Van Dwellers on the Rise

In typical Daily Mail fashion, this article about a gathering of van dwellers includes a misleading headline and quite a few photos.

The insinuation is that a bunch of hippies that live in their vans formed a town in Oregon recently. The reality is that this was a weekend gathering, not the creation of permanent parking spots for a large number of people who live in their RVs.

That said, an increasing number of people in the U.S. are finding that they prefer living in a van or RV to spending their lives on the merry-go-round of working full-time for stagnating wages while trying to afford increasingly unaffordable housing. Some young people have decided that’s not the life they want, while some older people can no longer make the math work, especially if they can only find part-time jobs in their forced semi-retirement.

The result is a large and growing number of people who live in their vans. Some of them may have been at this gathering, but according to a couple of commenters on the article, many of those who were at this event just like to camp in their RVs on the weekends, and enjoy getting together with others who feel the same way.

Regardless, an increasing number of people have given up on renting or buying housing, and are living in their vans full-time. Some of these vans are quite nice; others not so much. Anyone who decides to do this will have to downsize by giving up most of their possessions after choosing which few are essential to daily living. This trend is no accident; until stagnating wages go up, bloated housing costs go down, or (ideally) both things happen, we will continue to see an increase in van dwellers.


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