Construction sites. If you're male, living in a van, and talk to the site supervisor and explain your need for a parking place and they think you look trustworthy, they may let you stay there every night in exchange for being a security guard for them. Offer to give them a copy of your driver's license and make sure you agree to simply call the police, not confront thieves. Works well if you have/are driving a van or pickup truck.
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.
Needless to say, places with “free wifi” do me no good, and sleeping near a cell tower does not work too well. BTW, I go home during the day and spend as much time I can there before feeling too bad to stay. Then, I drive to a park or lot and bring things to do. The utilities have refused to replace their smart meters with the old, safe ones even if you have a letter from your doctor, or a legislator tries to intercede. As I said, they are creating much suffering and a whole new group of homeless people with nowhere to turn.
This is something we all need to do. If you do it the wrong way, it will make your life a misery. I will say here and now that one of the BEST things to spend your money on if living in your car is a portable toilet. A portable toilet, or a chemical toilet. These days you can regularly buy them for under $100 new at discount stores and second hand on Ebay. A typical two section porta potty has an upper tank that contains a water tank and pump. The bottom contains a waste tank. You can buy them in all sorts of sizes and capacities. Usually the bigger the better because it means more uses between emptying. In reality though, you might need to empty it more often due to the smell. And smell they do. So you might want to use public toilets when you can, reserving your potti for night use.
Being able to sleep comfortably is important. I have to be able to stretch out all the way and have something soft to lay on. Luckily, the back of my car is roomy. I have an inflatable sleeping pad that I also use when I’m backpacking. Some car dwellers will build a platform to sleep on and have storage space below. I don’t have a platform, but it is something I’ve considered.
heating pads, two or three, that people use for muscle aches. they only draw out 50 watts each. you can get a 100 watt inverter to plug into your cigareet lighter. but usually these heat pads are designed with an automatic shut off after an hour. so try to find ones that don’t. ask the pharmacist. go online. inverter is about $20 and a heat pad about $13. try to find a salvage store or liquidation/outlet store.
I’m so glad I came across this website. I have a new 2 door Ford Focus hatchback I’m still paying for. My life has turned around completely in the last year and I am in so much credit card debt and I don’t have a job. My unemployment benefits is not enough to rent a room, eat and pay my car. I need my car, I don’t want to lose it so I want to make sure I can afford the payments. I plan to lower my expenses to a minimum. I’m planning to shower and get ready for work at the gym and I’m going to rent out a storage unit for my clothes and other important things for $50.00. a month and I plan to get a P.O. Box for the “bills” to come in. I have a cell phone and I could always use a computer for free at the library. Thank goodness I live in Southern California so the weather will never get below freezing. I’m petite so sleeping in the back seat of my car is comfortable enough. The only thing I was a bit worried about is where to park with out being noticed. I read Walmart mentioned a couple of times in this website. The Walmart in my area is in a big shopping center with other stores surrounding it. I’m not sure if I could do that.
Despite these lapses in reason, those with chronic liver disease are right to be alerted to high levels of toxins in their environment. Known to cause a variety of health problems, benzene is a toxic chemical that can contribute to an overload of liver toxicity. Among the 20 most widely used chemicals in the United States, benzene is primarily utilized as a solvent (a substance that can dissolve or extract other substances) and as a starting material in making other chemicals. In the past it was also commonly used as a gasoline additive, but this use has been greatly reduced in recent decades. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke.
I am in Malibu. I recently bought a tent to sleep in. Its so much better than laying my blankets out right on the sand, plus you get more privacy. Odd thing? I may want to continue living here like this. Its great. I ‘volunteer’ at a cat and dog rescue and they pay me every now and then when they can. I am told it does not get THAT cold here- just the water does. I love it out here. Who knew that the result of a complete nervous breakdown could turn out so good?
when you get into solar power set-up, I used a shumacker 200/400 watt power pack with a 2.5watt solar panel, it was rather solid, in that alone just make sure what ever you are charging is turned off while charging, as for the solar panel, smallest you need would be 8-10 watts, last but not least look into whats called a smart charger, the company I went with is ctek. little more cost but you can charge main battery as well the external battery the same time.

Public toilet facilities may not be available at all times – particularly for boondockers. Most vehicle dwellers end up using some sort of jug or wide-mouthed container for urine, while a bucket (two-gallon to five-gallon) with a plastic bag liner is commonly used for excrement. Cat litter or cedar shavings can be sprinkled in the bag to control odor until the bag can be disposed of in a waste receptacle. This may not be glamorous, but it does work for those times when you cannot access public facilities.
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
A link between drug metabolism and diabetes was suggested by reports that PB treatment decreases plasma glucose and improves insulin sensitivity, not only in a diabetic rodent model (8), but also in human T2D patients (9). Moreover, treatments with CAR activators PB and TC repress the expression of the hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) in mouse liver (10) and rat hepatocytes (11). Recently, this effect has been attributed to the inhibitory effect of CAR on insulin dependent activity of FOXO1 (12).
As for showers: River-bathing, wash-houses on public beaches, and shelling out the money to a State Park…but not all State Parks have bathroom amenities! Check before you pay; Joshua Trees’ got no showers, duh, mind your deserts people! Haven’t even broken out the solar shower, that was a wash. Not kosher for a WalMart parking lot. Good luck folk! Stay warm!
This sounds entirely redundant. The whole point of having money is to spend it on something that increases your quality of living. Why live in a completely shitty living condition just to stockpile cash in a bank acount that you'll never spend on something that actually improves your standard of living, such as a nice apartment or more expansive wardrobe?
CCarson hot springs resort call if ever… they have no utilitiy bills buy all youu need or theres freebies also some,through salvation army etc thrift stores there, buy all furniture yourself etc…. but! 350.00 yep a month rooms with bathroom set up like cottages, avoid drinking etc neighbors, see who ones neighbor is ist[too nopisy otherwise. but plenty i dfound were good neighbors…. so 350 a month bathroom in large rooms, thats it, ouit the back windiows Geez! lovely you see a hill i rock hound, no view butnature from the bathroom windows………….. so nearby on the way to Dayton Nevada a few miles east from Carson City, park camp overnight i did it all the time just wash car lol once and awhile if ever a cop comes through, never happerned to me in 10 yrs…so far of going up adventuring there,hot summer but many ideas helped me… But i moved my car sometimes, and found accross from the turn off one sees the dump sign,ahead a few yards on the left is where i pulled off wow found a gravel road amidst a sign, old that says be careful old mine[s] [past and theres none right there…. further description of location? Just ask…….. but i d drive what goes down a little on the gravel road,nothing on
my cat travels with me and enjoys it. he alone requires one entire seat area, that is below the seat, all the seat itself and behind it, for his stuff. food, litter, bedding, carrier. but I let him sit anywhere he wants. his carrier is behind the driver’s seat, on a small tall plastic container with his food. So I can still put the driver’s seat all the way down to sleep in. his litter box is actual near the front passenger door. so that when he uses it I open the door and pull him out before he starts to scatter the litter about. usually we stop at a field and I put the litter box outside for him to use. you have to get a plastic container that comes with lid you can securely snap shut. so that when driving a higher speed, you put the secure lid on, so that the litter will not go everywhere in case of an accident.

How you set up “house” in your car will vary depending on the model of your car. First, choose your sleeping position: experiment with how all of your seats fold, and find a position you can stretch out at full length. Many front seats don’t fold flat, so often the better choice is to fold down the rear seats (as for stowing cargo) which will allow you to sleep with your feet essentially in the trunk, or cargo area if you have a station wagon. This may be diagonal, depending on your height, leaving the front passenger seat and rear floor areas for storage.


I wish Livinginmyhonda the best in getting through this challenge and making it all work for the better. I have to admire his/her courage and determination in taking this step to achieve financial balance again. It’s tough for so many people these days, and when someone is going through major financial struggles, often none of the options are without risk and stress. There’s been a whole range of views expressed here and I can see everyone’s points.

When I was getting back on my feet after another back injury and had a little $10 an hour job in 2005, my living arrangements were sold. I couldn;t find an apartment that would take pets in the range I could afford. I have a fifteen year old mini poodle. For five months I would rotate sleeping in my car and checking in to a Motel 6 about four nights per week. Since my car was known to the personnel at the Motel 6, I just parked in adjacent spaces on car nights and nobody said boo about it, even the cops who patrolled the lot nightly.


Rombough took advantage of his Sprinter’s voluminous interior (as well as his own construction skills) to build what he describes as “a tiny cabin on wheels.” When he got the van, it was just an empty metal box. (The 158-inch wheelbase version used to be a DHL delivery truck; the yellow paint is still visible in the doorjambs.) He quickly went to work, spending 16 long days and $3,200 to complete the inside.

While sleeping in your car you will probably need to have two of the windows open just enough to let air in, but not enough to let some one's hand in. If you have a car with adequate vents, you may not need this. This is both to let fresh air in, and to let smells out. Living in a car can be rather smelly, especially if you try to eat smelly food inside it or you don't get the chance to wash up often. To help avoid smells, air the car out as much as possible, place dirty clothing in a sealed plastic bag in the boot, throw out all rotten food and use one of those little in car air fresheners.
Sleep is essential for health, comfort, and mental functioning. Unfortunately, most cars are not very comfortable for sleeping. Some car dwellers have successfully removed seats to build a bed, while other are able to fold seats flat to make a comfortable bed space. It is worth experimenting with different sleeping options before moving into the car to be sure you have a system that will work.
From first hand experience, I have learned that our justice system is not just. The law is very unfair and they could do what ever they want because they have guns, bars and a court system that backs them up. You could always tell them you were driving home and felt really sleepy so for safety reasons you decided to take a nap because you didn’t want to cause an accident. Isn’t that what the driving manual recommends? You should be ready to give them a physical domicile address though just to cover yourself. As for looking for an overnight parking spot, I would look up the local Walmarts online, call them and ask if they allow overnight RV parking and park there. Also, now that summer is coming I recommend you find a shady spot to park during the day so that you don’t roast at night.
The first night I came into town, I hadn’t prepared, and I just slept on the side of a fairly busy street. I was somewhat nervous about it, because I didn’t have anything to cover the windows, not even the windshields. But as it got lighter, I began to pay attention to the fact that nobody noticed me. Dozens of people walk past, but how often, if nothing seems amiss, do you look in the windows of the cars you pass?
More stress: Especially at the beginning when you’re getting into things, you’ll hear people coming home late at night or waking up in the morning and think, “What if they see me? What if they notice me? What will they do?” (Spoiler alert: 99 percent of them won’t see you, and the 1 percent that do will think to themselves, “that’s odd” and not do anything about it.)

Thanks for the tips. After having a cop, and a couple people knock on my window after seeing me sleep in my car, I decided to finally spend the money online window shades. The water and snack tip is a good one too. It took me a while, but I finally got my car fully organized. Staying organized is one of the most important things, because you can not be at all comfortable when you’re sleeping in a kinky car, and have to get out to go to the trunkall the time to get your basic necessities.
The first night I came into town, I hadn’t prepared, and I just slept on the side of a fairly busy street. I was somewhat nervous about it, because I didn’t have anything to cover the windows, not even the windshields. But as it got lighter, I began to pay attention to the fact that nobody noticed me. Dozens of people walk past, but how often, if nothing seems amiss, do you look in the windows of the cars you pass?

Even with just one marine battery, this will cost you at least $200. If you don’t have that money, then get some of those durable aluminized emergency blankets sold at Amazon. They don’t tear. Use those with regular heavy blankets. They are a lot cheaper than a sleeping bag. Sleeping bags work, but you have to wash the entire thing, and the laundry cost will be very expensive. Blankets are a lot more flexible, dirt cheap at thrift stores (or free from charities), cheaper and easier to wash. just wash one, the dirty one, not all. You really want to stay clean because the vehicle is a very small space. So laundry cost is important.
Although not nearly as hazardous as the email in circulation makes it out to be, those with chronic liver disease may be concerned about the presence of benzene vapors inside their car. Per the email warning, this could spawn worry that turning on the vehicle’s air conditioner might exacerbate benzene exposure by re-circulating trapped, contaminated air. If that’s the case, there’s no harm done by opening car windows to ventilate before turning on the air conditioning.
I asked the cops if there was any place in San Diego I could sleep in my car and they told me no and wrote me a ticket for illegal lodging in a park and ride which I was only in for less then 2 hours. Cost me 125$ at the El Cajon Courthouse. I talked to some cop friends of mine and they told me that I can get away with sleeping in my car if its private property and as long as the business is open. I tried a burger king after they closed and the cops kicked me out.

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.


There are a few simple cooking methods you can use from within your car. An electric teapot will allow you to eat oatmeal, soup, and noodles. If you have a thermos, you can keep the meal warm for a long time. Some propane ovens, those meant for camping, may work in your situation, just don’t cook within the vehicle itself. If you have enough space and power, a microwave may work too.
A link between drug metabolism and diabetes was suggested by reports that PB treatment decreases plasma glucose and improves insulin sensitivity, not only in a diabetic rodent model (8), but also in human T2D patients (9). Moreover, treatments with CAR activators PB and TC repress the expression of the hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) in mouse liver (10) and rat hepatocytes (11). Recently, this effect has been attributed to the inhibitory effect of CAR on insulin dependent activity of FOXO1 (12).
×