Eating

Eating healthy food can be easy, affordable, and convenient in your van

What are the cooking options so you can eat good food on the road? Read this info sheet to find out. Then complete our Eating Checklist

Your Kitchen: Indoor & Outdoor?

Before you can dig into that delicious hot meal, the first question you need to answer is: will you be cooking your meals inside or outside? 

Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens are the way to go for the minimalist vanlife. Find a place to park (preferably with a good view), pull out a folding table, light your camp stove, and you’re ready to make dinner. Wash up using an outdoor water source like a river or campground faucet (know the rules and use biodegradable soap, please!). Store your pots and pans with the rest of your stuff.

Pros of outdoor kitchens: 

  • Affordable
  • Leaves more space in your van for other features

Cons of outdoor kitchens: 

  • Must cook outside
  • Less convenient

If the minimalist style appeals to you, check out the Levity Local. It has all the essentials you need and none of the stuff you don’t.

Indoor Kitchens

Home is where the hearth is. Indoor kitchens turn your van into a home. Prepare meals anywhere—in a parking space downtown or deep in the woods—and in any weather. Indoor kitchens provide the convenience and organization of your home kitchen, only on a smaller scale.

Clean up at your own kitchen sink. We install water storage tanks, pumps, and gray water tanks to collect your used dish water. Empty your gray water tank when out in nature. Fill up your storage tank anytime you’re near a hose (many gas stations have them).

Pros of indoor kitchens: 

  • Convenient with no set up time
  • Feels like home
  • Cook and wash up inside in any weather

Cons of outdoor kitchens: 

  • More expensive to install
  • Takes up space in your van

If a more robust build appeals to you, check out the design of the Levity Legend and take all the comforts of home on your next adventure.

Indoor Kitchen

Convenient and homey. No setup time and easy cleanup.

For extensive travel, we recommend an indoor kitchen

Want the comforts of home on the road? Choose indoor

Outdoor Kitchen

Affordable and minimalistic. Enjoy cooking in the great outdoors.

Like to rough it? An outdoor kitchen will do just fine

If you're on a tight budget, consider an outdoor kitchen

Keeping It Cool: Refrigeration Features

If the first thing that separates car camping from vanlife is the ability to sleep in your van, the second is having a refrigerator. It’s a game changer. It gives you the ability to store food safely without the hassle of buying ice for leaking coolers.

Chest Refrigerators 

The most basic type of fridge for your van is a chest refrigerator. The pull-out style makes it look like a typical cooler—the top lifts up to reveal your food. Unlike a cooler, it stays cold as long as you have power. They are more affordable and more power and space efficient than a traditional fridge, but smaller and less convenient to use.

Traditional Refrigerators 

Just like the mini-fridge you had in your college dorm, these store a surprising amount of food in a small amount of space. They are made specifically for vans and trucks and are efficient. Traditional refrigerators are larger and more convenient to use than a cooler fridge, but more expensive and less efficient.

Coolers

We know we just talked some trash about the good old fashioned ice chest, but it’s a great option for van converters on a tight budget. Fill it up with an ice block and you’re set for a few days. They are ultra cheap but less convenient. 

Cooler-Style Fridge

These conveniently tuck under cabinets or beds. They take up less space than a mini-fridge but also hold less food.

Efficient and compact

Takes up less space, leaving more room for more features

Mini-Fridge

Store all your goodies in a traditional looking refrigerator. Easier to access than a chest fridge or cooler. 

Keep track of food more easily

Feels like a regular fridge

Washing Up: Sink & Water Options

Water is essential for life—and for doing dishes. How you choose to clean up depends on your tastes and your budget.

Indoor sink

Our kitchen installs come with, well, everything and the kitchen sink. The ultimate convenience in on-the-road living, an indoor sink means you can cook, clean, brush your teeth, and wash your hands or face inside your van.

Indoor Water Storage 

We install water storage tanks in the crevices of your van—behind cabinets, under floors—so your water needs don’t intrude on your living space. Fill the tank via an easily accessible inlet with an ordinary garden hose and voila: you have on-demand room temperature water straight out of the faucet.

Grey Water Storage 

All that used sink water needs to go somewhere. If you’re parked out in nature on the grass or dirt, it’s fine to let your sink water (with biodegradable soap) run straight onto the ground. If you’re somewhere extremely dry, like the desert, or in the city, it’s a no-no to dump your dishwater. Your gray water tank, usually located under the van, will hold your used water until you find a convenient place to dump it. Simply open the valve and let the water run out, or attach a hose to it for more precise drainage.

Basic Water Storage 

If you want to go cheap and minimal, you can bypass all these options and simply store water in anything from gallon plastic jugs to those usually bright red or yellow Igloo coolers with the spigot on the bottom.

Both the Levity Local and the Levity Legend have the ability for robust water storage systems.

Indoor Sink

Do your washing right inside your van, either with water plumbed from your storage tank or with an Igloo-style water cooler. 

Super convenient for doing dishes and brushing teeth

Plumb with a hot or cold water tap

A gray water tank stores used sink water. Empty it by pulling a lever when it's full

Water Storage

Have water wherever you go. Makes washing up easy and convenient in any location or weather and gives you more freedom.

More freedom to adventure away from civilization

Store enough water for several days in an easy-to-fill tank

Fill it up with a garden hose. We install filters so you can drink it, too.

Now for the Yummy Part: Cooking Features

Preparing meals is fun and easy in a converted van, whether your kitchen is inside or out. Bring your own pots and pans, load up your fridge of choice with fresh food, and you’re set for gourmet meals on the road.

How will you prepare your meals? There are three basics types of cooking elements.

Propane Stoves 

From the basic camp stove in your outdoor kitchen to an indoor propane range, cooking with fire has its advantages: you aren’t dependent on your batteries for cooking and fire heats more evenly than electrical. 

However, be aware that installing a propane system inside your van requires special and labor-intensive safety measures. For this reason, Levity Vans shops don’t routinely install propane systems for customers. 

Induction Stovetops 

These nifty stovetops use magnets to heat up your metal pots and pans and are cool to the touch within seconds of removing your pan. They run off your batteries, which are charged either by running your van or by your solar system making this an affordable and eco-friendly option.

Microwaves

More and more vanlifers are using the power of the simple microwave to make cooking easy. If you like to prep meals and heat them up on the road, this may be the option for you. You’ll want a lithium battery system to store the power it takes to run a microwave.

Propane Stovetop

For those that demand to cook with fire, propane is the way to go. 

Cooking can be as easy as a basic camping stove

Pipe propane into your van for an indoor kitchen

Microwave

Click a few buttons and poof, your meal is ready!

Runs off electricity stored in your batteries

If you mostly want to reheat pre-made food, a microwave might be all you need

Induction Stovetop

For fast, safe and eco friendly cooking, an induction cooktop will deliver the heat!

Cook with electricity using battery power

Most cooktops can be stored when not in use

Indoor Dining

Eat together in any weather, at any time of time or night. Plus, a nice place to sit and play games or read a book.

From trays on swivels to 4-person dining tables

Dining tables double as desks and card tables

Where will you eat? 

Now that you’ve tossed that fresh salad or heated up your favorite soup, where will you sit down to eat?

Indoor dining table

There are near-infinite options for indoor dining, from small trays that swivel out to family tables that seat four or more (and then convert into beds!).

If you want to be able to eat together in any weather, consider adding an indoor dining table to your features list. Many of our tables take up minimal space and can easily be tucked away.

The Levity Legend comes with a kitchen and dining area built-in.

Outdoor dining

Some camping chairs and a plastic folding table are enough for some people, who enjoy the more rustic approach to vanlife. If you want to keep things simple or don’t want a lot of furniture in your van, make use of public picnic tables, rocks, beaches, you name it!

People drawn to the simplicity of the Levity Local often enjoy eating outside – or on their rooftop deck!

Our Pricing

The Levity Local

Sleek and functional while still warm and beautiful, the Local has the essentials you need without the extras you don’t. It’s perfect for: 

  • Minimalists
  • The adventure-minded who use their van for outdoor recreation 
  • Those who want a sleepable travel van on a tighter budget 

Removable bed system / Solar electric / Full insulation and ventilation / Waterproof floor / L-track to secure gear / + Add features like kitchen galley, outdoor shower, cabin heat, & more

$45K base price

Customizable

+ or – features to fit your lifestyle and budget

The Levity Legend

This home-on-wheels makes spontaneous adventuring a breeze. Just pack up your stuff and leave your life behind – while taking all the comforts of home with you.

  • Part-time adventurers who value comfort and ease
  • Glampers and festival-goers who want to upgrade from a tent to a tiny home
  • Full-time travelers whose van is their dream home

Queen bed / Full kitchen / Indoor dining / Outdoor shower / Composting toilet / Cabinets / Solar power / Robust electrical system to power appliances / + Add features like hot water, indoor bathroom, rooftop deck, & more

$95K base price

Customizable

+ or – features to fit your lifestyle and budget

The Levity Landscape

Bring your unique vision to life with a one-of-a-kind Levity Landscape. We partner with you from start to finish as we synthesize the elements you want into a van that will work. Best suited for:

  • Those who want to do some of the build themselves, but aren’t true DIYers
  • Adventurers who want to incorporate kits
  • Budget-minded van converters who want to do their build in stages

Often custom / Can be done in installments / Incorporate kits / Unique designs / Do some yourself, outsource the rest to the pros 

$20K to $80K+

Due to all the moving parts, every Levity Landscape starts with a paid consult.

The DIYer

You’re kicking a** and building your dream van – but need just a little help with the features beyond your skillset. Or you’re stuck trying to figure out how it will all fit together, and it’s been a few months (or years) – and you need help.

We install one-off features for DIYers and offer hourly consultation to take your project from stress to success.

Windows / Vent fans/ Electrical work / Solar / Cabin & water heaters / Flares / Seats / Swivels / Project consultation & more

Priced per project

 

How do you decide what’s right for you?

Our three biggest tips as you’re dreaming about your van:

  • Do your research
  • Know what you want
  • Know your budget

This sets you up for success because you’ll know what features you need and which ones you don’t. You’ll end up with a van that works for you and your lifestyle – not anyone else’s. Because that’s what vanlife is all about – freedom to be yourself, travel on your own terms, and enjoy the natural world without the typical hassles of camping or limitations of RVs.

We’ll build a van that works for you.

Learn more about our van models here. 

Visit the DIY Shop here. 

Eating Checklist

🍳Do you want a kitchen?

  • Indoor
  • Outdoor
  • No kitchen

❄️Do you want to keep your food cold?

  • Chest-style refrigerator
  • Traditional refrigerator
  • Ice cooler
  • No refrigeration

🚰Do you want water on board?

  • Indoor sink
  • Unheated water
  • Hot water
  • No water

🥨How will you cook?

  • Propane stovetop
  • Induction stovetop
  • Microwave
  • No cooking for me

❓What other eating features are you considering?

  • We want to hear about them!

Full Service Van Conversions

Serving Santa Cruz and Beyond