Tips & Tricks for Digital Nomads in a Campervan
Thanks to our good friend "The Internet" (and an increasing acceptance of remote working), we are all better equipped than ever to travel... and better yet, to travel while working. To work from a campervan is our favourite way to explore while managing our responsibilities.
The idea of working from an RV rental might be a little scary at first. Rest assured, you will get the hang of it. In this post, we outline what we have found to be the key considerations to work from one of our campervan rentals. We also explain our recommendations to manage those and get the most out of your road trip.
Power is by far the most important factor to manage when working out of a van. After all, computers take a lot of electricity, and battery power is a finite resource. The key thing to note here is your energy consumption or what is also referred to as: “Battery Autonomy”.
The idea is to monitor your battery throughout the day. Typically, a battery is considered full at 12.6V and 50% at 12.0V. It is best not to use the battery below 50%. Doing so will start to permanently damage it… Which is not good ;)
On sunny days, this may be less of a concern since all vans from New Age Travel and Services come with a solar panel. Luckily, Southern Alberta is typically sunny enough to create an energy surplus. This means you can usually manage an 8-hour workday with ease. We recommend checking battery levels throughout the day (or the battery indicator level) to avoid any surprises.
If you are running low on battery you might want to consider hooking up to an external power source. You can also consider minimizing battery use elsewhere. For example, add ice to the fridge rather than using power. Go to a library parking lot where more often than not there is an electric outlet where you can charge the battery for a few hours while working. We even provide a generator in our add-ons if you like to be 100% independent. The same goes for if you see a few days of clouds in the forecast. In the end, vanlife is all about balancing use and supply.
Location, Location, Location
Digital Nomads implies the need for access to all things digital. So I’m guessing you’ll want to find a location that has coverage! While this may sound obvious, Mother Nature didn’t quite get the memo. Many places in the Rocky Mountains do not have any cell reception. Finding a location that has service is pivotal. New Age Travel and Services provides a Wi-Fi router for $15/day with 2GB cumulative per day which can help ease data overage charges.
McDonald's and Starbucks are examples of places that provide free Wi-Fi access. You may also want to use their bathrooms or buy food. Campsites are also great since they have electric hookups, toilets and picnic tables.
We like setting up the van somewhere with easy access to toilets and food. While these items are in the van, when you’re working, convenience tends to trump all.
Our final recommendation when it comes to set up is to convert the van from what I call “sleep mode” into “work mode”. If there’s an option to switch the bed to a couch, do it! If there’s an option to hide your pajamas in a cupboard, do so! Try to make the workspace feel like a dedicated space so you’re mentally into the work you have to do. Working from a van is a lot like working from home. It’s nice to work in bed but you’re more productive at the table.
Don’t forget to set aside some time to enjoy where you’re traveling. Schedule work breaks! Take advantage of your lunch hour. Run along a river pathway. These are great ways to break up the work and enjoy your holiday space.
We also recommend covering distances slowly. Take full advantage of your days by planning stops with short drives between. For example, plan stops at Canmore, Banff National Park, Yoho National Park, Lake Louise, and Jasper. Stopping at all the spots along the way lets you see a variety of places and minimizes drive time outside of work.
So there you have it.
Working from a van isn’t too difficult! There are a few key things to consider when it comes to electricity, location and enjoying your time.
We hope you found this article useful. If you are looking to experience the #vanlife or interested in an RV rental please do not hesitate to contact us. New Age Travel and Services has been there and would be more than happy to answer any extra questions you may have!
(587)-287-7127 firstname.lastname@example.org or book online, today.