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Should You Put Your Social Media Handle On Your Campervan?

Social Media Handle On Campervan Blue Sky Red Rocks

Are you considering putting your social media handle or logo on your campervan?

It seems like a great way to boost engagement for your social media channels or other business ventures. But it can also compromise your safety and security too.

So is it worth it to put your social media handle or logo on your van?

The Benefits Of Putting Your Social Media Handle On Your Van

Social media handle on campervan @tworoamingsouls

Free Advertising

The biggest benefit of putting your social media handle or logo on your van is the “free” advertising you get any time someone sees your handle. This could help drive more traffic to your website, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, whatever.

If you are trying to “make it” as a content creator, influencer, blogger, etc, then any method of bringing more potential viewers to your business benefits you.

Meeting New People

Having your social media handle on your camper van can help you meet new people. Many vanlifers struggle with loneliness and a lack of community. Even couples like Emily and I, get lonely living on the road sometimes. So meeting new people any way you can is a nice bonus for vanlife.

A social media handle on your van can help you meet new friends.

But at the same time, many vanlifers are a little stand-offish to protect their own safety.

Understandably so, most van dwellers are uneasy about having strangers approach their van. So social media can provide a “safe space” to introduce yourself and open a dialog, before jumping right to face-to-face meetups.

Something like “Hey, I just saw your van traveling through Yellowstone, looks like you are into mountain biking too, maybe we could ride something together.”

An Instagram conversation introduction and meetup.

Negatives Of Having Your Social Media Handle On Your Van

Encouraging Thieves

Probably the most likely negative scenario is that some thief checks out your social media to see if you have anything worth stealing. These days, anyone with a cell phone can look at the pictures you post and potentially see what valuables you have in your van.

Emily hanging out in our fiberglass hightop van in Yosemite National Park

Thieves could be much more motivated to target your van if they know you have lots of expensive electronics, bikes, etc.

If you spend lots of time in urban areas, you may be more concerned about break-ins. But obviously break-ins can happen anywhere.

Decreased Safety

A less likely, but scarier scenario could be encouraging people who wish to do you harm. Stalkers, kidnappers, or worse, could use your social media handle to target you.

A Campervan parked in a dark and dreary forest.

Obviously, a very grim topic, but something at least worth considering. The reality of vanlife is that it can sometimes put you into vulnerable situations. And adding a social media handle to your campervan could increase the likelihood of these rare, yet serious scenarios.

Bad For Stealth/Privacy/Anonymity

The last negative consequence is that it may just take away your stealth, privacy and anonymity. If you do lots of stealth camping, one of the keys is to be as forgettable as possible. If you have your social media or logo on your van, it makes it much easier for people to remember your van.

Or there are lots of other reasons that you might just not want people to know who you are.

Maybe you are a bad driver, and people might message you to let you know. Or maybe you are a fine driver and you just encounter someone having a bad day.

Our Experience Having @TwoRoamingSouls On Our Van For 4 Years

Here is our anecdotal experience living with a social media handle on our van.

But first, just some relevant context for our specific van lifestyle.

The Two Roaming Souls enjoy the great outdoors from their vanlife campsite.

Our van is a pretty obvious campervan, with a ski box and massive solar panel overhanging the roof.

We spend probably 80% of our time boondocking on rural BLM/USFS land. 15% of time parked at Harvest Hosts locations, official campgrounds, friends’ houses, Wal-mart, etc.

And the last 5% of the time is spent street parking in cities.

Why does it matter? Where you spend your time and how your van looks are big factors that can contribute to your vanlife experience.

When we first converted our DIY campervan “Delphie”, we decided to add our social media handle.

As bloggers, we are always trying to build a bigger audience. (Shameless plug time) Our Instagram and Youtube Channel are two primary ways that we expand our audience and attract readers to our blog.

Bad Stuff

We’ve traveled all over the US (mostly in the West), and in 4 years we only ever had one negative encounter that was for sure related to having our social media handle.

We were driving up a two lane mountain pass and decided to pass a semi in the left lane going about 30mph. We were going probably 55mph (about as fast as she’ll go up a mountain pass at 10,000ft). I made my pass and moved back over to the right lane (I always do).

But another driver behind us took to Instagram (while driving) to message us “GET OUT OF THE F*****NG WAY”. I find it hard to believe that we were even still in the left lane by the time he finished sending the message.

So I guess I just thought of one other potential negative of having your social media handle on your van. It might encourage impatient morons to send Instagram DMs while driving.

Good Stuff

And as for positive results from having our social handle on our van?

I’m not sure it’s possible to quantify how many followers we gained from it (my guess is very few). But considering the size of our social media followings (under 10,000), I can tell you that it didn’t catapult us to mega fame.

Though there are obviously a lot of other factors to building a massive social media following.

And we have met a few people along our travels from it. One couple who reached out we almost hired as our wedding photographers years later. So sometimes you never know what butterfly effects might arise.

But obviously, our anecdotal experience shouldn’t be treated as gospel. Other people’s experiences might be different.

Takeaway: Should You Put Your Social Media Handle On Your Campervan?

Ultimately, after 4 years, we decided to remove our social media handle from our campervan. There wasn’t any specific incident that prompted it. But rather we just decided that the minor benefits of having it are outweighed by the potential negatives.

Two Roaming Souls Instagram handle on van.

Since our entire life is packed into our van, if we ever got robbed (or worse), it would be devastating.

Our social media accounts are merely an extension of our primary business, blogging. And there are plenty of other ways to grow your social media following that don’t jeopardize your safety and security.

However, if you are someone whose entire livelihood depends on social media followers, like an influencer or youtuber. Then you may decide that the potential gain is worth the risk.

Or maybe if your social media content doesn’t share much personal information (your appearance, personal belongings, etc), then it might not be as compromising to your safety and security.

Maybe your content is strictly landscape photography, art, etc. So it really depends how much of your life you are sharing.

Bonus Tip: Using A Magnet

A possible solution could be to make your logo or social media handle into a magnet. That way you can take it down in places that you don’t feel safe.

However, that presumes that you actually know which places are safe and which are not. And the real world is not always that black and white.

Head over to our Vanlife Page for a collection of everything campervans and life on the road.

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