Is Van Life Dangerous?

When you live in a van, safety is one of the things you worry about most. After all, the only thing that makes something not worth doing is that it makes you feel unsafe. But I’m here to tell you that Van Life is entirely safe if you follow common sense. So, here is a quick answer to the question:

Is Van Life Dangerous: No

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People are moving into vans more and more, especially since the pandemic. But before you trade your house keys for van keys, you should ensure you are organized and have everything you need to keep yourself safe.

Safety Rules

We’re lucky that living in a van doesn’t have to be dangerous at all! If you follow these simple rules, you can make sure that your time in the van will be fun and safe:

  1. Always ensure there’s enough gas in the tank, so you don’t get stuck along the way.
  2. Don’t drive drunk or when you’re tired.
  3. Always be prepared with a quick exit strategy.
  4. Always let people know where you are and when you’ll be back so they don’t worry about where you are or if you’re okay.
  5. Make sure that everyone always knows how to reach you (give them your cell phone number);
  6. Always remember that safety comes first. If something doesn’t feel right or feels unsafe, don’t do it.

These simple tips should help keep you and those around you safe when you live in a van.

Van Security

Most people who live in vans have bad dreams about someone breaking into their vehicle.  To avoid this, you should always lock your car, even if you’re only going to be gone for a few minutes.

If you think your car’s safety is important or important to you, you may care a lot more about it. Some examples are modern alarm systems, door deadbolts, caged separators, padlocked door locks, and even GPS devices. I’ve heard of people putting a safe in their vans if they’re carrying very valuable things (laptops, passports, hard drives, photography equipment).

I do a few things to ensure this problem is as small as possible.

  • Cover the windows. Most thieves who want to break into your van want to know that there is something valuable inside. It’s important not to let valuable things be seen through the windows and to cover them up. Thieves who can’t see what’s inside your van or RV are less likely to break in.
  • Get an air horn. The best thing you can do if someone is trying to break into your van or RV is to make a lot of noise. If I hear someone trying to break in, I can turn on a small air horn beside my bed. Most thieves will stay away, and the $10 you spend on this is well worth it.
  • Keep Your Keys Close: Keep your keys close to you when you sleep. If someone is trying to break into your van, you should grab your keys and move to the driver’s seat as soon as possible.
  • Park your van so that it faces out. This way, you can get out right away and don’t have to worry about backing up. The more quickly you can leave the location, the better. I always park my van so I can get out quickly.
  • Personal Protection (Optional): Many van and RV nomads carry personal protection. People can use knives, guns, pepper spray, and many other things to protect themselves. Just make sure you know how to use any tools you might use to protect yourself before you do.

Avoid Getting Robbed

People also worry about getting robbed while they’re sleeping or away from their van when they live in it.

If you are smart about where and when you go, this won’t happen, and no one will know when or where you are going. They can’t guess the best time to try to rob or steal from you. 

Some people who live in vans feel like they need to keep some “personal security” item in their vans to protect themselves from thieves. Something like Mace, a bat, or a taser. 

If you hear someone messing with your car’s doors or windows, the best thing to do is let people know someone is in the car (the sounds of a would-be burglar). Shout, crash into the walls, or set off the car alarm from afar.

Nine out of ten people who break into cars only want to get in, steal things, and get out quickly without being seen. If they find out there is someone in the car, they will probably be scared and run away. After that, I’d say to move your car as soon as possible.

Driving Safety

As with any other vehicle, make sure to follow all traffic laws when driving your van.  If you are drunk or high, you are more likely to cause an accident than if you are awake and sober. Also, ensure everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt, which will protect them in case of an accident, the van flipping over on an icy road, or something similar.


Living in a van can be just as safe as doing anything else. You are much less likely to get hurt or be a victim of a crime if you have a good plan and stay away from situations that could be dangerous. Don’t let your worrying about safety in your van stop you from living life to the fullest. Just be Smart!

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