Is car camping safe

Vanlife purchase advice

What does "Vanlife" mean?

Above all, a lot flexibility. In a motorhome or campervan you can roam the country like a nomad and stay where you like. You are close to nature, but still have a roof over your head and are protected from the elements in your refuge on wheels. The range is wide: some live permanently in their car and have made vanlife their way of life. Others use their modified vehicle for spontaneous Weekend trips or active vacation.

Do I absolutely need a fully equipped camper?

No. Behind the hashtag #vanlife Often there are simple adventures in which the protagonists spend the night in a station wagon or van in order to get the most out of a short time in nature. Of course, living and traveling in a luxury motorhome is very comfortable, but such a vehicle is not cheap to buy and maintain either. A roof tent can be a good alternative. This turns your car into a rolling hotel room - whenever you need it. But there are also more cost-effective solutions: With the right equipment and small adjustments, many everyday vehicles can be used Mini camper retrofit. Vanlife definitely doesn't have to fail because of the wallet.

How do I know if vanlife is for me?

Something spontaneous and flexible one should already be. In the morning you often do not know where you will be in the evening, space is limited and the weather does not always play along. But for many, that's exactly what makes it so attractive. If you are not entirely sure of your dirtbag qualities, you can take a lot of pressure off with good planning at the beginning: On a campsite reserved in advance, the hot shower and fresh bread rolls make it easier in the morning Entry into car camping.

Is vanlife suitable for families?

Absolutely. A VW bus with a pop-up roof is not a dream of many parents for nothing. Such a Campervan offers four full beds, often an integrated mini kitchen and plenty of space for luggage. Most children would much rather romp around outside than in the hotel, where you have to be quiet and behave while eating 😉

As always, when out and about with the youngsters: one Packing list helps not to forget any basics. Depending on the season and age of the children, the equipment of the vehicle also plays a role. Auxiliary heating and Camping toilet for example, can make life “on the road” much more relaxed for everyone.

How does the equipment differ from classic backpack equipment?

Anyone who travels on foot or by bike inevitably comes up against space and weight limits. This restriction does not have to be with vanlife, here you can draw on the full. The motto is a three-course menu instead of bagged food and a four-poster bed instead of pen bags.

Nevertheless, the Balancing act between comfort and minimalism to accomplish. You don't need the whole wardrobe in the car or van, but there is certainly space for the sturdy hiking boots. The biggest advantage of vanlife, however, is that you can do a lot Sports equipment take with you: Hike in the morning, then paddle and bike the next day - your »toys« are always with you.

How do I secure my equipment in the camper from theft?

As always, opportunity makes thieves. Never leave valuables open in the car. If you don't want to block a small safe, a lockable luggage net makes sense. You can pack expensive parts in a bag and then attach it to an eyelet in the trunk.

One tip: It's best to stow your bike in the Car when you're on the move. If that doesn't work, at least invest in a high-quality lock with which you can secure your bike on the rear rack.

To avoid nasty surprises, you should of course also adequately secure the entire vehicle: A Steering wheel lock or one Wheel claw ensure that your vehicle is still there when you come back from your adventures in the great outdoors.

What do I need to sleep well in the car?

The thick sleeping mat weighs more than an ultra-light model, but also offers significantly more Sleeping comfort and does not crackle. If the vehicle is big enough, you can also use an inflatable double mattress - it is almost like sleeping on it. Sea to Summit even has a model that fits perfectly into the body recesses of the VW T5 and T6. In a comfortable blanket sleeping bag you have more space than in the trekking mummy shape, in hot summer nights A ticking made of silk, cotton or microfiber is often sufficient. If the temperatures drop, a down or wool blanket will take care of that cozy warmth. Add a comfortable pillow and your car becomes a Canopy bed.

If you want to sleep in the car after the concert or party in the city, you can do it more relaxed with little helpers like Earplugs and one Sleeping mask. On the other hand, a mosquito net that can be cut to size is helpful for summer nights in forest parking spaces: This keeps mosquitoes and other bullying outside when the window is open.

How do I equip my mobile kitchen sensibly?

Even if you don't want to install a fixed kitchenette in your campervan, the equipment can be more comfortable than with backpack trekking. With a sensible two-burner cooker, you can do more than just make a bag of soup, there are now many cookbooks especially on the subject of vanlife that provide the right inspiration and ensure variety on the plate. You can also pack more gas or fuel so you don't have to worry about cooking times.

Many also take a grill or Dutch oven with them to cook on an open fire on the go. So mobile accommodation also increases that culinary reach enormously. You don't have to do without highlights such as an espresso maker, toaster, real cutlery and useful accessories such as cutting board, water canister and sink. And the red wine tastes at least twice as good from real wine glasses after a long day in nature!

Food stays fresh for a long time in a high-quality cool box. The Dometic compressor refrigerator uses the 12 V connection to manage temperatures up to 20 ° C below the ambient temperature, while the 230 V socket allows you to set the temperature from –15 to +10 ° C.

To avoid unpleasant smells in the car, you can put your trash bag in one discarded packing bag stuck with roll closure. In this way you can seal your waste odor-tight until you can dispose of it in a suitable place.

How do I ensure the water supply?

Of course, the most convenient option is a permanently installed water tank with an external connection. Especially those who are out and about in dry regions of southern Europe know you sufficient water supply appreciate.

But it can also be used in Water canisters or sacks transport. The advantage of such a mobile system: You are much more flexible and can replenish your supplies at less easily accessible water sources. A 15 to 20 liter canister can still be carried relatively easily and stowed in the vehicle. A system of several water containers has an advantage, especially when the water quality is questionable: To rinse or shower, you simply draw water from one container, clean drinking water (filtered, chemically treated or purchased) comes from a separate canister. A detailed purchase advice on the subject of water treatment is available here.

The daily water requirement of an adult will be with about 2.5 liters specified. However, the loss of fluid during exercise is great - depending on temperature and constitution, one to two liters per hour can easily be added! This does not include the amount of water for cooking, washing up and personal hygiene. Overall, you should have a daily requirement of about eight liters per person calculate.

What is the alternative to a wet room in the motorhome?

The next lake or stream is usually not far away. Even with special wet wipes you can get relatively far, but they are not particularly ecologically sensible. But also on one shower you don't have to do without: In the solar shower, the water is heated by the sun while you are on tour. So you can wash off the dust from the day in the evening. If you don't have a toilet in your car, you should at least have a shovel or shovel with you in case you have an emergency. Please keep in mind: Do your business at least 100 meters away from waterways or rest areas, dig at least 15 centimeters deep and do not dispose of the toilet paper in nature.

How do I keep the camper tidy?

Pack bags and storage boxes in different sizes and colors are incredibly practical. Especially when there are several people on the road, everyone can quickly find what they are looking for without having to turn the whole car upside down. A clothesline for wet clothes or damp tea towels is also worth its weight in gold.

Various carabiners, (suction) hooks and nets help you to keep your equipment tidy in limited space.

How do I ensure the power supply for car camping?

If you drive regularly, the board battery is sufficient, it is charged every time you drive. Motorhomes usually have a second battery for the living area, which can be used to charge a smartphone, milk frother or GPS watch. But if you want to spend several days in a lonely place without a power connection, you should have a Solar module on the roof or a mobile solar panel.

You can store the generated electricity in a large battery pack. The Yeti 200X Powerbank from Goal Zero, for example, has enough juice to charge your smartphone about 16 times. You can operate an economical tent lamp with the power bank for up to 42 hours. With enough gas and fresh water in the canister, you really are that way over a long period of time self-sufficient.

What other practical helpers can make the vanlife experience more comfortable?

With drive-up wedges or levelers, you can straighten your vehicle on uneven ground. This not only ensures that you lie comfortably at night. Frying your fried eggs for breakfast, which you can enjoy on chairs and at a camping table, also works better on a horizontal cooking surface. If you don't have a lot of space, just take small packable roller tables and foldable Helinox chairs. Even the smallest car has space for a hammock or an air-filled beanbag.

Bus and car awnings are also practical, as they stop when you are out and about in your vehicle during the day. They serve as a material store, for cooking, changing clothes in bad weather, etc.

Whoever has a real roof tent on the car rises to the premier class of vanlife. You can find detailed purchase advice here.