Vehicles, Preparation and Van Living

Things have changed a lot in the automobile world in the last 10(?) years.  Mainly the pricing.  If you are thinking about living in your van, it’s something you need to take into account.

A workable vehicle, one that’s going to run well without needing repairs all the time, costs a pretty penny.  Perhaps as much as ten grand.  And repairs cost a lot more than they used to.  You MUST have some kind of income with this lifestyle or eventually you will probably lose your vehicle.  It will die and you won’t be able to fix it.

Sometimes when I’ve needed repairs, they have “only” been $250-300 but often, they are $1000, $1500 or more.

Vinnie I needs a new transmission.  I have been quoted $2500 for that repair. I certainly can’t afford that but I am very fortunate that he still runs if I put $6.50 worth of trans fluid in him every morning (almost $200/month).  Granted, I drive a lot.  Maybe others don’t.  But if you don’t have an income, eventually you will have to deal with expensive repairs or have to get a new car or van.  In most cases, if you can’t move your car around, the city will tow it and you might end up sleeping outside.

BUT, an acquaintance of mine who sleeps in his van had this problem.  He has a tiny income from somewhere (I’m guessing a parent).  Long before his van died he became friendly with a woman who lived in an apartment.  He started participating in the neighborhood barbeques, ingratiating himself with them and eventually got permission to sleep in his van in the parking lot every night.  When his van died, they actually allowed him to leave it there all the time and sleep there.  He bought a tiny car to drive for $800.  He didn’t register or insure it.  He just drives where he needs to, obviously avoiding the police.  He figures if the worst happens and the police take his car, he’s only out $800.  When this car dies, he will buy another like it.  This is one route a van dweller could use.  It’s a little more risk than I would want to take because I have to get to my jobs.  No car, no jobs.  I don’t have any passive income.  I have to work for all of it.  I also am not as good with people as this guy.  He could sell ice to an eskimo, as the saying goes.

Anyway, if you are considering van living, consider your skill level and plan accordingly.  Are you good with people?  You can probably get them to help you.  Are you a person who rather likes working, you should figure out what might be a good fit for you, if you haven’t already.

Thanks for reading.  Have a nice day!

About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
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