My Top 5 Van Life Regrets (2024)

I am sharing the top five van life regrets and telling you why they were the wrong choices so that you can avoid making those types of mistakes. I have made a few purchases that made me wonder why I even got it in the first place.

The five items on my list are in no particular order, but I am going to save my biggest buying blunder until the end because it is something that I purchased four times, and I finally realized that it is something that I do not need.

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My Top 5 Van Life Regrets (1)

Stair step

1. Stair step

I was so excited when I first saw it on another channel. They made many good points about why it was helpful for them, but I didn't think it through for my van.

I loved that it served multiple purposes, that it seemed very sturdy, and the price was right, but I underestimated how awkward it would be for me to store it in my van when it wasn't in use.

I also hadn't thought about how dirty it would get coming in and out of my van, which I always stepped on. So that was something that quickly became something I didn't need anymore.

That is something you want to consider when you see me or anybody else recommending something; make sure that it makes sense for your van

2. 100 watt solar panel

When I first started, I assessed that I needed a 500-watt power station with a 100-watt portable solar panel, and Jackery was having a bundle with a deal at the time.

So I invested in it, reasoning that if I had to invest in one of the larger systems that had batteries and all of that, it would be way more expensive, and so with the power station and solar panel, I was saving a lot.

It did make sense to me at the time. I used to store that solar panel behind the passenger seat.

It fits perfectly behind there, and it has something that I could attach it to. When I removed my passenger seat, I could not store it anymore. Over time, I also realized that I don't use as much power as I initially thought.

For the other USB rechargeable things I have in my van, like my fans and my lights, I didn't need more than this little one I already had, a Jackery 160. So I gave my 500-watt Jackery power station and the 100-watt solar panel.

Something that you might want to consider is what your specific needs are, how you will use them, and most importantly, where they are going to go.

My Top 5 Van Life Regrets (3)

Shoe storage organizer

3. Shoe storage organizer

This seemed like a good idea at the time because I had this whole space behind the door that wasn't being utilized. Because I used my sliding doors all the time, the things on that door rubbed against the side of my van all the time.

That part of my van was dirty most of the time. So, it turned out that whenever I opened the door, it would clean my van but get that area very dirty.

Make sure that you think through the possible drawbacks of purchasing or doing something in your van.

My Top 5 Van Life Regrets (4)

Berkey system

4. Berkey system

I had it in the van for about a month before a friend saw it and wanted it for her tiny space, and it worked well for her.

My main issue was that it didn't have a permanent place. I was constantly having to move it every time I moved. I used to store it on the side of my cabinet here on the ground so that it wouldn't slide down and fall on the floor, and I had to bungee it to the cabinet so that it wouldn't move forward in any way.

So, if something doesn't have a permanent place, you might want to rethink it.

5. Shower systems

Bathing is probably one of the things that people starting on the road worry about the most besides going to the bathroom.

My Top 5 Van Life Regrets (5)

Camp shower

The first shower I got was one of those systems that you hang, and gravity allows it to flow down, and that's pretty simple and easy.

The problem I had with it was that I didn't use it enough, and it got all slimy and gross, so I, I think, ended up throwing that one out.

The other three were slightly more complex because they had a pump going to a shower head that you could turn on and off.

But the first one I got had a shower pump that needed a very wide mouth or a bucket to put in because of how it was shaped. After a while, I didn't like that.

My Top 5 Van Life Regrets (6)

Van shower

The third one that I had was great. It was a container with a shower head attached to it.

So, all I needed to do was turn on the pump, and then it became a showerhead. Otherwise, it was a container for my water. So, I liked that because it served dual purposes. The issue came when I wasn't using the shower.

When you have something that has water and then don't use it, it becomes slimy and gross. While using the container part because I was using my faucet and turning it on and off, I hadn't realized that the water from the hose to the showerhead was sitting there and getting all slimy and gross. When I went to use it, I realized that.

My Top 5 Van Life Regrets (7)

Shower system

The fourth one, I thought, was genius because it solved both of those problems.

I could use it with the slim water containers I have back there, which are stored easily under my bed. While it was probably the best option for me, I ended up giving it away. The real issue for me is that I never used any of them to warrant the space they took up or the hassle of using, cleaning, and maintaining them.

I thought I would be in places where I would have no alternatives to bathing, which has never been the case. When I don't have a place to shower, like a truck stop or a campground shower, I take an old-fashioned sponge bath, which is very easy and hassle-free.

Again, for me, the simplest solution became my best option. So before you make any purchases, make sure you don't have a better option that could be something simple.

Van life regrets

These are my top van life regrets. What mistakes have you made when adding something to your van? Share your thoughts in the below.

Next, check out my 5 of My Favorite Van Life Gadgets.

My Top 5 Van Life Regrets (2024)
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