Campervanning as a solo traveler is one great way of travelling and enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors at your own pace. Not just because it affords you the time to take in great views and enjoy the best moments undisturbed, but it is also essentially going on a road trip in style.
However, campervanning as a solo traveler can also come with its challenges and critical areas to consider and research on. Not to worry, this guide will cover what you need to know and do before you set out on that solo trip.
Choosing A Campervan and Tips To Consider
When it comes to campervanning, the most important thing to do is pick out a good van. To get the best of your road trip, you need a fault-free campervan or RV. Stopping frequently to fix an issue or needing to get help can dampen your mood and ruin your road trip experience.
When picking out a campervan, the first thing to consider is your budget. Pro tips to get the best deals include checking dealerships, van groups on social media as well as van sites. These help you draw up an average budget of how much renting a campervan would cost.
The second step would be deciding what size of van you want. Picking out a van size mostly depends on your budget and travel duration. As a solo traveler, it might be ideal to stick to a small or micro campervan for easier maintenance. Although bigger campervans have more space for headroom and amenities, it’s meant for bigger groups and is harder to drive and find a place to park.
You can either equip your own van, rent or buy an already furnished campervan. If you decide to go with the latter option, check to ensure it has the right amenities for your comfort. It is also important to confirm how far the van can travel and its overall condition.
Important Accessories and Gadgets For Your Trip
Traveling with a spare high-capacity auxiliary battery might come in handy. This is for when you explore rural locations without access to electricity, just in case your main power runs out and the next campground or recharge point is too far away. You can choose from the different capacities and types for the one which suits your trip and needs.
The primary purpose of a leveling block is to aid parking when you are on uneven ground. They are angled in shape and help to keep your van even, preventing your tires from wearing out excessively from unequal weight distribution and help to save on some repair costs.
Other important accessories include:
- A water hose
- Beam deflectors for your headlamp. These are particularly useful for night-time drivers.
- An electrical reel
- Air compressors
- Jack Stands
- Portable Water Filter
- WiFi Router
- Motion sensor Lamps
Once you pick out your campervan, the next step would be planning your trip. A few steps to consider include:
Picking out a destination
Decide on where you want to go for your trip early on. It can be helpful to start your trip with short distances, considering you would be traveling alone and you aren’t used to or comfortable with the idea. Start with familiar scenes before moving on to new sites. You can try exploring scenic country roads with beautiful natural landscapes.
Make sure to search up other possible parking spots along your route or your destination in advance. Prioritize finding the best places to spend the night without risking your safety or breaking any law.
Campsites are a great place to park, recharge campervan batteries, dispose of waste and refill your necessities in addition to meeting like-minded people resting from their road trip. After all, campervanning in the wild is not necessarily for everyone. You can also structure your trip around socializing at particular campsites or staying close to urban areas.
Draw Up a Fun Timetable
Campervanning does not mean you have to give up your fitness plans. You can make time for certain hobbies that help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as yoga or running. Try to find out if there are running groups to join for the extra motivation or locals who can point out the safest routes for this. You could also schedule a sightseeing or hiking tour at the local attractions.
Try to draw up a plan of what you intend to achieve and the best ways to meet each goal on the trip. You can set aside a fixed time of the day to do your hobbies or exercise while on the trip!
Avoid Driving At Night
Driving at night, especially in new areas or abroad can be quite risky. This is not to mention how tough it can be to find a safe spot to park. Scope out your location and pick out a safe place to spend the night.
You should consider parking in free public spaces, government parking lands, or even in campgrounds (recommended especially as a solo traveler). Campgrounds are great for the additional safety and companionship from being surrounded by people, along with access to amenities like showers, electricity charging points, and possibly a convenience store.
You can make use of applications and websites that display marked locations and ratings of where other van lifers have stayed, as well as other useful information such as where to do laundry, fill up on water, shower, and dump stations.
Always Have a Plan B
Anticipate a setback and draw up a reactionary plan to that. If you do not feel safe in a particular area, trust your gut and move to a safer space. Try to plan out more than one route in advance, in case your first option is no longer safe to travel.
Having a plan B includes downloading an offline map or keeping a physical copy. This would come in handy in case you lose your network signal.
Keep Your Family And Friends Updated
As a solo campervanner, you should always plan to stay safe during your trip. This includes updating your friends and family frequently, especially when heading to new areas. You can share your live location with them through different apps and check in with them at new locations and spots.
You can also send them time-stamped pictures and update them if you make a new friend or meet people. Make sure to stay connected with the people you trust as solo traveling can be quite isolating.
You can install a camera with motion detection that starts recording once it senses movement. The camera as well as other security measures can help you prevent break-ins and give you an ease of mind.
Another helpful safety tip is purchasing a GPS tracker, one to be installed in the van and another to keep on you at all times should you decide to move around without your van.
You can pack some emergency kit items with you such as:
- a basic toolbox
- portable heater
- wire strippers
- fire extinguisher
- first aid kit
- ice scraper
- extra water and dried food in case you get lost in the wilderness
You can also pack up some self-defense items such as a stun gun, pepper spray, and a loud whistle to signal for help.
Always check on the weather forecast for different seasons, especially if the cold season is coming. It’s important to be well prepared with a heater or jackets where necessary.
Ensure you check on possible fire or electrical hazards in the campervan periodically, and make sure you have a fire extinguisher with you before you hit the road. Avoid sleeping with a space heater on, or sleeping with the engines running, in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. The last thing you want is an accident that could have been avoided.
Remember to keep your emergency contacts updated on your phone, as well as the local police or ambulance number.
Going on a solo campervanning trip is tremendous fun. It gives you a chance to make new memories and explore the unknown at your own pace. Make sure you’re fully prepared for your trip before you set out to always enjoy the best experience.