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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,581

    Default #vanlife community

    I didn't even know that there was such a thing...

    A press release issued today:

    A new startup aims to provide a platform connecting homeowners with extra parking spaces to the rapidly growing #vanlife community.
    In recent years, #Vanlife has become a way for people to find novel freedom in their lives, both physically and financially. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the accessibility of necessary resources to those who live in a home on wheels has become severely limited. While many new companies are emerging due to the rapidly growing demand for retrofitted sleeper vans, there are still many challenges concerning day-to-day living on wheels. From finding safe places to park for the night to the comfort of wifi and running water, the reality of #vanlife is still far from the idealized portrayal found in social media today.

    Vanly provides a service to bridge the gap between homeowners willing to share their resources for a fee and travelers trying to find the comfort of home on the road.

    The web app was officially launched for the public on August 1, 2020. Although Vanly is based in Santa Cruz, the website’s services are available to users across the country.

    Vanly provides safe parking and amenities on the road while creating the opportunity for travelers to connect with the local communities around the nation.

    Similarly to Airbnb and other sharing-economy platforms, Vanly allows for hosts to easily post listings of their driveways or parking spaces while also giving them the ability to accept or deny booking requests as they come, after reviewing travelers profiles. Listing driveway space on the app is completely free of cost. Additionally, hosts can also easily add extra amenities for travelers such as wifi, access to kitchen, laundry or bathroom, and set their own prices. This allows for a diversity of listings from resource minimalists traveling on a budget to the potential for luxurious stays with multiple amenities.

    Vanlife community members signing up with Vanly can search for driveway listings based on their preferred cities and resource accessibility. When travelers find their ideal spot, they can send a request to the driveway host through the website. If the host approves of the request, they will be prompted to send the host the payment via PayPal. Once the host receives the payment and confirms the booking, the driveway address will be automatically shared with the traveler. The website provides a way for the homeowners to make an easy form of passive income while meeting new people from around the country.


    What do think of the concept?

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-26-2020 at 11:08 AM. Reason: added format to make it clear, I didn't write it

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    654

    Default

    I see a lot of potential. If enough people get involved, it could be a very popular option.

    Rick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,726

    Default

    It certainly is an interesting idea with some potential, but it's also getting to be kind of a crowded marketplace for that sort of thing.

    You've got Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome that already exist and are strongly targeting the vanlife/fulltime RV market. There's also hipcamp and even AirBnB has a fair number of campsite listings.

    On top of it, if you're really targeting the vanlife crowd, much of that community is primarily focused on reducing expenses as much as possible, which means taking full advantage of free dry camping/boondocking in places like National Forest and BLM lands.

    If this new site is going to work, it's going to need to quickly find a way to get a large enough base of places to stay to make it worthwhile to consider (which noting the site has apparently been live for a month, and there are only 4 host listings in the entire country, it's not off to a great start), and find a way to be profitable while targeting a relatively small and thrifty customer base. I will say the "pay for amenties" like wi-fi or laundry has some potential to make it stand out.

  4. #4

    Default

    A friend of mine has been van life living for quite a number of years now. I don't know the whole story but believe it had something to do with the financial meltdown and debt. During our biannual surf gathering camping trips he has talked about it. We have not talked about how he has coped during the pandemic, but I do know that he relied on gym membership for more than exercise--a place for daily showers--so those closures for a long time must have made it more difficult. Likewise for restrooms with all the places closed or not operating restrooms for now. He has a good basic van rigged up with top mounted solar panels for cooking and refrigeration and a full-time job. There is a surprisingly large subculture out there.

  5. Default

    This is an interesting vandwelling site.

    https://vandwellers.org/

  6. Default

    Our town does not allow sleeping in an RV at your home but I'm sure people do it. I could see my neighbors complaining! Not sure I'd be interested in renting my driveway anyways.

    Utahtea

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,680

    Default

    Some driveways aren't level, which (depending on which way the bed is, in a particular camper) could be interesting. Some are also too short for much more than a popup.

    I feel certain that my neighbors used their RV as a temporary bedroom more than once. But with a police officer living right across the street, they were pretty discreet about it. We also have a CC&R about RV's not on the street for more than 72 hours. (We ran into a big problem with that when our rig broke down in front of our house and it took weeks to get going again.)

    But if it was happening at the same house over and over again in our area, I'm sure the neighbors would catch on and report it. Perhaps in other neighborhoods too.


    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,171

    Default Missing my vanlife

    Quote Originally Posted by landmariner View Post
    .....There is a surprisingly large subculture out there.
    Way to go!! It's the utter freedom which is the attraction for most. Not being able to hop in my van is driving me insane. (In Melbourne we're restricted to 5km from home max.)

    Quote Originally Posted by travelingman View Post
    This is an interesting vandwelling site.

    https://vandwellers.org/
    That site is the most often quoted, even here. Most of us learned the ropes from Bob.

    But I am puzzled as to why anyone would object to a van parked in a driveway with someone sleeping in it.... that's if they know. My van is parked right by my house, and no one would know if anyone slept in it or not. Even the fan cover opens and shuts according to the weather, without anyone in the van. The solar panels are a God-send.

    But my poor Ford in the U.S. is stuck in a storage, and may not get a run on the road for a couple of years now..... if ever again. Dread the thought of it.,

    Lifey

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    We also have a CC&R about RV's not on the street for more than 72 hours.

    Donna
    The 72 hour rule is a City code in our town but you can get a permit to park it on the street for up to 10 days but no hooking up to water & electric and no sleeping in the rig. Of course that doesn't stop people from parking their RV's for much longer on the street, hooking up to utilities and sleeping in the rigs. We are allowed to park our RV's in the front yard. We load our RV while in the front yard and only pull it out when we're ready to hook up the tow vehicle so it's never in the street for more than a couple of hours.


    Many years ago the local beautification committee tried to make it so you couldn't park an oversized vehicle in your front yard...they had the size so small that a large truck was within the size they wanted out of site! All oversized vehicles had to be behind a fence, but we are a cowboy town and there were two many people on the city council at the time who didn't want to impose that on the locals. Besides there wasn't enough storage places anywhere nearby to handle the number of RV owners who would need spaces if it was passed. The city council also said that there were plenty of places in town that had CC&R's that would not allow it if that's what people wanted and that a lot of people, including themselves, moved to places without CC&R's because they didn't want those restrictions. We would love to put our RV behind our fence but the houses are to close together in our neighborhood to make that work.

    Utahtea

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    654

    Default

    I would imagine that this concept would work best (if it works at all), in areas that are more rural, hosts living outside the major cities, or on larger properties with plenty of room and no idea what CC&R even stands for.

    Big distinction between people traveling in a van or RV, in need of a spot to park it for a night or two, and people who are living in a van because they have no other home, whether that be by choice, or by unfortunate circumstance. From what I've read, there's a lot of that going on in California (consequence of sky high rents). Considering how many people are unemployed and struggling to stave off eviction, I can see it becoming even more of a thing, at least for the short term.

    Rick

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