Surf van: embark on the surf trip of a lifetime | Photo: Caroline Gutman/Creative Commons

"Are you crazy, dude?" This is a common retort when avid wave riders tell someone that they want to try living in a van. We have five essential tips for surf camper idealists.

While the idea may sound extremely outrageous to some, the free souls who wish to wander off into Nature to experience the beauty don't care much about the amenities.

These are the people who would take on living in a surf van, any day of the week, to travel around.

Although, let us make it very clear that pulling this feat off will not be a walk on the beach by any means.

This is not some kind of a pitch; it is the truth coming from someone who has lived in a surf van, living the surf-traveling dream.

We are not saying that you should not think about it, because despite all the challenges, the amazing experience will be something you will remember for the rest of your life.

So, for all those ready to do it, here are some tips that we feel would help you maximize comfort and fun while living in a surf van.

Living in a surf van: keep it clean and clear out the extra stuff | Photo: Michael Coghlan/Creative Commons


Well, this is an obvious point, but it still needs to be stressed. If you don't want to be thrown out of a parking area, keep your van clean and look like a sophisticated person.

You're not a beach bum.

A clean van will emanate an exotic aura and inspire the onlookers instead of disgusting them.

So basically, if you don't want to be looked at in disgust or given spare change, keep it nice and clean.

Washing the surf van and removing any kind of leftovers will do the job nicely.

Avoid Breaking Too Many Society Laws

Sadly enough, surfers living in their comfy houses may just be too attached to their general living standards.

So, if you are parked in some residential area, just try to stay dressed and not make the sidewalk your living room or throw stuff out on the street.

This may land you in trouble. So just stay a bit cautious, and it'll all be good. Who knows, you may inspire a couple more surfers to live out of a van, too.

Surf van: travel, find and ride the wave of your dreams | Photo: Michael Coghlan/Creative Commons

Always Bring Tools

We can simply not stress this point enough. Take it literally when we say, bring everything.

Take out everything, from a spanner to a sledgehammer, and pack it into your surfer van.

Stock up on batteries, tire-changing kits, hammers, screwdrivers, and anything you can find that looks like a tool.

We know this sucks, as it will take a lot of room in the surf van, but hey, would you like to be stuck on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere?

We guess not. So you better pack up those tools.

Bring Stuff For Fun

You will not be driving all the time, so bring some fun stuff along, too. If you like to read, bring some surf books.

If you like to play chess or cards, bring some. This will help you stay cheerful, plus, if you can manage to talk a partner into joining you, that'd be great.

Clear Out The Extra Stuff

While living in a surf van, you will have to manage your space. So basically, throw out anything that you don't need terribly.

This will help with space management and won't give you the feeling that the whole surf van is coming on to you.

So there you go, surfers! Follow these tips and enjoy the living-on-the-road experience in a fun and managed style.

Also, learn how to plan a surf trip and take a look at our surf trip checklist. Don't forget to share your experience with us - send us an email.

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