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Old 07-28-2011, 05:35 AM
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Greetings,

With rent/mortgage payments what they are in the uphill battle of "need vs want" in a society where advertising has us chasing fleeting symbols, working jobs we hate to buy sh** we don't need........a little separation from the norm is a pretty refreshing idea. I like the idea of van dwelling even if only taken on in order to afford that remote bug-out location in less time than it would take otherwise.

A well-outfitted van would make an adequate BOV as well, so you're instantly diversifying your plans, turning one objective into two.

Has anyone had any experience living out of van......or any other vehicle? Any insight or useful tips to those out there considering taking on this lifestyle?
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:34 AM
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Check this out.

http://cheaprvliving.com/Survivalist_Truck_Dweller.html

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:46 PM
bighanded bighanded is offline
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have owned 3 custom conversion vans through the years..with a young family of 4 kids growing up, the van was always a great way for us to go.

we used to do a fair amount of tent camping and as the kids got older and wanted to not have mom&dad sleeping with them in the tent, we decided that we were tired of sleeping on the ground and blowups and so we let them have the tents and we moved into the van..read bench converted to bed. We always had a porta jon in there and a cooler plus the full TV/VCR and screened windows and blinds...it was fine for camping for a weekend.. i wouldn't want to live out of it for an extended period.
However I've seen people that do..usually just a single guy or gal.

I don't need much in my life so I guess I could do it, but I'd be more inclined to step up to an older RV..so much of the mods I'd want to make to a van are already in an RV.

and then later when you get your BOL, the RV can be the first home on site.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:37 PM
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The thing about an RV is that you have to park them at a designated RV park. Paying for the spot and for power used takes away from the overall savings if someone were really buckling down and wanting to cut out paying someone else to live.

Modifying a van into a semi-permanent dwelling puts a person largely off the grid
Old 07-29-2011, 09:20 PM
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I'm sure you've found the forums like vandweller and some of the blogs from folks who live in theirs; if not check them out.

Random thoughts since I've been looking at them for a while:

Living in a van presents some unique challenges, not the least of which is where to park it. Which type of van you select has a huge bearing on this- get a work van and no one notices it in commercial areas but they do if it's parked overnight in a residential area. If it doesn't have side windows it can't go in certain areas like some tunnels. If it's a conversion van folks think there may be someone in it if it's in the wrong area. Also, to carry most of your junk you really need the heavier capacity of a 2500 series. Once you add insulation, interior panels and cabinets and beds it quickly adds up.

Ford vans have good ground clearance, Chevys and Dodges not so much. The Fords are much easier to convert to 4wd although you can get the Chevys in an AWD version. Working on van engines can be quite a pain due to the limited work space. Ford 6.0 diesels suck. They can be made into decent engines, but that cost more money.

Gas mileage universally sucks except for the diesel Mercedes/Sprinters which are much more expensive and have poor ground clearance. Performance is usually not that great; the V6 models are especially bad and anything under Fordís 5.4 isnít going to be much better but with worse fuel economy.

Sportsmobiles look nice, but they're unGodly expensive and generally not that well made as they seem to have a high turnover in their plants.

Converting one yourself can be done fairly cheaply if you're handy with some tools, making one look nice is harder. Living in one that looks like crap would get depressing; I've seen a few that were so piecemeal that hippies would laugh at them. The nicer it looks (to a point obviously), the less likely you are to attract attention- nobody wants the proverbial child molester in a van or hippie down by the river near them. True, you'll blend with the bums, but they're not the ones who call the cops. Many campgrounds don't want crappy looking vehicles either as they scare off the folks they're looking to attract- namely families with kids who spend money and retirees.

You can cut a top off yourself and add a fiberglass hitop but that alters your center of gravity and affects its gas mileage and drivability in windy conditions. if you cut the top you need to reinforce the opening.

Figure what you want before you buy the van- how much room do you need? Do you need a regular model or an extended (extended have a lot of rear overhang). Do a mockup of what you want, buy your van then do a mock up again- especially if you plan on adding a toilet and/or shower.

Remember you have to balance your weight- adding a large spare fuel or water tank under the rear will likely require heavier springs and reinforcing the frame (even more weight). They are much more top heavy to start with so you need to keep weight as low as possible.

In most conversions I've seen, the owners rarely seem to have thought about what happens to all your junk in an accident, especially a roll over. You need to be able to secure your junk so it doesn't go flying around- there's a reason for the partitions behind the front seats in commercial vans besides just security.

If youíve got a safe place to park that would make life 1000x easier but parking on the street gets old as you have to move around a lot to avoid attracting attention. You can expect to get woken up more too which is hard on your body.

Eating healthy is harder- cooking smells up the inside and creates moisture. You canít store much in the way of foodstuffs.

Finally, that style of living isnít conducive to having a bunch of friends. Most folks will think youíre a bit eccentric if not downright creepy. Most folks who live in theirs tend to be retirees, telecommuters or those who move around from job to job.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:21 PM
ernest t bass ernest t bass is offline
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It sound's like you have the right mindset to make it work out well,meaning you could live like that and not suffer or feel like you are depriving yourself in anyway and will come out of that situation wealthier and wiser.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:41 PM
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You might say I lived in a van for a while, on and off for a couple of years. I had a 1977 B200 Dodge, with a 318ci engine. It was a "Vantastic" conversion that I further converted. It came with new carpet in the walls, floor and ceiling. It had a dinette/bed in the back. I just left the bed down and had storage underneath that. It had a closet, a sink, an ice box, and storage cabinets. I added a 120 volt circuit with a shore power connection, a microwave oven, a roof air conditioner I bought off of a wrecked RV, a big window on the side, a spare "house" battery on an isolated circuit, a porta pottie, a TV and curtains.

I will say that I loved that old van. It was freedom at it's best. The upside was that I was gone a lot and at a moments notice. The downside was that it would get crowded after a while. In the winter it could really be cold at night. I had a little electric heater but, if I didn't have shore power I just wrapped up good.

If you're single it's doable. I wouldn't want to live in a van for an extended period of time. But, for a summer. Heck yea!

When I traveled I would drive at night. Then, finding a place to crash during the day is really easy. I also used campgrounds some. Life was more comfortable with shore power. I squatted at the beach for a couple of weeks with no power. I had a good time but, it was hot. Sleeping meant sweating all night. I had a great time but, I remember how hot it was trying to sleep.

I camped in the mountains one time. It was October 31st when I got there. That night it was about ten degrees. I wrapped up good and slept well but, needing to pee at night wasn't fun.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:57 AM
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I researched the topic... I wanted to do it!

You can also do it w just a pick up truck (w a top on the back)
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back of truck with cot.jpg   foil on the windows.jpg  
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:06 AM
LuniticFringeInc LuniticFringeInc is offline
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For a single guy or gall, its doable. I would definitely consider getting a "fleet" type 3/4 or 1 ton van with some length to it to give you the max amount of room. If your kinda handy with tools and wood working you should be able to make it very functional and accommodating enough to not feel as though your giving up too much in the way of ammenities and campning. I would most definitely put some serious insulation in it. Dont under estimate that aspect as it will keep it so much cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter without having to constantly run the ac or heater. Seriously consider using LED lighting and 12 volt fans and accessories as opposed to 110 powered ones. It will make providing for your power needs much more economical.

Definitely check out cheaperlivings website. There are a lot of first hand experience there, ideas and how too's. The site is a gold mine of information for one to use on an idea like this!
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bajatacoma View Post

Random thoughts since I've been looking at them for a while:

Living in a van presents some unique challenges, not the least of which is where to park it. Which type of van you select has a huge bearing on this- get a work van and no one notices it in commercial areas but they do if it's parked overnight in a residential area.
Fortunately in my case I have some things working in my favor. I can actually park at work somewhat regularly without issue (3 or so days/week) and on those days that I don't, there are two local Walmarts that allow occaisional parking, a Travel Stop and two friends' houses nearby where I work. Not venturing far from where I work is ideal, as it will cut down on overall costs during the week. I won't concievably need to worry much about where to park. I'll have a handful of options at any given time and can rotate while simultaneously staying close to work, where I can get up to 15 hours/day of work in much of the time.

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Originally Posted by Bajatacoma View Post
Also, to carry most of your junk you really need the heavier capacity of a 2500 series. Once you add insulation, interior panels and cabinets and beds it quickly adds up.
The idea is to keep it very simple with some comforts but primarily having *need* items with me. A.)Food B.)shelter C.) clothing. I should be able to keep a few days worth of food on-hand (and Walmart is nearby) without taking up much room and I have both a compact propane stove and a compact butane stove to cook with. The idea at the moment is to do this for 6 months to 1 year. Staying cool in the hotter months will be an issue because I'm hot natured and like to be icy cold when indoors(so I may end up only planning this for the cold months). Sleeping in colder temperatures doesn't bother me like some people. For clothing, an idea is to secure a twin sized mattress over a handbuilt wooden frame/box 8-10 inches from the floor which will be used for storage of needed clothing/misc items. Anything else will conceivably be stored along the perimeter of the interior, probably up high by suspended bags/nets to allow maximum floor space. I also have a storage unit just 2 miles from where I work which will be directly along my travel line between work,Walmart,24 hour fitness and the Travel Stop so any additional items I need on occaision can be stored there.


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Originally Posted by Bajatacoma View Post
Ford vans have good ground clearance, Chevys and Dodges not so much. The Fords are much easier to convert to 4wd although you can get the Chevys in an AWD version. Working on van engines can be quite a pain due to the limited work space. Ford 6.0 diesels suck. They can be made into decent engines, but that cost more money.
I would/will probably go with an older van that has been well-kept. There were some older vans that were 4wd with the old reliable floor-shift 4wd engagement + solid front axle but I hardly ever see them. 4wd would be nice to have which is why I'm considering living out of my current , older SUV which already has it but is a 2-door and subsequently has much less interior space to work with,but would be manageable over a shorter period of time with the right preparations.

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Gas mileage universally sucks
Mileage doesn't really matter to me. I've loved and driven gas guzzlers all of my life to this point. As long as I'm not BOTH A.) making payments on a vehicle and B.) getting 10mpg then I'm not too concerned with it. I will own the prospective vehicle and will be saving over $1,000 a month living in it. I think poor gas mileage is acceptable, especially since my commute will be minimal for 5 days/week (maybe 5 miles per day on average) with most of my driving coming on the weekends to see the fiance',family,etc.


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Originally Posted by Bajatacoma View Post
Do a mockup of what you want, buy your van then do a mock up again- especially if you plan on adding a toilet and/or shower.
Good tips. I'm doing some legwork ahead of time. I'm jotting down measurements of various items and will also be taking measurements of the inside of the different vehicles I look at/consider so that I can come home and tape out the dimensions of these vehicles on my carpet, so as to be able to organize a mock-van dwelling ahead of time to try to maximize available space.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bajatacoma View Post
In most conversions I've seen, the owners rarely seem to have thought about what happens to all your junk in an accident, especially a roll over. You need to be able to secure your junk so it doesn't go flying around- there's a reason for the partitions behind the front seats in commercial vans besides just security.
Definetly. Everything will be secured in some way. I'm not afraid to drill holes. I have not been in an accident in 10 years and consider myself a good driver but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

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Originally Posted by Bajatacoma View Post
If youíve got a safe place to park that would make life 1000x easier but parking on the street gets old as you have to move around a lot to avoid attracting attention. You can expect to get woken up more too which is hard on your body.
Fortunately the parking lot at work, street at friends' house and at the Travel Stop shouldn't offer untimely sounds/noises/incidences that would break up sleep. A Walmart parking lot would, particularly since I would sleep during the day....but I can park at the back and invest in quality ear plugs and hope for the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bajatacoma View Post
Eating healthy is harder- cooking smells up the inside and creates moisture. You canít store much in the way of foodstuffs.
Eating healthy won't be too hard. I am strictly against fast food and will be very close to two different Super WalMarts where I can obtain fresh vegetables/fruits/meats daily. Among the food I will keep on hand will be oatmeal,granola bars,almonds,walnuts and various dried fruits. I drink 99% water as it is so I won't be poisoning myself with soda. I do like to cook and I will be using the propane/butane stoves but with adequate ventilation and there is a lake with campgrounds less than 6 miles away, and that will make cooking easier.


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Originally Posted by Bajatacoma View Post
Finally, that style of living isnít conducive to having a bunch of friends. Most folks will think youíre a bit eccentric if not downright creepy. Most folks who live in theirs tend to be retirees, telecommuters or those who move around from job to job.
My true friends aren't going anywhere and if someone is going to be narrow-minded/sheep-like in their perception of what it is I am doing then their opinion really doesn't matter to me. I have never had a problem standing on my own and as long as I'm within acceptable legal bounds and I'm saving money then I'm good to go.

I appreciate your lengthy response. That is the kind of insight I need and will find useful.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:42 PM
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It sound's like you have the right mindset to make it work out well,meaning you could live like that and not suffer or feel like you are depriving yourself in anyway and will come out of that situation wealthier and wiser.
Absolutely. Its all about perspective. I mean, I love to have a full kitchen of pots and pans and all of my utensils with plenty of meat and perishables in the fridge right next to it but living a minimalist lifestyle, if only for a little while, is valuable on different fronts. I'd rather do it by choice and get a grasp of it that way, then by force. And I will be saving a good bit of money in the process to put towards important things instead of throwing it away towards someone elses rent/mortgage.

Depriving? No. Doing without? Yes.

As long as you know you're going to ultimately gain, making some sacrifices isn't as difficult.
Old 08-01-2011, 09:50 PM
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If you're single it's doable. I wouldn't want to live in a van for an extended period of time.
I'm not single

Fortunately my fiance' is on board with this kind of thing. We're actually looking into getting her a travel trailer to live out of for a period of time so that we can both accomplish some goals together.

We're not going to do this for an extended period of time but we're keeping options open. I might just do it during the cold months while she does it for a year or possibly two. It depends on how we mesh with this. Ultimately money is being saved and put toward a plot of land, a home, kids' college savings,etc so doing something like this for an extended period of time might actually be more beneficial long-term than not.
Old 08-01-2011, 09:54 PM
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I researched the topic... I wanted to do it!

You can also do it w just a pick up truck (w a top on the back)
Cool idea,but since a regular cab pickup truck has limited passenger room I'd probably have to do with an extended cab so the family could ride along when the truck isn't being used as a home. Its easier to get in and out of van without revealing all of your belongings though.

Don't want to lure in would-be thieves
Old 08-01-2011, 09:59 PM
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For a single guy or gall, its doable. I would definitely consider getting a "fleet" type 3/4 or 1 ton van with some length to it to give you the max amount of room. If your kinda handy with tools and wood working you should be able to make it very functional and accommodating enough to not feel as though your giving up too much in the way of ammenities and campning. I would most definitely put some serious insulation in it. Dont under estimate that aspect as it will keep it so much cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter without having to constantly run the ac or heater. Seriously consider using LED lighting and 12 volt fans and accessories as opposed to 110 powered ones. It will make providing for your power needs much more economical.

Definitely check out cheaperlivings website. There are a lot of first hand experience there, ideas and how too's. The site is a gold mine of information for one to use on an idea like this!
Thanks for the tips. LED lighting and 12-volt accessories are definetly on the radar. I really wish I could find a portable air-conditioner that just used batteries!
Old 08-02-2011, 12:02 AM
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It can be done w a sig other also...

I have some more pics and links I can send ya if ur really serious about this...
Old 08-14-2011, 06:38 AM
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Thanks for the tips. LED lighting and 12-volt accessories are definetly on the radar. I really wish I could find a portable air-conditioner that just used batteries!
AC units, like electric heaters require too much juice. That initial surge when they kick on is what really rules out inverters and even small generators. On the other hand, there are some pretty efficient fans out there these days. I've got a cheap one powered by four D cell batteries or a 12 volt converter that the batteries last all season in. I used to sleep in my VW a lot and used it during the hot months (I've been thinking about the full size as I want more room and the ability to tow my motorcycles). On low speed it's quiet and works well enough. If you are in a dry climate, you can make your own swamp cooler. Rust would be a concern with an evaporative cooler though since you'd be putting a lot more moisture into the air.

For heating during the winter when I'm not somewhere I can plug into I use a combination of techniques. First thing I did was insulate the bus. I have a heavy rug I throw on the floorboard. Secondly, for really cold weather I cut some of that reflectix bubble insulation stuff to fit over my windows. All the glass acts as huge heat sinks and just kills any chance of your body really warming the thing. Obviously that's pretty conspicuous if you're trying to stealth camp.

I also use a Mr Heater Buddy heater while I'm awake. Note the buddy heater is NOT a catalytic heater even though they advertise that it can be used indoors. It has a low O2 sensor and a tip over shutoff, but no CO sensor. I keep a smoke/CO detector in the bus as a precaution. The heater will warm it up pretty fast inside then I shut it off right before going to sleep. In the morning I reach one arm out and start the heater then climb back under the covers for a couple of minutes and it gets nice and warm.

Blankets, sleeping bag, thermals, wool socks, gloves and a knit hat. You lose an amazing amount of heat through your head so putting on a hat helps a lot. When it's really cold I also hang a blanket from the top bunk (I rarely pop the top) so that it further encloses my sleeping area- less area to try to heat and less heat lost.

Condensation is a problem. You have to keep the vehicle vented or your windows get fogged up and if it's cols enough I've had ice on the inside of the glass- not very stealthy and you have to clear it before you can drive away.


Pee bottle- learn to love it. I am not going out in the middle of a cold night just to urinate. When stealth camping you really can't as slamming doors attracts attention. Make sure your bottle is different from other containers in you vehicle.


You mentioned not worrying about space but it's amazing how quickly you'll fill up your limited space. A couple of changes of clothes including clothing for cooler weather and rain gear, a couple of pairs of shoes, your sleeping gear, toiletries, cooking gear and a couple of days food including a cooler, tools, spares, water storage, something to keep you sane such as books and a laptop, fishing gear, etc takes a surprising amount of room. Unless you're one of those folks that normally lives in a very cluttered house and likes stuff piled everywhere, you'll need to keep organized. I'm a bit OCD but when things are out of place in a small area it quickly feels much more confining. I've sen the same thing mentioned on multiple folks' sites.

I'd post some pics of my VW loaded but this site won't let you edit post after a while. There are plenty of pictures of other vans on the web though and admittedly, the VW is a bit smaller than a full sized van. This is of course the reason I've been thinking about going to a larger vehicle; throw in bulky motorcycling and/or paddling gear and it gets even more cramped really quickly; it's even worse when the gear is wet and muddy.

I have lived out of my old pickup with a camper shell for a month at a time several different times but that gets old quickly- especially when it's bad weather and you can't really move around. Space is at an even greater premium.

Just more thoughts....
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:59 AM
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...
Has anyone had any experience living out of van......or any other vehicle? Any insight or useful tips to those out there considering taking on this lifestyle?
This woman does it and keeps an online journal on it here:

http://www.faliaphotography.com/

Might get some good info there for your situation.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:16 AM
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http://www.hubbardchevrolet.com/comm...van_11096.html

We own one of these it is not outfitted to live in but it would have a lot of pluses for that use.

there are lots of them at auction right now cause companies are going belly up.

plus
1. if you are under 6'1" you can stand up instead of stooping.
2. they are wide enough to install a bed width wise which helps organize the space.
3. most of them have a flat wooded floor which is easier to clean and is not as cold as a metal floor.
4. they have flat interior walls which make shelf/furniture placement easier.

cons
1. they are taller and wider and a little harder to drive & park due to blind spots ect.
2. they get less gas mileage.
3. you cannot walk directly from the cab to the box you have to get out and walk around to the back door.
Old 08-15-2011, 04:25 AM
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Greetings,

With rent/mortgage payments what they are in the uphill battle of "need vs want" in a society where advertising has us chasing fleeting symbols, working jobs we hate to buy sh** we don't need........a little separation from the norm is a pretty refreshing idea
What a superb way of summing up all thats wrong with whats "right", good on you mate.

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Has anyone had any experience living out of van......or any other vehicle? Any insight or useful tips to those out there considering taking on this lifestyle?
I havent paid rent in over a year thanks to living in and by this stationwagon. I would like to throw in my tuppence. Not sure where to begin. Randomly I would start with condensation. Unless you have a custom made or built in air vent the window has to be down a bit. The less its down and the colder it is overnight then the wetter it is inside in the morning. Then since the window is down you wanna insect net of some kind going on. For most thats a very easy purchase from an auto store, one that uses a design of going over the door frame. Unfortunately my vehicle doesnt have a frame at the top of the window so had to buy some velcro strips and slapped them round the side of the window..then just press the fly net onto that. Notice I am talking about buying lots of things, which reminds me about how you opened the thread.. i am "chasing" many things permanently in order to live this way.

Candles were big for a while for me, having an added benefit of warming the vehicle a bit.. But its also a recipe for making a lot of mess with the wax. And if an insect lands in one it can actually be dangerous at least in my experience since it was incendiary. The real winner for the cold overnight is to have a freaking stove, chimney and all, which i hear is big in canada and new zealand. I have resorted to a hot water bottle. But that hot water only gets that hot if i boil it. Guess i divert into two points here.. you are either buying plenty of gas to heat things or are using firewood all the time. Buying gas sure feels like paying gas bills but then again pots and pans get so charred and dirty when used over the fire that again theres a risk of messying up the vehicle when packed away. When living full time like this things like cooking can get really tiring.. Again and again the same prolonged outdoor kitchen routine of cleaning up dishes with water from a jerry, but not using so much water you put yourself at risk before getting back to civilisation, hanging up the skanky cloth, putting any scraps in a tied off bag, dropping stuff on the ground and on and on. The faster the whole process is the better for your sanity in the long run.

Staying with hot water, I have a solar shower. This is pretty basic stuff, it is transparent on one side of the 20l bag and dark on the other...a little hose with a sprinkler on the end. Place transparent side up and wait until it reaches a point you can brave. Now you gotta deal with insects climbing up and biting you as showering so a good scan of the area is in order and doing it outside of mossie hours advised.

So much water. I always am aware of how much water i am taking somewhere and often find myself tipping some out.. Weight is money, or weight is fuel is money. Fuel economy takes a huge dive too if you decide to put a boat or roofrack up above. But theres obviously a pay off..when living in such a minimal space you want as much room as possible. Space becomes everything really. Every nook and cranny of the vehicle claims a specific thing, be it a tool, spices or whatever. Think boxes for storage, the clear types. Find out how big you can buy them per the space you have in each area. Plus those boxes can be expensive unless you find a big retail place. So again you are shopping.

I found it important to keep my rear and side windows covered up totally, in part to keep the sun out but also for an element of privacy. You never know who might rock up to walk their dog in Death Valley at 5am Plus out away from artificial light, the power of a fullmoon is enough to keep you wide awake.

Entertainment in dark hours is a fairly big one. I have a power invertor in the car that runs from the main battery. But if you can afford it look into a deep cycle battery that will put in more time and handle higher wattage. My invertor doesnt do anything that produces heat, so toaster and heater is out. Anyway with that invertor I can watch digital TV with some rabbit ears and a USB Tv stick..at least when some reception is available. Outside that its radio, reading or practicing making babies.

The more you drive your vehicle and you presumably will if you live out of it and the more offroading you do the more money you will have to use to chase fixes for the car when it has problems. my rule of thumb is generally keep to the bare essentials because its a old car but if your ride is new then theres even more pressure to avoid this or that branch or fork out cash for minor stuff before it gets worse. The other consequence of driving more is the fuel for sure. Fuel is like the rent really. The further you wanna get outta town to get a nice nights sleep alone then the more you expended and will on the return too.

I am tiring of this way of life perhaps, it wares me down most when i am also holding a job down since everything just seems to take that bit longer to do and the temptation is just to collapse on the bed when its over. Oh and make sure to fork out a lot for a decent matress. I bought 3 different sized inflatable matresses and each got a hole. I later learned that the cheaper ones always break soon. I would advise a proper freaking foot thick mattress which is what i finally got. heaps more to say but the missus is whinging about access to the laptop so thats a wrap
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Backk and with a few more thoughts to spare about free camping. the free type because at 30 to 40 dollars a night a caravan park is a crappy mortgage. The bigger your van or rig the harder free camping is. come to think of it some motorhomes and caravans seem like mortgages. Plus a big thing is hard to hide. I have seen folk who camo spray their vans to blend. 4x4 vans are awesome. Hiding is the name of the game really since even if you decided the mortgage life isnt for you it seems almost all land remotely near to either work or fuel and other supplies is owned by someone or some entity. Reserve, national park, conservation park, queens land, aboriginal land, military land, mining land and so on. For them all there are rangers, councillors, security and police of some nature that may fine you or even go as far as to pursue in court a tresspass charge , depending on laws in the area. so often when i am cruising dirt tracks im looking to keep changing route to the least worn down road, that with the least defined tracks. then when leaving the track to fully offroad to find a camp place i will stop get out and actually touch over the track that leads from the road. there could be a total ban on fires in the area or anything you arent aware of and its generally the thing to give you away so i usually put in 1 to 2km after turning off a dirtroad. noise in the midst of nowhere travels so far. another risk to the self is people, perhaps people doing the same thing or poachers, anything or anybody. i consider that and park in concealment as much as possible.

i always aim the car exactly back the way i came when at destination, on their tracks so i am good to go in a weather crisis.. because its one thing to offroad in nice weather to your place but another to get out of there after heavy rainfall.. this is why its good to keep a close watch on the weather.

to begin with i used google earth to find my way into such places but this often had poor consequences. google couldnt dig my sorry ass out of a ditch. its generally better to use the eyes. theres a mountain over there so i am driving towards that.. etc. or there is a river on the map here so offroad down it to a place. or there will be websites that are dedicated to such things in your given country, with interactive google type maps.

often you can get public amenities passing through towns, or at fuel stops in remote areas. these are also the places you score water for free. and toilet paper.
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