Living in a van/motor home to save (some people)

Discussion in 'Wealth Creation & Management' started by TreasureHunter, May 12, 2019.

  1. TreasureHunter

    TreasureHunter Well-Known Member

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    Some people decide to live in a van/motor home just for the lifestyle and for the sake of saving.

    What do you think about this?

    For those of you living in Australia and with limited budgets to invest, this could be a possible solution. If you do it in groups, it's a lot safer:

     
  2. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I have a young friend who joined the Van Living culture to save money and she was living in a van in the city for a while, joined all of the “van life” forums to learn all of the tricks and hacks used to live in a van and she lasted a few months. It sounds a lot more glamorous that it actually is. Being inside a van with the engine turned off in a 37 degree day in summer for example. Finding a public swimming pool or gym to have a shower. Finding a laundromat. Everything is a compromise. Every little thing that you take for granted living in a house and simply ignore as a result suddenly becomes an important issue in a van. If you need to use the bathroom during the night there isn’t one. If you just managed to find somewhere to have a shower where are you going to put your wet towel to dry? Want to cook a decent healthy meal? Stand up straight while indoors? Playing Tetris every time you want to go from sleeping to eating gets tedious real quick. Every tiny domestic thing from storage, eating, rubbish disposal, smelly shoes, fresh air, temperature, security, being able to stand upright and not have to crawl around your home, electricity and water become important issues filled with compromise.

    It would be difficult enough living permenantly in a motor home or a large caravan, you could do it if it’s a decent rig and that is not in any way cheap, a motor home or caravan and towing vehicle setup that would be reasonably comfortable isn’t a cheap option to purchase and maintain. living in a fitted out van? Not a good strategy. Maybe if you had a friend or relatives that let you park it in their yard and use their facilities it could be a money saving exercise but otherwise it would be too stressful.

    Shopping online is a problem for example when you have no premises to deliver a parcel to. And probably the most important thing to consider is temperament. If you have a partner you will be living on top of each other. No privacy. If you are prone to depression, if you have a medical condition or suffer from migraines or severe period pain then all of the issues you face will be amplified. When you are feeling unwell or down you can’t just go to bed and close the door and have a good rest. It’s all good fun when you are feeling well and happy but when you have the blues or are sick you are going to miss that warm bed and having a nice kitchen and bathroom down the hall. Van/ motor home living isn’t for everyone, if you have any kind if physical or mental fragility it might be too difficult for you.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  3. Silverling

    Silverling Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    We did it for a few Months in a Toyota Hiace Van, it was when we were younger. This was one with just a mattress in the back and everything else we carried. Food stored in cardboard boxes, water stored in several 2 litre plastic bottles and an esky in the back. It was rough and we had little money but the adventure was more important than the comfort.

    The worst thing was the flies and mosquitoes. Distinctly remember stopping for lunch one day up in North Western Australia whilst touring. Needed to stretch our legs and was looking forward to a nice tuna sandwich (tuna out of a can). As soon as we opened the door literally thousands of flies swarmed to my wife and I, on our back, on our Month, trying to get up our nostrils. It was so bad we had to get back in the van and close all the windows and have our lunch right where we sat all day. Then night comes along and it's like a change of shift, the flies knock off and the mosquitoes clock on.

    If you really do it cheap then you need to stay in rest areas in remote areas where there are no fees. This is ok but you will be lucky if you have a toilet let alone water. My wife hated using the bush as a toilet but we persevered as the point of the exercise was to see Australia. Every second or 3rd day we would hit a caravan park so we could do the chores, laundry, filling water bottles, showering and cooking. Every night at a rest area was $$$ saved. Stayed in some amazing bush camps. One time we were driving in the Northern Territory and saw a sign saying, "Disused WW11 Airfield" so I thought, lets go have a look. Drove down this overgrown gravel road and sure enough there was this old airfield. We ended up camping there the night, no one about.

    In my opinion you got to be sure of the rig you will be using and living in. We did it totally with nothing, just a van. It was hard going. But if you do it with a $200,000 RV with satellite, toilet, shower and heaps of water [AND FLYSCREENS, ha] it would be much more bearable. We still remember those days well and saw parts of Australia very few people do and are happy we did it. I just recommend being prepared for everything and I mean everything.
     
  4. Jim4silver

    Jim4silver Well-Known Member

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    Living in a van... down by the river

     
  5. JohnnyBravo300

    JohnnyBravo300 Active Member

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    We have since 2009 but we dont travel. We live off grid and not around any cities. It's been an interesting 10 years and weve learned alot.
    The trade off has given me more financial freedom but there is sometimes more work to do in other ways. It's not for everyone.
     
  6. SlyGuy

    SlyGuy Active Member

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    That's pretty extreme. The van/RV thing would be an absolute last resort for me; how the hell would you bring dates back? There is frugality... and then there is insanity. I am a big fan of camping, but I can't imagine not having water, bath, climate control, etc on work nights, date nights, etc. That would be torture. I'm surprised they don't just do rental house or apartment sharing with a few people in the way that university kids do.

    ...personally, I just choose to have a smallish, older rental unit in the city and a minimalist lifestyle. With the right décor, it suffices just fine. Ladies don't mind it, and neither do I. I'm usually at work or out doing things... only really home reading or relaxing a couple of nights per week.

    As I saw it, with rising rents and insane house costs, the choices to keep living expenses low were: small/old unit, sketchy neighborhood, boondocks, or roommate. The first choice was easily the best and most logical one in my estimation.

    People are often surprised when they know what I do for career and then see or hear about my unit. They think it is fairly illogical for a professional to be living not much better than a bartender or a college student, but then again, a lot of them have net worth that's 6 figures in debt while I have 7 figures in assets. I guess who is "living better" depends on goals. They also don't realize that many people worldwide live with much less. To each their own.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
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  7. JohnnyBravo300

    JohnnyBravo300 Active Member

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    Then theres the old couple with a hugemungous house and most of the rooms never get used hehe. Theres a full spectrum out there for sure.
     

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