Living a minimalistic, nomadic lifestyle appeals to so many these days. In fact, there are over 14 million posts on Instagram with #vanlife depicting people living this lifestyle. There are so many gorgeous landscapes across the world to see, but how exactly does one live from their van?

A lot of work and thought goes into turning a van into a mobile living space. Especially when considering the types of appliances, you will absolutely need to fit to avoid eating out all the time on the road.

Whether you are using a van to travel with your family periodically or live your life on the road, here are the appliances that will work best for a van lifestyle.

whirlpool countertop microwave

What Appliances Will You Need

There is no doubt that you are going to want a place to store food and at least one way to cook your meals.

With that in mind here are a few things you are going to want to figure out fitting in your van:

  • Compact refrigerator
  • Compact oven or range
  • Microwave
  • Portable grill
  • Coffee pot
  • Blender

How Can You Possibly Fit Your Appliances?

The size of your van and how many people will be living inside it will limit the space you have for appliances. Compact refrigerators, compact ranges, and countertop microwaves are all great options that take up a smaller amount of space than their standard counterparts.


There are many types of compact refrigerators to choose from to install in your van. You will want to start by deciding if you want a refrigerator or a fridge/freezer combination.

We highly recommend the Frigidaire 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator. This compact refrigerator/freezer combo offers easy access can holders, a full-width freezer, interior lighting, a crisper drawer, and tall bottle storage.


Having an oven or range in your van will allow you to prepare complete meals from anywhere. One of our favorite compact ranges is this Amana 20-inch Gas Range. This compact range comes with sealed burners for easier cleanup and only measures 20 inches in width taking up minimal space.


There are a few different options when it comes to choosing a microwave. No matter the type of microwave you use, it is important to make sure it is secured while traveling. If you have enough space, you can install an over-the-range microwave or built-in microwave in your van.

However, countertop models tend to work best and take up the least amount of real estate. We suggest either latching down your countertop microwave or storing it in a compartment while traveling for safety.

Our top microwave pick for van life is GE 0.9 Cu. Ft. Capacity Smart Countertop Microwave. This microwave oven offers scan-to-cook technology, Wi-Fi powered by SmartHQ™, and convenient cooking controls.

Portable Grill

A portable grill is another great option for cooking your food. Grilling outside of your van will allow you to enjoy the great outdoors while preparing your meals. Blaze Grills’ professional LUX portable grill will provide you with commercial-grade grilling quality on the road.

Other Appliances

If you are a coffee drinker or enjoy mixed drinks, you’ll want to consider a coffee pot and/or a blender. These items can easily be stored in drawers or cabinets within the van.

zephyr refrigerator

Mountain High Appliance

Mountain High Appliance is a family-owned and operated appliance store offering every major appliance line and brand including GE, Jenn-Air, LG, Monogram, Whirlpool, and more.

With appliance store locations in Denver, Louisville, Littleton, Colorado Springs, and Glenwood Springs, Colorado we’re ready to help you find the right appliances for your lifestyle. Take advantage of our in-house delivery, professional installation, and a state-of-the-art showroom featuring 250 live appliances in over twenty inspiring kitchens.