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The Short Version: Singles, couples, and families want to take trips without breaking the bank. Outfitting a camper van or investing in a trailer can make frequent travel more feasible. Parked In Paradise offers plenty of advice, even for novice travelers, on designing camper vans and living the van life. Kate and Ian Moore, the husband-and-wife team who operates the website, are experts who have been living on the road full time since 2017. The site provides guides on how to outfit a camper, plan an itinerary, and pack for vacations of varying lengths.
Many couples who camp regularly begin to get tired of sleeping on the ground. They may decide to research buying a comfortable camper or affordable trailer they can take to woodsy campsites instead.
A favorite resource among campers is Parked In Paradise, a website designed by Kate and Ian Moore, a husband-and-wife team who has lived on the road in a camper van for years. The site offers advice about purchasing campers and trailers, and strategies to outfit them for weekend camping, long-term traveling, or permanent van life.
A popular model is an A-Frame pop-up camper that couples can tow behind an SUV. The option is small enough to tow and park easily, and is roomy enough to stow gear for weekend getaways.
If there’s a general rule to live by when camping, it’s to be prepared for the unexpected. And the website helps campers decide how to outfit their SUV to ensure it’s ready for camping adventures. Parked In Paradise helps adventurous couples choose the right jump starters for emergencies, portable solar panels for generating energy, and rooftop racks for storing their camping gear.
The site even recommends RV camping clubs that offer their members discounts on campgrounds.
Parked In Paradise is Kate and Ian’s passion project. In 2016, the couple lived in Phoenix, Arizona, a city they didn’t want to stay in long term. Instead of moving, they converted a camper van into a vehicle they could live in while traveling the country. Now, they teach others how to find sustainable camping styles — and new adventures.
“There is no right way to live in a camper. We give advice to everyone, whether you’re planning for a two-week road trip or a multi-year adventure,” Kate told us.
They said the website started as an online journal to document their travels for friends and family. Eventually, they started advising other singles, couples, and families who wanted to see how they could live life on the road.
After months on the road, Kate and Ian started noticing the hashtag #vanlife on Instagram. This phrase helped them connect with other singles and couples who lived in camper vans and were also on long-term vacations.
The Moores said they also noticed these other travelers had blogs in which they answered questions from others who wanted to understand the feasibility of the van lifestyle.
“Because of that, we decided to use our online platform to explain how the lifestyle worked, including how to build a van, how to find free camping, what it’s like living on the road, etc.,” Kate said.
The website soon attracted followers who wanted to live on the road permanently or use camper vans or trailers for more regular travel.
Kate and Ian kept sharing the tips and tricks, and dispensing advice they learned from other van lifers, as they refer to people living this lifestyle. The couple have different writing styles, and that is reflected in the Parked In Paradise content.
Ian is an engineer at heart, so his articles are detailed and complex. Kate explains what Ian is talking about in a way that everyday travelers can understand.
“That has been a challenge on some of the more complicated articles, like how to install a solar power system in your camper van. There are a thousand ways to do it correctly, and Ian wants to describe every one while I just want to give the most basic example,” Kate said with a laugh.
The two said their styles complement each other well. That means articles provide travelers with easy-to-follow yet in-depth overviews about what to expect when living on the road.
In addition to sharing how to outfit a camper, Parked In Paradise also provides travel inspiration for singles, couples, and families who want to find the country’s best campsites, national parks, and activities.
Recent travel guides provide readers with things to do in Yosemite National Park in wintertime and tips on where to camp in state and national parks. Other topics include what to pack for different scenarios, traveling with pets, and finding free camping spots.
However, they aren’t standard travel guides. They’re geared toward travelers who camp in a van or trailer. Kate and Ian said they also gear their information toward singles, couples, and families who plan on traveling for weeks or months, though shorter-term travelers also find inspiration.
“Everyday occurrences, including finding somewhere to sleep at night, can be a lot more stressful if you’re constantly moving,” Kate said. “So we try to give advice that will help alleviate the burden so couples can focus on travel, not on logistics.”
Parked In Paradise also provides information about traveling on a budget, one of van life’s primary tenets. Many travelers choose to outfit campers so they can save money on lodging.
“One of the main reasons we decided to travel in a camper van rather than staying in hotels or Airbnbs was to save money. We have a lot of advice for cutting back expenses and traveling to free and cheap locations,” Kate said.
What’s the best piece of advice Kate can offer to singles and couples hoping to travel long term in a camper van?
“When you’re constantly traveling, you have to learn to go with the flow. We’ve taken that idea to heart, and our attitudes have spilled out into other aspects of our lives, as well,” Kate told us.
Parked In Paradise distinguishes itself from similar travel websites because it shows singles and couples many options for designing their campers.
The blog also focuses on van life issues that couples may face that singles don’t. Kate and Ian use their life experiences to advise others on living comfortably together in a small space.
“Relationships are a big deal on the road because you’re sharing such a tiny space. Things like learning how to properly organize your camper, or how to stay out of each other’s way when cooking is a much larger issue than when you’re living in an apartment,” Kate told us.
Next up, the couple plans to expand its blog to provide travel guides focused on secluded locations. Many of its travel guides provide information about popular trips to state and national parks. But Kate and Ian said they are familiar with many more spots off the beaten path.
Kate suggests that singles or couples ready to plan a road trip start with an itinerary. That will help ensure they can drive to their next location and find a place to sleep each night. They should also pack the right equipment, clothing, and other necessities to streamline the experience.
Whether a couple wants to build their dream camper for a long-term trip or a single person wants to find a pop-up camper for a solo weekend trip, they still want to do van life correctly. Parked In Paradise provides support and an inclusive community for everyone interested in the lifestyle.
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