What are the options for entertainment and safety so you can relax on the road? Read this info sheet to find out. Then complete our Relaxation Checklist.
Pleasure & Safety on the Road
Being able to relax in your van is essential for enjoyable adventures. We see relaxation as a combo of pleasure and safety.
Pleasure and Entertainment
Why do all the hard work of designed and converting a van if you’re not going to thoroughly enjoy yourself when you’re done? Pleasure and entertainment are essential aspects of vanlife. They are the fun part!!
Mother Nature takes care of the vast majority of vanlife entertainment. With the ability to have a new backyard every day, the thrill of adventure is literally at your doorstep.
But sometimes you need a break from the great outdoors. At night or when it’s raining or when you just want to hide under the covers and not face the world (we’ve all been there), how will you keep yourself occupied? Plan ahead for your downtime keeps your travels relaxing.
We offer many ideas and options for indoor and outdoor entertainment. Start by thinking about your hobbies (or new ones you want to pick up) and the types of things you like to do for entertainment when not on the road.
It’s almost impossible to relax if you don’t feel safe. Not having the security features you need to feel secure in your van is like trying to fall asleep with your front door wide open. It’s not going to happen!
We offer many options for staying safe in your van, from security systems to lighting. Start by thinking about your own concerns about safety when living, relaxing, or sleeping in your van. Do you feel relatively unconcerned about your security? Or are you prone to feeling anxious when in unfamiliar environments? The decisions you make about securing your van are personal. What’s most important is that you feel comfortable.
Why do all the work of converting a van if you’re not going to have fun in it?
What are your passions and hobbies?
What comforts of home would be difficult for you to do without?
It’s almost impossible to relax and enjoy yourself if you don’t feel safe.
The need for safety is personal and unique from traveler to traveler
What's your level of concern in terms of safety in your van and beyond?
Audio and Visual Entertainment
One of the great things about a converted van: you can enjoy deep connection with nature—and still watch a movie before.
With so many hours spent driving to epic destinations, you’ll want to be sure you enjoy the journey and the destination. What types of audio/visual features to many vanlifers opt for?
Upgraded Stereo Systems
Your van will most likely come with a stock stereo from the factory. If music isn’t that important to you, you might be fine with the stereo and speakers that come with your van.
But if you’re like us, and you like to hear that bass boom when you’re driving (dance party, anyone?), an aftermarket stereo upgrade is well worth the investment.
Stock stereos tend to have very low wattage which means turning up the volume creates distortion in your speakers, giving you a canned, fuzzy sound. Upgraded aftermarket stereos will most likely come with a much higher wattage, which will make your stock speakers sound a lot better. Nicer aftermarket stereos will even allow you to use your steering wheel controls with them. You can also add additional speakers to your van and a subwoofer for the boom.
Large fancy touchscreens give you options such as Android Auto and Apple Car Play to mirror your mobile phone screen, and even read out your text messages out loud. These screens will also give you a larger picture for your backup camera.
Laptops and Television
If you install power features in your van, like battery storage or a solar system, you can live off the grid while still enjoying your electronics when you want them.
Charging your phone, laptop, or TV doesn’t take as much power as you might think. Your own laptop can serve as your movie-watching device. Prop it up on a shelf or on the bed, pop your popcorn on your stovetop or in the microwave, and you’re ready to go.
If you can’t imagine being away from your TV, you can bring it with you! Install a TV securely mounted above your bed. It can be on a swivel, so you can tuck it away when it’s not in use, or attached to the ceiling with a fold-down screen.
Yes, you can even put a dish on top of your van to take your cable channels with you.
How It All Fits Together
In each of these 8 info sheets cover different topics. Yet they all fit together. Your needs and desires for electrical entertainment directly relate to your need for power and electricity. For example, if you want to be able to plug in your TV, you’ll need an alternator to convert battery power to household power.
Filling out the checklist of what you want for each of the 8 categories helps build the bigger picture for your design.
Enjoy higher quality sound when you listen to podcasts or music while driving.
A must for audiophiles or anyone who cares about sound quality
Aftermarket stereos also have upgraded features like better touchscreens and phone pairing
No need to skip out on your favorite shows just because you’re on the road.
Charge your laptop, pop your popcorn, and watch a movie in bed
TV's can be securely mounted while also tucking away when not in use
Leisure (aka: chillin’ around the van)
Sometimes you just want to spend some time at home, enjoying your favorite hobby—or doing nothing at all but sit in your camp chair and listen to the birds.
These features take your leisure game to the next level
Make your own shade and truly enjoy relaxing outside in any weather. Awnings attach near the roof of the passenger side of your van. They’re rolled up when not in use.
Once you’re parked and ready to set up, unroll the awning, secure it to either the ground or the van, and enjoy the shade or light rain protection. They endure sun and water and are mildew resistant—but still, be a good van owner. If your awning gets wet, go ahead and roll it up. Just be sure to unroll it next time it’s sunny to dry it out.
Awnings come in two main types: electric and manual.
As with all things electric, they can be more convenient and at times annoying. Electric awnings come with a wind sensor which makes the awning retract automatically if it gets windy. While well-intended, we find it annoying. Your motorized awning may retract when you don’t want it to, even in a small gust of wind which can be a surprise and also get your possessions wet.
The manual awnings hand crank to open. They come in two main styles: with legs that secure to the ground and legs that secure to the side of the van. We recommend the side mounted option because they’re easier and more secure. Ground mounted awnings require staking to be truly stable, which isn’t always possible on very hard soil or concrete. In a gust of wind, a side mounted awnings will perform better than the electric or ground mounted manual option, both of which could inadvertently damage your vehicle or your possessions.
Outdoor Seating and Rooftop Decks
What types of outdoor furniture help you relax? Do you need a pair of camp chairs to put underneath your awning? Or are you more of a hammock or blanket on the ground person? Some people like a thatched run to put out the door of their van to protect feet and keep out dirt.
Want the ultimate vanlife dream? Install a rooftop deck. Made of wood, aluminum, or even your solar panel, rooftop decks make epic hang zones. We’ll install a ladder so you can more easily climb up there.
Imagine yourself parked at a beautiful spot. What do you see? How are you relaxing both in and around the van?
Do you like to play cars or do puzzles to relax? Are you a volleyball fanatic? Do you enjoy a mellow, evening bike ride at sundown?
Your hobbies determine the features you need in your van. For example, if you’re an avid board gamer or card player, you’ll want a solid table with room for people to gather ’round. If outdoor sports are your passion, dedicate a storage cubby just for gear like soccer balls, travel volleyball/badminton nets, or horseshoes. If biking at sunset is your thing, install a bike rack.
You can continue (most of) your hobbies while on the road. You’ll probably pick up some new ones, too, so be sure to leave some space in the van. 😉
Popular hobbies to consider in your design:
- Board games
- Outdoor sports
- Family time
- Playing music
- Animal care, and
- Anything else you like to do!
Awnings and Outdoor Seating
Turn the side of your van into an outdoor living room with an awning, or convert the top to a deck for epic sunsets.
Awnings attach to the side of your van and unroll manually or electrically
Outdoor seating can be a rug under your awning or a rooftop deck
You can continue (most of) your hobbies while on the road. Your hobbies determine the features you need in your van.
Your indoor and outdoor hobbies help shape your van design and storage needs
How do you picture spending your leisure time?
Feeling safe is essential for your relaxation. From the basics of CO detectors to robust alarm systems, we’ll install what you need to feel safe.
On our first trip in our first van, Bez couldn’t sleep one night. We were parked outside of Yellowstone National Park on the border of Montana and Wyoming. After a day of seeing wildlife, and hearing cautionary tales about bears, she heard a noise outside the van. Convinced it was a bear, she crept around sleeping children to close windows and hunt for the bear spray—and didn’t get a wink all night. It turns out the sound was the wind rattling a distant flagpole.
We tell you this story because we understand firsthand what it’s like to feel scared in your van. It’s no fun! When your vehicle is your home, you need to feel like you, your family, and your valuables are safe inside.
Security systems for vehicles have come a long way. They include everything that keeps you safe while you’re driving, sleeping, or away from your van.
Alarms and Monitors
Many options exist for van security, from a simple external keypad to a two-way remote, which allow you to view the status of your vehicle from your key fob. If someone broke a window, tried to open your car door, or even if your car was bumped, for example, you get notified immediately.
We can install motion sensing exterior lights that turn on when a person (or a bear) ventures too close. If you want to be able to sound the alarm to warn off any potential threats, choose a panic button. Press it if you hear a noise outside or are worried someone is trying to break in to trigger your van alarm system: lights blink and the horn blares, sending intruders running.
Your van’s size plus its absence of windows make a backup camera a necessity. Newer vans are required by law to come with backup cameras installed. If you get a used van, however, you might need to put one in yourself.
When it comes to aftermarket backup cameras, we think the 360-degree backup camera is a very cool option. It gives you a birds-eye view of your van, allowing you to use your stereo screen to see exactly where you’re vehicle is as if you were floating above it. When parallel parking in tight spaces, you can tell if you’re an inch away from a car or object.
Keep yourself and your belongings safe at all time by installing a security system.
Panic buttons make the car alarm blare and scare off people or animals
Two-way remotes let you monitor your car from afar
Keep yourself and others safe by being able to see where you’re going when in reverse.
Many aftermarket options. They come stock in new vans.
360 degree backup cameras give you a birds-eye view of your van
Basic Van Safety Reminders
Even if you laugh in the face of danger, these basic van safety features are mandatory and could save your life.
Please follow the guidelines on this checklist for basic van safety:
- If you plan on cooking inside your van, a fire extinguisher is a must on board. Mount one near the kitchen so it’s accessible just in case your culinary masterpiece gets out of control.
- If you use any of the fuel-powered features, such as a diesel heater or propane cooktop, and you plan to sleep in your van a carbon monoxide detector must be installed along with it. Carbon monoxide is a deadly and odorless gas emitted by poorly installed or incorrectly maintained gas appliances. Be sure your CO detector is installed about a foot above the floor of your van.
- A mobile life requires extra mindfulness when it comes to putting things away. Large water jugs or coolers, for example, can go flying around a turn if they aren’t secured before. Cabinet drawers can open, spilling their contents. If you’re DIYing your van, be sure you understand how to properly mount and secure furniture and heavier features on board.
Stay safe out there! ❤️🚐
Help us create a customized design and an accurate quote by knowing your options
💻Do you want electronic entertainment on board?
- Yes, I’ll use my laptop or phone
- Yes, I want a TV installed
- Yes, and I also want satellite TV
- No electronic entertainment for me
🔈Do you want an upgraded stereo system?
- Yes, I want an upgraded stereo
- Yes, I want to upgrade my speakers
☂️Do you want an awning for your van?
- Yes, a manual one
- Yes, an electric one
- No awning
🌎What types of outdoor seating will you need?
- Camp chairs
- Outdoor table
- Outdoor rug
- Rooftop deck
- No special outdoor seating
🧘🏾♀️What hobby gear will you take with you?
- Outdoor sports gear
- Board games
- Crafting supplies
- Art supplies
- Office supplies
- Lots of books!
- Musical equipment
- Something else
⚠️Do you want to install more robust safety features, like alarms, two-way remotes, or motion-sensing lights?
❓What other relaxation features are you considering?
- We want to hear about them!
How do you decide what’s right for you?
Our three biggest tips as you’re dreaming and designing:
- do your research,
- know what you want, and
- know your budget.
Then you’re ready to go! ⛰🚐✨
Van conversions are like home sales: you want the best your money can afford. (How is a van sale different than a home sale? With your van, you can always change your location! 😉)
Similar to buying a home, it helps to know your price range. Levity Van conversions range from $30K for basic essentials to $150K for luxury models, excluding the van. We’ll help you get as many features as you can for a price you can afford.
Choose your features
Your price depends on the features, components, and systems you need.
- Stick with these basics if you want to keep your conversion costs low.
- If your budget allows, we can suggest modest upgrades to increase your comfort and enjoyment.
- If you want the total
vanlifeexperience, you’ll need a bigger budget. Just remember you’re investing in a tiny home: it’s worth it!
- Are you a go big or go home person? Turn your van into a truly unique pleasure, sport, or full-time vanlife vehicle. We’ll help.
Once you know your options and are 75%+ certain about what you want in your van, fill out our Conversion Worksheet. We’ll set up a time to talk on the phone about design ideas and price estimates. We look forward to hearing about your project!
Not yet sure what you want? Tell us about your project ideas and we’ll send you relevent suggestions and resources.
Meet Our Team
My love of building and mechanics began decades ago with brake jobs at age 10. I wired my first house at 13 with my dad, then became the high schooler who upgraded everyone’s stereo systems. Levity Vans was born 4 years ago when I saw my uncle’s empty Transit van and thought: “I could do so many customizations to make that truly unique!” I’m happy to help people’s travel dreams come true.
Our first two-week road trip in a converted ProMaster got me hooked on vanlife travel with kids. The freedom, sense of opportunity, and comfort of being able to go anywhere, anytime inspire me to support Jimmy’s vision of Levity Vans. Follow us on Instagram to see my handiwork and to share your travel photos. One step closer to adventure!