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VanDweller

What is a Vandweller or as some call it a van dweller? In the following discourse I will compare the lifestyle of the van dweller with that of one who practices the Vanabode lifestyle. In some cases the lifestyles are similar. In other ways they are vastly different even though they may seem the same at first glance. Either way: you can happily live a splendid life, in the greatest country in the world, for almost nothing, if you do it right.

First an overview of each term as it is most commonly understood and used. PLEASE don't start writing me and telling me how you saw an exception to the following and how I have it all wrong. This exercise is designed to help you understand the biggest overall differences between the two methods of living. There are hundreds of exceptions, variations on what I am breaking down for you, and minor unimportant details both shared and not shared between the two. It may help to think of Vanabode as a subset of the vandwelling community. This statement makes the point most clearly:
All those that Vanabode are vandwellers but not all vandwellers Vanabode.

Vandweller - one who uses a van as his principle residence.
Vanabode - special lifestyle strategies employing a specifically outfitted stealth van enabling the least expensive but comfortable travel and living possible.

Vehicle choice - vandwellers use any kind of van to live from regardless of age, shape, size, or condition. The Vanabode lifestyle employs a simple plain white non-attention grabbing short wheel base Chevy or Ford van.

Perception by Others - vandwellers typically do not care that they are perceived as camping because they are often living in areas where it is legal to camp for long periods of time. Vandwellers can be seen with awnings out, solar panels on the roof, house style air conditioners protruding from rear windows, bicycle racks mounted on the back, large containers stored outside their van for big quantities of water or food, and toys like kayaks or 4 wheelers. If you Vanabode you would not do this. Vanaboders travel extensively and demand maximum flexibility to go anywhere they want. Those that Vanabode insist on the freedom to spend a month in a wild outdoor place like Yellowstone National Park followed by a month in a plush big city like San Francisco or Las Vegas without paying. So, they employ strategies and equipment that eliminates the need for the items listed above. This way they can park and live anywhere, rather than designated camping areas only. The book Vanabode explains how and comes with free updates for life, plus free direct contact with the author forever for personal assistance, help, and advice solving any problem.

Power - vandwellers often use complicated electrical systems like solar panels managed by control panels that send energy to batteries where it is then converted and used by appliances like microwaves and lights using an inverter. If you are staying in one place months at a time, and if you can afford the initial cost of the equipment, and you don't mind camping only in designated areas, and you can handle the risk of theft when you are gone, then these can be of help. However, a person on a 2-3 year Vanabode journey would never employ such a system. Those that Vanabode use strategies outlined in the book to generate all the power they need to cook, stay warm, watch TV, charge a cell phone or laptop, etc., making these systems an unnecessary expense and hassle.

Water - vandwellers often use RV style plumbing to solve the problems of drinking, bathing, and washing dishes. Vandwellers often dedicate a portion of their van to a water tank, a small sink, and sometimes even a micro shower. They do not care that the introduction of these items "reclassifies" their van as a "camper" or "rv" by nearly all state, county, and city governments and subjects them to laws that apply to "recreational vehicles" but not those that Vanabode. There is too much to cover in this one page but suffice it to say this is a VERY important point. When you are wanting to be left alone and live cheap there are many entities that want to stop you. Once you introduce plumbing to your van it is VERY difficult to do many things when a police officer, parking official, or city government employee makes the case that you are "camping" or using a "recreational vehicle" where these are prohibited. And they are prohibited nearly everywhere unless you pay for a campsite.

Those that Vanabode never have these problems because they use strategies outlined in the book to accomplish the same things without the expense. Vanaboders use up less room inside the van solving these problems because there is no plumbing. They also spend less money solving these problems, and retain their freedom because their van is classified as a personal vehicle just like a car. This allows them to legally park in places vandwellers cannot, legally stay overnight in places Vandwellers cannot, and bathe, drink, and clean up for less.

Employment - vandwellers give up some work opportunities because of the appearance of their van: they cannot park, sleep and live close enough to their place of employment to make the amount of money they earn worth the effort. Those that Vanabode can literally drive their "house" to work, eat lunch in the parking lot, and even sleep on property or within a few miles of work in places like San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Las Vegas, Dallas, San Diego, etc. Vanaboders are always welcomed into National Parks, State parks and recreational areas, and private campgrounds for the special seasonal job opportunities offered because their vehicle is simple, clean and non descript. The Vanabode book includes a chapter and list of resources for where you can find seasonal work, stay as long as you like and earn enough in 4-5 months to travel the rest of the year.

Cost - Vandwellers and those that Vanabode can operate on just about any kind of budget they choose to. The main differences are vandwellers will spend more initially getting their offgrid van setup and will spend more operating all the electrical, plumbing, and other RV style amenities most choose to use. However vandwellers enjoy less fuel cost and mileage depreciation because they typically stay put for 6 months or even permanently in one spot. Vanaboders simply buy the book which provides all the information needed to travel forever on $20 a day including food, lodging and transportation. Vanaboders can get started for nearly nothing because all the special equipment needed to live comfortably costs less than $900. Vanaboders tend to spend more on fuel than the average vandweller because it is a travel based lifestyle where one is empowered to work and travel to and through many different places every year.


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