WOW!!! I just read each and every comment and at first I felt so alone at the thought of living in my car. But now I feel much more confident and I feel way more informed about what to do. All the stories on here help so much and give me a good idea of what I am getting myself into. At first I was terrified at the thought, but one tends to fear the unknown, but now that that I have some tips and stories about this I’m not as scared.
Get some cashmere sweaters, second hand stores don’t even know what it is, 3 bucks for cashmere. and it is washable by hand. but the new fabrics for skiers are great too. A wool hat and some goose down comforters. I find that having a hat on at night and wool socks helps a lot. Goose down is vital wool blankets too. I put them into bags during the day so the dog stays off of them. He slept in the front seat. My cat had a pet box and went outside during the day. I parked at a place where she could go out and find me at night. (small fourplex with a large parking lot). My horse was bored and I had a tack room where I stored my things.It is easier to bored a horse in the city, then find an apartment.
This kind of living has always appealed to me, and I’ve lived in a van for well over a year when I was in my twenties. I too am a guitar player and an artist, so the small space doesn’t interfere much with my ability to do things that satisfy and entertain me. I’ve raised two children, done the big house-big, mortgage life of debt and servitude to my creditors thing, and find myself at 46 to be absolutely pumped about going back to that lifestyle. It’s the most liberating and fulfilling lifestyle for me. I must have a vehicle and the work and expense of owning it, I enjoy that, but otherwise I have no debt, no bills, no permanent neighbors, mobility and privacy. I live a life without useless clutter, never mow the lawn, spend a great deal of time outdoors and just generally living and experiencing life. I have FREEDOM, autonomy, comfort and keep almost ALL of the money I earn as well as have considerably more time to enjoy all of these benefits. I have a 26′ motorhome, but find the back of my Ford Ranger pickup truck far more convenient on so many levels that I rarely use it. In two words I would describe this lifestyle as liberating and fulfilling. The banks, utility companies, credit card companies, landlords, providors and the rest of the corporate bloodsuckers out there can now kiss my sweet white A**! Thank you very much.
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.
What an awesome blog. I am so glad that I came across it. I have been living in a friends apartment garage for free. But now her son and his girlfriend want to move up there so now I need to leave. I went through a bad custody battle and lost to an abusive ex. It is all about who has the most money. And it wasn’t me. So now I am in debt with to attorney fees (2 attorneys), and medical expenses. Even if you have insurance you have to sell your lung to pay for things. So now I have been trying to decide what do I do now. So I decided to live in my car. Right now I am packing. I am excited about the experience. I got a gym membership so I can shower, and I found a Loves truck stop where hopefully I can get a goods night rest. I dont have a PO Box yet because there is a waiting list. I didn’t realize there was such a high demand for PO boxes. I am trying to find a 24 hour storage close to my work so it won’t be out of the way when I need to go there. Same thing with my PO box. I live in Texas and I don’t have any family. Plus I was in foster care growing up. The closest thing I have to family is my co-workers. They are amazing! But I don’t want anybody to know.
If you can afford it, and local laws allow, and you don't mind driving with it, get your windows tinted as dark as legally possible. This along with the front sunshade and dark cloth or towels can provide a lot of privacy. If you hang a towel or cloth on an untinted window, it screams homeless person. You hang the same on a tinted window it'll be impossible to see inside and won't draw attention.
I can’t wait to get my license, so I can live out of my car. Living out of a car seems so awesome and stress free. I live in a house now and can’t stand it. I’ve lived in many houses with different family members. I just cannot not seem to get along with any of them. Maybe its me, or maybe their all just crazy and irrational. You can’t put a price on freedom. LIving out of your car is absolute freedom. No one telling you what to do. No one to fight with. No mortgage, or bills. Nothing to tie you down. It’s a perfect idea for a financial conscious introverted individual who is opposed by commitments and likes to travel. I spend all my time at the gym and at starbucks, I might as well live out of my car. I wouldn’t be doing anything different except sleeping in a peaceful place under an oak tree. It’s paradise, I can’t wait!
I craved a real nature, outdoorsy experience. I vowed I would leave my car and explore the woods of Canada’s National Parks for a few weeks. This didn’t exactly happen. I just became too comfortable with living in a car to save money and I loved it! Do I regret spending every night of the journey in my car? Yes, a bit. But did I enjoy the relaxedness and simplicity of it? You bet I did. Plus, I swear to it that my Nissan is one of the best cars to live in.
Still, the movement to live smaller may not be as extensive as social media makes it seem, some housing analysts say. Zoning regulations – especially in dense urban areas – often restrict the number and size of buildable units, slowing growth among micro-apartments and tiny homes. Constructing or living in a tiny home or micro-unit can still pose a legal risk in some cities.
The easiest way to increase your storage space is by adding a roof rack to your rig. We’ve been using Yakima’s recently updated StreamLine System. We love it for its compatibility (the company custom-designed brackets for almost every vehicle dating back 35 years), easy installation (adding the Base Rack System to the naked roof of my 1995 Pathfinder took less than two hours and was doable solo), and for the wide array of carry and cargo accessories—Yakima offers multiple solutions to haul everything from a kayak, canoe, or SUP to skis and boards to every type of bicycle imaginable.
Dude,could I message you bout this sometime? Your location and experience seems similar to mine but youve done it a lot longer. The stress is really wearing on me. I'm in a messed up living situation right now, where I'm living in the car part-time and sleeping in a room. I've done full time, but car living while also dealing with roommates is depressing me for some reason. Also paying so much in rent for a place to sleep doesn't help.
I suggest you explore the rest of this site for advice and tips for living in a car or van. I've lived in cars for extended periods, and have lived in a van (well a small bus) now for several years. I've picked up tips that I have learned the hard way, and that I have picked up from others. I hope that some of them will make your life living in a car an easier one.
The CAR-T therapy is attracting more attention for its great success in treating homological malignancies. Davila et al. at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reported on 16 patients with B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia that they treat with anti-CD19 CAR-T cells, and 14 patients achieved complete response, accounting for 88% complete response rate. What’s more they found that this therapy was effective even in high-risk patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) disease.17 Encouraged by these successes, researchers have devoted their effort to explore the potential clinical value of CAR-T for treating solid tumor. As early as 2006, Kershaw et al.18 treated 14 patients with metastatic OC with first-generation anti-FRα CAR-T; unfortunately, no promising result was achieved. There was another trial using CAR-T cell targeting carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), which is overexpressed on renal cell.19 Then, in recent trials, researchers demonstrated that anti-mesothelin CAR-T therapy can lead to complete remission in relapsed or refractory malignancies and malignant pleural mesotheliomas or pancreatic cancer.20 The application of CAR-T therapy for solid tumor is still in the initial stage, but more and more achievements were reached, and we believed that CAR-T can be perfect for various tumors including liver cancer.
Food for thought. One thing I don’t understand though. Rent is expensive but some people here are talking about how they couldn’t pay their rent, and cell phone, etc. Doesn’t it make more sense to get rid of every unnecessary bill (cell phone, internet, etc) before giving up a home? When I was on a very low income I found a very small studio flat and simplified everything else in my life – didn’t have a TV (no TV bills), didn’t have the internet (you can use library computers for free), didn’t have a cell phone, but walked to my friend’s flats for entertainment. The one thing (I personally) think you need is running water, I can cope with no electricity but not no water!!!! You can eat very cheaply if you stick to very simple foods, have a fridge (if you keep the electricity) and make everything in bulk and store it. For some bills the expenses will be more in a car (such as food, and also needing a gym membership). I can understand avoiding houseshares. I was a lodger for 5 months and I would rather have stayed in my car, it was HORRIBLE. Having said that some houseshares do work. Either you have to find genuinely OK people or people who keep themselves to themselves. I just don’t like the thought of people having to live in their cars, having said that it’s better than a hostel and the problems that come with that. As for me, well, my life turned around when I managed to land a better paid job and then had some pay rises, it’s double what I used to be on. But funnily enough I don’t think I’m any happier. Different problems replaced the money problems I had before. Good luck to everyone.
seriously now I think there are more women living in cars, vans and the like than you would think. And a lot of us are not so young. After all women represent the larger percentage of those living in poverty. I think we’re just better at looking like we’re not homeless. I’ve moved up in the world and now have a van but I’ve lived in a car before. Hostels, gyms and public pools are good for showers. I have a degree and have had professional jobs but I think it’s crazy to spend all of your life working for things. There really is a way of living well without a house.
Ok “The Greedy Ones” look Im not trying to be confrontational. But I just want to explain, last year I was rich “>250k per year” by our presidents standards. However, I have also been targeted and have very little. I am living in a fema trailor and vw bus. So, I think we have to be careful about how we categorize people. Its not how much money you make, its how much you get to keep
Okay so I decided to take the lease, keep my car and retire. The darn car costs me and average of 10K to keep and maintain. That includes car insurance, and upkeep and gas since I am a road hog. But to my dismay, my car was totaled recently and I did not purchase gap insurance. Folks ask me why not get the insurance and in this case eventhought the Insurance company paid off all but $2000, the gap insurance would have cost me an addtional $100 a month totaling me to date approximately $4000. Do you get my drift. Anyway, now I am at the threshold of deciding again, so what I will do is forget all about car notes, be carless, stay in my apartment. and bank what I was spending on the car. What will I do about wanting to life the life on the road. I guess, I will have to live with my memories and lean and advise others that it can be stressful and you must stay active while road hogging. Get out an exercise and eat only healthy foods, no matter how hungry you get….do not eat fast foods unless it is salads fruits etc. other stuff wears out your kidneys and damages your liver. Not that I have any of thise ailiments, my body is worn out from living that life of not being so-called stable. Even though I could save the money on rent, utilites, what will I do with it but save and spend on gas etc. Naw, I am giving it up…I am giving up cars, boats, RV’s and all that good life. I will opt to rent a vehicle while maintaining insurance on my car to cover me no matter what I drive. Oh and another problem I ran into while living in my car was not having a verifiable address and I was not about to include family nor friends who ask too many darn questions and pray over me like I was crayz..lol..I enjoyed it…I was able to see sunrises and sunsets and see storms forms and rock in my car as the winds rose to the highest of heights…I lost my fear of thunder and love listening to the rain pound on my rooftop(something that you dont’ hear when you are sheltered) plus I hear birds sing and saw big azz rats roam around th Macdonald’s parking lot in the night hours. It was an amazing experience and I loved it, But I am hanging it up…I am going to write this experience out and share with the world…HAVE NO FEAR!!!!!!!!!!! ~Gwen~
While you may not find anything for $100/week, there are other options worth pursuing. The best I can think of is looking for an elderly person who wants to stay in their home. Just having someone able-bodied around makes a huge difference. What is effortless for you is nearly impossible for them. It’s critical to find someone whom you like and who’s needs are relatively small, as I am talking about companionship, not nursing care. You could ask at a church, Senior Center, Meals On Wheels office or even your doctor. Living in your car has served you well, but this could be a logical next step. Perhaps you might even earn a small stipend to boot. Best of luck to you!
I don't spend lavishly on clothes, hair appointments, or travel. I drive a 12-year-old Honda Civic. I got into debt by trying different business investments, including real estate and selling refurbished tablets. I also took out a student loan that I really didn't need but couldn't turn down the money I automatically qualified for. Those are the main sources of my debt.
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.
Sleeping will likely be a challenge at first because there is a good chance that your vehicle is not large enough for you to fully stretch out your body. Find a position where you can comfortably sleep with your legs bent or against your chest. Alternatively, you can try sitting up in the back seat and propping a pillow against the wall of the car.
I too live in southern california, work and am a student. I rent a master bedroom in the suburbs. I am considering living out of my honda crv because it has fold-down rear seats and tinted windows. I could save $550/per month, not to mention gas. But, I am a girl and I guess that could be particularly more risky as far as safety. I have mentioned to my older sister and she said “no way!” and my ex-boyfriend initially said no way, but after hearing me out, didnt really seem to have any other good arguments left. :oP
Living in my car right now dude for the second time in my life. My wife took my son and got a restraining order on claims I am emotionally and mentally abusive. Now I don’t have any money and not going to my family for any help because they really aren’t family to me. I really don’t believe this is happening and I can’t see my son, he’s 9 months old for 10 days. It just was good to vent honestly but glad you made it out, it’s pretty cold and I got the Walmart setup to with just a blanket and haven’t showered yet, but I do have a gym membership which helps. 2 jobs but can’t afford anything because it was all in to my house. The cops made me leave out of life, seems like it’s giving me another opportunity for change; my wife is not a good wife btw she is not ready to commit herself to me, and even tho I havent been any better then her I realize my downfall and she is also a pretty terrible woman when it comes to relationships and responsibilities. But there are good things as well about her but I can’t get pass these things so life is going to be hard. We barely have anything and now she thinks lying to the authorities helps. idk if I should try to find a new relationship or just try to see if this marriage will work out or not.. siggghs well, good luck to you and congrats on all your success, I learned a long time ago we are never alone but the battle is not yours, it’s the Lords.
Problem 2: Cold. Cold, on the other hand, you can take steps to combat, which is critical in cold climates during the winter. Understand this: you will not be running the engine to keep warm (because it’s expensive and will attract unwanted attention), and you will not be relying on an electric heater (because they use far too much power). Instead you’ll rely on insulation:
I was doing this so I could save money and get ahead in life. You have to sacrifice in life if you want to get ahead in life. That’s what I have learned. Especially in this economy today, you never know when hardship may hit and having these survival skills in your pocket may just save your life one day when you experience hardship. I did have a job and no one would have ever guessed I slept in my car and that is how it should be. More attention is worse when living in one’s car.
I actually tried that candle idea I had this year in the spring. I got a this layer of smoke on everything in the car. rather stubborn thin vauge smoke layer on everything that I had to clean. I did not like that. And you need rather a lot of candles, I did not take a record of the degrees, but in the cool spring I would need at least 4 large candles, sometimes 6, with the windows partially down.
I’ve worked out at the YMCA, but are they open 24 hours? Mine wasn’t. There are people in this website who work different shifts. The Y would work out for people working 3rd shift. 24 hour fitness has over 400 locations and would be great with an All-Club Membership for those searching for better jobs in different cities. According to sugarfit.com there are more than 1000 gyms nation wide who never close their doors because 5% of gym bound people, use the gyms between the hours of 8:30 pm and 5:30 am. So it looks like the fitness centers are the best suggestion and won’t be going anywhere for a long time. Plus they have lockers to store your belongings, but only for ONE day. Then you have to take your stuff out again. I would store like a laptop or anything electronic to keep it away from heat. Unfortunately these fitness centers don’t have free cable (meaning for your advantage to watch what you want), but that’s no problem. Ever watch PIMP MY RIDE? Direct TV now has a satellite option for your car or van.
Pet warmers DO NOT use 6 watts of power. I know I made this comment elsewhere, but just incase some one reads this other posting above, I am just posting my response here also. I have pets, electrical pet warming pads (medium size), marine deep cycle batteries and heating pads made for people. PET WARMERS USE AT LEAST 50 watts, sometimes more, like 70 watts. The 6 watts has to do with the switch that is continaully on. When a cat walks on the pet warmer, when it detects a pet, then the heating wires turn on. It takes 6 watts to keep on that electrical device that detects the weight on the pad. that is why it says the continual wattage use is 6 watts.
If you do find yourself suddenly living in your car, it is not the end of the world. Living in a car is a heck of a lot better than living on the streets. Your car provides you with security, transport, warmth, electricity and more. You can store your belongings in your car. You can sleep in your car. Your car protects you from weather to a degree. People have lived and even thrived when living in cars. This page is a basic tutorial on living in a car. Also see the VanDwellers FAQ
Speaking of the rich; some are okay people. But there are rich people—-one I know inparticular who inherited money from Rolls Royce who does nothing but complain. He’s gay too, and always calls the guys down at my desk to come up to his penthouse to take care of noises and BS just to get them in his place. He made a pass at me a few times. People like this have no values in life. And from one trip to Aruba to the Virgin Islands and back to their cribbs, their only problems along the way may be a loud noise on the roof, a spot on the pillow, or coffee not hot enough.
Some business that has a very large parking lot that is partly out of the way or partly hidden from most public view, traffic or other houses – if that business is a church, they might be willing to let you park there. Get something written so you can show it to the police, or ask the business to let the police know in advance so that the police will not bother you if some passerby or neighbor calls about you. Unmowed fields are very good indications of a place you can park near. No one will will care if all you are doing is parking there. And the cats or dogs will really enjoy it.
It’s tempting to rely on fast food and restaurants when we don’t have the comfort of our own kitchens. Unfortunately, not only will that get expensive, but your health can begin to suffer from too much restaurant food. If you must, you can experiment with using your car engine to cook sealed packets of food, but the rest of us may prefer to keep it simple. A non-leaking cooler with working drainage helps you eat fresh, but you’ll need to focus on nonperishables as much as possible. Keep it simple, buying sturdy fruits and vegetables (citrus, apples, carrots, cucumbers and celery store reasonably well; lettuce and strawberries need to be eaten right away), nut butters and crackers, dry cereal, canned soups and beans. Cheese, bread, eggs, butter, and long-life tetrapacks of milk or non-dairy “milks” can last well in your cooler.
I have pretty much been living out of a vehicle or camping for ten years, mostly for financial reasons and because of chemical sensitivities in toxic buildings. I own a peice of land in a remote area on a discontinued road in the cold Northeast and have lived there full-time initially but as the decade wore on, the climate has produced more serious ice, snow and rain events that have made it more severe living in the deep forest. I had flash floods with water up to the floor of my trailer, snowstorms that dumped four feet of snow at a time and ice storms where the tops of giant trees would crack off and sail to the ground every three seconds for hours at a time making it almost a death sentence to live there during the worst weather events. Last year a one hundred year old maple dropped half of it’s tree mass onto my motorhome when I took off for the night during a bad windstorm, destroying most of the vehicle. So for those reasons and the maurading bear issue where bears have ripped open shed doors, trailer windows and shelter roofs, I have started living out of my vehicle, in the winter/early spring . YuIt is actually easier to live at my camp then out of my vehicle because of ease of cooking, ability to shower with collected water, opportunity to garden, etc, but it has its challenges.