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
Find a suitable car. You can only live in your car successfully if your car works. If you have any lead time and see the writing on the wall ahead of time, get a van; ideally a windowless delivery van of some sort: you will have room under your platform bunk for storage, you can install a rooftop skylight/hatch for air, a rooftop rack for storage and even look out when the skylight is open. An anonymous looking white Chevy van, or Holden panel van in Australia makes concealment a lot easier. You're going to need a new or "newish" car or be a good mechanic to live in an older car. If you have an old car keep in mind that you're liable to break down at an inopportune moment if you don't stay on top of maintenance.
Not being tied down by rent while living out of a vehicle allows for near-infinite mobility. For Reed Rombough, the 26-year-old who runs Nomad Construction, a contracting business that’s as mobile as it sounds, moving into a 2003 Dodge Sprinter finally gave him the freedom to accomplish many of his travel goals. Last year alone, he spent three months climbing in Patagonia and another three months trekking in Nepal and climbing in Thailand. (He also climbed in 14 different states between those trips.) For Rombough, work and life are closely tied together: wherever he parks his van, he picks up contracting jobs; sometimes it’s the other way around. The former allows him to work wherever he wants to be; the latter allows him to explore places he might not otherwise see.
Public barbecues can be handy, but it’s quicker and more reliable to have your own camp stove, such as the easy-to-pack “Firebox”. Never attempt to operate any camp stove inside your vehicle for safety reasons. For cleanliness, try to do all food preparation and cleanup outside of the car as well, such as at a public park, where picnicking is encouraged.
Cars are not insulated to make a comfortable human habitat when the engine is not running. When it is hot outside even in the shade, your car is an oven. When the temperature drops it is still freezing inside. It is more expensive than you think: you can not attempt to live in an undependable car unless you are a mechanic. So that means a car with a note.
"At first we did not have any other dwelling place," said Odom. "We traveled for years driving a tractor trailer, then for years in a small class C camper, then for years in a 34-foot large Class A, then for years in the Vanabode, which allowed us to save money to pay cash for a house. We now stay in the house part of the year then use the money from renting it out seasonally to travel the other part of the year."
Many resorts, National Parks & Forests, State and County parks, hire folks to do general work. Some offer free camping or even dormitory style housing. Some resorts give free meals. There are many places to legally camp for free. The options are out there, even in the year 2008. You don’t have to stay put. Travel with the weather you like. Travel for months, stop for a month and work to save up more money to get out and travel again. Become a garbage picker or flea market hag. No one is forcing you to continue to live this debt ridden lifestyle. You are free!!! Life has no instruction booklet. You don’t need a house to put all that stuff in. You don’t need a fancy car to make you look happy. You don’t need a college degree to feel accomplished. Live life through experiences! Meet your fellow Americans. See the world around you. It (or you) may not be here tomorrow. Simplicity!
I found a sweet spot to park in a shopping center where they have a 24 hour fitness gym, starbucks with Wi-Fi, supermarkent and everything else I need on a daily basis. A couple of nights ago I noticed there was a new security guard taking his job a little too seriously. He was looking in to a car with flashlights because the car was parked far away from the rest. I got a little worried but thought he wouldn’t bother me. The next day I hear a knock on my window, I answered yes…and he says, you can’t sleep here anymore and walked away to his security car. I said okay and started my car to leave. I saw that he left me a violation ticket on my window. It was more of a warning ticket because it didn’t have an amount to pay. I went to a Walmart I heard has overnight parking for the RV’s that night, but there were no RV’s. The next day I called 311 which is the non emergency 911 and I told them my situation and how I wanted to know if there was a safe area where I can park and not be harrassed by the police that can give me a $500. ticket. They apologized and said they had no answer for me. They wished me luck.
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 used to be a traveler back in 1993 traveling all around England and Scotland with a convoy of new age traveler, all of us sleeping in old ambulances, army trucks, vans, box vans etc. we even had a fire engine with us. Then the government jumped all over us a banned us living together and introduced laws to disband us. It was the most fun time in my life and met great characters I can never forget. I’m might leave my flat and live in my 16′ cabin cruiser on the River Thames and may even buy a van in the future. I plan to live in my vehicles in England in the summer and save up and in October to to Kerala in southern India and spend the winter out there cheap and come back to England in April and do it all over again. Saving up for a river side retirement home in Kerala. I am forty this January so I have around 25 years to get the money together. Good luck and god bless to all those great people here living alternative homesteads. May you be blessed with what you need. Rex.
Whenever my ship pulled into home port I would live out of my car. It was quieter that being around a bunch of loud rude drunken sailors. As an example I was awakened one night by the fellows playing darts and one came in my rack and hit my pillow 3/8ths of an inch in front of my eyes as I lay there sleeping. On another night I was awakened by a drunk vomiting on the deck by mt rack and the stench. I had to get up and clean the mess while he slept it off. Then I had… Read more »
The trademarked term "Vanabode" means: "to be on an adventure without much sacrifice. You can have all the essentials that make a life enjoyable: excellent food, laughter, fun, big romantic adventures, healthy sex, protection from the weather, and a good nights sleep at very little cost. The best thing is it is sustainable: you can happily, safely and affordably Vanabode for many years or even for the rest of your life."
Find a place to shower. The most logical place would appear to be a gym. This will help you keep your sanity and give you a purpose to your morning. Don't settle for the first gym you find. If you look around, you may find nearly deserted gyms in which you can shower and fully clean yourself without embarrassment. Remember: the people who can least afford to sport the disheveled look of a homeless person are those who are homeless, so try not to look the part! Don't "let yourself go", as once descent starts, it is hard to pull out. Maintaining a well-kept appearance can only help you maintain a positive self-image during a time when it is being seriously challenged.
I also have a critter. A doggie. A Jerk LEO used it as a pretext to detain me because its against ordinance to tie dog to stationary object and their leash cant be more than 6ft long. I had him on a 20ft tether attached to my inner door handle, where I was sitting, so he could roll around in the grass… and I was the only one in the lot. Never experienced LEO or other government agencies threatening to take the dog away. In fact animal control came by the dog park one day to check rabies tags and registration. They asked why I didn’t have the dog registered and just told them I didn’t have an address. Then they said “Well, he looks good”.
These were $50 when I bought them, but are $90 now, so go online and look for deals on 2 guage automotive wires. You will have to cut your wires from this Walmart package. So you will need two pairs of eyelets for 2 guage wires (Autozone). The eyelets allow you to attach your wire to the battery posts. I found someone at a car garage that would weld the eyelets onto the wires without charging me.
This is the eighth full month that I’ve been living out of my car, and what a crazy experience it’s been. I’m currently considering getting an apartment because my car is nearing the end of it’s life and I don’t want to buy another. Before I do that though, I thought I would share the pearls of wisdom I’ve acquired during my months in my home on wheels.
There were some precautions though. Cooking inside the car was not a good idea. There is the danger of finding a stable place to cook. The danger of setting things alight. The danger of carbon monoxide, and the smell of cooked food in the car. Cooking is for outside of the car. There's normally no issue with setting the stove on the boot / trunk of the car and cooking there. If your boot slopes, any stable flat surface will do. After cooking, allow the stove time to cool down before packing it away. If you don't cook regularly, remove the gas / fuel container between uses.
Step 1- Get a set up that you like. One of the main purposes of living in your car is to save money, so don’t go buy a new Sprinter van. Find a way to make it work with what you’ve got. So you have a small car? Can you take out the back seats or open the trunk up to the front? Problem solved. If you have a truck, then get a camper cover so you can live out of the back. If you have a SUV (like me) just fold the backseats forward.
P.S. Flexo, since you are focused on aspects of consumerism at your site, what do you think of the forced installation of products consumers do not want on their homes by the utilities? That is NOT capitalism or a FREE market. Consumers should have a voice and a choice regarding products to use in their own homes, especially when health concerns or issues exist, not to mention protecting our property rights.
People in the same financial condition should join forces. Do not rip each other off, and rent a studio apartment, and be quiet, and have a place to sleep. The monsters ripping us off stick together to harm us. I have always paid a high percentage of my income to live in the safest place, that I could find. I tried roommates, but they were did honest, so I rather work multiple jobs and overtime, then to trust another crook. I am older now, so I still pay a high rent, but I am happy and at peace, and I still work. If I lose my job, then I will apply for a senior citizen apartment, that will limit my rent to 30% of my gross income. America could do better, for Denmark and other countries make their citizens #1, and if unemployed, you get 90% of your salary for four years. They have hardly any homeless. Wake up America, and take care of your own, by STOP outsourcing jobs, and making the rich richer!! Just how much money, do you GREEDY PIGS NEED? A Brinks will not follow your hearse!
To initially investigate how CAR influences glucose metabolism, we monitored glucose levels in ob/ob and ob/ob, CAR−/− mice in response to an acute 1-week TC treatment. Serum glucose levels were significantly decreased in TC-treated ob/ob, but not ob/ob, CAR−/− mice (Fig. 1A). In i.p. glucose tolerance tests (GTT), TC-treated ob/ob mice displayed significantly improved glucose tolerance compared with control treated ob/ob mice, as shown by reduced blood glucose levels at each time point, and this effect was also completely absent in the double mutant ob/ob CAR−/− mice (Fig. 1B). The decreased serum glucose levels were associated with appropriately decreased serum insulin levels, indicating that CAR activation alleviates hyperinsulinemia in the ob/ob mice and improves glucose tolerance (Fig. 1C).
This is an extreme (for most of us) commitment to becoming debt-free. While not feasible for me and my family, I commend you for being willing to do whatever you felt necessary to dig yourself out of debt. This journey will certainly teach you new skills! And you will be able to look back at this time, knowing you never want to get back to this place again. What motivation for responsible money management!
Own a cell phone or track (pay by the minute) phone for safety, have a first aid kit and warm clothes available or a metallic survival blanket. Don’t ever gamble with your spare money, open a ROTH IRA and save what you can (ask about it at your bank or credit union). Put a fire alarm and carbon monoxide alarm in your car as well as a portable fire extinguisher (not sure renters insurance will cover you in car).
So, giving up things we take for granted is going to be a part of this obviously. This is just an option for OP to consider. A cooler is very versatile in these conditions, acting as both a table or a chair (the tough ones at least) providing climate control for stuff like peanut butter, jerky or nuts that go rancid faster in car heat, even without ice in the cooler. Put cool bottles of water in there for the end of the day, etc... Dry ice is fairly cheap and no water mess to clean up or spill!
“Mischa” – if you are in the USA please note that the SSI program is insolvent in 2016 so it would be best not to really depend on getting disability. If you are under the age of 55 years of age, then your chances of getting approved for disability are slim anyway. If you have some money to support yourself for six months, then go to a community college and find a program that only takes 6 months to complete and do it. Better to be self reliant without trying to get a handout as that rug will always get pulled out from under you. Just in case if you were wondering, getting a lawyer doesn’t really help with getting disability as they don’t help with your case anyway. They just get you to sign an agreement that you have to give them 25% of your back pay if you were to win. The only work they do is getting you to sign the paper and then they let you do all the work on your own case anyway. See if they sign up a thousand people to work on a social security disability claim and only a fraction win their cases, what do they care as the only work they have done was getting you to sign the agreement. Pretty neat scam isn’t it? So a better plan would be to see if there is some kind of work you can do instead of wasting your time trying to get disability and losing everything. It is kind of nice living in your car as you can travel to find work no matter where the work is and if you don’t like your neighbors you can just start up your car and move to a different lot.
Shopping centers. Lots of people may have read about Walmart in the USA offering free parking in their parking lots for overnighters. We don't have Walmart in Australia. Shopping centers tend to be noisy They have trucks loading food and goods in the morning. They have shoppers at all times of the day. They attract kids and teenagers. They usually have security who will ask you what you are doing. Trust me, I've been there, done that. Shopping centers / malls are not an ideal choice.
I gotta wonder why he was so alone. There is a 12 step program called ARTS – Artists in Recovery with the Twelve Steps – that uses the same 12 steps as AA. The “ism” for participants is that they are struggling to do their art. Painters, poets, photographers, actors, screenwriters, novelists, even a lady who made fruit sculptures and had trouble because her art was always eaten! He could have found a community of friends and like-minded people the first day he was in town.
Well, I have decided I am done with this BS of a life. I had 11 years in the Army when I decided to get out on an honorable discharge, my time was up. I was in Iraq in 2003-2004 with the 4th Infantry division as a transportation specialist (Truck driver). I didn’t agree with what we were doing and when I got back, I told my then wife, “I’m getting out next year.” My time came and I left with my wife and moved away to Kentucky since her family lived there. When I left the Army I had a Government job making $18.72 an hour as a WG6. Baby came along that same year and things were great until October 2008. I ended up having massive panic attacks that put me into the E.R. 3 times in a month. Finally after the 3rd time the doctor said it’s time to get you some professional help. During these attacks my stomach would get in knots and feeling like I was going to throw up. My hands and forearms would tingle like I slept on them. I would have massive fear, like a pit-bull charging at me with sharp massive teeth. I would shake and most times start crying with fear. The Veterans Admin got me into their hospital because I was suicidal. My wife was freaking out; her family was in awe over the whole thing as well. I was diagnose with delayed onset of PTSD. What is that? It means that when a person happens to have a tragic event such as a bad accident, rape, getting abused in some way or like me in Iraq with death you get affected. You shove the event so far back into your brain and try to forget it that later your grief comes out. It comes out hard and fast without warning. You think that your are having a heart attack or like me, have massive fear that someone is after you. It is all delayed, because again, you stuffed it away and not dealt with the problem. Anyways, my wife left me because she couldn’t deal with my Jeckle and Hyde attitude. I was angry at work for no reason, I was bi-polar I thought and people started noticing my change. “Where that nice guy I married?” my ex-wife asked at 6 years into the marriage. I told her that he was killed in Iraq and he is still there on the side of the road. To make a long story short. I lost my job, my home, wife, daughter, mind, friends and money. I have been out of work for over two years and seven months now. I am surviving on my disability check from the V.A. of $1,600 a month. I have told my only family which is my dog (Cocker Spaniel) that we are moving away from Kentucky because of too much hurt and pain. I have been fighting for so long with my ex wife over unsupervised visits with my daughter. My attorney has billed me for $2,800, my college classes at Daymar College are worthless so I quit, two credit card companies are calling me constantly, and other things costing me money that I don’t have. So here I am with a Chevrolet Equinox packed with everything. I have a plan to see the St.Louis Arch, Mount Rushmore and whatever else that comes my way. I have a propane stove, iron cooking pot/pans, tent, tarps, clothes bags,candles,flash lights, batteries, cleaning supplies, emergency supplies, big cooler, storage bags, Tupperware, air mattress (battery powered) bug spray, MRE’s, new tires, oil changed, table, chairs, Hygiene things, foam insulation and money in the bank. I can handle this because of my time in the Army has me prepared. I’m going on the road for a little while to save my money and maybe settle down when I’m tired. – Wish me luck.
I think it is a class thing: I heard of a woman living homeless in her car in very wealthy California area – forgot the names, but she was doing fine, because she was always wealthy. Had a nice car, and knew tricks to keep her appearance high fashion, like the wealthy – really interesting story. Wonder why the wealthy car-livers are avoiding this website?
I am currently living out of my car now. It’s not a truck; it’s a 2-door sports car, with almost everything I own in it. Luckily, I too, live in California, and sleep on the beach at night, when the cops don’t wake me up @ 1 am telling me to leave. When they do, i’m forced to sleep in it. I make it work. Hopefully i’ll get out of this rut by winter. Clifornia or not it gets **** cold out here!
Don’t forget the parks either. You can sleep on a hammock or anything you would do at the beach. What are you? About 18 now? I’m 38. Look at it this way, if you stick with this plan until you are my age you’ll be able to retire in a nice place. Never have to stay at the same-lame job with the nutty boss, maybe take a few months off per year and travel around the nation. Did you get your license? Try looking into getting a National Drivers License.
I wouldn’t advise attempting to use Apartment Complex parking … these belong to the people who live in the apartments ,& these people most likely pay for them . Parking is hellish in LA so be aware you are going to generate considerable animosity if you do this . We have started to see more & more vehicle dwellers parking in our area ( Los Feliz) & i am personally ok with it as long as they respect other people & don’t dump their trash & blast music from their vehicles …sadly many do . If this persists i for one will be glad to call the police & have them removed . RESPECT is the key word here !
The true sign of an expert road tripper is a person who knows how to bathe without the luxury of a shower, or any running water for that matter. Baby wipes are your friend. Dry shampoo is heaven-sent. And who doesn’t love an excuse to rinse off in a river or lake (as long as swimming is allowed)? If you plan to use soap or shampoo, be sure to use biodegradable products and keep a safe distance from the water source.
There are council- and privately-owned sites that welcome vehicle dwellers, but they’ll cost you. You’ll be subject to a ‘pitch’ fee — anything between £6-10 per night, depending on the season — which lets you rent the land your vehicle sits on. You’ll also pay service charges to cover the costs of the communal facilities and lighting, although you may be able to strike a deal that allows you to poo in the woods and shower using wiper fluid, if money’s tight.
hot hands too expensive to use for staying warm every night. I’ve used them in TX winter and it just wasn’t good enough. Alternative is to use microwaveable hot/cold packs and microwave them at the gas station. Gas stations don’t care if you bring in your own stuff to cook in the microwave. If you have to drive far enough, can put stones or soup cans on your engine block then put those in the sleeping bag. Cooking on the engine block is called “carbeque” and you’d put the soup cans or stones on the same spot that’s optimal for cooking on. That will only work if you have to drive far enough though, it takes as much time as braising to cook or heat things. the native americans buried heated stones underneath them to stay warm at night.
I am wondering if you are choosing to be homeless as a way to escape parental responsibilities. Granted, the system will not show mercy to fathers in efforts to collect child support, especially when once your obligations are garnsihed you have nothing left to live on. This presents options to living and simply leaving undone tasks undone can be a solution. My other question, how do you eat, get suppiles, etc. and what part of the country can you stay in wilderness without man, animals or the elements keeping you constantly on the move…just curious
Other than buying a house, new car purchases are some of the largest single transactions most people do on their own. Unfortunately, they are also some of the deals that are most often not made in the buyer's best interest. Before buying a new car, start by learning about the 5 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Car. Once you've familiarized yourself with those common car-buying mistakes, check out these opportunities to save some money on the purchase:
SULT2B1 plays an important role in CAR mediated suppression of lipogenic gene expression. (A) Ob/ob and ob/ob CAR−/− mice were treated with TC or corn oil control for 1 month. Liver RNA was extracted and gene expression analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR. Gene names were shown on top of each figure. (n = 4, **P < 0.01, *P < 0.05) (B) Wild-type and SULT2B1 knockout mice were treated with TC or control for 3 days. Liver RNA was extracted and gene expression was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR. Lipogenic gene expressions were compared between WT and SULT2B1 KO groups. (n = 4, **P < 0.01, *P < 0.05)