I had a long discussion with my cousin recently about camping. He has a new Ford Transit van and is setting it up for camping. He had a lot of questions ranging from the gear side of things to the practicalities of finding places to stay.
The Ford is a nice little vehicle for a couple. One of the big advantages of a van over a big RV is parking. Being able to fit in a standard sized parking spot makes everything easier. With a RV just pulling in to a place for lunch can be like planning the Normandy invasion. Trust me. You don’t want to have to back a trailer down a long narrow parking lot onto a busy urban street.
My cousin has camped before but since his early retirement he’s in a position to do a lot more. Long term camping is way different than going out for a few days or even a couple of weeks. How many times have you heard of people complaining they need a vacation from their vacation?
On a short trip you could come home with the dishes and laundry dirty and the vehicle full of beach sand. There could be the remains of soggy sandwiches floating around in cooler melt water. You might also be sun-burnt and insect bit. It might take a few days but eventually everything gets sorted.
When you camp for months on end it’s a lifestyle. You’ve got to figure out how to keep clean and healthy week after week. There’s a big difference between vacation and lifestyle. In vacation mode you can get away with blowing the budget on eating out and entertainment. Running up a little debt isn’t the end of the world. That attitude certainly isn’t sustainable in the long term.
I enjoy watching YouTube channels about people trying the nomadic lifestyle. Often I get to see them make the switch from vacation to lifestyle. If they don’t transition they end up closing their channel. Reality seems to kick in around week seven or so. That’s the tipping point for a lot of people.
My cousin will probably be just fine. He’s easing into it with short trips at first then plans on going out further and longer. Nothing like a little trial and error to figure things out. YouTube knowledge and advice from a cousin can only go so far.