It's a dream of any traveler: Purchase a van, and convert it into a traveling house. You think of everything and plan it all, but there's always things you've overlook. We've been there, and now we're here, sharing the things we've learned about van life first hand. Here is our list of the top five mods that'll make your van life much more enjoyable.
I think a major point that most DIY conversions overlook is the heat of the summer that's ahead. The biggest simple mod we recommend for van conversions is some sort of ventilator on the roof of the van. Windows do wonders while driving, but when you're in bug-county and you're baking in a hot Sprinter van, it ain't no fun. Install a fan on the roof and get some circulation going on those hot summer nights.
One of the biggest things that makes van life difficult is staying ultra-clean. When you live in your car, you do everything there: Cook, work, lounge, sleep, CLEAN! If your Sprinter has cloth seat covers, they're likely going to be the source of many arguments, as they're stain magnets. RRW leather seat covers are specifically made for the sprinter seats, making them the perfect fit. They're made of the toughest synthetic leather available, making them resistant to stains, scratches, and everything in between. Definitely a must have upgrade, especially with how comfortable they make long drives with the built in med-density foam and breathable leather. Ditch that bulky vacuum and all those chemicals for more space and more comfort.
Getting off the grid is great, but we're often still dependent on some electrical devices. Whether you've got to charge your phone, your camera, or your onboard fridge, it's vital to stay energized with solar panels. A huge tip from us that we often see disregarded is cleaning up the solar panels. Take a weekly break and clean off those panels, as gunked on sap and other debris will drastically slow down your charging capabilities. We recommend running 400-500 aH of solar on your van conversion if you're doing this part-time.
Staying safe in a heavy van while overlanding is crucial. With the weight you're loading into the sprinter, it's a smart idea to upgrade your wheels and tires to keep up with the demand. Relations Race Wheels was founded on the idea that high quality does not have to come at a high pricetag. We started out building tough offroad wheels for our desert toys, but evolved to providing high quality wheels for our fellow vanlife conversion builds. The wheels we make come standard with 3650lb load ratings, so you can leave the worries behind, load up, and load out.
When you're on the road and you're exploring the world around you, it's easy to get frustrated and overwhelmed at times. You need to keep calm and remind yourself that the journey you chose is about the trip, not the destination. Things will happen, and stressful moments are unavoidable, but it's our reaction to those moments that determine how we'll overcome them. Stay calm, stay positive, and stay moving.
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