This Couple Breaks Down the Cost of Their Camper Makeover

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Stephanie is a cherished member of the Sampling America writing team, dedicated to crafting captivating narratives that transport readers to thrilling adventures across the country and beyond.

If you’re an outdoorsy person, you’ve probably seen people living out of converted camper vans on Instagram or TikTok.

Many people who buy these small vans and convert them say that it’s a cost-effective way to travel around the country. But most of these vans come with pretty extravagant makeovers to make the #VanLife seem a lot more fun than it might be.

One couple named Laura and Aaron, or @parkingonthewildside on Instagram and TikTok, has outfitted their van to live in while traveling across Europe. Their account has garnered a lot of attention because their van looks like it’s out of a fairy tale. Paired with picturesque photos of being parked next to waterfalls and majestic hills, this couple seems to have a magical life.

But to bring you back down to Earth, they often share the cost of outfitting a van with all the bells and whistles to be able to live in it full time.



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A post shared by Laura﹠Aaron𓇣Vanlife𓇣NatureFolk (@parkingonthewildside)

The couple remarks that the entire cost of outfitting the van, including food pump activated water for dishes, a bed, storage for clothing and food, and a pull-out camping stove, cost around $1,500.

They decided to use all recycled and second-hand materials so their van looks more like a cabin with a reclaimed wood ceiling and vintage dressers and drawers.

They also stated in the comments of the video that the original cost for the van was around $5,210, so the entire cost is more than they were initially advertising. While many complain in their comments section that this cost is outrageous for a van to use only while they’re in Europe, the couple often states that the entire cost of the camper van, including gas and camping fees, is less expensive than if they were to stay in hotels or hostels during their extended stay. 


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A post shared by Laura﹠Aaron𓇣Vanlife𓇣NatureFolk (@parkingonthewildside)

However, being able to drive anywhere in Europe, including sleeping below the Swiss Alps, seems like a fantastic vacation. Since the couple wants to be able to explore the natural side of Europe, staying in a van that looks like a cabin is a great compromise.

@parkingonthewildside on Instagram
Image Credit: @parkingonthewildside

Laura and Aaron also show the downside of living in a van. Although they have pump-activated running water for their dishes, they do not have a shower or toilet. Instead, they opt to use the facilities at campsites or even go old school with a roll of TP in the woods.

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