Robert Witham

Nature Photography and Videography

Goodbye Van Life!

After more than five years as a full-time nomad, I finally decided to ditch #vanlife for RV life! Last month I purchased a 21′ Aerolite travel trailer that I am now living in full-time and will be using for travel.

There is much about van life that I absolutely love and enjoy, but it also has its share of challenges. The ability to easily go anywhere (on pavement or off-road), the simplicity, the ability to park just about anywhere and immediately climb in back and be “home,” and always having my house with me as I travel are all appealing aspects of van life.

Despite those appealing aspects, there are also some real challenges to van life. Some of those challenges are universal, and some are unique to – or at least magnified for – those of us who are digital nomads.

Some of the obvious van life challenges include:

  • Not being able to stand upright inside the van.
  • Limited storage space.
  • Needing to cook outdoors during hot weather to avoid heating up the small interior space further.
  • Limited options for heating and cooling.
  • Limitations on where you can camp (not truly “self-contained.”

So, I have shared my thoughts on what I like and dislike about van life, but what are the reasons why I moved to a travel trailer?

  • Comfort – Being able to stand up inside is a big deal
  • Space – Storage and office/studio in particular
  • Base camp – I can leave the rig parked while I do errands or go out exploring
  • Limitations – I am not limited by requirements for “self-contained” rigs
  • Insurance – Full-time RV coverage is available for more robust coverage
  • Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer – I can upgrade the van when necessary without needing to replace the “house” portion of my setup

It’s probably also worth noting that nothing will really change about my travel. I still plan to visit family in Wyoming during the summer and spend winters somewhere warmer and drier than Wyoming. I will also still travel to and camp in wild places. The only difference now is that I won’t need to break camp every time I need to run errands or want to go exploring. Well, that and I’m doing it all a lot more comfortably.

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