One of the greatest questions I get asked most frequently is...
"WHY!?!? I mean, couldn't you get an apartment with friends, move back in with your parents, do something else, anything else, besides living in a van?"
People live in their vans for a variety of reasons. Some are forced into it because of bad circumstances, like I was. Some pick it up as a lifestyle for a few months to a few years in order to travel the country. I never understood the stigma with this, as many people do this only in an RV or trailer. Some people do it to save money or get away from the grind of working to live and living to work to afford the mortgage payment. There are many different reasons for it, but one thing all Vandwellers have in common is an incredibly positive attitude and outlook on life, which is a key element to making it work.
As for my own situation, I had ended up finding out the house myself and a few friends were living in was about to be foreclosed on, something very common in this economy. Two roommates decided to get a condo, one roommate decided to move back with his folks. I didn't have either option, so I ended up with this crazy idea to create a rolling home out of a van.
I did alot of research online and found a ton of information, but alot of it was scattered. Vandwelling seems to be a niche. The closest communities that seem to have more popularity are people who convert school and transit buses into RVs, and those that live fulltime in their RVs. This combines the two, just on a smaller scale. This site hopes to rectify that a bit!
Whatever the reasons for vandwelling, it IS a viable lifestyle that you CAN make work. I've done it for over a year now and my attitude towards it went from being cautiously optimistic to loving the freedom its given me. I've met dozens of other people either online or in real life who feel the same way. The most liberating aspect, I believe, is learning to just let go of a ton of stress and having a simpler, but no less successful, lifestyle.