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Thread: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

  1. #1
    Gypsy74
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    Default Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    I have always wanted to live in a van and travel around whenever I wanted... even more so after reading Lena's blog.

    Now, it seems like this is the most logical option for my boyfriend and I. We are moving out of our beautiful historic 3br home because of roommate issues (inability to pay rent, alcoholics and slobs) and do not want to go through the hassle of getting another place to live. In the past 9 months, we have lived in my student housing, his room share in a house, traveled for a month and lived a bunch of places, came back to PDX and shared a studio, and then finally got a house- which we thought would be perfect and work out- but it totally didn't.I sold all our furniture, we have very little belongings. I have a suitcase full of stripper stuff/beauty products and a suitcase full of normal clothes/books/laptop/random stuff. He has a camping backpack and 2 guitars.

    Our friend has offered to let us stay at his condo not too far away from our current house, so it's in a good location- for free. The only problem is, we'd be staying in the room his parents stay in when they come to town, so we would have to be prepared to leave and go stay somewhere else for 3-4 days with a 24 hours notice. The room is super comfortable, a beautiful view of the city, laundry room, kitchen, super comfy bed, etc- it's really nice, but it wouldn't be "ours". I really need a place that's ours, just so I don't feel like I'm intruding. It will be nice to stay at the condo, but we also need a place that's solely ours.

    Which is why I have come to the conclusion, that buying a camper-van like this : would be the way to go. We could take trips without relying on rideshare via craigslist, we wouldn't feel stuck in the city, and I could go dance in different cities if I wanted. Plus, we can park it to sleep wherever we want each night, so we will never feel stuck anywhere.

    If anyone else has lived in a van, tell me if you think it's a good idea or not. Is it worth it to spend 4-8k on a van to live in it for 5 months and the resell it or is that just stupid?

  2. #2
    Featured Member BrodieLux's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    I haven't ever done that, but I say DO IT! You live once! Only problem I can think of that would come up is, will you have acess to a shower?
    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousSeeker View Post
    ^Pssssttttt, your stripper is showing.

  3. #3
    Gypsy74
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    yeah we'll be able to shower at the condo, and we have a pocket solar shower we have from previous camping trips that we can set up if we're parked out in a secluded location. We can also use the shower facilities at the college i used to go to. I don't really shower that much anyways, maybe every other day. The lack of bathroom is the only thing I'm uneasy about, I need an electrical outlet to do my hair for work, and a sink to wash my face in after.

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    God/dess scarlett_vancouver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    Can you move into the free condo AND buy the van? Move into the van when the parents come to town, and if the condo dosn't work out, move into the van full time.

    The condo's a freebie, so you might as well use that as a home-base.

    Feature costumes for sale!

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    Senior Member Paul in Saudi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    I bet is would suck. On the other hand, it sounds even ore like an adventure. Do it, and when your fed up check that off your "things I have done list" and move to the next thing.

    I suppose keeping such a small place neat would be tough. Where will you park it?
    If I give all I have to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love; I gain nothing. Paulís 1st Letter, 13th Chapter

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    Featured Member Kabukicho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    Awesome idea. I'm with Scarlett, if the condo is free might as well use that as a base and for all your comforts like the bathroom etc... Then you still have the van for when you need to get out and so you can move around whenever you want.
    I'd love to live in a van like Lena.

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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    Go for it!It's something you can jump in or out of easily if you get the little VW van you can always use it if you decide later against it.And having someone else to share the experience is the great part my wife would of never gone for it but I would of done it in a heartbeat.As said above have an out if you need it the condo could work for you there,maybe even a test run with condo to see what it's like for you.These kind of adventures are what make for great stories/memories later in life I never really talk about the last homes I lived in but if I lived in a van was on the road seeing all kinds of neat places I would remember that.But it does take a certain person to be able to do this.

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    Featured Member DJ Machismo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    Of course if you parked it down by the river, that would just be hilarious!

    Matt Foley anyone?!
    Guy #1: I'd totally hit that.
    Guy #2: Dude, I'd hit that so hard whoever could pull me out would become the King of England.

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    God/dess kitana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    As long as you live down by the river, then it's cool!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Quote Originally Posted by ExoticEngineer View Post
    Feel like a damn salt lick at the goats petting zoo!
    <08SM>

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    God/dess virgoamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    I would love to do something like that but I don't think I'd have the balls to actually pull it off. I agree with what Scarlett said about using the condo as a home base and then use the van when your roommate's folks come into town or if you guys just want to hit the open road.

  11. #11
    Banned i.breathe.in's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    ditto then you can do whatever feels best after a time of trying both out.

    Quote Originally Posted by virgoamm View Post
    I would love to do something like that but I don't think I'd have the balls to actually pull it off. I agree with what Scarlett said about using the condo as a home base and then use the van when your roommate's folks come into town or if you guys just want to hit the open road.

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    God/dess carmen_b's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    It does sound like an awesome adventure. Keep in mind that Lena lives alone in her van ( plus dog of course ) . She isn't tripping over and literally elbow to elbow with someone or trying to maintain a romantic relationship with them ( which some people can't even do in the same apartment or house ! ) . Vans are small . Rent one and live in it for a week before making the purchase.

    I'm not discouraging you. It would be great to have another hobo stripper on SW ! I'm just trying to think how it would work better for 2 people.

    Van dwelling does seems pretty awesome sometimes.
    Your thread is making my mind spin. My family has a Van ( with seats that pull out into a queen bed). If I took that and got a memory foam ( because you feel the seatbelts ) .... and on and on. But ...... my Van would have my awesome bed and there would be room for nothing else.

  13. #13
    Gypsy74
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    I think we're going to do it. I'm like 90 percent sure at this point. We're going to get a westfalia camper, but not a super old one, and obviously one with a nice engine and not too many miles on it. Westfalias are really cool because they can sleep 4 people, there's a pop-top that has a bed the size of the roof of the van on top, with a window int he front, so you can park facing something pretty and wake up to it. There's also a fold out bed in the bottom, so we could even sleep separate if we wanted too. There's built in storage, a little sink and stovetop and refrigerator.. I think we'll be fine living in it. We've traveled all over together for almost a year, lived in all sorts of living situations (on his parent's floor in LA, various youth hostels, 200 sq. ft. studio apartment, haunted attic, student housing, etc... if anything living in the van will be the most liberating of everywhere we've lived because we won't be tied down.

    oh and pretty much anywhere close in portland is down by the river.. because there's a big river running through it

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    Banned jasmine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    Definitely take the free condo as a backup. It sounds like a great adventure and all.... But have you ever lived without power or water???? It sucks ass! It's not too bad for a week or so, sorta like camping, but when it finally sets in that this is now life, WOW....Serious depression. (At least this was my experience.)

  15. #15
    Gypsy74
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    i've lived without power and water before... i camp all the time. I'm really low maintenance. We'll have one of those power converters in the bus so we can plug stuff in, and we'll have music, and we'll have the condo to stop at and shower, and there's public restrooms all over the place we can go to.

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    God/dess hockeybobby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy74 View Post
    i've lived without power and water before... i camp all the time. I'm really low maintenance. We'll have one of those power converters in the bus so we can plug stuff in, and we'll have music, and we'll have the condo to stop at and shower, and there's public restrooms all over the place we can go to.
    Awesome Gypsy. Yeah...just do it. You are going to have a blast.

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    God/dess scarlett_vancouver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    I think it sounds great.

    Feature costumes for sale!

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    God/dess carmen_b's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    ^^ Sounds like a much better idea than a Van. I was having a hard time seeing that working well logistically.

    I'm pretty jealous. I have traveled extensively , but I've always wanted to "live on the road" somehow. This way of living seemed so obscure , but there are so many other people who do it ! I wish the person I'm in a relationship with ( not for much longer probably ) had the travel bug as strongly as I do. I want to live out of the country for a while too . Didn't you post about NZ a while ago or was that someone else ?

    Please blog or tell us about these adventures !

    If you don't like it or only do it for a couple months, you can always sell the pop up trailer. I'm really curious to know details such us how many miles the trailer will get to a gallon ect. Are you planning to stay mostly in the Pacific Northwest or do some major miles ?

    I truly believe that we are a little out of touch with the natural world in our modern way of living and living within nature a little more can be a wonderful thing.

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    God/dess Mr Hyde's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    It worked for this guy!


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    God/dess dlabtot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    I've done it. Of course it gets old after awhile but then you can get a place and you'll have a good vehicle for vacations and trips.

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    God/dess krchab99's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    um sounds like hell to me lol. but if its not hell to you then do it i don't see why not. Are you going be traveling the country or just living in the van and staying based in one area. It would be great if you were going to travel but if not i dont realy see the point.

  22. #22
    Gypsy74
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    ^we'll be staying in one area most of the time, as im working 3-4 nights a week and my bf works 5 days a week, but on the weekends we'll go on roadtrips to the beach, SF, northern cali, etc.

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    God/dess Lena's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    Well, obviously I think it's a great idea. :-)

    Things to consider are that it's hard and expensive to get parts for the westfalia's now. In retrospect, I really wish I had gotten an old cheap Ford Ecoline (you can get them 19 ft long with a raised roof), with the 300 (4.9L) inline six. This engine has no timing chain to wear out and will go forever and get almost the same gas mileage I get in my little mini-van, and way better than you'd get in the Westfalia.

    Obviously, you know you can put solar panels on the roof, but you should know that you can also hook your house batteries into your alternator to charge while you're driving. Most hair straighteners/irons use like 200 watts, so you're fine there.

    If your bf wakes up before you in the morning you'll have to train him to leave for a while instead of waking you up. That was my big problem living in a bus with my ex.



  24. #24
    AudreyLeigh
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    Id do it - if I had one of these.... ya know, shower, toilet, power, etc.



    Ya know, a penthouse suite on wheels...

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    God/dess scarlett_vancouver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Living in a van- to do or not to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by carmen_b View Post
    I truly believe that we are a little out of touch with the natural world in our modern way of living and living within nature a little more can be a wonderful thing.
    Definitely agree, though I wouldn't say car-living is the best way to get back to nature, lol. I think it's awesome for simplifying and saying screw you to the man though.

    Feature costumes for sale!

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