A portion of all our profits are going to create a new non-profit organization that will support and advocate for the nomadic community.
This effort is just getting started! You can read about our initial vision below. Take a look and reach out if you’d like to be involved or with any thoughts you have!
We’re Vanlifers Too
Vanlife Outfitters isn’t just a business, it’s our passion. We don’t just sell stuff for vanlife, we also live it. In fact, one of our founders, Zach, started this website as a blog back in 2016 after his first Promaster build to help other DIY van builders and it’s grown organically from there. So, it was natural for us to consider how we can give back and support the community right from the start.
Challenge = Opportunity
One of the fundamental challenges we see for van dwellers is also one of our greatest assets. It’s clear that this lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular. The challenge is that it puts increasing pressure on the limited facilities for overnight camping and the environments where we camp. The opportunity is to leverage the efforts and collective influence of our growing community to help solve these challenges!
Make Public Lands Public Again
We think it’s time to make public lands public again – even after dusk! There are tens of thousands of public spaces that “close” at night despite being paid for and maintained by public funds. These range from beach parking lots to recreational areas to hiking trailheads to marinas and more. In many cases these “closed hours” are established specifically to prohibit overnight camping in what would otherwise be a perfect place to overnight.
There’s a wide range of rationales fronted for this discriminatory mismanagement of public spaces – everything from safety to resource allocation. We intend to debunk them all. In truth, there is no legitimate reason a public space should cease to be public during certain hours.
We will work with local, state and national governments to reverse or ease these arbitrary rules that discriminate against nomadic citizens.
In addition, we will collaborate with these stakeholders to create safe and sustainable use of these public spaces and find solutions to either real or perceived problems.
We will educate the public and public servants about the nomadic community to break down stigmas and eliminate irrational fear and unfounded concerns regarding nomadic members of the public using public spaces.
Mobilize Our Community
We also seek to galvanize our community around the issues that matter to us all and to mobilize the growing number of van dwellers and other nomadic citizens with guidance on the actions to take in their community and with their representatives at the local, state and national level.
Be a Good Neighbor
We seek to establish a set of recommended guidelines for being a good nomadic neighbor wherever we travel – from leaving no trace in wilderness areas to complying with local standards in urban areas so that we continue to be welcomed. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Know & Defend Your Rights
We will work to educate the nomadic community on their legal rights dwelling in mobile homes. Law enforcement often abuses their authority to intimidate our community with vague and misleading statements that misrepresent the actual law. Knowing your rights empowers you against these abuses and reinforces those rights. In addition, local laws vary widely between locations so we will create an easy-to-use resource library of reliable legal information on nomadic living. We also hope to create a legal defense team to represent members of our community when necessary.
Honor Our Diversity
It’s also important to recognize that people are traveling and dwelling in their vans for so many different reasons. For some this is a lifestyle choice and they are seeking adventure. For others it’s a necessity because there are no other viable housing options for them. Some are part-time and others are full-time. Many people are taking up vanlife because they can now work remotely. We are a diverse community and this is another strength.
Resources & News
If you’re interested vanlife advocacy, we recommend keeping an eye on this page as we update our list of news and resources. You can also sign up for our monthly vanlife newsletter at the bottom of every page to keep up-to-date. In addition to updates on our advocacy work, the newsletter includes DIY build tips, giveaways, featured campsites and much more.