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  1. #1
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    Ever Lived in a Car?

    Seriously question and thread.

    I have thought of buying a mini-van and living in it. I would shower at a gym that I joined as a member. I would want to secure wifi somehow and would obvioulsy need to be close to available restrooms. The country I would do this in, is the USA. The Thoreau comment is a bit over-the-top and McCandless like. That is not my intention.

    Has anyone ever done this?

    Do you know anyone that has?

    What extra advice and info can you give?

    Thanks.

    Article-----------------

    I Lived in My Car to Save Money for My Startup. Here's How It Went.

    By Quora Contributor | Posted Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013,


    I lived in my car in Silicon Valley for three months. It was pretty bittersweet. I would recommend it. There are obviously some minuses to living in a car, but especially if you're passionate about minimalism or alternative lifestyles, it's very doable. I even found that you can turn living in a car into a productivity hack, and with a monthly burn rate under $300, you could make very little last a very long time.

    I'll tear through the "hows" and "whats" really fast to get the interesting stuff. Car: 2002 Honda Civic EX Coupe. Shower: YMCA (I got a discounted rate for having low income; I think it was $16/month). The YMCA is great because it has soap/shampoo/conditioner/towel there. I would usually go for a run before I showered, too. Work: Hacker Dojo. Eat: nonperishable stuff. Sleep: "slim twin" air mattress meant for sleeping on cots, blown up halfway, feet in the trunk, head by passenger seat. Find an empty church parking lot for privacy. I didn't tint my windows, which probably would have made sense, but I just didn't care.

    Here's my setup:


    Now, the first thing you should do before you start to live in a car is go read Walden by Thoreau, because living in a car isn't just a way to save a ton of money on rent (which it is). It's a chance to live in a completely different way, and to be happy with a whole lot less.

    This is all the stuff I gave away before I started living in my car

    Except the guitar in the background. Never give away your music.

    And other than my computer, an iPad, and sleeping supplies, this is everything I took with me.

    I recommend that regardless, but especially when living in a car, it's nice to have a lot of free space.

    Turning Living in a Car Into a Lifehack
    The interesting thing about living in your car is that everything is deliberate. You can't just wander in and go to bed anymore: You have to go out to the parking lot and drive for a few minutes. It's not a big deal, but it really makes you pay attention to the little things in life that you used to take for granted.

    Because I didn't get window coverings (even for the windshields), I would wake up with the sun. I learned really quickly that if you're waking up with the sun and you stay up late, you'll be really tired during the day. You can't even sneak a quick nap, because during the day your car is hot, bright, and miserable, so it forces you to plan ahead and be responsible about when you go to sleep.

    Then, when you wake up, what are you going to do? I tried to get in the habit of driving to the YMCA and going for a run first thing in the morning, then showering after the run. This was really simple, but most days I would be awake, showered, and ready by 7 a.m. I would show up at the Hacker Dojo before almost anyone else (which let me get a nice spot and choose a nice monitor), and start working.

    It's not that I was lazy or would sleep in until noon when I wasn't living in my car, but being ready to go that early is pretty cool, especially when you can look at your day and you know you have 17 solid hours ahead of you. It forced me to be productive and to not waste time.

    The Negatives
    It isn't fair to talk about how awesome living in a car can be without talking about the potential downsides as compared to living in an apartment.

    Everything takes a little bit more time: This seems to run contrary to what I just said about living, but the time spent isn't bad, just add an extra five minutes to every task. Not a huge deal, of course.

    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.)

    Changing: You have to either drive somewhere to change, or you have to get really good at shimmying in and out of clothes in the tiny backseat. It's not exactly the Luxor.

    Food: I think this was the hardest for me, as I'm a bit of a foodie, but canned soup and non-perishable dinners get old after a while, and I didn't want to go to the store every day. I had a hard time getting full on anything that wasn't canned, and meals had a lot of carbs and sodium. I probably could have done a better job of buying fresh fruits and vegetables and eating them quickly, but I didn't plan well enough there.

    Breakdowns: I wasn't exactly planning on this happening.


    But reality is things like that do happen. And when they happen at 4 p.m., it's unlikely you'll get your "house" back very quickly. Luckily I had friends with apartments nearby, and a few people had offered to let me crash at their places, but it is something to take into consideration.

    It's worth noting that both the tow truck guy and the mechanic offered to let me stay at their homes; being in need helps you realize how good the world can be. They also both signed up to be beta customers for the startup I was building, which brought our acquisition cost that day to about $600 per user, about what Groupon's was.

    It's also wise to have a rainy day fund just in case things like that happen. Even if your burn rate is only $300 a month, stuff like the above doesn't care about your burn rate. You don't want to be like me and have to go scalp 200 soccer tickets that weekend to have enough cash to stay alive. (While in retrospect it was pretty fun, I do not recommend being at a point financially where you have to either make $600 in one weekend or go home. Luckily I made it.)


    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?

    Living in your car puts a little bit of an edge on the work that you do. You can say to yourself, "What am I doing? I'm living in a freaking car, and I don't know if it will be successful, but if I'm not giving it everything I've got, I'm an idiot."

    Depending on which investor you're talking to, living in a car can be a very good thing or a very bad thing. Some see it as scrappy and think you're a hustler, others think you're desperate. Use that information sparingly and wisely.
    More questions on Bootstrapping (companies):

    Quora
    ............

  2. #2
    Molecular Mixup
    blue's Avatar
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    wikihow is good for stuff like that

    How to Live in Your Car: 12 Steps - wikiHow

  3. #3
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbaro
    I would want to secure wifi somehow
    usb "3g" or use your phone via "3g" ( wifi hotspot ) - inverters are also cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by barbaro
    Has anyone ever done this?
    yes - it is easy if you are not parking in a very urban area
    I was working at a industrial plant , 12 hours a day ,7 days a week - I would finish work , shower at a truckstop not far from there , then head just down the road to a beach where an fish and chip/burger shop was - I would get a feed there and then park and sleep in the back of my landcruiser - did this for 6 weeks.

    I also used to own panel vans - mattress in the back , just park where ever and sleep - excellent for going to bands/parties on the other side of the city.

    having a vehicle that you can sleep in easily is a wonderful thing

  4. #4
    Member youneverknow's Avatar
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    If I ever make it back to the states, I might join you. A solution to slums, moveable slums.


    Assortment of vids of people living in cars on youtube.

    living in a car - YouTube

  5. #5
    Excitable Boy
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    Are you single? Telling a woman 'I live in my car' is even worse than telling her you live in your mother's basement.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    My husband and I stayed in our Pajero for three weeks while working in Hokkaido. We stayed in campgrounds or restaurant parking lots at night. It wasn't bad at all, but I am used to spending weeks on end living in a tent in the middle of nowhere with no facilities while working.

    All is well until the weather turns cold. It is a major problem if living in a car.

  7. #7
    Head Skivvie Stacker Storekeeper's Avatar
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    Google "Duke grad student lived in van" ...

  8. #8
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    There are quite a few folk in the UK doing this now ,, I guess not by choice though.

    There was a husband and wife in a lay by on the main A12 near to me for around 3 years ,, gone now I guess they got housed in the end.

    Best tip I can give you mate is to park with others if you can ,, saftey in numbers .

    Good luck with it
    I'm proud of my 38" waist , also proud I have never done drugs

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
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    Had to sleep several times for a few hours in the car when I visited or picked up a girlfriend from Romania, that were 1,700 km and 24 hours of way, trough four countries. Usually lost it somewhere in Hungary or Austria and had to rest. The car was a E32 long version, but sleeping on the backseat uncomfy enough, can't stretch. Maybe in a Van or Estate car, taking the back seats out and putting a mattress in.

  10. #10
    Member youneverknow's Avatar
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    Last edited by youneverknow; 02-08-2013 at 02:35 PM.

  11. #11
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the helpful replies.

    I will look up all of your leads.

  12. #12
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    Are times that tough?

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
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    When I was youthful,staying at home,could not afford a short time Hotel,I had lots of sex with girls in My car.Happy memories.mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  14. #14
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    Well not use too, but i think its was just one or two time that I live in car for about a night.. yeah its only when on a long journey and in forest when we are on camping. thanks for sharing these tips for living in car...

  15. #15
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazzy View Post
    Are times that tough?
    No.

    I want to take trip again across the US and work some jobs.

    Hostels are rare in the US, and you need a car for transpo.

  16. #16
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    I lived in a vw van when touring europe for 4 months no problem

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat nedwalk's Avatar
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    never owned a car I could,nt sleep in compfortably, that is to say I have never owned a sedan..lived in me panel van for quite a while travelling around oz,,,

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    No and I never will other then overnight because I was wasted.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    No and I never will other then overnight because I was wasted.
    Heh...

  20. #20
    Ex TD Fat Club VP Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbaro
    What extra advice and info can you give?
    Lock the doors, slightly open the windows to stop condensation and slow slow strokes when you decide to have one off the wrist

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat

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    Never 'lived' in a car, I don't 'live', I 'survive', dropping suckers left, right and center with flying roundhouses, but I've slept in a motor for stretches many a time, quite a few times in winter I woke up and the inside of the fucking windows were frozen solid from my breathing to 'survive', but I'm one rock solid mofo so it didn't bother me, try doing that my Aussie friends, you'd be brown bread and wouldn't wake up ya pussies from a hot country.

  22. #22
    The Pikey Hunter
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    I think I could cope with living in this for a few days:


  23. #23
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Was wondering myself if Barbaro would go for a camping van or class C. Would be much more comfortable than a car.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Was wondering myself if Barbaro would go for a camping van or class C. Would be much more comfortable than a car.
    Barbaro/Milkman is a latter-day hippie.

    Probably most comfortable in a VW Microbus.


  25. #25
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    He could get a few girlfriends with a van like that! They would probably have hairy armpits, though.

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