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OT- Has anyone ever lived in a car for an extended period?

Discussion in 'UO Siege Perilous' started by Guest, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'm saving up for and planning a trip across the country that I intend to have last up to 2 years (to taste), and I am just starting to consider the logistics of the undertaking. I sort of plan to drive to areas that are interesting, then use my car as a mobile base, biking most places I want to go.
    So like where would be a good place to park while sleeping (or in general), where are good places to wash up, stuff like that would be helpful.

    I was also thinking that I might want to take a job here and there to restock the coffers, if need be, and I'm just wondering how possible it would be to do without an address.

    Its about a year down the road, but I'm getting excited anticipating it. I don't have a vehicle for the journey yet, but I'm planning on getting either a small truck with a topper, or some smaller car with a large back, small station-wagonish type of affair, something I can sleep in comfortably. Basically the best combination of gas mileage, size, and cost.

    So has anyone had any experience in this sort of area?
     
  2. CoronaExtra

    CoronaExtra Guest

    Did you just watch that movie were the guys travels all the way to Alaska and eats a poisonous herb and dies?

    Regardless if you have or haven't it would be an asome experience to go through in my opinion but make sure you have enough money to survive out there and whatever car/truck you get make sure it will last you the trip!
     
  3. Kat SP

    Kat SP Guest

    If you're not opposed to manual labor, you might consider contacting a general contractor in an area where you would be looking for work. They will often hire people for daily cash pay. Roofers, fence builders, brick layers etc would probably do the same.

    Training stables, working horse ranches, etc would likely be a good source of work with similar pay as well.

    If you happen across a state park, a number of them I am familar with here in Texas, have campsites without water or electricity which rent for about 10 dollars. Those usually have public bathroom/shower facilities nearby. heh My dad worked for Texas Parks and Wildlife when I was a kid, so we spent many summers doing a lot of camping at various parks throughout Texas! There is typically a 2 or 3 dollar fee to enter a park and overnight camping is available at most state parks, usually with and without water and electricity. If this is something you're interested in, I imagine with a little online research, you could plan your route accordingly. [​IMG]
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I wouldn't undertake this in anything less than a camper-van.

    Do a google search, there are companies that can sell you a second hand camper van on a 'buy back' deal.
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    There are some excellent cookbooks on *engine heated cooked* pot roasts ! [​IMG]

    My mother-in-law has done some fantastic pot roasts atop their car engine. [​IMG]
    *weird as that sounds*

    Your mail box can be your email..take a lap top with ya. [​IMG]

    SOME public sights be great for overnighting or a bit longer as some of those have electricity hookups and showers and monitored for customer safety..all to be taken with a grain of salt though, never any guarentees someone not try to break in on you while sleepin in your vehicle or campsite.

    Make some pack it lil nifty vehicle *kits* that contain your laundry suds, first aide, makeshift clothesline, clothespins, drinking water always with ya, and rations to eat if or when you get into vehicle non co operation ie when ya stuck middle of nowhwere and in a bind, and so forth. Also carry some ways and means of gathering food or fish if ya are stuck middle of nowhere, may have to grab a fish or rl bash a bunny to EAT if really stranded somewhere so have the ways and means TO do so..or book on *safe* berries to pick. [​IMG]

    My husband lived out of a car for nearly a year when he was broke before we ever even got married. He survived living in a car for 12 mos. in Chicago ! [​IMG] sooooooo it can be done !
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Did you just watch that movie were the guys travels all the way to Alaska and eats a poisonous herb and dies?

    Regardless if you have or haven't it would be an asome experience to go through in my opinion but make sure you have enough money to survive out there and whatever car/truck you get make sure it will last you the trip!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hah no, I didn't see that. Ive been planning the trip for a few years. I should have around 15k (ish depending on how much I can make myself work) which will be more than enough to last me quite a while, as I am very low maintenance money wise.

    Planning on hitting all the scary/weird places I can think of, and all the regular American landmarks. I figure that I should explore the place since I've lived here all my life. And the prospect of having two years to not work and just read and write, and do whatever seems intriguing is beyond appealing to me about now.
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Make some pack it lil nifty vehicle *kits* that contain your laundry suds, first aide, makeshift clothesline, clothespins, drinking water always with ya, and rations to eat if or when you get into vehicle non co operation ie when ya stuck middle of nowhwere and in a bind, and so forth. Also carry some ways and means of gathering food or fish if ya are stuck middle of nowhere, may have to grab a fish or rl bash a bunny to EAT if really stranded somewhere so have the ways and means TO do so..or book on *safe* berries to pick.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah I plan to have food/water on hand for at least a week at all times, but unfortunately I don't eat meat so bunny bashing is off the list. I don't imagine I will ever have to resort to that anyway.

    <blockquote><hr>

    My husband lived out of a car for nearly a year when he was broke before we ever even got married. He survived living in a car for 12 mos. in Chicago ! sooooooo it can be done !

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Indeed. I don't think it will be that bad once I get used to it. I plan on having a vehicle that I can lay down in, which is most important to me anyway.

    And thanks for the tips so far everyone!
     
  9. Kat SP

    Kat SP Guest

    Also, some State and also City parks have BBQ pits to use for cooking. I realize you don't eat meat, but other things can be prepared. A couple of pots and pans probably wouldn't be a bad idea to take a long.

    Could probably also grab a shower at a local YMCA. Even smaller RV parks have shower facilities. Or you could invest in one of these! [​IMG]
     
  10. Don't forget your laptop and satellite internet connection... [​IMG]
     
  11. I am a case manager in a homeless shelter - I’ve worked here for 5 years. According to our regular transients, we are the Hilton of homeless shelters. Trust me when I tell you, your plans are not going to work out as well in reality as they are in your plans. Plan on being hungry, smelly, stereotyped, robbed...etc..But Hey! You only live once eh? Just a heads up, don’t trust anyone, some people survive off suckers and deception is their skill.
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    No personal experience to offer, but there are a lot of resources for this sort of thing.

    Some good, practical stuff here. It is geared toward extended RV travelers, but it incorporates varying degrees of that, up to and including vehicles with simple pull trailers equipped with water tanks/portable generators and such. It is a nice place to start, until you determine exactly how you plan to travel.

    If you are really going to pull up stakes and roam for a couple of years, and are going to be on your own, you will need to make advance decisions on various things, assuming you want to be able to transition easily when you are ready to "re-root". Things such as identify management, mail, etc. are things we sort of take for granted that can get messy when we suddenly don't have a permanent residence and/or move around frequently. You should also have definite advance plan/provisions for emergencies - if you get sick, injured, that sort of thing.

    -Skylark

    P.S. to me, this sounds truly awful...backpacking for 2 months is one thing...but I guess everyone has different tastes [​IMG]
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Do ya have a CB radio set up in whatever ya plan to use for this journey ? [​IMG]

    Anytime we go on some long arse vehicle trip hubby has the CB engaged to be used and he blabs to them 18 wheelers out there whom travel the roads day in day out and talks with em bout what is up ahead on the freeway and other CB yacking bs stuff. [​IMG] But it does come in handy to have on long trips also breaks ya boredom and can keep ya awake too on the road.

    "Breaker breaker Uvtha here gimme a hollar back 18 wheeler" 10-4

    *ps my handle used to be MommaBear* haha
     
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I'm saving up for and planning a trip across the country that I intend to have last up to 2 years (to taste), and I am just starting to consider the logistics of the undertaking. I sort of plan to drive to areas that are interesting, then use my car as a mobile base, biking most places I want to go.
    So like where would be a good place to park while sleeping (or in general), where are good places to wash up, stuff like that would be helpful.

    I was also thinking that I might want to take a job here and there to restock the coffers, if need be, and I'm just wondering how possible it would be to do without an address.

    Its about a year down the road, but I'm getting excited anticipating it. I don't have a vehicle for the journey yet, but I'm planning on getting either a small truck with a topper, or some smaller car with a large back, small station-wagonish type of affair, something I can sleep in comfortably. Basically the best combination of gas mileage, size, and cost.

    So has anyone had any experience in this sort of area?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    you could probably get by with 20k but to be on the safe side I would have at least 40K saved for 2 years on road.

    remember things like repairs to your vehicle and the ever changing price of gas(bio diesel would be nice here)

    make a schedule and try to stick to it as much as possible, every time you detour from what you are have projected, it may cost you more money.

    Cell phone and GPS are very important, rest stops are a nice place to get killed(fact) so do not sleep at rest stops.

    If you are thinking of bringing a pet(like a dog) don't more hassle that its worth, food, feces, and pets need a stable environment just like kids

    as for a car , camper van is your best bet, remember gas mileage matters.
    small gas generator is a wonderful thing to have

    P.O. boxes are in every town, if you want to stop for work you can use one of those. My advise is to save your money for the trip before hand.

    I can't think of anything else right now, but I will post back if I remember anything super important,

    I did a 1 year live-in-my-car traveling the U.S thing a few years ago.
    2 years might be pushing it a little. but you can always find a place to call home if you decide to stop traveling, remember to save some money to get re-established after you trip is over.
     
  15. Lorddog

    Lorddog Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

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    if you use the state or national parks then perhaps look into the annual pass.
     
  16. Jeremiah (JSV)

    Jeremiah (JSV) Visitor

    Joined:
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    When I was a younger man i lived in a Van for a few months in Seattle while I waited for a spot to open up on a King Crab boat. It was a heck of a drive, with all kinds of problems.Truck stops arent too bad to sleep at most of the time, but be prepared for the cops to hassle you a bit.They however have the advantage of a meal and a shower nearby.Never under any circumstances sleep at a rest area, and be picky about which RV park you stop in at. You might want to consider a hostel to sleep in in some places. Most cities will have several, and you should definately get a membership to this place. http://hiusa.org/hostels/
    They will not only have a very cheap room for you, but TV/Showers/&amp; in some cases a kitchen not to mention youll meet people traveling from all parts of the world.Save up! Dont go broke or you may very well find your van out of gas in the wrong place, but if you need to work you can goto a day labor place and get $40-50 a day doing menial labor somewhere.There will be plenty in the phonebook, but youll need to get there several hours early in most cases or you wont get a job that day. Be wary of people you meet, and remember man is the most dangerous predator of them all.If you can take a freind with you do so...not only will you have someone to talk to but to trust as well. That said America is a great Land packed full of beautiful sites and beautiful people. Plan a route that takes you in a zigzag pattern to your destination.If you see the worlds biggest ball of yarn/cave tour/natral whatever/biggest steak tomoatoe by all means stop take a picture. Have fun your in the worlds greatest nation...ever!

    Let Freedom Ring!

    I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the People, by the People, for the People; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; A democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many Sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of Freedom, Equality, Justice, and Humanity for which American Patriots sacrificed their Lives and Fortunes.

    I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to Love it; to Support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to Respect its Flag; and to defend it against all enemies.
     
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

    many of the bigger truck stops will let you shower and clean up for a nominal fee especially if you fill up there, also some of the chain truck stops like Sapp Bros in the midwest offer like a club card where you can fill up for 3-6 cents cheaper per gallon and the card is free. And yeah dont sleep at rest stops, scary places.
     
  18. Jeremiah (JSV)

    Jeremiah (JSV) Visitor

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    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    Cell phone and GPS are very important, rest stops are a nice place to get killed(fact) so do not sleep at rest stops.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Heh. oh so true
     
  19. I lived out of a Chevy Van for months many years ago, travelling across country. (I wouldn't consider doing it in anything but a van) The best time I ever had. You can pick up these black plastic portable showers that you put on the roof at night and the sun heats it in the morning. We would open the back doors of the van, hang a tarp on the doors and shower. Also, there are truck stops, they were called 76 back then, and you could shower for 3 bucks if you filled your tank. Lots of fruit salads and peanut butter and banana sandwiches. You'll have a blast!
     
  20. Azural Kane

    Azural Kane Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I am a case manager in a homeless shelter - I’ve worked here for 5 years. According to our regular transients, we are the Hilton of homeless shelters. Trust me when I tell you, your plans are not going to work out as well in reality as they are in your plans. Plan on being hungry, smelly, stereotyped, robbed...etc..But Hey! You only live once eh? Just a heads up, don’t trust anyone, some people survive off suckers and deception is their skill.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    This.
     
  21. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    I am a case manager in a homeless shelter - I’ve worked here for 5 years. According to our regular transients, we are the Hilton of homeless shelters. Trust me when I tell you, your plans are not going to work out as well in reality as they are in your plans. Plan on being hungry, smelly, stereotyped, robbed...etc..But Hey! You only live once eh? Just a heads up, don’t trust anyone, some people survive off suckers and deception is their skill.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    This.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    this would only be true if you were to be penniless and in your car, I do believe he said he was saving money for the trip, as in not homeless, but on an extended trip.

    unless I am mistaken.
     
  22. Guest

    Guest Guest

    you can wash up at my house if you ever pass through Fresno in California, plus if you do make it here i can show you all the interesting places in the nearby national forest places.
     
  23. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    unless I am mistaken.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You are not.

    I was going to say the same thing. I think the vast crappiness of having to live out of a car only comes when you HAVE to do it. I mean if I'm feeling gross, I can stay at a hotel for the night, and if It turns out I'm not enjoying myself, at worst I'll just come back home, and back to my job.

    I'm not worried about being robbed, as I don't plan on staying in one place for all that long, and I don't plan on sleeping in dangerous places (I will either pay for a place to sleep or not sleep if it comes down to that) and I am pretty lucky when it comes to smelliness, I can go a week without showering without smelling relatively bad. And as long as theres a gas station or a diner or a town of any size within 50 miles of me I don't see why I would ever go hungry.

    I am fully prepared for the chance that it wont be as fun as I expect it to be, but thats really not a big deal, honestly the 2 year thing was only if I'm really enjoying myself. One year is more realistic. Or April to x-mas or something.

    If it doesn't pan out, ill just hike the Appalachian trial instead, something
    else I plan to eventually do, which would be a nice fall back.
     
  24. Guest

    Guest Guest

    you also could consider a European trip, I did one of those , but i only stayed for 3 months, that can get expensive.

    The worst part about traveling the U.S. (IMO) was sometimes it would get lonely.
    At the time I was a skateboarder and I could find a cool skate park and make some friends , but other times I would find myself trying to find something to do.

    most of the fun will be in meeting new people , so I hope you are a little forward and able to talk to people easily.

    Damn I envy you right now.
    I wish I could travel again, I'm strapped down with college and 2 kids, heh, maybe when I'm retired I'll be one of those travel trailer guys.
     
  25. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    you also could consider a European trip, I did one of those , but i only stayed for 3 months, that can get expensive.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'd really like to go to Ireland sometime (I'm Irish).

    <blockquote><hr>

    Damn I envy you right now.
    I wish I could travel again, I'm strapped down with college and 2 kids, heh, maybe when I'm retired I'll be one of those travel trailer guys.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm lucky that I found a job that I can take prolonged leaves or quit any time and they will rehire me whenever I want my job back, even if its 2 years down the road. Helps me to know that I'm not screwing myself no matter what.
     
  26. Spree

    Spree Babbling Loonie
    Governor Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

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    You going to need a lot of money to do this with gas now $3.00 gallon and headed to $4.00. If you use a van, they get 15 to 19 MPG + repairs and maintenance you are going to burn though the $15,000 in six months.
     
  27. Azural Kane

    Azural Kane Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    unless I am mistaken.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You are not.

    I was going to say the same thing. I think the vast crappiness of having to live out of a car only comes when you HAVE to do it. I mean if I'm feeling gross, I can stay at a hotel for the night, and if It turns out I'm not enjoying myself, at worst I'll just come back home, and back to my job.

    I'm not worried about being robbed, as I don't plan on staying in one place for all that long, and I don't plan on sleeping in dangerous places (I will either pay for a place to sleep or not sleep if it comes down to that) and I am pretty lucky when it comes to smelliness, I can go a week without showering without smelling relatively bad. And as long as theres a gas station or a diner or a town of any size within 50 miles of me I don't see why I would ever go hungry.

    I am fully prepared for the chance that it wont be as fun as I expect it to be, but thats really not a big deal, honestly the 2 year thing was only if I'm really enjoying myself. One year is more realistic. Or April to x-mas or something.

    If it doesn't pan out, ill just hike the Appalachian trial instead, something
    else I plan to eventually do, which would be a nice fall back.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Just something to be aware of. Anyone who's going to be so low as to steal large sums of money/possessions from you is going to try to target someone who has no ties to the area, and is just "passing through." Really you'd be the perfect mark, anyone would see all your stuff in the car and think you'd almost have to have something of value. It does happen and it's just best to plan as safely as possible.

    And hiking the Trail would rock. I want to too.
     
  28. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>


    You going to need a lot of money to do this with gas now $3.00 gallon and headed to $4.00. If you use a van, they get 15 to 19 MPG + repairs and maintenance you are going to burn though the $15,000 in six months.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I wont be using a van. A small truck is my goal, if I can find a decent one at a decent price. They get good gas mileage, and are large enough to make a bed in.
    I also plan to bike around anywhere I need to go once I reach an area so save on gas.
    As far as repairs go, I just gotta cross my fingers.
     
  29. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>


    You going to need a lot of money to do this with gas now $3.00 gallon and headed to $4.00. If you use a van, they get 15 to 19 MPG + repairs and maintenance you are going to burn though the $15,000 in six months.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I wont be using a van. A small truck is my goal, if I can find a decent one at a decent price. They get good gas mileage, and are large enough to make a bed in.
    I also plan to bike around anywhere I need to go once I reach an area so save on gas.
    As far as repairs go, I just gotta cross my fingers.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You should get a bus:
    [​IMG]