Van-Dwelling

Has anyone here done it/is doing it?

So my situation is that I enjoy having weekend retreats but I'm still a poorgay in my 20s. I can't afford shelling out 200 dollars/night just for a place to sleep, or eating out every meal. And I also don't want to wait until I'm economically established to travel frequently.

I've been thinking of just buying a fixer-upper van, ripping out the seats, throwing in a mattress, a portable gas grill, and maybe a 5 gallon bucket as a shitter, and just hitting the road. Is this doable?

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  1. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    thinking of travelling around the Nordics and sleeping in a rental car and showering in park facilities or a 24h gym
    anybody here done this?

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      i don't see why you couldn't.

  2. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I did the scottish highlands and islands for a couple of months in a borrowed van during the pandemic. it's exhilarating for a little while but eventually you come to realise what brilliant inventions modern plumbing and dishwashers are. however for short-to-mid-length trips it is great.

    when I was there they were all deathly afraid of covid so I didn't have to worry about any pricks breaking in and stealing my filthy foreign airborne-rabies-aids coated stuff. but if you're anywhere populated now then it is a concern. also many places are complete dicks about letting you park up overnight so you have to get good at stealthing or just accept you'll have to use motorhome pitches sometimes

  3. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I’ve been thinking about building out a small box truck into a tiny apartment and living in there instead of paying rent

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Nice, but that's a proper truck. Unless you have a lot of experience driving something that big, I'd recommend this guy.
      <--------
      Super stealth and can navigate any city center. Plus enough room for just about all needs, plus.

  4. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I bought this Sportsmobile in 2005 an lived in it for 2 years, crisscrossing the US then put it on a ship to Europe then back to the US. This was a custom made $70k rig and I would do things differently if I ever do it again. 1) Start with a gutted cargo van and build into it just the necessities and how you want to access them. Just the minimum to get rolling and you'll add to it as new needs unfold. 2) Only DC power. Frick anything on AC. Inverters are noisy unreliable buttholes! Get a small DC fridge and all the little DC appliances you can find - especially heaters. Find a way to power your phone/laptop off DC. Others) 4 panels on top and 4 marine batteries... A marine toilet for shitting emergency only, and guests. Piss in water bottles and empty them wherever. Shit in roadside hotels - they always have a toilet in the lobby but reception will notice you. So you roll in a small empty case behind you like you're about to check in but you have to use the toilet first. They never say shit, unless you start looking like a bum. So keep personal grooming up, but it doesn't have to be prefect. You can also eat their breakfast if reception is not paying attention and it's before 10am... Sponge baths and then rent a motel one night a week for a long deep cleaning hot shower (worth it). AMA, but no one ever does.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      This is probably a little much for me (at least for now) considering I'm mainly just interested in weekend retreats like I said. I'd be away for 1-2 nights/week max. But I do have some questions.

      1) What's the cheapest I can get a reliable gutted van, and where?
      2) When you're bohemian maxxing like that how do you go about protecting yourself? Do you personally keep any knives/guns stocked in your van incase a methed up hobo tries to break in and jack your shit?
      3) How do you find where to park overnight?
      4) More of a personal question, but why did you do it? Did you tour the entirety of USA and Europe for those two years? Any funny/interesting stories you can share with other anons?

      I did the scottish highlands and islands for a couple of months in a borrowed van during the pandemic. it's exhilarating for a little while but eventually you come to realise what brilliant inventions modern plumbing and dishwashers are. however for short-to-mid-length trips it is great.

      when I was there they were all deathly afraid of covid so I didn't have to worry about any pricks breaking in and stealing my filthy foreign airborne-rabies-aids coated stuff. but if you're anywhere populated now then it is a concern. also many places are complete dicks about letting you park up overnight so you have to get good at stealthing or just accept you'll have to use motorhome pitches sometimes

      > I didn't have to worry about any pricks breaking in
      >also many places are complete dicks about letting you park up overnight so you have to get good at stealthing
      yeah these are my main concerns.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        Cheers!
        1. Ebay sells a lot of utility/cargo vans. Companies are dumping them all the time that way. A 10 foot cargo van (pic above) is what I'd get next if I go back and those are the type that moving companies rent into the ground and sell for next to nothing. It'll probably need a new engine or rebuild and it's going to be banged the frick up but it doesn't matter. With an engine and transmission rebuild, you're good to go for a long time.
        2. I never worried about safety like that. No one ever crossed me. But a small canister or two of mace would shock the shit out of almost anyone who might frick with you out there.
        3. Since my van looked mostly like a cargo van I could park anywhere at night in any city without any problems. You just want to block out any light coming from inside. I'd always park where I could get a free wifi signal (Starbucks was always good).
        4. The thing that got me really interested in it was an old friend who lived that way for 10 years and I didn't even know it until I found his blog. I had also read John Steinbeck's, Travels with Charlie, and that was the final hook. You should read that book.

        I was in the van for a total of about 3 years, including Europe. Just kept driving until the Sun went down. Don't do it in Europe tho, the US is soooo much better. I started missing the open roads as soon as the van landed in Amsterdam. Europe was a mistake, better for trains.

        Funny(ish) story. I picked up the van new in Austin and hit the road, didn't care where. And at that same moment was all the insanity happening in Crawford Texas, with Cindy Sheehan camped outside protesting the war. I'm no liberal but I was against the war so I showed up with the van and camped out with everyone there. Cindy Sheehan did her network news interviews inside my van, it became like her TV studio. Got tailed by a Secret Service Jeep on the way to the grocery store.

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          >park anywhere at night in any city without any problems
          More and more cities & towns are blanket banning street parking during the overnight hours. Believe me, everyone knows that your van is a camper van, especially in California or Oregon, but as long as you pull up late, lay low and disappear by the next morning, you won't be hassled. It's the bums who stay for days, throw trash, dump wastewater, and barbecue on the sidewalk who get chased into the bum containment zone.
          >a small canister of mace
          Is worthless against a determined attacker, unless you flee ASAP. How you will even deploy it from inside your van without blinding yourself with the gas is another matter. Have your key handy and be ready to head out if people start acting mighty sketchy outside your van.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        Theft will eventually happen, anything expensive or important (docs, hard drives etc) is with you at all times when out of the van. It’s a real pain having to carry that with you. Other van and motor home people you meet all know someone who has had stuff stolen or robbed. Fundamentally they’re just easy to break in to.

        Parking spots are very variable. There are apps but ultimately this is a skill you need to develop and you will have some problems at first. Stealth vans are much much easier, but even so if local residents figure out what you’re doing then they start calling the police on you and they’ll do things like get by laws passed to turn overnighting in your van into a crime. Eventually you learn what a quiet spot no one cares about looks like. One advantage of motor home pitches is you can just park up and fall asleep without any bullshit or security worries but it gets expensive and is lame

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          Stay away from diversity-rich areas, and robbery is highly unlikely. Fires from faulty electrical wiring or a gas leak are statistically more likely to ruin your life. Mice invasions can be a big problem as well.
          It's far more relaxing to stay in a site where you are legally allowed to camp. Part of living a mobile life is always moving on, exploring new country, checking out new towns. It gets depressing sitting in the middle of nowhere all by yourself for days on end, which is why many van people have dogs to keep them company.

  5. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    bump.

    I'm considering this. I live in a shitty midwest town for my business. I needed a warehouse.

    Post covid has fricked me. i will never be able to own a warehouse and boomer landlords are the biggest homosexuals in the world. they want their cake and to eat it too.

    I live in a miserable cultural dead zone surrounded by GMO crops sprayed with chemical poison from the air. I'm surrounded by ghetto nig rejects and foreigner peasant class factory workers.

    I'm honestly giving up.

  6. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Minivans are the ideal budget solution. Mine cost me $3400 back in 2021, bought it after spending a month on foot in America and Mexican border towns. Right now it is sitting on my old boss' property as I hang out in Southeast Asia for the winter. Come May I will return, get it going and explore Middle America til it quits. Then on to Europe, or back to Asia, who knows. Before that, I bought a Ford Explorer and rode it for 110,000 miles around America. It was less spacious with the seats still intact, but far more capable and reliable than the shitbox van.
    Be warned that vanlife has become extremely popular in America, particularly in the West, where many dispersed camping areas have become extremely overused or even shut down due to degradation. A couple summers ago I traveled throughout Colorado, got in the habit of finding a nice level dispersed campsite at 3:30 PM on many days. Other fools would be out adventuring, show up at 7 or 8 PM, and there would be no open spaces left. In the desert in winter there is more room for everyone, but most people still want their privacy, so you're expected to park a few hundred yards away if possible. Campers aren't very friendly with each other outside of campgrounds. The West Coast has become extremely restrictive with van campers, forcing many of them to stay in camper slums on the outskirts of cities. Of course, many of them are drug addicted bums who can't afford to travel around, but travelers who sleep in a new place every night are also hurt by the anti-camping ordinances as well.
    Picrel is my illegal spot next to the 101 overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the California coast.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Are you me?
      What do you do for work?
      Minivans are the budget luxery machine . I had a $1000 2005 town and country I took from MI to California and sold it and flew to Ecuador. Surfed for a month and flew to my grandparents in FL and bought a $1000 mazda, drove back to MI. Then drove the mazda to CO and worked constriuction with a friend and sold it for $200 and bought a Honda Nighthawk (motorbike) and rode it back to MI and sold it and then I just was homeless with a bicycle all summer...

  7. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Trust fund kid general

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Everyone in this thread seems broke as frick what are you talking about

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        he is jealous, very common here

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Van prices are extremely high now due to crazy used car inflation and the rising popularity of vandwelling. It's only worth it IMO if you live in it full time or will travel for several consecutive months. For weekend trips hotels are probably cheaper overall. Just use your current vehicle and pitch a tent on public land. Public land is the only place where vandwelling is enjoyable anyways.

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