Van Life Adventure – 5 Safety Tips for Road-Tripping with A Van

Van Life Adventure – 5 Safety Tips for Road-Tripping with A Van

Sep 3, 2021, 1:13:02 PM Life and Styles

Whether you are living in a van or only using yours for road trips, it is crucial that you take some safety precautions to avoid unwanted incidents. When you eat, sleep, shower, and basically live in a van, even for a short time, you expose yourself to a range of vulnerable situations, and there are many people waiting to take advantage of these vulnerabilities.

Road-tripping with a van does bring about a range of benefits, such as not having to worry about finding accommodation, being able to carry a lot of stuff with you, and having overall more freedom to organize your trip however you like it. However, it also means you are going to be by yourself more, and that could expose you to a range of threats, from theft to your car breaking down in the middle of the night on a lonely road. 

Because most van life circumstances can't have you relying on other people for help, it is up to your to be prepared and develop some road and vehicle safety habits. Below, we will explore a few tips for making sure you are safe on the road regardless if you choose to live in a van or only take it out for occasional road trips. 


Park before sundown 

Situation awareness is a term used to describe our perception of environmental elements and events, taking into consideration time and space, our understanding of these elements, and the projection of future status. Basically, this refers to how aware you are of the things happening around you and what you do when these things happen. 

If you park at night, chances are you won't be able to scout the surroundings as easily as you could during daylight, so you could expose yourself to potential threats. If you plan on taking your van out for a road trip, schedule your itinerary in a way that ensures you can find a place to park and sleep before the sun goes down. This way, you have plenty of time to set camp, assess the surroundings, and make a plan for the night. 


Always be ready to drive off

You know they always say its' better to be safe than sorry, right? For van enthusiasts, this is actually very true. No matter if you plan to spend one or more nights in one spot, always make sure you are ready to drive away in a moment if necessary. This may sound like a basic safety measure, but it can literally save lives at times. 

Before you go to sleep, make sure everything is back in its place to avoid things flying or falling around if you are forced to leave in a rush. Make sure the keys are always next to you so that you can quickly grab them and leave - to the right of your pillow is usually the best place. Last but not least, make sure the driving cabin is always clean and easily accessible so that you can jump in the driver's seat and take off without having to go outside where an animal or human threat may be. 


Consider installing a camera system

When you need to leave your van parked somewhere and go hiking or exploring the area, you may get anxious, not knowing what may happen to it. To give yourself some peace of mind, consider installing a van camera system that easily monitors and sends live images to your smartphone.

Many of these systems can be installed both inside and outside the van and use the latest technology to ensure you can always keep an eye on what's happening in and around the van. If you hear some strange noises from outside or simply want to have a last look around before you go to sleep, you won't need to actually get out of the van. You can simply connect to the camera system and check everything out. 

These systems are also very useful if you need to leave your dog or cat in the van for a few hours alone and want to check on them to make sure nothing valuable has been chewed or played with. 


Carry a variety of safety tools with you

While it may be tempting to go out on the road expecting your survival instincts to kick in in times of danger, do yourself a favor and invest in some safety tools and equipment that can help you. Most of these tools are budget-friendly and can often save you from unwanted situations. 

Pocket alarms are a great way to scare intruders off, at least until you can get to the driver's seat and take off. They are convenient, easy to carry, and can make you feel safer

Never leave without a fire extinguisher, even if you are going to the nearby forest for a night of sleeping under the stars. You never know when a fire may start or get out of control, and you may need something to put it out. Ideally, you should have one stored under the passenger's seat and one in the back of the van. 

Other safety tools you can keep with you are extra locks, motion sensor lights, a GPS tracker, and a satellite messenger system. 


Develop safe-minded habits 

Of course, none of these technologies are worth much if you don't use common sense and practice safe behaviors in your daily van life. The truth of van living is that you'll wind up exploring a lot of new places and being safe asks for some general prudence.

Here are some of the unwritten rules you should keep in mind:

  • Be careful when and where you pick up hitchhikers
  • Always lock your van at night
  • Never leave without bear spray
  • Don't draw too much attention to the fact that you drive a campervan
  • Use blinders and curtains to keep your van's interior covered
  • Never leave valuable items in plain sight
  • Trust your gut, especially when it comes to danger


Published by Cynthia Madison

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