There’s more to tiny living than finding an highly curated small space with hidden cubbies and uber-efficient everything. For some, the desire to live minimally means taking to the endless country roads and manic freeways of America. If you’re among the wildhearted wanting to fall asleep under new stars each night and wake each morning to new possibilities, van life might be what you’re looking for. But before you pack up and head out, here are a few things you should consider to help make the most of your new lifestyle.
Are You Van Enough?
Here are five questions to ask yourself before taking up the van life for the short or long haul. And remember, answering “no” to any or all of these questions does not mean you should give up your dreams of Kerouac-ing your way across the country and beyond; it just means you might need a little change of perspective and attitude to make it happen. There are so many ways to live life on the road, you just have to figure out what works for you.
Are you cool with bathing in outdoor bodies of water, truck stops, or not at all?
Do you have any issues with small spaces, like claustrophobia?
Are you ready to seriously downsize your daily creature comforts?
Are you calm and adaptable when unforeseen circumstances arise or plans change?
Do you want to seek experiences that change the way you see the world and help you grow as a person? (TBH, this is really the one that matters most.)
So, what do you say? If you’re thinking the van life sounds like a good fit, check out our list of must-have auto skills for road trippers and van dwellers.
Stand by Your Van
When it comes to life on the road, knowing the basics of vehicle maintenance can save you a lot of time and money. We’ll show you the basics of auto maintenance you need to master before taking any adventuremobile on a long road trip — especially a trusty van you plan to keep around for awhile.
Must-Have Auto Skills for Road Trippers
Here’s what you need to know, and what you need to bring, to get yourself out of some of the most common car troubles that can arise on a road trip. If your inner circle lacks an auto-savvy friend who can teach you the ins and outs of on-the-fly repairs, check out Youtube for helpful video tutorials. You can usually narrow the search down to how-tos on your specific make and model for detailed instructions.
Checking tire pressure
Make sure you have a tire gauge and know the appropriate PSI (pounds per square inch) for your tires. That information can be found in your owners manual or online.
Changing a tire
You need a jack, lug wrench, and spare tire.
Jumping a dead battery
Jumper cables and another car or outside power source.
Changing a car battery
This one varies based on your car, so we definitely recommend finding a video tutorial.
Cleaning battery terminals
A little baking soda and water will clean dirty terminals.
Overheating is common on long trips, so make sure you keep an eye on your temperature gauge and bring several jugs of water and coolant along for the ride.
Now that you know what to do and what to bring to prevent common roadside car troubles, it’s time for a couple practice runs! Having a few trials under your belt will help you stay calm if the time comes to put your skills to test on a lonely country road or busy freeway pull-off.
Get Packing, Start Living with StorQuest!
Your friends at StorQuest are here to help you make the most of your adventure. Not only do we invite you to chart your own course to find your own awesome, we’re also happy to keep your stuff well protected while you travel. If you’re not ready to permanently downsize to only what fits in your van, you can leave your larger belongings in our clean, professionally managed storage facilities. Let’s be honest, life on the road is an unforgettable adventure in the making, and knowing that you’ll come home to all your favorite things just makes the experience even sweeter.
Visit your nearest StorQuest location to find a clean, reliable storage unit where you can keep your things while you’re off on your van-tastic adventure! Forgive the pun; we’re just really excited for you!