You need to keep your body and mind in good shape. Eat as good as you can and exercise regularly. You should already have a gym membership for the hot showers, take advantage of the gym since you are paying for it. Get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night. You don’t need to have a huge social circle, but a few friends will help you from feeling lonely. If you can’t make friends, there are tons of people on line to talk with about whatever you want to(this conversation counts). Doing all of these things will keep the chemicals in your brain and body at healthy levels and keep you from such feelings as anxiety or depression. Also you should try to lift weights when you are at the gym. Heavy lifting increases your testosterone levels which will give you motivation.
I understand what you are saying. I have thought about this and have decided to try the hotel parking lots. Not many police go through those (at least, not the nicer ones) and I would park in back. As far as dealing with police, I would just tell them, I am temporarily sleeping in my car for a set amount of time. I have to be honest. I don’t know how anyone could sleep in a Wamart parking lot, too much noise and activity. Hotel parking seems the most logical, safe, quiet place to be.
This is a big one. Even if you’re traveling alone, a car-charger-to-outlet power inverter is extremely important to have, because it allows you to charge or use things that don’t have a car charger adapter. With more than one person it becomes a virtual necessity, especially when one of those people needs to charge three cameras at a time. Pair that with two phones and maybe a GPS, and there’s no way you can get by without an inverter that has multiple outlets.
You need to keep your body and mind in good shape. Eat as good as you can and exercise regularly. You should already have a gym membership for the hot showers, take advantage of the gym since you are paying for it. Get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night. You don’t need to have a huge social circle, but a few friends will help you from feeling lonely. If you can’t make friends, there are tons of people on line to talk with about whatever you want to(this conversation counts). Doing all of these things will keep the chemicals in your brain and body at healthy levels and keep you from such feelings as anxiety or depression. Also you should try to lift weights when you are at the gym. Heavy lifting increases your testosterone levels which will give you motivation.
Today Henderson makes about $37,000 a year as an executive assistant to a bar owner and lives in the Bristol Hotel, a mixed-use apartment building in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Her studio, which she shares with her small dog Olive, is 175 square feet – the equivalent of about four king-size beds. The walls are covered in framed artwork that Henderson collected from thrift shops and friends. An apartment-sized fridge and a fold-out couch are her largest possessions.
Storage is one of the costs which you have to weigh up. It is nice to be able to have some stability to hang on to the things you own, the things that have been with you for years. Storage gives you the freedom of not having to drag everything with you as you go. Some storage units have power points so you can plug your fridge into them and store food there. You can store furniture in storage. But there is the down side of cost. Storage costs money. You might want to consider storing your furniture in a trailer towed behind your car. It will make parking harder, and your car will stand out more, but if you lash a step ladder to the top of the trailer you may blend in as a tradesperson. Obviously a lock up trailer would be safest, as would be padlocking it to your car via a chain.

Anyway, for me personally, hell no. I'm fine living in a small house, but a car (even an RV) is too small for me. I'd rather camp out, and use the car for storage space if I was forced to it. Even that, I could only put up with for so long. You've also got to factor in the cost of food once you no longer have a way to store cold food or prepare it.

Big Sur, the actual entirety of Big Sur, is stunning. Bordered to the east by the Santa Lucia Mountains and the west by the Pacific Ocean, it’s traversed by narrow, 2-lane highway, known for winding turns, seaside cliffs and views of the often misty coastline. It’s possible (barely) to whip around the winding turns, but who would want to? I enjoyed the slow ride (probably only accelerating faster than thirty-five miles per hour a few times throughout the entire ride through Big Sur.
I have a few friends who do this to facilitate devoting more of their lives to their passion for various outdoors sports. Some full time, some seasonally. I say whatever floats your boat. However, there is a MUCH higher incidence of refusal to pay taxes and general shameless mooching among this crowd than any other group I know. It's not absolutely everyone, for sure, but still.
I had more disposable income than ever and practically no social obligations (it is difficult to be close to people and keep this secret). I went out to eat at almost every place the newspaper recommended (go for lunch specials always cheaper). I saw plays (student discount). I went to festivals (eat before you go, and joy the free music). I went on road trips halfway across the country.
From what I’ve read of other folks living in their rides, keep clean and conservative looking and that goes for your car or truck, too. No hippie or Mohawk haircuts, biker beards, weird clothes, marijuana leaves painted on your ride or dope promoting bumper stickers on your bumper or back window. Be very nice to the cops and their snarling dogs when you meet them.
I tried everything, cooking in my car, eating cheap chinese food, etc,…but i didn’t find a convenient way to cook until I rented a storage space. The management comes in at 9am, so I try to do most of my cooking before 9am. My storage is on the ground level and it costs $86 per month. Expensive yes but I figure it is cheaper than renting an apartment.
But changing the alternator IS REAL MODIFICATION. and be aware that many places will not service your vehicle and you cannot afford that. I would prefer to not change the alternator on that ground, even if I could change my alternator, because when I need my car taken of, I really cannot have no where to go, or have a difficult time getting to a mechanic, because I have no other place other than my car.
At this very moment, I’m deciding what vehicle to buy. My ongoing budget will be extremely limited. I will be doing a mix of urban and boondock camping, which can be shaped by my experience but will always involve both modes. Right now, I have enough money for a minivan, but a car (small station wagon, for example) is cheaper to buy and uses less fuel, smaller tires, less oil per oil change, etc. The cost of insurance may favor the minivan. I own enough camping gear to meet most of the other needs.
I feel total empathy for the homeless. But some homeless are not victims. They are felons. My friend “Slemmer” is living out of his car. The reason: He stole $$ from his professional high paying job in reading PA. So he sat around and smoked pot all day and got lazy. The felony led to not qualifying for unemployment, which led to him getting evicted from 2 apartments, which led to him living in his car smoking weed. The problem with a felony is no one wants to hire you so you need to get realistic in job searches. You have to restore your career. Suck it up and go to work. Maybe take a job that is beneath you as opposed to sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and getting high. If “Slemmer” took a job to pay his rent that was slightly beneath him, he would not be homeless living in his car asking his friends for $$ .

hey im tired of living pay check to pay check I am going yo live in my car in wisconsin how do i make it threw the winter months. were are some places to sleep im going to go from first to third shift so I can sleep during the day I think i have a better chance not to stick out.and getting a gym membership to shower and work out. its open 24 hrs I hear walmarts churches and some truck stops are good.and I would be living in a jeep liberty I thought of tinting the windows also. any thing else can you think of. and I use to live in colorado im from longmont.

This next stage was tremendously difficult. I was taking a ton of medication, going for frequent blood tests and still feeling extremely lethargic, sleeping most of my days away. The side effects of some the meds were terrible. I seemed to struggle with either sleepless nights or vivid nightmares. I also felt the need to eat anything and everything day or night (I even stopped wearing my retainer to bed because I was scared I was going to eat it in my sleep!).

Hey everyone… Gonna make the plunge, start living out of the covered bed of a pick up truck. completely invisible to passersby. yay. my question is, what kinds of penalties are there for living out of your car? if the cops catch you and it’s obvious you are living out of your car, what kinds of monetary fines are there? can they repo your vehicle? i’m sure it varies from city to city, i’m just wondering if the money saved on rent outweighs the potential and possibly recurring fines. thanks in advance to all who reply.

U can get away with it to some exstent but u really need to find more than one place like loves to park because ur gonna attract attention to yourself if u stay in the same place so find other spots ur comphy with an move around from place to place every 2-3 days,,walmarts are good,,travelers are always staying there while passing thru so u can use that as an excuse unless u have been camped out for days when u get asked,,,ive done it,,,the main thing is b polite if ur approched by secutity guard,,most of them dont care but is thier job so leave an give it afew dats before u come back an most wont mind!,,good luck an god bless!

Police usually do not ask for proff of insurance, just the ID card. Especially if you are in a place that is known to have some people sleeping in their vehicles, like most Wal Mart parking lots, or as I said above, a large shopping mall that has some empty buildings or buildings under construction. That ARE NOT next to exclusive neighborhoods or have exclusive stores like Dillards. Those parking lots seem to always have security and require everyone to leave after done with their shopping.
Thanks for all the good information. I don’t think you came off as a privileged person suggesting anything other than how to live in your car and save money. I’m not getting any younger, my kids are all grown and gone now, I’m retired and if I ever want to go any place and see anything, this sounds like the best way to do it before the nursing home. Lol! Maybe I’ll get some tattoos along the way and blog about it. Thanks for the information!

I currently live at a volunteer firehouse, but I spend more time sleeping in my car than I do there. I do have a stable job and make a decent living, but I choose to do this to save money not paying rent as well as have time to myself since my life is so busy. Working two jobs (one full-time and one part-time) makes my weekends crazy, and rather than going to my station where I may not be able to sleep peacefully, I choose to park in my employee parking lot and sleep. I’d say I spend about 3-4 days out of the week in my car, and the biggest help I believe would be having a great support system behind me. My family doesn’t know that I do this, but my closest friends do and they always help out as best as they can. From offering a place to shower to even a bed for a night, that is the biggest help. A typical weekend for me would be wake up at around 8am on Friday and head to the gym, after working out and showering there I’d go to work for 12. From my full-time job, I head to my part-time job for 11pm and work overnight until 5am (this job has a shower that I’ll use occasionally). After getting off at 5am on Saturday morning, I’ll head to my full-time job and sleep in the parking lot until it is time to work again at 12 and repeat the process until Sunday morning when I’m off from both jobs, after which I’ll find something to do during the day and find a parking lot to sleep at for the night. I may or may not do that again on Monday depending on what’s going on. I recently graduated from college and I’m trying to save as much money as possible to enter the military in a few months debt free, but I truly do enjoy this. Sleeping at a fire station, while fun, is high stress and I love being able to get away for a few days. I’m working on tinting my car’s windows next, but the biggest challenge to me is staying organized while living out of a gym bag.

I am so ashamed that roommates would steal from each other. No one would have to live in a car, van etc., if we would just stick together. Rents are too high, for the money we earn, so we must pick honest people, and share a room or a small apartment. Personally, I feel two is the max to share a studio and split everything 50/50. The more people involved, the worst. I am thinking of having a registry for people who want to share a room or a studio, and tell them to please have then checked out at the local police station. Never loan money to room-mates and always have an emergency fund of 6 months. Live frugally, until you get that emergency fund. Never share phones..Times are goingto get WORST folk, and we need honest people to pair off platonically and try to save some money.
Organizing your stuff and having a system in place will save you a load of headaches down the road. Make sure that every piece of gear and every item has it’s own designated place. This will make it easier to find what you need quickly. It will also help you to be able to fit everything into your car and make the most of the space that is available.
So i have a full-sized conversion van. I has fold out bed in the back and it does not look too camper-like, no running boards and a latter. Right now I live in an apartment but when my lease is up in October Ist will not be able to afford to live here any more because they are going to raise the rent and I barely making it as is. So aI figure I live in my car and save up some money and find a cheaper apt in the future. I was thinking if I got a membership to 24 hour fitness I could shower there and I have a brand new porta podie. I live in Ventura right now but one of my big fears is staying away from areas that might have crime. I guess my question is, what’s a safe bet for places to stay without getting robbed or killed? I know I sound paranoid but I was attacked by a gang once back in2004 and ended up in the ER, I don’t want to run into that again? I hear some churches let you park and Costco? Thanks for any advice

Even with just one marine battery, this will cost you at least $200. If you don’t have that money, then get some of those durable aluminized emergency blankets sold at Amazon. They don’t tear. Use those with regular heavy blankets. They are a lot cheaper than a sleeping bag. Sleeping bags work, but you have to wash the entire thing, and the laundry cost will be very expensive. Blankets are a lot more flexible, dirt cheap at thrift stores (or free from charities), cheaper and easier to wash. just wash one, the dirty one, not all. You really want to stay clean because the vehicle is a very small space. So laundry cost is important.

My personal experience living in my car. First thing is Im a dude. In order to get out of bad relationship with my ex i got my CDL and got a job at as a truck driver OTR living out of tractor trailer while on the road for a few years till I rolled it, I have enough savings to get an apartment for a solid year or so with no worries, but worry about loosing financial safety blanket. So I bought low miles car and been living in it last couple months.
1. If you are homeless, living in a vehicle (which by all means can be a cleaner and safer place then some of the homeless shelters out there, believe me one that I tried to stay at had body lice/bedbugs crawling everywhere. I took off like a chicken with it’s head cut off running from that place, gasoline is expensive. Limit your driving to school, work, or job hunting. Truck stops are on the outside of town usually and are likely a bit of a drive. Many organizations in the Minneapolis area provide free showers for the homeless staying in a shelter, the Salvation Army is included. However, if you elect not to stay at the shelter, you are on your own in showering here in MPLS most of the time. I have a LA Fitness membership for $29.99 per month and it pays to have a shower every day, especially considering it allowed me to interview and not be so smelly I didn’t get the job. I have two jobs now, which equate to full time, but it will take time to save enough money for deposit and first month rent.
How awesome are some of these comments and helpful suggestions. I am planning on moving to LA in October to (ironically) work for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Coalition. However, I still have monthly bills/debt. The coalition pay will not be enough to cover rent…ergo living out of my Ford escape for at least 6 months. I googled, “How to live out of your car” and this site came up. I love it. Thanks and I look forward to checking back in once the adventure begins. Scott
We choose not to sleep inside our vehicle to maximize how much we are able to bring with us. Instead of building a big sleeping platform, we outfitted our car with shelving and dividers. We’ve each claimed different sides of the rear passenger seats for our personal gear and reserved the far back for shared items like dishes, food, and our sleep system. We keep everything in some sort of container rather than having a bunch of loose items floating around. For clothing and personal items we love the modular haulers made by MountainSmith.
I’ve recently just thought about this. I moved to California about a year a go. I moved in with my best friend and her boyfriend in his house. Let’s not say the best situation. A lot of fighting going on plus i pay tons of money to live in someone else’s house with rules. I live about 10 mins from Santa Monica and work there also. I work nights and sleep during the day. So, i really wouldn’t even have to sleep in my car. I guess i could just sleep on the beach. I wouldn’t reccomend sleeping on the beach at night( i beleive its illegal) but during the day I would be just like anyone else.
Obviously, living in Maine, heating is an issue, and I’ve spent many a night with long underwear and blankets. Knit cap is a MUST, of course – you all know that’s where most of your body heat escapes. Just got the propane camping heater……not sure if I can do a pre-heat in the SUV before I settle in for the night. I assume there is a level of toxicity in a closed cabin, right? But what about a 5-minute burst? Anyone have experience?
I had a big scare a few nights ago. I parked in a business zone because I don’t like parking in a residential area so I won’t disturb the neighbors that could call the cops on me. Well, someone saw me and called the cops anyway. They came banging on my windows with flashlights. I sleep with a big black sheet on top of me so people won’t notice but since theywere looking in with flashlights they could see a body and even since I ignored them they continued banging with such a force I finally raised my head and they were shocked to see me and they asked me to open the door. Since it was hot, I was wearing little shorts so I climbed overn legs first, and I don’t mean to brag but I am fairly attractive and in great 24 hour fitness shape so they were a little flirty with me. They asked what I was doing, I said I was was resting. They asked if I had a home and I said yes. I had a fight with my boyfriend and I left and was just resting. I told them I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong. They asked if I was scared of gang activities. I said no, I wasn’t aware of this happening in the area. In my head I was thinking how I’m more scared of them because they could give me a ticket and impound my car and ruin my life even more. I apologized for doing something I didn’t know was wrong and told them I would go home now. I said good by and drove far away from that place and I will never go back there again.
Recently, in response to a lot of emails I have recived, I wrote up a basic guide with tips, suggestions and advice for people living in their car. It is at All the information there is compleatly free, there are no adds (I hate adds!) and there are plenty of links to other, more in depth pages on the site, also add free.

Step 3 (road tripping)- Living out of your car on the road is surprisingly easy and will save you lots of money by not staying in hotels or eating at restaurants often. First of all, you need to find places to sleep. One of my favorite resources for this is You type in your current location and they find free camping close by, usually on Forest Service or BLM land, and give you detailed directions to get there. Most Wal-Marts will let weary travelers sleep in their parking lots for a night. I try to avoid sleeping at rest stops since they are typically right off of the interstate and countless cars come and go all night.

Most cops don’t give a fk and will be reasonable if you aren’t an asshole to them. All “security guards” are f-ing douche-bags and your best recourse with those is to tell them to fk their mothers and drive away. You need to find mutliple spots, like at least 10. Some spots are better than others, some nights/days you are going to be f-ed though and there will be no way to avoid the suck of it all. Travel light. This can be an ideal way to live given a few very important factors: A) you do not have to rely on strangers for paper checks or cash (e.g. a “job”) & B) you do not have to remain in any one town or city any longer than you desire to be there. Cannabis is helpful (particularly on solitary nights in the wilderness) and alcohol is a straight up killer. Nothing worse than waking up with an on deaths doorstep hangover in your f-ing car. Avoid that at all costs.
in alberta not all wallmarts have open parking lots, i was also doing some thinking is if their is a boarding house in any area, speak with the owners to see if you could rent their facilities at least their most if not all now adays have a phone,shower with washing machine and drier. most owners are polite with a small fee I’m sure they would accomdate you and the renters are normally 1 paycheck away from living on the street.
Secluded fields around a driving area/path are not obvious, you are going to have to drive around side streets. When you find one, park in it for a while to check it out. If you like it, speak with the business or property owner if it seems one is there. But if you think that the property owner will not, usually wealthy establishments or chain stores, then just wait it out – until you are asked to leave.
Unless you plan on eating out for every meal, highly unlikely saving this is more of a vacation than a lifestyle choice, the goal for remaining healthy and fit while living a lifestyle that can turn unhealthy really fast is to understand what sorts of food items take up the least amount of space, keep the longest, and require the least amount of prepping prior to cooking. Speaking of which, it’s wise to get your hands on a portable grill and some campsite cookware to make things as easy and straightforward as possible.
You are not alone, but this is when van living people should rent a house,and live like the foreigners. They live 20 or more to a house, and they normally work 16 hours a day, so they sleep in shifts. They are not living in vans. It is safer when honest people can share living space all over America and the world. I hope I never have to do it, but my rent is getting to take more of my income. Dishonest people is why I do not have a room-mate, and my personality. At times I just want QUIET! I get that living with God..

Next you will need some privacy. This can be as simple as buying some cheap block out fabric and jamming it in the tops of your side windows then using sun shades for the front and back windows. You can even use towels on the side windows and front windows. Anything that will give you some privacy. I ended up getting some window curtains custom made for my car from a friend. It cost me $50 plus the material which I already had. But you don't have to fork out that much. Get some card board and cut out panels to fit your windows if you have to. Use sheets or blankets. Go to a hard ware store and get reflectix and cut that to size. It will provide good insulation as well as blocking out light.

For heat when sleeping in car or truck the absolute best thing is electric blanket, in the northern areas and am sure online you can buy them in any truck stop they plug directly into your cig. lighter and work awsum. A great blog I found that may answer many of your questions is: I just found it the other day, the dude is a fantastic writer and wrote a small book addressing most issues you can think of regarding being homeless in a how to fashion.
Reduced hepatic lipid content can be due to decreased de novo hepatic lipogenesis or increased fatty acid β-oxidation. We first examined expression of lipogenic genes in response to 1-month TC treatment. Compared to vehicle treated ob/ob mice, TC-treated ob/ob mice showed significant repression of not only SREBP-1c mRNA, but also its downstream genes, such as FAS and SCD-1 (Fig. 4C). Again, these responses were absent in the double mutant ob/ob CAR−/− mice. These results are consistent with the previous demonstration that TC treatment decreases SREBP-1c protein levels (17), and strongly suggest that CAR activation suppresses lipogenesis.