How Covid Boosted the Campervan Industry

It’s no secret that the yo-yo of lockdowns in 2020/21 has wreaked havoc on everyone’s plans and sparked a huge conversation about what we really want in life and more importantly, what we really don’t. Since coronavirus appeared, the number of searches for ‘camper vans’ and ‘van conversions’ are up by a whopping 50%. 

With more and more people wanting to plan their escape and convert to van life we delved into the conversion trends that have recently become hot search engine topics.

How Has Coronavirus Influenced Van Life Trends?

For a huge proportion of people, the past year has caused some serious lifestyle evaluations as a result of being granted permission to have everything that we once thought we wanted. Since March 2020 we were allowed (if not lawfully encouraged) to indulge ourselves in midweek lie-ins, guilt-free Netflix binges, and endless pajama days. Whilst also taking full advantage of the fact that we no longer feel so exhausted, thanks to our commute time dropping from 1 hour to 30 seconds. After months of what resembled a global social experiment most of us decided that actually, we loved our new commute time, could happily survive in one set of clothes for a week straight, probably didn’t need to have 20 pairs of shoes, and looking for a cool place to go on a walk was far more worthwhile than scrolling through Netflix. So, what happens when you combine these new-found aspirations of a minimalist life of freedom with the undeniable ‘instagrammability’ of van life? The result is a heck of a lot of people Googling how to fit their life into a van.

The ‘Work From Home’ Desk

As the worker-bees that we are, most of us probably spend more time sitting at our desks than we do sleeping in our beds, which certainly justifies making desk space a high priority van life requirement. Globally, more people searched for a ‘van desk’ in October 2020 than any other time in the past 7 years. This alone illustrates how the previously unattainable dream of a remote-working lifestyle has transitioned from being exclusively for digital nomads to now including your standard office worker. After all, when you’ve spent nearly a full year at your ‘temporary’ make-shift dining table desk you learn how crucial it is to plan a space that allows you to work comfortably in your van.

The Space-Saving Swivel Seat

If you’re a seasoned van converter you’ll be no stranger to swivel seats, and they’ve certainly built a lot of traction in the search bar over the past year. Astoundingly, the popularity of the term ‘van swivel seat’ according to Google was a whopping 89 times greater in January 2021 compared to the same time last year. Swivel seats are a simple but nifty trick for making the most of the limited space in your van so we’re definitely on board with this trend!

The Best Natural Light Solution

After a year of everyone feeling pretty cooped up at home, it’s no surprise that people are conscious that squeezing into a van could make that feeling worsen. In June 2020, the search term ‘van window’ had the most interest than any other month in the past 10 years. Because a standard transit van is a popular choice for first-time convertors despite having no windows in the back, it seems individuals are keen to see how they can let some all-important natural light in.

The Safe Way To Convert

One of the great pulls and perhaps myths of van life is the idea that regardless of your handyman skills, you’ll be able to put together a home on wheels from a second-hand trade van without too much hard graft. However, the reality is that there are some tricky and potentially dangerous elements of van converting so you’ll need to be aware of best practices. 

Be sure to check out Van Life Academy where you’ll learn how to live van life and convert your campervan easily and efficiently in a step by step format. 

“Building your own campervan is a rewarding activity in itself, and it also gives you the freedom to explore some of the natural wonders the UK has to offer. However, not many people know about the legalities and safety considerations that come with building a campervan from scratch.”

In August 2020, searches surrounding campervan safety were at an all-time high, so it’s good to see that everyone has their heads in the right place! Your hands might not be as soft by the end of it, but anyone that’s converted a van can vouch that it’s worth it in the end.

Sami Syed

Published in March


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