What are Van Life Events? If one is ever curious about the nomadic community, you only need to attend one van life event to get a taste of the culture. Even events that are pegged as “#vanlife” events are always open to all nomadic travelers. Everyone is welcome, from weekend warriors car camping to families living full time on the road in their converted school bus (called “skoolies”). The number one goal for every van life event is to build community around the nomadic lifestyle.
What are Van Life Events?
There are a variety of van life events, gatherings, and festivals. Some are sponsored and charge a fee to join in on the fun. There are typically vendor booths promoting things from new aftermarket gear, Van Builds, food, music, and workshops led by well-known influencers. Often there is live music, yoga sessions, and even group arts and crafts lessons.
Builders may be available to help with your projects, mechanics sometimes offer up services, and at some point, there’s always a group planning a potluck of sorts.
This list is certainly not a list of every gathering planned for 2022. But it’s an excellent start to get you excited, and hopefully, find a gathering or event near you! There are many ways to find additional events, gatherings, and festivals, such as utilizing apps like Sēkr or joining a Facebook group for van lifers (there are many!).
IF YOU DO NOT SEE AN EVENT ON OUR LIST PLEASE REACH OUT TO BE ADDED!
1. January 7th - 9th - Van LIfe Pride’s First Annual Meetup - Quartzite, AZ
For queer or love queer folx (ally) who are really into camping, this gathering is for you!
2. January 29th - Sēkr San Diego Van Life Meetup - San Diego, CA
Connect with other van lifers in an all-day, free event on San Diego’s famous Fiesta Island!
1. February 14th - 21st - Escapers Winter Blast Convergence - Lake Havasu, AZ1
The week will be filled with live music, social gatherings, and epic fireworks displays.
2. February 19th - 28th - Fifth Annual Skoolie Swarm, Melrose, FL
1. March 5th - 13th - Xscapers Tucson Convergiance - Tucson, AZ
Activities will range from live music and group meals to movie nights, trivia, and even an excursion into Tucson!
2. March 12th & 13th - TinyFest California - San Diego, CA
Tour tiny houses, van conversions, skoolies, backyard cottages (ADUs), shipping container homes, adventure rigs, and more!
3. March 25th - 27th - BuenaVantura - Ventura, CA
A van life and overlanding gathering in Ventura, California.
1. April 8th -10th - Midwest Overlanding and Off-Road Expo - Springfield, MO
The Midwest’s #1 Adventure Travel Consumer Show.
2. April 21st - 24th - Back to Baja - Baja, Mexico
An epic adventure in Mexico for everyone who loves overlanding, camping, trail rides, music, and adventure.
3. April 22nd - 24th - Weird Wild West - Bisbee, AZ
The first annual Weird Wild West van life and overlanding gathering.
4. April 30th - May 1st - Adventure Van Expo - San Juan Capistrano, CA
The show will feature built-out Mercedes Sprinters (mostly) 4x4 rigs, accessories, and more.
1. May 12th - 16th - Grand Design Kanab Utah Rally - Kanab, Utah
Dust off your cowboy boots and hat for a western kickin' good time.
2. May 20th - 23rd - Descend on Lost Sierra - Lost Sierra, CA
Three days and four nights of camping glory in California’s Lost Sierra.
3. May 20th - 22nd - Overland Expo - Flagstaff, AZ
Overland Expo® is the premier overlanding event series in the world.
1. June 4th & 5th - Adventure Van Expo - Placerville, CA
Go check out the incredible van builds, open house vans, vans, and more vans!
2. June 18th & 19th - Tennessee Tiny House Festival - Nashville, TN
The weekend’s activities will include entertainment, workshops, and presentations by some of the biggest names in the tiny house movement.
3. June 24th - 26th - Adventure Van Expo - Hood River, OR
Meet the builders, plan a build, line up your van, and network with DIYers.
1. July 8th - 10th - Overland Expo NW - Redmond, OR
See the world’s leading experts alongside a professional-level trade show that brings together all the equipment and services you need to get outfitted.
2. July 15th - 18th - Open Roads Fest - McCall, ID
Van festival packed with outdoor activities, workshops, and social events for the road-trippin' community.
3. July 20th - 24th - 49th Annual National Truck-In - Old Washington, OH
All vans welcome!
1. August 26th - 28th - Overland Expo Mountain West - Loveland, CO
Overland Expo MTN West offers more than 300 session hours of incredible programs.
1. September 2nd - 4th - Adventure Van Expo - Redmond, OR
Meet builders, network with van lifers, and check out all kinds of cool workmanship and things maybe you’ve never seen!
2. September 29th - October 1st - Revel-Mode Van Rally - Moab, Utah
An annual gathering for van enthusiasts with an off-grid dream.
1. October 1st & 2nd - Adventure Van Expo - Chattanooga, TN
Spend the weekend and use the camping area as your base to play in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area!
2. October 7th - 9th - Overland Expo East - Arrington, VA
Offering more than 150 different classes, slideshows, demonstrations, and activities brought to you by 100+ instructors and presenters from around the world.
1. November 3rd - 6th - Vanarky in the Ozarks - Ponka, AK
Celebrating the growing van life community of the Ozarks.
1. December 3rd & 4th - TinyFest SW - Phoenix, AZ
An Inspiring, educational gathering that provides opportunities for meaningful connections within the nomadic community.
How do you choose which van life event or gathering is suitable for you with so many options? There are many things to consider, but here are a few of the top things we consider when making plans to attend a van life event:
If you are planning on your build-out or are in the process of building a van yourself, you may want to go to a van life event that showcases finished builds and allows for you to speak to the builders.
Do you have a business that you think can benefit the van life community? You’ll probably want to attend a more formal event with space for vendors. Sometimes you can get into events for free by showcasing your van or volunteering for the event.
You’re probably more likely to make great connections at a casual gathering than a formal expo. Frequently people host tiny van life gatherings that don’t require permitting just to get to know more people like them. This is where social media comes in great for ad-hoc impromptu gatherings. Van life festivals are also typically more relaxed and celebratory than formal events.
Most events allow anyone to join in, regardless of your mode to get there. The only ask is to be kind, respectful, and leave no trace. But if you want to experience an event in a van and you don’t have one yet, you can simply rent one! Take a look at our extensive nationwide directory to find the perfect van rental for your van life event!
Our directory quickly filters van rental companies by region, state, and/or vehicle model. We have personally connected with each company and thoroughly vetted their offerings to ensure that what you see is what you get.
If you’re looking to find a van to rent, follow these five easy steps:
It’s that simple. Now all that’s left is for you to share where you’re going! Drop us a comment below with what van life events you are going to! Did we miss one? Contact us, and we’ll be happy to add it to our listing.