8 Best Books About Vanlife

I’m constantly reading books about people who have chosen to live in their camper vans. It’s just fascinating to read how people down size, change their lives and hit the road. I have only ever lived in my camper van for a month at a time, however, these adventurous individuals offer great inspiration for part time van dwellers as well as permanent van lifers. 

The 8 best books about vanlife are:


Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom By Ken Ilgunas

Debt-free, Ilgunas enrolled in a master’s program at Duke University, determined not to borrow against his future again. He used the last of his savings to buy himself a used Econoline van and outfitted it as his new dorm. The van, stationed in a campus parking lot, would be more than an adventure—it would be his very own “Walden on Wheels.”

Freezing winters, near-discovery by campus police, and the constant challenge of living in a confined space would test Ilgunas’s limits and resolve in the two years that followed. What had begun as a simple mission would become an enlightening and life-changing social experiment.

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How to live in a van and travel By Mike Hudson

You can now live anywhere you want. Van life represents a new kind of freedom. It’s the new office, it’s a life of adventure and it’s the ultimate digital nomad experience.

This book will help you to shortcut three years of trial and error, hundreds of experiments, mis-adventures and tens of thousands of miles of experience.

Project Vanlife: An Epic Journey of Discovery and Perseverance Through the Eyes of Young Entrepreneurs By Trevor C DeRuise and Sierra A Davies

This book illustrates the devastating heartbreak of defeat and the heavenly thrill of triumph only available to those who dedicate their lives to a purpose greater than themselves. Let these young adventurers motivate you as they lay it all on the line to prove, firsthand, what VanLife is all about.

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The Vanlife Companion (Lonely Planet) By Ed Bartlett

Hit the open road with this practical and inspiring guide. In the first half, you’ll discover how to choose and customise your perfect van, and get it fitted for sleeping, cooking and storage. In part two, we’ll tell you how to stay safe, save money and park legally, then share the best road trips around the world, complete with awesome itineraries.

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The Culture of Vanlife By Calum Creasey and Lauren Smith

An inspirational book about the freedom and mobility of van life and creating an alternative, on the road, lifestyle. Learn the basics of compact interior design, follow van conversions, and lose yourself in personal accounts of inspiring road trips. Explore the culture, vehicles, people, places and future of vanlife.

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Vanlife Diaries: Finding Freedom on the Open Road By Kathleen Morton and Jonny Dustow

Inspired by the blog and Instagram account, Vanlife Diaries is an inspiring and detailed look into the world of the rolling homes built and occupied by a new generation of modern gypsies: a range of professionals and creatives who have ditched conventional houses for the freedom of the road and the beauty of the outdoors. More than 200 photographs feature the vanlifers, their pets, and their converted vans and buses–VWs, Sprinters, Toyotas, and more–with the interiors uniquely customized and decorated for their work and hobbies, as well as the stunning natural locations that are the movement’s inspiration.

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More and more people are taking a break from conventional life for the freedom and adventure of being on the road and living in a converted vintage truck, camper, or van.

One of these vandwellers, Foster Huntington, created the #vanlife hashtag as he chronicled his adventures living in a van while driving across country. He tapped into a community of like-minded individuals looking to explore nature at their own pace. VAN LIFE showcases the best crowd-sourced photographs of stunning beaches, misty forests, and rocky mountains from Foster’s tumblr account, many of which have never been posted.

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