Connect with the Van Life Culture at These Must-Attend Meetups
One of the best parts of van life is meeting other like-minded people on the road. And there’s no better place to meet fellow van lifers than at van life meetups and conventions.
These awesome events bring together van lifers and more from all across the country. They give you the chance to make friends, attend workshops, enjoy live music, and more. You can find great meetups and conventions all across the US and beyond, all year long.
Let’s take a look at some of the best van life meetups and conventions that you won’t want to miss!
TinyFest is not one but four great van life meetups spread across the US. Started by Renee Seevers in 2016, the purpose is to celebrate tiny houses. These “tiny home and nomad living festivals” also cover van conversions, skoolies, and all kinds of alternative homes.
At Tinyfest, you’ll find live music, entertainment, vendors, and presentations on RVs and tiny living. You can meet like-minded people, enjoy a show, and get some great ideas for renovating your van or other tiny space.
Tinyfest California is currently scheduled for March 11 and 12th, 2023. The event will be held at Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego, California.
Other events include Tinyfest Southwest, Tinyfest Texas, and Tinyfest Northwest. Dates have yet to be revealed for these events this year, so keep your eyes peeled!
2. Descend on Bend
Descend on Bend is a yearly van life meetup where hundreds of van lifers and campers gather in Bend, Oregon over four days. Enjoy camping in the beautiful Oregon outback while enjoying live music, workshops, yoga, and more.
This is a family-friendly and pet-friendly event that is open to all ages. The campgrounds can be accessed by just about any vehicle (no AWD or lift kit needed), and gives you access to hundreds of acres of pristine Oregon nature. You can catch the 2023 edition of Descend on Bend this September during Labor Day weekend.
3. Escapar a La Baja
Want to get away, but a destination inside the US is just too close to home? Then Escapar a La Baja is the event for you.
Escapar a La Baja takes place every year in Baja California Sur at Playa El Tecolote, just outside of La Paz. Enjoy the tranquility of beach camping and get in touch with nature while staying nice and warm in the balmy Baja climate.
Events include marker’s markets, workshops, dance classes, an ice cream social, and more. To top it all off, Escapar a La Baja is completely free!
This year’s event lasted from February 1st through 6th. If you’ve never been south of the border, the folks behind the event have plenty of helpful information on their site to help you make the trip.
4. Adventure Van Expo
The Adventure Van Expo is a series of two-day events held all across the US from April through October. Scope out amazing van builds (plus 4×4 rigs and more), shop accessories, and meet some of the best van builders in the business. All that while meeting fellow van lifers and enjoying food, beer, and fun!
This year’s dates include:
- San Juan Capistrano, CA: April 29-30
- Sonoma, CA: May 13-14
- Cable, WI: June 10-11
- Hood River, OR: June 17-18
- Evergreen, CO: July 8-9
- Topsfield, MA: July 29-30
- Ogden, UT: Sept. 2-3
- Tahoe, CA: Sept 16-17
- Bend, OR: Sept 30-Oct. 1
- Chattanooga, TN: Oct 7-8
- Big Bear, CA: Oct 14-15
Vanarky is the premier van life meetup for the Ozark Mountains region. The event is open to everyone, whether you drive a van or a skoolie, are part-time or full-time, or don’t even have an RV at all.
The three-day Vanarky Fall Campout features workshops, hiking, rock skipping, live music, and more. You can learn about designing and building your dream van, how to find secret campsites and all the best insider info that only locals will know about camping in the Ozarks.
This year’s campout dates haven’t been announced yet, but the event is typically held in early November.
6. Florida Van Life Gathering
If you’re down in sunny Florida, the Florida Van Life Gathering is an event you do not want to miss! This event is held on the Withlacoochee River in the center of the state, just a few hours from both Tampa and Orlando.
Sponsored by the Sarasota, FL company Vanlife Outfitters, this van life meetup features live music, morning coffee, yoga classes, and even a happy hour for single van lifers.
This year’s Florida Van Life Gathering ran from February 3rd through 5th and was open to all whether you had a van or not. This van life meetup also had a call out for volunteers, whoreceived perks like half-off admission, free beer and raffle tickets.
Van Life Meetups are a Great Way to Meet Van Lifers Just Like You!
Van life meetups are a great way to have fun, meet fellow van lifers, and learn about the latest and greatest in vans and van accessories. Wherever you find yourself in the US, there’s sure to be a great meetup or convention near you.
Which van life meetup are you planning to attend this year?