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If the thought of loading up a van with all your worldly possessions and hitting the open road in search of adventure fills you with excitement, then living in a van might be for you.

But how much does it cost to live in a van? Turns out that depending on your needs, you may pay anywhere between $800-$3000 monthly. In this post we will explore the financial aspects of living out of your motorhome full-time. This way, you can make an informed decision about whether or not this alternative way of life is right for you!

We’ll discuss the costs associated with living on the road, from buying food and other necessities to vehicle maintenance and insurance. Additionally, we will offer ways to save money while living in a van.

How Expensive Would It Be To Live in a Van?

van life expenses

Living life on the road in a van can be liberating, cost-effective – and surprisingly affordable. The long-term costs of living in a van can be relatively low since you will no longer need to pay rent or a mortgage. Although, there are initial start-up costs to consider, such as purchasing the vehicle and necessary equipment.

Depending on your needs, you may save money by spending less on food, entertainment activities, and other purchases. Fuel is also an essential factor to consider. Gasoline prices often change depending on locality and seasonality, so plan during your travels.

Many people who have chosen to live a nomadic lifestyle have found ways to stay on budget while still having an enjoyable experience.

What Is the Cost of Living in a Van per Month?

Living in a van is an appealing way of life to many people. While it has many advantages, it also comes with its associated costs. The cost of living in a van per month can vary as there are many factors to consider. Necessities like fuel, insurance, storage if parking long term, hygiene facilities, and food take up a chunk of the budget.

Those lucky enough to have access to free power outlets or those who invest in solar power may reduce the final costs. If you are living on the road full-time and driving often, you may require more expenditure for fuel than someone who parks somewhere for most of the month.

However, ballpark figures suggest that many people spend between $800-$3000 per month for basic costs such as gas, insurance, and food when living in their vehicles. Don’t forget extra expenses like parking fees and campsite registration.

With so many choices of how to live in a van – ranging from extreme minimalism up to luxury levels – it is easy to tailor the budget to suit your lifestyle and find a solution that works best for your situation.

Is It Cheaper To Live in a Van?

Many people are looking for a way to reduce their monthly expenses, and van life is a solid contender. Living in a van has become increasingly attractive for those wanting to move out of an expensive city or live an exciting, minimalist lifestyle.

It can be incredibly cost-effective – with some estimates putting the cost of living around $800 a month on average. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference, but if done right, living in a van could provide inexpensive living without compromising comfort.

Most Expensive Aspects of Living in a Van

food saving money van

Image: CookingVanlife

The most expensive aspects of living in a van include the cost of fuel, maintaining your vehicle to ensure it is roadworthy, insurance, registration, licensing costs, tolls or other transportation fees, and food costs.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize these expenses while still enjoying the traveler’s lifestyle. Buying fuel in bulk can significantly reduce your costs related to fuel. It is also important to regularly perform necessary maintenance on your vehicle – including oil changes and tire rotations – as this will help keep future repairs at bay.

Researching insurance policy options can also save you money on monthly premiums. In addition, cooking meals in your van more often instead of frequenting restaurants can further reduce food costs.


Where To Save Money When Living in a Van

Here are some of the best ways to save money when living the van life.

  1. Reduce the amount you spend on fuel by investing in a small camper that’s built for fuel economy.
  2. Utilize state parks for their often-free or inexpensive showers and laundry facilities, saving you a ton of money compared to overpriced hotels and motels.
  3. Food is another area where van life can save you money; stock up on non-perishable items when they are on sale and practice meal planning to avoid last-minute grocery trips with hefty price tags.
  4. Taking advantage of library cards and free WiFi hotspots also helps reduce unnecessary expenses when living on the road.
  5. Instead of installing a water system in your van, buy a gym membership that allows access to showers and changing rooms. For instance, Planet Fitness charges 25 dollars a month for premium access to all their locations around the world.

Safety Tips When Living in a Van

staying safe in a van

Image: LizFelifestyle

Living in a van can bring a special kind of freedom, but safety should always be at the top of your priority list. Staying safe in your van is the best way to ensure that you get to enjoy all the benefits of life on the road.

Be sure to equip your van with smoke detectors, extra fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors. Additionally, keep an eye on expiration dates for any easily perishable items like food and drinks.

Take precautionary measures when it comes to blackout potential – install dark curtains or blinds, beware of location lighting and make sure important items are stored safely away from power sources.


Living in a van has become increasingly popular, as it provides the ultimate freedom to explore and experience the world. However, many don’t realize how much it can cost to live out of a van.

The expenses mainly come from the upfront costs of buying or renting the vehicle, outfitting it with basic amenities, and other practicalities such as fuel, insurance, and registration. There are also periodic maintenance costs as well as living costs such as food and utilities that must be factored into your budget.

 You can expect to pay anywhere between $800-$3000 per month to comfortably live in your van.