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Old Yesterday, 05:52 PM
 
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Old Yesterday, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,415 posts, read 3,109,339 times
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And when age makes a van no longer doable, where do you go? That is a critical part of retirement.

We traveled in a 17' trailer for 15 years, but also had a modest townhouse. The trailer had bathroom, galley, bed and dinette. It also had AC, heat, TV, a fridge, stove and closets. We didn't have to take our dwelling to go on local errands.

Back when, we had a VW camper, but there was no bath, no AC, no TV and a dinky closet.

We always stayed in campgrounds. We paid as little as $4 a night in a National Forest.

On different trips we went as far as Nova Scotia, Cabo San Lucas, Glacier/Waterton National parks, numerous trips to Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Bryce Canyon and the Florida Keys.
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Old Yesterday, 06:37 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
20,111 posts, read 19,105,785 times
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I knew someone who did it and went all over the country with a cat for one year.

Anyway, I love camping and when I first retired, we bought a popup camper and went to Virginia and to Maine, staying at campgrounds. It was great in Maine but I never realized that you would need a/c in a camper until Virginia and neighboring states. Our camper had a sink, stove, microwave, and I've camped since my 20s so I know how to heat up water and take a sponge bath using a basin of warm water. Not a big deal. I felt clean and if I wanted a shower, the campground had nice clean showers. I love being outdoors so walking outside in flip flops to the showers was fine. We bought a portapotty because, being older now, I no longer wanted to trudge out to the bathrooms in the middle of the night. Dignity, lol!

All the campgrounds had wifi so that wasn't an issue. Some campgrounds had swimming pools. Some were near the beach. Thing is, you don't LIVE in the camper. You are always sitting outside in a chair, reading or you are walking around or driving to see something. However, looking back, I wish we had gotten a nice little trailer with bigger beds and a real bathroom. I saw some and they're like those tiny houses, so cute and so cleverly laid out. I have always detested RVs--gas guzzlers, and...I won't go into it, but they take up a lot of space at the campgrounds and sort of spoil it for real campers and I just don't like them.

Anyway, if we had a little trailer instead of just a popup, we'd probably still be touring around or more likely, by now, just leaving the trailer and a campground up in Maine year round so we could stay there in the summer.

Thing is, it depends upon the person. Dh used to buy and sell campers and had his own business doing it and he enjoyed tinkering around with our little popup camper. I have always loved tent camping and it was my parents who got us hooked on it with fun camping trips to mountains in New Hampshire.

As long as I can stay clean and have food, I'm fine. I have never slept as well as I did on my memory foam mattress in the camper with the fresh air and the stars out all around me.

But if you do something like this, you will, hopefully, have a place to come back to. I could never have ditched everything I own and lived in a camper instead. I needed both. Another plan might be to put your stuff into storage and give yourself a year in a camper. People do that. I can't--I need to know that I have a home to return to.

Sorry this is so long, but it's one of my favorite subjects so blah blah blah...when I was very young, like 25 or so, my ex and I bought a good tent and all the gear and spent one summer traveling the USA. It's one of the best experiences of my entire life. Until then I had never seen a desert, a palm tree, the Pacific Ocean, National Parks, etc. One night we even camped at the base of Mt Rushmore. I would NOT be able to do that now, not enough energy anymore. There is so much to see and so much to do that you don't get bored. If you have curiosity about the rest of the country, it's one way to satisfy that craving to see what the rest of the country is like.

I'm very grateful to have seen the whole country by car, not from the air. I mean, I saw Ohio and Iowa and we drove over the Rocky Mountains and swam in the Great Salt Lake. We arrived in California with a tumbleweed stuck in our front bumper, lol.

If anyone wants to travel around in a van or something a little better, I'd say Go For It! You'll never get another chance. Me, as I said, I need something with a bathroom and a way to cook, although I know how to cook over a campfire if I have to. Assuming your health holds out, you'll probably have a lot of time later on to sit on the couch and watch tv or to putter around in your garden or hang out with friends. But if you have the travel adventure urge, go ahead and do it. You just need to know yourself, to know what your needs are, to know if you could stand to just live with a few possessions in a van for a year or so. (I would need to know that my possessions were safely in storage for when I got back, many people would need to know that they had a house to go back to, other people don't care much for possessions or they have learned that all these possessions can also be a burden, a worry.)

That's my 2 cents worth. I think it would be great fun for the right type of person. Know yourself and get your priorities straight.
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Old Yesterday, 07:03 PM
 
788 posts, read 215,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuzzant View Post
For each positive of van living there is a matching negative. Just some negatives for you to consider:

Showering, general hygiene
Cooking/eating
Cleaning utensils and your living space
Do you really want to “live” in that confined of a space?
Weather dependency
Mail (where does it get sent?)
Income tax (residency)
.
.
.
.
The same small place- over and over again...
Aesthetically not very pleasing- there is no designer in the world can make an attractive van interior with all one needs cramped in there.
The noises.
Smells? From your van, from cooking? From dirt and pollen in all nooks and crannies which is hard to clean completely? From the bedding?
And a mold eventually?
Uncertain parking? Not a fan/not fun to sleep in the parking lots?
So few comforts...
In spite of meeting people ( again- not my cup of tea, I know too many people already)- a very lonely existence.
And what if the van has broken down? In inconvenient location? PITA.
Driving around eventually could get old...
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Old Yesterday, 07:13 PM
 
13,394 posts, read 25,727,330 times
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I would never want to worry about the engine, tires, etc., of my living space. If it needs work, it's the whole thing out of commission.
I loved the Roadtrek that I saw. A mere $60k for the whole shebang.

I love having a minimal house with a small yard for old dogs.
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Old Yesterday, 07:25 PM
 
22,210 posts, read 16,890,516 times
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At this late point in my life I want my comforts, so I'll stay in my apartment home.
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Old Yesterday, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
24,059 posts, read 17,905,479 times
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One of my barbers is an avid VW van enthusiast. He has it hollowed out and basically made into a mini-RV. He does the van thing on the side and for vacations. Just the smell of living in one - cooking, body odor, etc., especially in the heat, would get back.

I can see that it's a fun hobby, but not a serious lifestyle.
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Old Yesterday, 07:50 PM
 
12,193 posts, read 5,282,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meo92953 View Post
It's something I've been contemplating for some time. I'm still up in the air about it. One thing I do plan on doing is going to the RTR this year. Check out cheaprvliving.com for details. I will be going in my car and taking a tent.

I want to check out the people, talk to folks who aren't doing videos and just living the lifestyle and hear their realities.

One thing holding me back is that I was just approved for section 8 housing and moved into a senior complex. The apartment is reasonable but utilities are a bit high so it's not quite the savings I thought it would be. Still a lot less than a regular apartment.

What I might do, and I'll know if it's feasible for me at/after the RTR, is to just travel in my car and do the tent thing. My car is a bit small for sleeping I think but, it gets 30 miles to the gallon and is very comfortable to drive. Again, I'll have to check it out.

The thing with me is, outside of living in San Francisco for 3 years and now Arizona for a year and a half, I've never been anywhere. I lived in Minnesota most of my life and, being a single parent for 18+ years I didn't take vacations as I couldn't afford them and keep a roof over our head and food on the table.

There's so many places I would love to see and explore. Right now I'm watching utubes on the lifestyle and am envious of the freedom and the beauty people see as well as the adventure.

But, there are drawbacks too, weather being the major concern. I'm not too concerned about the showering aspect. A lot of people sign up for planet fitness, which is a realistic choice. Cooking wouldn't be a problem as I have a campstove, small table and other accessories for camping.

But, if I could do the lifestyle for at least a year or two, I might be able to save enough for a mobile home. I would still have lot rent but it's something to think about.
I hope you don't mind my saying this, but from your other posts it sounds like you really like where you currently live and now you have the advantage of section 8 renting. So, I'm trying to understand why you would want to lose that in order to go exploring for months or years at a time.
I can totally understand wanting to explore but that's what vacations are for. Pick a spot, travel there, stay a week or two and explore and have fun but with the knowledge that you still have a solid roof over your head and a home in a place you like.
I'm not much for excitement at the risk of losing what I have or not having a solid home foundation to always come back to.
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Old Yesterday, 08:01 PM
 
7,529 posts, read 8,778,685 times
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It's looks interesting but I know I could not handle it full-time and I think the novelty would wear off after 6 to 18 months. A week at a time might be okay, but I like having a home base and lots of creature comforts. The whole bathroom/shower situation would bum me out and having to deal with it longer than a couple weeks would be more than I think I could bear. The thought of having to carry and empty out a toilet -- my back wouldn't survive that, I don't think. Plus I like having more space and being in a cramped van...no thank you. Now one of those million dollar+ RVs would be fun to travel in. But I'm not into driving hours and hours myself, so I'd need someone else to do that part.
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Old Yesterday, 09:27 PM
 
5,602 posts, read 2,948,490 times
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The fancy RVs with built-in toilets still need their so-called blackwater emptied at dump stations, which involves a foul-smelling hose, heavy rubber gloves, disinfectants, and all the fun you might associate with clearing out poop and **** and tp every few days.

Ever walked by an RV whose poop pipe is leaking? Yeah, that kind of stink.
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