Is Living In A Van Dangerous? A Stay-Safe Guide

Living in a van can be a great means of cutting your expenses and exploring the world. But is living in a van dangerous? Our guide has the answers.

Living in a van isn’t dangerous. However, you can enhance your safety even further by taking various measures. These measures include installing secure locks in your van, installing alarm systems, selecting secure places to park, avoiding night drives, covering your windows, and keeping a weapon.

Van life can be a great lifestyle for people who want to explore the world. And, whether you are living in a van part time or full-time, it can be a highly rewarding adventure. 

Furthermore, it comes with lots of benefits.

First, van life allows you to explore different places whenever you want. Whether you decide to wake up one morning and visit some national parks across different states, go on a cross-country road trip, visit abandoned places, go on a day hike or visit your friends and family across different places, living in a van gives you all this freedom. 

You have many options at your disposal when it comes to exploration and adventure.

Second, living in a van can help you to save money. 

When you are living in a van, you will eliminate various expenses such as rent, utility, and mortgage payments. And based on my personal experience, these payments consume a considerable portion of most people’s expenses. 

You can then use the money you’ve saved to start your dream business, pay off a debt, build a retirement nest or pay off student loans.

Without a doubt, living in a van comes with numerous amazing and unique benefits. 

But if you are planning to begin this lifestyle, you may be wondering whether living in a van is safe. Well, our guide has the answers. 

In this article, we will explore the safety issues associated with living in a van and how you can protect yourself. 

What are the Cons of Living in a Van?

Van life looks fun, stress-free, and glamorous way to live. You are going to live a free life and travel to many parts of the country.

However, it also comes with its fair share of drawbacks. And you need to be ready to deal with these issues. Here are some of the drawbacks of van life.

Living in a Van is Extremely Challenging

If you visit Instagram today, search #vanlife, and follow those posts, all you will see are photos of people relaxing in beautiful places.

But, van life is not all about that. It also has its difficult side. And, most people who live this life won’t show you the other side.

First, you will need to arrange for things like bathrooms. There’s a high chance that you won’t have a shower in your van. 

Due to the small space inside the van, building a shower is almost impractical, and even if you manage that, it will be tedious and expensive.

And if you have enough space, installing a shower can be expensive, due to all the supporting fixtures and accessories needed to keep it running.

To this end, you will need to look for alternatives such as public swimming pools, aquatic centers or sleep in a paid campsite where you can take a decent shower.

You Will Be Exposed to the Elements

Second, you will be exposed to all sorts of elements when you are living in a van. When you are living in a van, you are somehow at the mercy of the elements. 

And regardless of the system that you may have in place in your van, you will never manage to control the temperatures as you would do in a house. 

So, it can become extremely uncomfortable at times when you are living in a van.

No Privacy

Third, there’s no privacy when you are living in a van, and this problem is going to be perennial in most of the places that you visit.

You will be spending the majority of your life in public places. For instance, you may prepare your breakfast out in a parking lot, brush your teeth at a gym, and sleep while parked in a retail store parking lot. 

So, if privacy is an issue for you, then living in a van may not be for you.

Space Constraints

Fourth, space is a constant issue when you are living in a van. According to the U.S Census, the average single-family home is around 2,300 square feet. 

A mid-sized van, on the other hand, measures around 60 square feet.

As you can see, there isn’t much space to live comfortably and store all your belongings and gear. To this end, you will be forced to downsize significantly if you decide to start living in a van. 

And in most cases, you will have to do away with most of your luxuries.

How Safe is Living in a Van?

Living in a van isn’t as dangerous as it may appear. And, there are thousands of people living this life across the U.S. 

However, there are some additional measures that you can take to enhance your safety even further when you are living in a van:

  • Avoid driving at night as much as possible
  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • Keep a compact safe for your valuables like emergency cash and passports
  • Tell a family or friend about your whereabouts
  • Avoid sharing too much information with strangers

Is it Safe to Sleep in a Van?

When you are living in a van, you have the option of either sleeping in a hotel or inside your van. But is it safe to sleep in a van? Sleeping in a van is completely safe. 

And most people who are living the van life spend the night in their vehicles.

As much as some areas may be unsafe, you won’t have much to worry about most of the time. 

As long as your van has decent locks, you select secure locations and you cover your windows, then sleeping in your van will be safe.

How Do You Protect Yourself Living in a van?

As we’ve mentioned above, living and sleeping in a van is safe. 

However, van life presents some dangers. 

And, you need to be aware of such threats and take the necessary measures to protect yourself. You need to be informed of the safety issues early enough.

Some of the methods you can use to protect yourself living in a van include installing secure locks, installing alarm systems, and arming yourself with a weapon like a baseball bat, bear spray, axe, or knife

A gun will also be a good option. However, make sure you learn how to use a gun properly. Also, you should only use it as a last resort. 

Key Takeaways

  • Living in a van can help you save money
  • Van life gives you the freedom to explore different places
  • Living and sleeping in a van is safe
  • You can implement some additional measures to enhance your safety when living in a van

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