6 Vanlife movies

While waiting for the return of sunny days in order to bring the vehicle out of its hibernation, we have selected 6 100% Vanlife films for you to watch without moderation.

These films and documentaries are a true source of inspiration for all those who dream of traveling and discovering new horizons .

Each film is an invitation to travel through new destinations , while remaining comfortably seated in the seat of your vehicle. Whether you are a seasoned vanlifer or simply curious about this way of life, these films will transport you to the heart of incredible adventures .

Among the choice of films, some perfectly illustrate the spirit of Vanlife . But that's not all ! We also have 2 bonus films to present to you, which add even more depth and diversity to this selection.

So get ready to embark on your next unforgettable cinematic road trip through Vanlife!

The whole Casambu team wishes you a good viewing :)

1. Expedition happiness

Film Vanlife - Expedition Happiness

This film traces the lives of Felix Starck, a German director and Selima Taibi, a singer-songwriter.

Selima and Felix are a couple with a daring goal: to abandon their comfortable apartment in Germany for a daring adventure.

With their dog Rudi, they choose to break away from their daily lives and cross America from North to South, from Alaska to Argentina. They take a flight to the other side of the Atlantic and respond to an ad for an old school bus for sale.

After purchasing the bus and three intensive months of renovation, they transformed it into a real mobile cozy nest, ready to hit the road. This couple then embarks on this filmed journey, inviting us to join them, with their dog, towards the far north, to discover breathtaking landscapes.

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2. Into the Wild

Movie Vanlife Into The Wild

We couldn't write this article without talking about this cinematic masterpiece!

Christopher McCandless, a young graduate with a bright future, is about to make a radical decision that will change his life.

He burns his papers, his credit card and donates his savings to the Oxfam association. Without warning his family, he takes his bag and heads towards the South of the United States.

Abandoning his car in Arizona, he begins to wander. Despite the comfortable existence that awaits him, Christopher chooses to hit the road, leaving everything behind. His journey takes him through the wheat fields of Dakota, the tumultuous waves of Colorado and the hippie communities of California.

During his journey, he meets colorful characters who, each in their own way, shape his vision of life and others.

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3. Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

This film offers a unique perspective on Vanlife, highlighting the mechanical and family challenges one can encounter on a road trip.

The Hoovers' story is that of a family that lives at a frenetic pace. Sheryl, the mother, is overworked, while her brother Frank has invited himself into their home following a suicide attempt. Richard, the father, travels the country giving lectures on success. Their son Dwayne took a vow of silence until he became an airline pilot, and their grandfather Edwin was kicked out of his nursing home for dealing heroin.

Their already eventful life takes an even more intense turn when their seven-year-old daughter, Olive, dreaming of becoming a beauty queen, is selected for the prestigious Little Miss Sunshine competition in California. To support Olive, the whole family decides to accompany her. So they pile into their old Volkswagen station wagon and set off on a three-day trip to the West, a journey that will be strewn with unexpected events.

Their journey to California is far from easy. Their vehicle breaks down several times, exacerbating already existing family tensions. Despite arguments and disillusionment, the Hoover family remains united, determined to support Olive in her quest to become Little Miss Sunshine .

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4. Vanlife - The new nomads

The new nomads Film Vanlife

This film is a journey that takes us from Norway to Australia, via California, to introduce us to the lives of around ten “vanlifers” who have chosen to live their lives on the road.

These new nomads, whether alone, as a couple or with family, are looking for freedom and adventure. The documentary, oscillating between laughter and tears, depicts the reality of life in a van, from daily management to the difficulties encountered, including enriching encounters and unforgettable moments.

These minimalist, inspiring and connected travelers find life in a van a way to reconnect with nature and above all with themselves.

More than ever, they embody the idea that life is about travel!

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5. Nomadland

Nomadland Film

This film, based on true events, chronicles the journey of a widow who abandons her usual life in Nevada. She chooses to live an adventure, traveling the United States in her van, adopting a nomadic lifestyle.

Fern, a hardworking widow in her sixties, finds herself unemployed after the town power plant where she works closes.

Following the crisis of 2008 and after losing her husband following a long illness, she found herself in a precarious situation. The town of Empire in Nevada, where she lived, is now in disaster.

Faced with these challenges, Fern sells almost everything she owns to buy a van and adopt a nomadic lifestyle. She moves to another city, taking seasonal jobs where she can and sleeping in parking lots. On her way, she meets other nomads who, like her, have tragic stories.

Fern decides to hit the road in her converted van, adopting the life of a modern-day nomad, breaking with the standards of current society. She discovers the vast expanses of the American West, accompanied by true nomads who become her comrades and mentors. This new life allows him to meet people sharing similar experiences and to discover a new way of living.

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6. Why not us?

Why not us

The documentary immerses viewers in the heart of a captivating adventure, following the complete restoration of the legendary Volkswagen T3 from 1989.

From aspects of the bodywork to the mechanics, including the interior design, Marie-Sophie and Mickaël from the workshop by Marickael, accompanied by many other experts, are taking up the challenge of bringing this automotive icon back to life.

Throughout the film, the team speaks without filter, sharing anecdotes about the challenges encountered during the restoration. Between moments of joy and unexpected frustrations, the artisans involved share their personal experiences. From the creativity to the expertise of L'atelier by Marickael, this report vividly reflects the passion that drives these dedicated artisans.

Don't miss the first broadcast on March 21, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. at the cinema in Perpignan.

Learn more

Little bonus...

In addition to the 6 films, we offer you 2 films which are certainly not dedicated to Vanlife but which talk about motorcycle road trips and still share with us the feeling of travel and freedom.

Travel diaries

CheGuevara Film Travel Diaries

This film illustrates the journey of the renowned Che Guevara during his journey to South America. He reveals his awareness of social inequalities and poverty. These experiences will profoundly change the young Ernesto Guevara.

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, better known as Fuser , is a medical student eager to go on an adventure before he even graduates. With his friend, the biochemist Alberto Granado, they undertook a motorcycle trip across South America in 1952.

Their journey, which begins on an old motorcycle called La Vigoreuse , takes them to a Leprosarium in Peru, passing through Chile and Venezuela. Granado hopes to have a little fun along the way.

However, their encounter with the social and political reality of the different countries they visit changes their perception of the continent and arouses in them a desire for social justice, giving birth to new vocations.

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one week

One Week - Movie

In this award-winning film, we follow the story of Ben Tyler. After being diagnosed with cancer, he chose to take a motorcycle trip from Toronto to Vancouver Island, thus postponing the start of his treatment.

Ben Tyler, an elementary school English teacher living in Toronto, lives an ordinary life and is about to get married. However, he is not fully satisfied with his professional life. His life takes a dramatic turn when he is diagnosed with advanced cancer, with only a 10% chance of survival and a life expectancy of two years.

Despite his doctor's recommendations to begin treatment immediately to improve his chances of survival, Ben chose a different path. He decides to live the last moments of his life to the fullest: he buys a motorcycle and embarks on a trip across Canada.

Throughout his encounters and the places he visits, he realizes that it is by paying attention to the small details of life that we can achieve a more universal understanding. This experience transforms his perception of life and allows him to live his last months as intensely as possible.

Watch trailer

We hope that the 6 films (+ 2 bonuses) offered will help you wait before the return of sunny days, and we also hope that you will rediscover the feeling of freedom and travel through these cinematographic masterpieces.


February 05, 2024 — Marie Armingol

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