We really struggled with this our first few months and the problem distilled down to our route choice. Generally, we find that van lifers are in similar areas at similar times:
Winter: CA, Baja, Southwest, or some Colorado/Utah
Summer: Alaska, West
Fall: Midwest, Northeast
Because of the adventures we go on, we are often in areas during the “van life off season” so we had a pretty isolated few months. If you want to be around van lifers, or caravan, we definitely recommend following the more common routes. Additionally, we recommend going to van life meetups, or reaching out to people on Instagram. We have found IG to be a great source of finding like-minded vanlifers.
Our last tip, is to put yourself out there! If you see a van in a parking lot, or at a trailhead, introduce yourself. We are all have common ground to start from.