Van Life YouTubers Are Full Of SH*T! (influencers exposed)

Van Life YouTubers Are Full Of SH*T! (influencers exposed)

During the pandemic, I watched a bunch of YouTubers live in their vans and thought.. Hmm, this looks fun, I can do the same. I then bought a brand new van and took it to Cascade Campers to do the build. Afterwards, I sold all my belongings and began to document my experience from beginning to end on this channel while traveling to a bunch of places and living in it full time.

Lately, I’ve had a lot of time to think about all this and I wanted to make this video to talk about things NEVER discussed by other YouTubers. I made this video so it is helpful to others and to bring a fresh dose of reality to the HYPE known as “van life.”

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  1. Tiaza Dobbs on January 21, 2023 at 4:41 am

    Hubby retires in May. I’m an introvert. I literally dream of being parked miles and miles away from everything. Give me a body of water or pretty trees and that’s all I need. Not sure we ever make it happen but I want to try van life.

  2. J Smith on January 21, 2023 at 4:42 am

    I’m a true nomad, and he is talking about the YouTubers, NOT us real nomads. The YouTubers, and I camped with most of them as they came and invaded our spots, are mainly scammers. 99% OF THEM! They’re entitled, arrogant, and care not who is in the background of their videos. They would come and park right smack dab in the middle of the only spot with a view over the river, or mountain, or lake, and block it from everyone else who was camping there. Most have their own land that they go to for respite between "nomadic outings," and many stay in hotels. They make nomadic life look glamorous, fun, and adventurous, but it is VERY HARD WORK!! VERY!! And it is NOT CHEAP!! It’s a perpetual dirty camping trip you NEVER GET TO COME HOME FROM! He is spot on.

    The expenses are oftentimes exhorbitant: vehicle repairs and upkeep are constant, propane & gasoline are expensive, food is also expensive because you are rarely near a Walmart or Costco, and even if you are, you can’t stock up on the cheaper bulk priced items. Water is rarely free unless you drive long distances to a public pump, but then the cost of gas to get to that free pump costs more than paying to fill your water jugs in your current location. Dumping your porta potty or your tanks is the same issue as water. Solar power is expensive to start up, and the batteries must be replaced every couple years. Cleaning the panels is a frequent job, bc they must be maintained so they work properly. Also, if you’ve got solar panels attached to the roof of your vehicle your "stealth camping" abilities are NON EXISTANT. Every cop and ranger KNOWS who you are, as does every thief. Being a nomad is NOT cheap, and it isn’t safe either. I’ve had MANY attempted break ins while I’ve been inside my vehicle, and the only thing that drove them away was hearing the cocking of my shotgun and a clear vocal warning to "LEAVE or else I’m blowing a hole right through that door you’re touching!"

    If you have ANY type of chronic health problem, this life will make it worse, and finding a physician and a pharmacy on the road is nearly impossible, and you will pay cash, because insurance only pays for doctors in your residence area. There is no such thing as "nomad medical insurance," except Medicare, and you only get that if you’re disabled and elderly, which in my opinion, those demographics should not be nomads. Anyway…he tells the truth. The YouTubers are full of it. Real nomads can’t stand them.

  3. Conger Scott on January 21, 2023 at 4:43 am

    You should do van life in the city.

  4. Nikki Jabs on January 21, 2023 at 4:45 am

    As a vanlife YouTuber, you nailed everything on the head. I researched these things very thoroughly before building out my van by searching “10 things I hate about vanlife.” Every single video talked about how they don’t use their shower or toilets for #2. I purposely didn’t build a shower and only use an airtight cereal container for #1. People are shocked, but in reality, this is normal for ‘real’ vanlifers.

  5. Janet Davidoff on January 21, 2023 at 4:45 am

    I bought 5 acres in the mountains and am creating a native edible food forest
    I can live without grocery stores, but it also has a downside.
    Adapting is key.
    I don’t think life comes in easy.

  6. Saigon on January 21, 2023 at 4:46 am

    No where like at home 🙂👌

  7. RC AS350 Pilot on January 21, 2023 at 4:46 am

    Finally, someone tells the damn truth. Would like to add, what if you get sick or have a bad tooth infection?

  8. Tanel Põlts on January 21, 2023 at 4:46 am

    Want to try out vanlife and get paid for it?

    Get yourself a CDL and an OTR job.

  9. Jaime Abad Rodríguez on January 21, 2023 at 4:50 am

    Do not live in a van to do dumb shit, do it so you don’t have to worry about paying rent or mortgage and spend all that mental energy in growing/building an online business and hitting the gym everyday.

  10. Goonie Bus on January 21, 2023 at 4:53 am

    It’s definitely not easy but it can be done. And a lot easier without a dog…

  11. Ken Carey on January 21, 2023 at 4:53 am

    I love living and traveling to beautiful places. I love nature but I also love the city. I PARK in the city and in the forest or beach. I talk to people everyday and have made friends. I feel like I could do this for ever!

  12. Dekenba on January 21, 2023 at 4:53 am

    As a general rule, you should treat ALL of YouTube with caution, as so many people are trying to make a living out of it. They tell people what they need to tell them to get views, and this is almost always NOT close to actual reality, but rather a heavily curated, edited and biased product.

    By all means watch them for entertainment, but you really, really need to do serious research before copying any of them.

    The obvious cons are the ones to whom nothing bad or negative ever happens. Ever. No breakdowns or punctures, always find a nice, clean toilet when required, always have a perfect parking spot, whip up a 3 course meal out of tins in 4 minutes flat, never have flat batteries, etc, etc. It’s bullshit marketing for the naive consumer.

  13. Mrs Wells on January 21, 2023 at 4:53 am

    I appreciate his honesty

  14. Jeffrey McKenney on January 21, 2023 at 4:54 am

    I’ve spent many comfortable nights inside my vans while traveling but can honestly say I can’t imagine living that lifestyle for more than a few days at a time. Spending those nights mostly at interstate rest stops have afforded me free access to bathrooms, which on short trips is probably the most important thing, but everything else can be a pain in the rear. Congrat’s to those who figure out a way to enjoy the lifestyle.

  15. JAMES RECKNOR on January 21, 2023 at 4:55 am

    Our lives are at most brief, and our time too precious to spend even one month living in a van.

  16. Linda Wilson on January 21, 2023 at 4:57 am

    The comment below by J Smith nails it. It’s hard life and can be extremely stressful. An more expensive than you imagine. If you are young & healthy doing it by choice to save some money or just want to travel your feelings and experiences are very different from an older person with the lifestyle forced upon them by economics. One way I’ve heard some sort of split the difference is to pick a state (like Arizona) and make a deal to buy some property using an affordable payment plan. If you are at roughly 4500 to 7000 (maybe even higher) elevation the summers and winters are not bad at all compared most places year round. It also gives you a real address/home base for your driver’s license, insurances, etc. Things are still hard, but much easier than going total nomad. You can still travel when you want to, but aren’t forced to when you don’t. And you can swing it on only Social Security as your income. YouTuber’s and posters that went this route report way less stress. I hope this helps someone.

  17. kyleb on January 21, 2023 at 5:01 am

    I like how these chick’s claim to be car living out of there car crap.. Everytime they wake up in the mornings…it Looks like some Mary Kay party city commerical. 10 pounds of make up, eyebrow drawn onto they’re forehead, spray painted on lipstick, no wrinkled clothes, hair is perfectly done, they never look tired ot exhausted, tits falling out in the middle of February, has a German sherperd dog living with her in a Honda civic haha. I mean come on people

  18. Corinne Buffington on January 21, 2023 at 5:02 am

    Enjoyed this video and the comment above. Strictly from a ecological/anthropological curiosity and a natural resource background, and possibly a naive view when it comes to the nomadic life, I have few illusions when it comes to YT Van Lifers. What does bother me is why do land-owners, be they corporate, state/fed-owned or private who are sitting on large parking areas that are empty overnight not do a carpe diem recognizing they are looking at an income opportunity.

    They don’t have to allow the van lifers to wreck their locations. There could be check-in/out protocols…meaning you don’t check-out leaving a huge mess behind you. Either you do your own clean-up or pay for the privilege of having it done…. or security ensures you don’t leave until you do. Fresh and grey water and sewage disposal stations are available…for cost, coin-operated shower facilities and porta-a-potties are available and o/n’s offer safety and security.

    Rest areas are closing everywhere because state governments can’t maintain them. They could if they looked at it as an investment. That’s only one aspect. There are so many other ways of offering an hour’s respite from the road. Providing area information for those considering relocation opportunities, personal services and so on. It seems to me nomads and van lifers are an enormous resource for government agencies to capitalize on new ways to increase tourism and natural recreation. Online licensing makes it possible for temporary hunting and fishing. Considering the ongoing move to electric cars and the need for charging stations why not include nomads comfort stations in the equations?

    When we, as a society can’t even provide affordable housing for all our people, is it really because we can’t or that we don’t want to? Isn’t it time we focused on CAN rather than CAN’T??

  19. isaac edwards on January 21, 2023 at 5:07 am

    Thank you for making a honest video about the things you personally struggled with. It’s nice to see and have insight from all different types of people who tried and see what worked for them and what didn’t. Personally most of your reasons don’t resonate with me due to different personalities and some of them seemed silly as if you didn’t expect to be doing those things going into it. But as other people have noted there is a difference between vanlife YouTubers and nomads. Thank you for having a clear well spoken video about the negative things you experienced, somehow it only reassured me on what I’m doing.

  20. sean mann on January 21, 2023 at 5:09 am

    That couch looks great.

  21. Chris King on January 21, 2023 at 5:09 am

    That’s ok. Not everyone can hack it. Not everyone has it in them to live this style of life. Sorry your experience wasn’t positive.

  22. Vegan C on January 21, 2023 at 5:10 am

    I honestly can’t think of anything worse than living in a vehicle other than being homeless on the streets

  23. where to next? on January 21, 2023 at 5:14 am

    So true! I just sent $600 to an old lady I felt so bad for. I’ve never dine that before and am so glad for the lesson. I used cash app. This lying bich said she’d check tomorrow to see if she got it…literally four hours after i got the email that said that dirty bitch accepted it.

    Never trust anyone who puts a link to give them money. I’m glad I learned that my first time trying to help a stranger which I’ll never do again, I dint feel bad anymore either she lives that way conniving old bat,

  24. Jerry Hatrick on January 21, 2023 at 5:16 am

    Minimal Living isn’t for everyone.
    Humans too used to creature comforts.

  25. E Wright on January 21, 2023 at 5:17 am

    great video, all true! just build a small off grid cabin to use as base camp when your ready for a break.

  26. Chaunda Lee on January 21, 2023 at 5:19 am

    This video would be so much more interesting with some visuals depicting what you’re saying. I was initially interested but then you lost me a couple of minutes in. This video would work great as a podcast.

  27. Victoria Hinton on January 21, 2023 at 5:19 am

    I’m 1.30 minutes into this video. Anybody watching that doesn’t know you have to get water and gas and dump your black and gray water and don’t always have internet or TV connections shouldn’t be watching any TV or you tubes. It’s hard to find a doctor or vet out there. The fact that you’re saying life ain’t a bed of roses is insulting to the sensibilities of most people.

  28. Ian Benedict on January 21, 2023 at 5:19 am

    If only there was a little place to sleep you could take on your back or on your bike and go wherever you want…

  29. Mari Lopez on January 21, 2023 at 5:19 am

    Van life always looked horrible to me. 😂

  30. kIMBERLY bUSH on January 21, 2023 at 5:19 am

    You are correct about what it is like to live in a van. I have done it. I speak from experience.

  31. Vidalion on January 21, 2023 at 5:20 am

    Agree San Diego is very van friendly, the weather and people. Lived there a couple years back and there were trails near my house, with private, shaded parking that were regularly filled with vans with reflective in all the windows, and no one cared, and some even thought that it would be great to have public bathroom there or otherwise make it easier for people.

  32. Stephen Bland on January 21, 2023 at 5:20 am

    Brilliant video. A few things I would add.
    Access to medical facilities, personal safety especially if travelling alone, and you still need an address for driving licences etc..
    There are many you tubers out there with many thousands of subscribers who only really show the romance of van life. And for a good reason. Positive content.
    And if you think van life is challenging in the USA, it’s downright almost impossible in England. And the uk government are trying to introduce legislation to make it potentially illegal to park up anyway overnight on public highways if the police don’t want you to and local councils don’t want vans parking overnight near any beaches either.

  33. beauT on January 21, 2023 at 5:21 am

    Most of the vanlife we see on YouTube is bullshit. Most people do not have Jackery,Dell, AG1 whatever other sponsorships available to them. Most people cannot travel around and make videos and make enough off that alone. Most people still have to work 9-5. It looks glamorous for sure but reality is not as glam. Someone like chrome has worked very hard to where he is it but he is a pretty good salesman lol

  34. tracy on January 21, 2023 at 5:22 am

    many do this because its not really a choice…not sure why one would think its totally glamorous..

  35. Vidalion on January 21, 2023 at 5:22 am

    Most introverts don’t dislike people (some do) but they have the opposite effect – they may like/enjoy socializing or being in crowds, but they have to expend energy while socializing, and can find it utterly exhausting, to the point that they are fine and happy with time alone. Introvert/extrovert each has its good and bad points, and 2020 lockdown was…no big deal (but sorry for those who struggled with it).

  36. B on January 21, 2023 at 5:23 am

    I recently quit many subscriptions to "van lifers". They are all on holiday anyway but then recently they are going on holiday from their holiday. They are all at it.

  37. ramoncollado1967 on January 21, 2023 at 5:23 am

    Thanks for your honest view. I agree with you 100%

  38. Van exploradora on January 21, 2023 at 5:23 am

    100% Agreed !

  39. Rell on January 21, 2023 at 5:24 am

    You are AWESOME!!! Thanks for being straight up, appreciate you!!

  40. ColtraneAndRain on January 21, 2023 at 5:28 am

    I don’t know how they afford gas to do all that driving!

  41. Stefan Söder on January 21, 2023 at 5:29 am

    I live part time in my Nissan NV200 very simple self conversion with no plumping or heating etc. I don’t agree on the bathroom issue. A bottle and and bucket does the job very well. Biggest problem is the summer heat! (And the hassle finding laudromats in some parts of Europe…)

  42. Matthew on January 21, 2023 at 5:29 am

    Tldw: van life is not for clean freaks.

  43. Pamula Wallace on January 21, 2023 at 5:31 am

    A great dose of reality 😂☺️ not so romantic ❤️🤠

  44. Vidalion on January 21, 2023 at 5:32 am

    I think began life works best in 6- month or so doses. It makes you appreciate each way more.

  45. Liam Collinson on January 21, 2023 at 5:35 am

    I can see the advantages but I think if was going to do something like this I would probably just get a caravan with a actual shower and toilet

  46. Marty Merrill on January 21, 2023 at 5:35 am

    WOW, very helpful video, thank you William. I’ve fantasized for many years about living on the road, but I feel differently about it now. I do like living in 1 place, but with rent prices so high ( I also live in SD) and the possibility I might have to evacuate one day due to a fire or other natural disaster; I’m thinking maybe I should buy a van or perhaps a small camper that I can live in for a while but not sure how to go about that process. Honestly there are so many choices I find myself falling down the YouTube rabbit hole for hours doing research, then it’s time for bed! LOL! Anyway…..I think you being honest about your experiences living on the road will help a lot of people. Welcome home.

  47. Elizabeth Ciccantelli on January 21, 2023 at 5:36 am

    That’s all pretty evident stuff if u ask me. Idk. Maybe I am just more analytic when I watch anything online.

  48. Glenndee on January 21, 2023 at 5:37 am

    I agree with this video.
    It is very interesting to see the van builds and I am fascinated, but It is very hard just to sleep in a vehicle and the temp. In a vehicle has to be constantly adjusted. Most vehicles were/are built for traveling versus people attempting to live in them.
    That being said, I would love to travel over a thousand miles so that I could see the ocean.
    I have never seen the ocean other than in pictures.
    But I can’t afford it, so if I could sleep overnight in my car and fix some meals in my car, it sounds doable…
    But this video causes me to think it is just as easy ro save the extra money for a motel and just purchase my food, i mean it might be taco bell, wendy’s or McDonald’s, but surely even along the coastline there are some low cost food places, or not?
    You know.. I just want to see the ocean, be on the road and then go back home, like 3 or 4 days.
    William, do you have any advice for me?
    Ty for the video!

  49. N0ZP1K3R on January 21, 2023 at 5:38 am

    Pretty much all social media is BS

  50. Bartek Jaszczyk on January 21, 2023 at 5:39 am

    Amen 🙂

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