U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Celebrating Labor Day!
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Self-Sufficiency and Preparedness
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-02-2011, 01:00 PM
 
Location: United States
2,497 posts, read 3,848,994 times
Reputation: 2106
Default Living in a VAN down by the RIVER!

So who knows that quote?
I'm 34 with no kids and not much family. Got into a little trouble (alcohol related or course) and by the end of the year should be all legally free to roam. Is it insane to have an idea to sell all my worldy junk, buy a van, make it my home and travel the country? I would stay mostly on the west coast so i dont freeze to death, plus I really love it out there but housing is unattainable.
I'm just sick and tired of the conventional life, it's predictable and I can't get ahead no matter what I do. So is this a "crazy" idea? I'm very frugal and have had this dream of doing this for years now. It would be such a simple existence. Thoughts? Opinions?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-02-2011, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn,NY
6,938 posts, read 4,475,842 times
Reputation: 9068
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc76 View Post
So who knows that quote?
I'm 34 with no kids and not much family. Got into a little trouble (alcohol related or course) and by the end of the year should be all legally free to roam. Is it insane to have an idea to sell all my worldy junk, buy a van, make it my home and travel the country? I would stay mostly on the west coast so i dont freeze to death, plus I really love it out there but housing is unattainable.
I'm just sick and tired of the conventional life, it's predictable and I can't get ahead no matter what I do. So is this a "crazy" idea? I'm very frugal and have had this dream of doing this for years now. It would be such a simple existence. Thoughts? Opinions?
It sounds very adventurous, and without any dependents makes it easy to break away. The "you only live once" thing comes into play. You might want to get an RV instead. A van sounds cramped and uncomfortable. Many folks, including ones I encounter through work, have done this with an RV and traveled all over. If you do the same, you probably will come across a place to settle, A place that "feels" right. And you can start life over, and make it what you wish-And you will rewrite the book of your life.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
16,344 posts, read 18,953,002 times
Reputation: 13195
I've got a very reliable 30 foot class A RV for sale (cheap)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2011, 02:08 PM
 
Location: SW Colorado
1,717 posts, read 949,502 times
Reputation: 3202
I spent an entire summer camped out in a tent near the San Miguel River in the Colorado mountains. I was alone and had only my cat for companionship - and yes, cats can actually adapt to being campers! It was probably one of the most memorable summers of my life. The setting was beautiful - surrounded by high mountain peaks and fields of wildflowers. I cooked over a campfire or my Coleman stove and got to see every kind of wild life from bears to lynx to bald eagles to elk and deer. I worried some about cougars which were known to be present in that area, but I never saw one. The wild animal that gave me the most trouble was the field mouse and my cat took care of that problem within a couple of weeks!

I say go for it. If you find that the experience doesn't suit you, you can always find work and save up your paychecks until you get back into an apartment. But I bet you'll have a blast!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2011, 05:16 PM
 
16 posts, read 31,366 times
Reputation: 41
I just bet your a guy, but if not a guy, all the more power to ya. When I was I kid I wanted to be a hobo, isn't that essentially what You'll be? a free spirit wandering the country. I think it's great if you can do it and have some money to back you up, need that all mighty buck to by gas these days or are you going by mule? I say have a great time and live will ya, have fun, you only come this way once, don't live a conventional life, at least not right now, you have plenty of time to say "settle down". Wish I was going with ya, but I'm a married 51 year old, old lady. But in my mind I'm still a 20 year old crazy minded individual that never liked to live the conventional life style. Were people are living the 9 to 5 job I always lived the 5 to 9 job, were every one was going one way on the road, I was going the opposite way, sure did beat being in all that traffic that's for sure. Never live the conventional life, never give up your individuality, never conform to conformity! Go for it and Live my dear!





Quote:
Originally Posted by jc76 View Post
So who knows that quote?
I'm 34 with no kids and not much family. Got into a little trouble (alcohol related or course) and by the end of the year should be all legally free to roam. Is it insane to have an idea to sell all my worldy junk, buy a van, make it my home and travel the country? I would stay mostly on the west coast so i dont freeze to death, plus I really love it out there but housing is unattainable.
I'm just sick and tired of the conventional life, it's predictable and I can't get ahead no matter what I do. So is this a "crazy" idea? I'm very frugal and have had this dream of doing this for years now. It would be such a simple existence. Thoughts? Opinions?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2011, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Northern NH
4,551 posts, read 5,827,228 times
Reputation: 3645
Have fun and lay of the drinking so you can really enjoy yourself.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2011, 12:56 AM
 
4,553 posts, read 3,561,362 times
Reputation: 5108
When I graduate, Grad school is online.

I'm thinking of Moving to Key West and being a beach bum for 2-3 months and living out the back of a truck (SUV actually)

I've lived in worse places.

Why not!?!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2011, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,109 posts, read 24,060,493 times
Reputation: 13164
You may find that the days of "Charlie and Me" are not what they once were. The very first thing you will come up against is the idea that you have to have money. When gas was .15 to .30/gal and rest courts were $2/night travel was cheap. Pulling off by the side of the road is no longer allowed many places. Campgrounds are $20/night, only accept certain vehicles, and are often full. Then there is the problem of food. There are only so many wild hickory nuts you can eat, even if you do learn how to successfully crack them. Shopping for food no more than three or four days in advance eliminates any bargains or stocking up. With van camping, heat is an issue, showering and laundry are a little less so, but still a pain. Surprisingly, boredom can actually become an issue.

Back in 1963, my brother and I traveled the U.S. for a month in an MG, spending just $1,000. Doing that same trip today in a van would conservatively cost $5,000. Back in 1940, my parents and two friends did a more more extensive trip for 9 cents less. Their TOTAL cost for gasoline, going all around the U.S. was... $145.36. LOL! That is two fill-ups for a van today. For the four of them, the cost of lodging per night averaged $2.21, and food for the four averaged $1.79. Those last two figures are NOT per person, but for all of them. They saw two world fairs, a bunch of national parks, and places from Washington D.C. to Washington State, etc..

Van camping is fun, and an inexpensive way of getting from point to point, and you might really get a kick out of it for a couple of months, but at the end of that time you may be ready for something different.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2011, 10:05 AM
 
111 posts, read 39,795 times
Reputation: 41
Thats not crazy but heres an idea, you could become a truck driver and travel the country that way and get paid to do it. If you don't want to and want more freedom on where you get to go you should buy something thats cheap on gas and get one of those 6x12 cargo trailers and convert it into a little camper and no one would even know its a camper. or you could get one of those pop up campers. I don't think getting a van would be a good idea since gas is so expensive.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2011, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
2,010 posts, read 2,457,986 times
Reputation: 2974
All the romanticism aside, I have to agree with Harry.

We have 2 fellows hereabouts that are technically homeless. Neither one works full time, but both do odd jobs here and there. One gets SSI (disability) and the other is on welfare. Both very low income. I see these guys a lot, even consider them to be friends.

One lives in a VW Vanagon camper; the other in a 15-year old motor home he got for $5K. The VW guy sleeps mostly in a Wal-Mart parking lot. He spends his days in a public library. The motor home guy pretty much has to stay on the move, as the cops around here (beach territory) know him and send him on his way just as soon as he gets comfortable.

Both guys describe their lives as "very stressful". Wintertime, especially, is difficult. Both eat canned goods mostly, with Chef Boyardee varieties being the main fare. They both eat it cold, right out of the can. Both are getting sizeable pot bellies. One belongs to a gym and showers there; both do their laundry at a laundromat. Neither one has a cat or dog (much less a woman!).

Toward the beginning of the month (check-time!) they can afford to get a little fuel. The VW takes diesel, sometimes vegetable oil if available. The motor home is straight gas, and very pricey to fill. They don't travel far -- can't afford to.

As for living next to a river, realize that you WILL be seen, and likely asked, no - told - to leave. After that, you will be "known", and hounded off all public property. My best advice is, save up a little bit of cash and buy or rent a small lot in the sticks where you can park, and not be bothered. America used to be a free country, but it isn't anymore. All of that is romanticism.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $79,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Self-Sufficiency and Preparedness
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top