sure you have checked everything and packed all the stuff you need.
Now plan your route and your trip. If you are thinking about boondocking make sure to be prepared.
- Map out your route and determine where you will be staying each night. Consider factors like distance, terrain, and weather.
- Prepare for Emergencies: Research and plan for potential emergencies. This could include things like getting lost, vehicle breakdowns, and extreme weather.
- Practice Camping: Before you go on a solo camping trip in your van, practice camping in your backyard or a nearby campsite. This will help you get used to the camping process and develop any skills you may need.
- Stay Connected: Let people know your plans, including the route you’ll be taking and the dates of your trip.
- Bring a Friend: If you feel uncomfortable going solo, bring a friend or family member along for the journey.
- Bring Extra Supplies: Having extra supplies in case of an emergency is always a good idea.
- Know Your Limits: Make sure you’re comfortable with the terrain and distance you plan to travel.
- Stay Aware: Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of potential hazards.
- Secure Your Van: Make sure your van is secure when you leave it.
- Research the Area: Research the area before you go and know what kind of animals and plants to expect.
- Stay in Touch: Bring a cell phone or a satellite phone in case of an emergency.
- Download offline maps because there will be times when you have no internet access.
- Be Prepared: Make sure you’re familiar with the basics of first aid and wilderness survival.
- Install a security camera. A dashboard camera is essential, especially if you get one with motion detection that can automatically start recording a video when movement is detected close to the vehicle.
- Keep pepper spray handy or/and have an alarm device close to you to make you feel and be safer. If you travel alone this is a big issue, especially if you camp in the boondocks.
- Bring emergency items like a basic toolbox and make sure you know how to use the tools.
- Start with shorter trips and easy-to-drive destinations. Feeling confident and knowing what to do helps feeling good about yourself.
- Freecampsites.net is a cool website if you are looking for places to stay. Just put in your location and the website tells you where you can camp free of charge. Or check out BLM land for free camping for up to 14 days.
- Find a good spot for your spare key in case you misplace or lose your key.
- Also have copies of your driver’s license, ID, or other important documents on your phone and also a hard copy inside your van. Use a safety box to store your documents and also some cash money just in case.
- Respect the Environment: Leave no trace and practice safe camping techniques to protect the environment.
Summary of Van camping for women – 5 best tips if you don’t know how to start
Take your time. Make sure you know what you want, make sure you have done a couple of test drives, and that you went camping for some weekends.
Then start the buying process but also don’t buy the first one you look at. There are more and also better ones to come. Especially right now, at this time when I see a lot of people reducing the prices from astronomical back to somewhere normal.
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