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Trending - Living in a van down by the river
Old 09-21-2016, 01:58 PM   #1
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Trending - Living in a van down by the river

While we talk about living in a van as an option of desperation, apparently some are deliberately choosing it as a lifestyle option to save on housing costs. In the high COL area of Los Angeles it is apparently becoming a viable option for many. Hey, if you're tough enough, it works.

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Last year, 4,600 cars and RVs were used as homes, according to The Los Angeles Times.

L.A., like many cities, has a housing shortage. This, coupled with a 3.1 percent vacancy rate, makes affordable living in L.A. an oxymoron.


"The main expenses are insurance for the van, which is like $60 a month," said Hutchins. "Then, I have a storage unit for like $60."


That puts his monthly rent at $120. The van cost him just $125 at an auction.
People are ditching apartments to live the 'van life' | Circa News - Learn. Think. Do.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:09 PM   #2
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if I was single in a high COL area I would definitely consider it - DW...not so much
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:16 PM   #3
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Have you seen the High-top vans being sold today? They are not crazy priced, and could easily be set up as a teeny tiny house on wheels....

I'm considering buying one next time to outfit as a very temporary RV from which to camp for two days and go fishing...You could put a rug on the floor, a cot, a cooler and a porta potty, and a 50 gallon plastic water container and you'd be set....Plenty of room. Thye make so much neat camping stuff today...for one person, it'd be fine.

The Nissan NV, or Ford or Dodge all look like great choices. I could see it.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:19 PM   #4
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This would be more appealing if they were actually down by the river. Cooking turkey burgers on a portable stove on the sidewalk isn't my idea of fun, but I guess it's good that they're not getting themselves into debt while trying to make a go of their creative endeavors.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:26 PM   #5
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I had a cousin that lived in a VW bus behind a bar in El Segundo. He spent his waking hours in the bar.

His father lived a few blocks away, and he had a waitress and her 2 kids living in a Class C motorhome in front of his house. They'd come inside and take a shower every a.m. prior to going to work and high school.

Believe me, living this way is simply not a proper lifestyle.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:26 PM   #6
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Here's a whole community of vandwellers:

https://www.reddit.com/r/vandwellers/
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:30 PM   #7
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Believe me, living this way is simply not a proper lifestyle.
It's not, but some have little choice.

When unemployment spiked a few years ago and people were out of jobs for a very long time, the advice was to give up your house before your car, because you need mobility to have a chance at finding a job (unless you live in an area with good public transportation). You can live in your car, but you can't drive your house or apartment.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:33 PM   #8
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Urban vandwelling? No thanks.
Prior to our present situation, my wife and I drifted around for several years with only a pickup/camper shell and a very small custom built trailer to carry the gear. Later we added a 16' travel trailer to the fleet. Lots of fun, to be continued......
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:35 PM   #9
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:37 PM   #10
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His father lived a few blocks away, and he had a waitress and her 2 kids living in a Class C motorhome in front of his house. They'd come inside and take a shower every a.m. prior to going to work and high school.

Believe me, living this way is simply not a proper lifestyle.
Yeah, when it's a single person and done by choice to save money that's one thing. When there are kids and/or there is no other option, that's a different matter.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:47 PM   #11
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Ah..to each their own, I guess. Certainly not the way I would want to "roll"
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:50 PM   #12
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The "tiny house" mania amazes me because many of the tiny houses [plus the land to park them on] cost more than small traditional houses in other areas.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
While we talk about living in a van as an option of desperation, apparently some are deliberately choosing it as a lifestyle option to save on housing costs. In the high COL area of Los Angeles it is apparently becoming a viable option for many. Hey, if you're tough enough, it works.

People are ditching apartments to live the 'van life' | Circa News - Learn. Think. Do.

It's also known as homelessness.😦


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Old 09-21-2016, 03:23 PM   #14
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I recently watched a tiny house segment from San Francisco . A single guy purchased a less than 300 square foot house in San Francisco for $500,000 . There was a bidding war and he got it for $550,000 . I was shocked .He basically slept on a pull out couch as there was no bedroom.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
I recently watched a tiny house segment from San Francisco . A single guy purchased a less than 300 square foot house in San Francisco for $500,000 . There was a bidding war and he got it for $550,000 . I was shocked .He basically slept on a pull out couch as there was no bedroom.
To much money and not enough sense.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:32 PM   #16
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I poked around for a while on a blog-type forum (the name escapes me now) that focused on living out of your vehicle. I was trying to learn any thrifty habits that might be useful.

You would be surprised as to the number of people that do this for whatever reason. Some of the car / van setups were very innovative and quite functional. Most of these people were not "homeless" in the street urchin sense, but preferred this lifestyle. They utilized exercise club memberships to stop in at gyms along their travels for a shower, slept for free in casino parking lots, hospital parking lots, cooked in their vehicle, etc.


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Old 09-21-2016, 03:58 PM   #17
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Last year when we were traveling in our RV we met quite a few people that lived in RV's. Some were smaller then our 27 ft, most had pets. Some did it because they loved it and some because they had too. An older couple that loved it spent half the year in Denver and the winter in Arizona. The RV parks are like parking lots with very little space between them. I could not imagine living like that.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
I recently watched a tiny house segment from San Francisco . A single guy purchased a less than 300 square foot house in San Francisco for $500,000 . There was a bidding war and he got it for $550,000 . I was shocked .He basically slept on a pull out couch as there was no bedroom.
I saw that too! ...and there was no place to park his car. He got a parking spot nearby costing $350 a month. Egads.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:19 PM   #19
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This isn't a new concept - but it is trending.

When I was in high school one of my dad's friends had a son going to UCSD. He lived in a camper van/PU in the student parking lot. He kept his camper in the lot near the gym/pool... and used the showers associated with the pool. Campus police tried to hassle him about it -but the parking permit didn't limit the hours and there were no posted signs forbidding overnight parking. They couldn't really ban overnight parking since the library was open 24 hours. The son of my dad's friend ended up graduating with zero debt. Probably because his rent was parking permit he purchased each quarter.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:39 PM   #20
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Very interesting conversion of a van to a living space
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