Have you been driving around lately and suddenly wondered: What’s the deal with all the vans?
“Conversion vans” are typically more synonymous the 1980s — they were originally popular back when the top shows on television were Dynasty, Teddy Ruxpin, and Walkman’s. In the ‘80s, conversion vans were a common sight on American highways.
In recent years, conversion vans have started making a comeback in a pretty big way.
One of the major movements behind this rebirth in popularity is social media, specifically the hashtag “vanlife.”
What exactly is vanlife?
In 2015, Jared Melrose and Jonny Dustow had an idea over a cup of coffee.
Jonny, the lead member of the band Dusty Boots, had been living in his van, exploring the east coast of Australia. Jonny met with Jared, a fellow van dweller and singer-lyricist of the band The Evening Son, and together they came up with the idea to create a community where fellow van travelers could share stories and tips about their life on the road.
Along with their good friend, Sam Peterson, a fellow musician and surfer, the three co-founded Vanlife Diaries. And the idea of vanlife was born.
The group also made a documentary film, featuring Jared and Sam, called “The Meaning of Vanlife,” where the pair chronicles the adventures, struggles, philosophies, and camaraderie of living life in a conversion van full-time.
After a year, Vanlife Diaries had over 260,000 followers on Instagram worldwide. Their website serves as a forum and online diary filled with stories of van dwellers from all over the world. The site features news, events, and tips for aspiring van dwellers.
Today, “vanlife” isn’t just an organization — it’s considered a lifestyle movement. People of all ages and backgrounds are choosing to ditch typical homesteads and embrace life in converted vans in order to better connect with nature, explore artistic and environmental passions, as well as spend more quality time with family and friends.
While the idea behind vanlife certainly isn’t a new one, the trend does seem to be picking up steam in recent years among a new generation of restless travelers.
The vanlife movement has turned into a social conscious evolution. Interconnectedness and collaboration with nature, and others, is the behind the growing spirit of this movement.
Even if committing to full-time van living isn’t for you, these folks are pretty inspiring. We encourage you to check out some of the stories of individuals, couples, and even families who have ditched the standard 9-5 for an alternative type of lifestyle.
Ready to join the vanlife movement?
Interested in buying a conversion van, class B motorhome or mobility van of your own? Classic Vans is Northern California’s top dealer of quality new and used travel vehicles. For more than 30 years, we’ve been family owned and operated, specializing in pairing our customers with the perfect conversion van for every need and budget.
Browse our selection online or contact us to let our travel vehicle experts help pair you with the van of your dreams.
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