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Types of Nomad Vehicles



Choosing the nomadic lifestyle can open your world up to new adventures, friendships and financial advantages. Choosing your type of nomad home is essential in keeping you, your partner and/or your family comfortable and sustainable. The wrong vehicle can make a huge difference in how much you will enjoy living nomadically, and can even result in nomad life being a burden rather than a fun experience. Below is a comparison of the various types of vehicles you can choose from when going nomad, and rated from low recommendation, fair and good based on affordability and comfort.


Car-life

Rate: low recommendation

This vehicle is easy to find and affordable, but does not provide absolute comfort suitable for long-term nomads

Living in your car may be the easiest form of transportation since many of us already have a vehicle or have experience driving a car. Car-life has a lot of pro’s and con’s - depending on your comfortability living on the road. It’s recommended that car-life is best for solo-nomads. We’ve found that people who already have a passion for the outdoors tend to gravitate towards living in their car since they already have a knack for spending much of their free time outside.


PRO'S

✔ Affordable & Available ✔ Easy on fuel ✔ Easy to maintain ✔ Easy to find overnight parking (Stealthy) ✔ Easy to drive


CON'S

✘ Difficult mobility/limited space ✘ Difficult to cook inside vehicle. ✘ Lack of privacy ✘ No bathroom/shower option ✘ Small water and food storage

Van (Town and Country) / SUV-life

Rate: Fair

This vehicle is easy to find and affordable, but does not provide absolute comfort


Living in a “soccer mom” van or an SUV gives you a little more wiggle room than living in a car. You can probably fit an entire bed in your vehicle and have a little extra storage space for water, food and personal items.

However it can be difficult to spend an extended amount of time inside your van or SUV because of the at-times cramped conditions. Many nomads who live in this type of van or SUV usually find themselves at coffee shops, parks or other wide open public spaces in order to have some room to stretch out.


PRO'S

✔ Affordable & available ✔ Easy to moderate on fuel ✔ Easy to maintain ✔ Easy to moderate to find overnight Parking (Stealthy) ✔ Easy to drive


CON'S

✘ Difficult mobility/limited space ✘ Difficult to cook inside vehicle. ✘ Lack of privacy ✘ No bathroom/shower option ✘ Small water and food storage


Campervan (Van-life)

Rate: Good

This vehicle is easy to find, affordable, provides comfort and is easy to maintain

This is the most popular nomad-life option - hence the “van-life” movement. Campervans give you the room to comfortably maneuver around inside your vehicle, set up a kitchen and a stove, and sleep overnight without being super obvious. There are a few con’s, but depending on your comfortability might be just minor sacrifices that you are willing to make.


PRO'S

✔ Affordable & available ✔ Moderate on fuel price ✔ Somewhat moderate maintenance. (Some campervans may have hard to find parts) ✔ Moderate to find overnight parking (Stealth) ✔ Moderate to drive (if you are used to driving smaller vehicles) ✔ Better for couples/small families ✔ Easy to moderate water and food storage✘ Somewhat limited mobility

CON'S

✘ Somewhat moderate to cook inside vehicle. ✘ Moderate privacy ✘ Not recommended installing shower or bathroom ✘ Somewhat limited food and water storage


Sprinter Van-life

Rate: Fairly Good

This vehicle is easy to find and provides comfort, but can be unaffordable and is not as stealth compared to other options

Yes, the vans that Amazon and FedEx use. They are spacious, durable and built to travel long distances. The biggest con is the price-tag. The second biggest con is stealthiness. Long story short; they are expensive and are synonymous with full-time van dwellers. These are two reasons why we are 50/50 with recommending future nomads use this type of van. But you choose for yourself!


PRO'S

✔ Easy mobility/larger space ✔ Moderate on fuel ✔ Moderate to maintain ✔ Easy to cook inside vehicle ✔ Better for couples/small families ✔ Small bathroom/shower option ✔ More capacity for water and food storage

CON'S ✘ Expensive price and availability ✘ Moderate - difficult to drive, depending on experience ✘ Difficult to not look obvious you live in your van ✘ Moderate - Difficult find overnight parking (height restrictions)


Box truck-life (Food truck)

Rate: Fair

This vehicle is very spacious and somewhat affordable, but can be expensive in gas and hard to maintain since it's difficult to take to a regular mechanic.


We recommend the box truck option if you have a partner and pet, and have experience working on vehicles since finding a mechanic to work on your vehicle can be tough.

While

the box truck provides a ton of room in contrast to a van, they can be a gas guzzler and hard to maintain since they are not typically privately owned vehicles. These types of vehicles are mainly built for short, in-city distances for deliveries or food truck services. So take this into consideration if you are planning cross-country trips up and down mountains and various terrain. Oh - and you can’t just pull into any ol’ overnight sleeping option. There are a lot more vehicle restrictions you will have to take into consideration.


PRO'S

✔ Easy mobility/larger space ✔ Moderate on short distance fuel ✔ Easy to cook inside vehicle ✔ Better for couples/small families ✔ Small bathroom/shower option ✔ More capacity for water and food storage

CON'S ✘ Difficult to find availability ✘ Expensive fuel for long distances ✘ Moderate - difficult to drive, depending on experience ✘ Difficult to maintain (not a lot of typical mechanics are familiar with working on box trucks) ✘ Low stealth ✘ Difficult find overnight parking (height restrictions)


Short bus-life

Rate: Fair

This vehicle is very spacious and somewhat affordable, but can be expensive in gas and hard to maintain since it's difficult to take to a regular mechanic.

Short buses are a unique design both on the inside and the outside. They are great for long-term nomads who enjoy travelling but are intending to stay somewhat stationary. Like the box truck, they are ideal for small families and a pet because they provide room. They can be outfitted with a shower/bathroom and can hold a large amount of water and food storage. But there are a few con’s that can make the short-bus life an uphill battle if it’s not fitting your needs.


PRO'S

✔ Easy mobility/larger space ✔ Moderate on short distance fuel ✔ Easy to cook inside vehicle ✔ Better for couples/small families ✔ Small bathroom/shower option ✔ More capacity for water and food storage

CON'S ✘ Moderate to difficult Availability ✘ Difficult fueling options, many are diesel ✘ Moderate - difficult to drive, depending on experience ✘ Moderate to difficult to maintain (not a lot of typical mechanics are familiar with working on buses) ✘ Difficult stealthiness ✘ Difficult find overnight parking (height restrictions) ✘ Expensive to renovate


Long bus-life

Rate: Low to Fair recommendation

This vehicle is very spacious and somewhat affordable, but can be expensive in gas and hard to maintain since it's difficult to take to a regular mechanic.


Now this option is PERFECT for long-term nomads with 2-3 children. If you are planning on

living in your vehicle for years, a larger and longer bus will give you the room to fit your family as they grow up. As with box-truck life and short bus life, parking can be difficult, so it’s recommended that long bus-life is best for those intending to stay somewhat stationary. It’s not to say that you can’t take your bus on adventures, but the lack of able-mechanics and fueling affordability may make certain trips more suited for a van or car. That's why many long bus-lifers have an additional vehicle for grocery trips and short trips.


✔ Easy mobility/Larger space ✔ Easy to Cook inside vehicle ✔ Better for couples/families ✔ Full bathroom/shower option ✔ More capacity for water and food storage ✘ Moderate to Difficult Availability ✘ Difficult fueling options, many are diesel ✘ Moderate - Difficult to drive, depending on experience ✘ Moderate to Difficult to Maintain (not a lot of typical mechanics are familiar with working on buses) ✘ Difficult Stealthiness ✘ Difficult find Overnight Parking (height restrictions) ✘ Expensive to renovate


RV-life

Rate: Low recommendation

This vehicle is very spacious and built to last, but can be expensive to purchase, expensive to insure, difficult to maintain since they are specialty vehicles, and difficult to drive.


Second to last on our list is the Recreational Vehicle (RV). Although there are smaller RV’s that may very well be easier to fuel and drive, they can be difficult to maintain and find parts for because they are often special class vehicles. If you already have experience driving RV’s then go for it. But if you are used to driving cars and smaller vehicles, driving an RV can be a nerve racking experience. Insuring an RV can also be a hassle too because it teeters the line between a vehicle and a house. This is not to say that RV-life is unobtainable, but it comes with unique challenges.


PRO'S

✔ Easily available ✔ Easy mobility/Larger space ✔ Easy to cook inside vehicle ✔ Better for couples/families ✔ Full bathroom/shower option ✔ Largest capacity for water and food storage ✔ Pre-built out (minimal renovation needed)


CON'S

✘ Expensive to purchase ✘ Expensive fueling options ✘ Difficult to drive, depending on experience ✘ Difficult to Maintain (RV’s often require special technicians) ✘ Low stealth ✘ Difficult find Overnight Parking (height restrictions) ✘ Expensive to insure


Trailer

Rate: Fairly Good

This vehicle is very spacious and easy to obtain since they can be attached to any vehicle with a hitch. But trailers present unique obstacles for those interested.


Buying a trailer and hitching it onto your vehicle is a good option for those who need the space but do not want to compromise fueling options and maintenance availability. The few challenges that come with a trailer are really based on the person.


PRO'S

✔ Zero cost on fuel

✔ Easy mobility/larger space

✔ Easy to cook inside vehicle

✔ Better for couples/families

✔ Full bathroom/shower option

✔ Larger capacity for water and food storage


CON'S

✘ Somewhat expensive to purchase

✘ Expensive fueling options

✘ Difficult to drive, depending on experience

✘ Low stealth

✘ Difficult find Overnight Parking (height restrictions)

✘ Expensive to insure


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