Picture this. You don’t ever have to dread that morning rush and traffic again.
Your Monday mornings aren’t rushed. As you open up your windows, you’re greeted with a beautiful view. You have the time to drink and enjoy your coffee, listen to music, and marvel at the world before working.
This is the magic of remote working or living life as a digital nomad.
One of the best ways to live on the road is by travelling in a campervan. Many have left their past life entirely. They’ve sold their home to go on the road for a year, or two, or forever…
Others take a lighter approach, travelling for only days or weeks at a time. But to fund all the trips, you’ll need to have a job. This is where you’ll have to plan your trip strategically, so you can still work while you’re on the road.
If you’ve never tried working from a campervan before, but you’re considering this possibility, there are going to be some things you’ll need to keep in mind.
1. You won’t get far without reliable internet access
Your chosen portable Wi-Fi connection should depend on what’s the most reliable one in the areas you’re going to. If you’re going to install one in your campervan, read this guide for installation, too. Thoroughly research this so you can ensure a stable connection. When all else fails, that’s when you can use the second option of using the Wi-Fi at coffee shops as you take your morning coffee and lunches.
2. Get organised and charge everything while you drive
Even if you have leisure batteries in your motorhome, you may still not have enough power for all your work-related gadgets. Remember, it’s not just your mobile phone you’re using now. You don’t just need to browse Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. You also have to power many more gadgets, like your laptop, power bank, and perhaps even a tablet. Apart from that, you may also have your kitchen and bathroom appliances to power.
With that, you have to be very strategic about charging your devices. Make it a practice to recharge your gadgets regularly while you’re driving.
Here’s a pro tip… For long drives, you can take it easy by charging every device, one at a time. However, avoid charging during the first 20 minutes. Allow time for your leisure battery to charge from your van’s starter before adding any extra battery strain.
3. Set yourself up a dedicated workspace
Despite the limitation in size, you can still have a dedicated workspace set up in your campervan. Doing this ensures you get some productive work done during your dedicated work hours.
Most campervans are built with a small kitchen and dining area. Make use of that dining table. That way, you have a stable, flat surface to set up your gadgets.
If you want to work outside your van, you can open up your portable tables and chairs and work by the beach or campsite. This approach is living the van life at its best. You don’t limit yourself in a closed office. Instead, you’re out working with the beautiful scenery surrounding you. The landscape may even inspire you to work hard, as long as there is no loud sound outside distracting you.
4. Choose the right campervan (Actually, maybe this should have been number 1)
When shopping, your wishlist should include all the features you need to accommodate the digital nomad lifestyle. For instance, you can find many campervans today equipped with solar panels. This additional equipment is a bonus to have. When your van batteries run out, but you have to recharge your devices, you have another way to charge your electronics for work.
There’s no one-size-fits-all tip for choosing the best campervan, as ultimately, your choice boils down to your preference and needs. The more thorough you are with the selection process, the better the campervan you can get.
Living in the campervan isn’t a new concept, but it’s increased in popularity so dramatically over recent years that it doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon. When you consider how most of Australia has lived for the last couple of years, this is really no surprise.
Van life can offer the best of both worlds – continuing to work and earn money while seeing the country – but it takes a lot of work and preparation to get started. We hope you’ll keep the tips above in mind as you start your journey.
Are you a van-lifer working on the road? Got some tips of your own? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.