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The Van Life

Vans aren’t as popular as they used to be. SUVs are great, but they basically ate up the market for vans. That’s too bad. Van lifestyles can be pretty interesting.

Not that the van’s glory days are over. A current trend indicates a growing number of individuals who are choosing to spend life in their vans 24/7. These aren’t road-tripping SUV owners on vacation. These people are living in their vans because they want to. Freedom. Adventure. A close connection to nature. That, and the drive for self-sufficiency, can exert a strong pull.

Some see it as a version of the tiny house movement, which has captivated those seeking a more economical way to live[1], with clever adaptions of pared-down household amenities, such as this bathtub. You’d be surprised how the 72-square-foot cargo hold of van can be transformed into a home, complete with solar-powered electricity, running water, and a chest freezer for a low-energy refrigerator.

While it may not seem like van dwellers have much in common with those who opt for a more permanent address, they do: a need for c-stores. Their resources are limited and must be constantly replenished. The nation’s c-store network casts a wide net, making groceries and essential supplies like camping equipment available in less populated areas.

Convenience stores can also function, if needed, as a safe haven if something unexpected comes up. They’re well-lit, open late into the night, have restrooms, and probably access to Wi-Fi, essential if you are in unfamiliar surroundings.

In addition, convenience stores are often social hubs where locals gather, making them ideal spots to strike up conversations, exchange travel stories, and seek advice on nearby attractions. Van lifers can interact with store owners, employees, and fellow customers, forging connections and gaining valuable insights into the local culture and environment.


If you are a c-store operator, sustaining a completely mobile lifestyle may not be possible, but wi-fi and mobile computing do make it possible to monitor your business from any far-flung location. Of course, the information at your fingertips must give you a clear, accurate view of your business to be valuable. Fortunately, SSCS excels at delivering detailed, up-to-date data in an actionable presentation.

Between our Computerized Daily Book and Transaction Analysis programs, we provide the broadest range of reporting in the industry. We can give you high level views of general trends, or drill down into the receipt detail to get to the bottom of things. Our mobile-friendly graphics facilitate understanding. You’ll see trends unfold over time, and you’ll be positioned to proactively address potential issues.

Wherever you might be.

Give us a call at (800) 927-7277 and we can talk about it.


[1] Which includes shipping containers, by the way.

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