Could Living in a Van Off the Grid Be a Survival Strategy for You?

Most of us aren’t thinking of living in a van for survival. With our families securely at home and plans to shelter in place, it’s the last thing on our minds.

But isn’t it the way of catastrophes and turmoil to force us into that which seems abnormal to us now? And aren’t we preparing for things to be different than they are at present?

Believe it or not, some have chosen to live in vans. It’s not always a last resort for the down and out homeless.

Below are some videos featuring individuals who live in vans and like it. They’ve customized their vehicles to make them as homey as possible.

Organization and efficiency are key. And the Vagabloggers featured in the first video have it down to a science.



This video features one woman’s customized van. She shares her thoughts on what she likes about dwelling in a van..



A family might want an RV or pickup with a camper shell.

Is it possible that those who are already living on and off the road have a survival edge?

Remember, think survival. Think the unthinkable.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

4 thoughts on “Could Living in a Van Off the Grid Be a Survival Strategy for You?”

  1. This seems like a last-ditch resort option to me. Too much of an security risk; then again, how much safer are we in our homes? Probably not much. Anyway, having kids would make this that much more difficult.

    1. It’s not a solution for all, that’s for certain. In fact, I read somewhere recently that some cities are clamping down on homeless living in cars and tents. So it behooves anyone who does this to be aware of that. It is indeed a last resort kind of thing, but we have to think about such things.

  2. My husband and two babies and I lived in a van out west (Utah and Montana mostly) for six months a number of years ago. I absolutely loved it.

    We had a padded shelf bed for the kids that let down from the ceiling over the two front seats. We had put padding under vinyl flooring in the back that made a perfectly fine bed for my husband and me with sleeping bags. During the day, we put a child safety gate in front of the side door which made the whole van a play pen for the kids, although most of the time they were outside with us. We had a porta potti, and there was a propane heater in the back wall of the van. We had some built in storage: shelves most of the length of one side wall with a long table that folded down that made up our kitchen and open wooden bins for storage underneath. We had back packs over the seat backs for our clothes. We had a cabinet on the outside of the back of the van and storage for a propane tank and two six-gallon water containers. We had a kerosene lantern for light.

    We camped mostly in BLM campgrounds which, at that time, were free. They often had a picnic table and a water source and an outhouse. We also stayed in a national park during the off season. We hiked a lot, one of us carrying the baby, with the four-year old able to walk on his own.

    When our money ran low, we moved closer to a tourist area, where my husband and I worked at part-time jobs, one of us staying with the kids while the other worked. During the days, we would park at city parks, where the kids could play and we could cook and eat and so on. We frequented libraries some, too.

    We cooked over a Coleman stove mostly and had a pressure cooker that made fast, delicious meals. We didn’t have any refrigeration so shopped frequently for food.

    It was a very simple life, close to nature, and I’ve wanted to do it again ever since.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, Marie. I’m curious as to what brought that adventure to an end.

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