During the covid 19 pandemic vanlifers found themselves struggling to survive on the road. Lockdown rules left many with nowhere to go and unable to find toilets showers and water. Fear gripped the nation and crazy vigilante groups were being set up to drive van dwellers out of some areas for fear of spreading covid. There became a ‘not on my doorstep’ attitude amongst some communities and there were increasingly reports of threats and attacks on vandewllers. The law was unclear. Stay at home was the advice. But what if you don’t have a home? What if your home is on wheels? Some managed to find refuge on private land whilst others went to stay on friends driveways but for many vanlife in lockdown has been a tough time. We were lucky enough to have some land that we rented and headed there right at the start of the outbreak. We weren’t without our share of hostility and were soon asked to leave when the land owner decided that she didn’t want us there any more. Her reason… She just didn’t want us there! A field I had rented for 2 years with no problems and all of a sudden we were not welcome and found ourselves in the middle of a global crisis with no where to go. We were very fortunate that the lady who owns the neighbouring land welcomed us and has given us a spot to stay for the duration of lockdown for as long as that may be. For that we will be forever grateful. We realised very early on that there will be many people who are not as fortunate as us and would have no choice but to stay on the road. We wanted to help so set up a Facebook group, covid 19 support for full time vanlifers. We soon discovered what an amazing community of vandewllers there are out there. The group is growing. People are reaching out and others are offering support not only in the UK but from all over the world. People have offered land to stay on, legal advice, places to fill water, somewhere to do laundry and valuable moral support during a difficult time. There is a true community spirit emerging in the vanlife world. Covid 19 has brought us together. There are some really kind people out there and the van life community is one I’m proud to be apart of.
Kate and I will keep the Facebook group going with the aim of providing a platform for van dwellers to support each other. You can join the community here https://www.facebook.com/groups/897157314078948/