Report on car living

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
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Jean
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am

Report on car living

Post by Jean » Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:59 pm

I could have entered this in my journal, but I think it deserves its own topic.
I've been living in a car for 4 months now, and it has been incredibly easy and nice.
It's a 1999 peugeot 806 like this
Image
Until now, it averages 28 mpg, which is ok for a car this size.
I bought it for 500.- chf. It was still expertised for one year.
Insurance for one year costed me 350, and taxes 588.
I mostly stay around my home town. I do know a few places to park for free around it. Finding places to park for free in switzerland was easy. I am now in Austria. It was a little bit harder, but mostly because I don't know the "codes" for building roads, forest usage, etc...
But back to switzerland.
Encounters with authority were nice. They were mostly concerned about checking if I was fine, and not kicked out of home by an angry wife.
My instalation is very simple. It's just 5 plastic crates white some boards and a matress on it. I still have one seat in the back.
In comparaison to a biger camper, I feel more at ease driving in towns, and I can park anywhere without being immediatly identified as someone sleeping.
In comparison to sleeping outside. I can move more easily, it feels safer than being outside in many situations, but there are also times were I would rather just hide in the wood. Which is impossible with a car. It is also somehow more expensive (but I feel less want to go into place where I have to consume).
The biggest difference is how much stuff I can carry. With the car, I usually have food for a week or two, climbing equipment, and in winter I was carrying my skis with me.

Any questions or experiences to share?

thrifty++
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Report on car living

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:04 pm

Wow look forward to hearing more. Hope you dont mind me asking a few questions out of curiosity.

Has your savings rate gone through the roof?

In all honesty how comfortable is it? I envisage amplified cold and hot temperatures and also annoying light in your eyes early in the morning. But I have no idea how much all that stuff bothers.

Do you have a corporate job requiring certain personal presentation standards? If so how do you sort out all your grooming and ironing?

Do you feel safe and have you had any dodgy onlookers lurking around the van at night?

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daylen
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am
Location: Lawrence, KS

Re: Report on car living

Post by daylen » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:06 pm

Thanks for sharing. Looks like the size that I want. What have you been eating? I'm looking into mostly fruits, nuts, sandwich's, and salads (I don't want to cook).

Stahlmann
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Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: Report on car living

Post by Stahlmann » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:18 pm

January/February in Austria/Switzerland in car?
Can you elaborate on it?

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BRUTE
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: Report on car living

Post by BRUTE » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:18 pm

photos of van inside would be cool. also: respect. even for a minivan, that's pretty small.

how much time does Jean spend in the van? brute would probably not mind sleeping in a van at night, but spending 8 hours between work and sleep, plus all the weekends in there?

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distracted_at_work
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:51 am
Location: Western Canada

Re: Report on car living

Post by distracted_at_work » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:19 pm

Very cool!

What's the coldest temperature you have encountered? Or what is the coldest you are prepared for?

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daylen
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am
Location: Lawrence, KS

Re: Report on car living

Post by daylen » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:22 pm

@BRUTE My plan is to hang out at the library/cafe/park/friends/etc and only use the van for sleeping and transportation.

Jean
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am

Re: Report on car living

Post by Jean » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:56 pm

Coldest temperature was minus 10 celsius. It's still okay. I just have to drive a little bit to dry the car in the morning when it's realy cold.
Also, I'm already FI, and already found a gf that is okay with me taking only 1 shower a week.
Saving rate is now irelevant, but I have about 300.- a month for food, gaz, and leisure.
I pay my bills on a yearly basis.
Hanging out in the car is really okay. It's a room with view. The view alway changes, and sometimes the view is very amazing. Those two day, I was in my car virtually all day and I enjoyed it. I have 4 days to drive 600k, so I just play video games, and drive a bit when my battery is empty. I got better a finding wifi, so It's really like my room.
In switzerland, I do go to the library or a bar if I want internet.

What I dislike the most about it is having my car parked alone when I go Hiking or something, and while hiking, it is a big limitation that I need to go back to my car after the walk, I need to plan for a loop, and I like to follow mountain ranges, so both are contradictory.

An other huge advantage with a backpack, is that your car is basicaly a giant dryer. You can dry every thing you wash by just putting it under the dashboard.

Also, I meet less people than while hitchhiking.
I don't feel like I need more social interactions now (I have a good social circle back home and don't plan to travel a lot. This week alone is just nice), but it might change.

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bryan
Posts: 710
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: Report on car living

Post by bryan » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:27 pm

Cool! Totally agree that it is incredibly easy. The perks (mobility/flexibility/cost) pretty much take care of any drawbacks.

Van height seems to me one of the biggest trade-offs for an urban van-dweller. Standing up and the visual space is really great/important but it eliminates parking in garages. How do you feel about this subject?

ether
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Re: Report on car living

Post by ether » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:48 pm

Where do you store dirty laundry, does it get smelly?

Jean
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Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am

Re: Report on car living

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:30 am

I get smelly after 6 days without a shower.
I was my cloth when I shower. I found a good technique to do it without making my shower any longer. I Stored some dirty laundy at time, It didn't made the car smellier than the food I am carrying.
I felt good in small spaces since I was a kid. I used to sleep in a big drawer sometimes as a kid, or under my bed. I slept in a tent a lot. My dad had a van and a small boat, and again, small inside space, I was used to it and it is probably associated with comfort and safety in a very deep part of my brain.
I can stand up outside, it's only annoying for cooking inside (try cutting vegetables when sitting in a sofa). But at day, I can see very far outside, my windows are still clear.
I only got scared once, when it rained (usually I like the sound of rain). I realised it was because I was in an unknown place and I couldn't ear the sound of footsteps anymore.

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