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  #51  
Old 09-17-2019, 06:24 PM
Wheelz is offline
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I recently happened to read this article about a couple who decided to try the #vanlife, and it didn't exactly go spectacularly.

They seemed to enter into the venture with some unrealistic expactations, and they bought an old, broken-down van and had zero mechanical skills in case something needed fixing. So one could ague that their troubles were mostly self-inflicted. Still, it's a good read for anybody who thinks they might want to do this, as it pokes a lot of holes in the imagined romanticism of it all.
  #52  
Old 09-17-2019, 07:34 PM
SamuelA is offline
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Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
I recently happened to read this article about a couple who decided to try the #vanlife, and it didn't exactly go spectacularly.

They seemed to enter into the venture with some unrealistic expactations, and they bought an old, broken-down van and had zero mechanical skills in case something needed fixing. So one could ague that their troubles were mostly self-inflicted. Still, it's a good read for anybody who thinks they might want to do this, as it pokes a lot of holes in the imagined romanticism of it all.
Well, also, living by yourself in a van, fine. Living with another human in such a tiny space? Not a smooth move.
  #53  
Old 09-17-2019, 08:54 PM
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I've wondered if this lifestyle would work for a struggling college student? It wouldn't require much time in the van. Most students are in class, studying at the library, or working a part-time job. They just need a place to sleep and maybe eat early in the morning.

School break would be a problem if they can't go to their parents.

Last edited by aceplace57; 09-17-2019 at 08:55 PM.
  #54  
Old 09-18-2019, 03:59 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
I recently happened to read this article about a couple who decided to try the #vanlife, and it didn't exactly go spectacularly.

They seemed to enter into the venture with some unrealistic expactations, and they bought an old, broken-down van and had zero mechanical skills in case something needed fixing. So one could ague that their troubles were mostly self-inflicted. Still, it's a good read for anybody who thinks they might want to do this, as it pokes a lot of holes in the imagined romanticism of it all.
I read the article and I think that very few of their troubles had much to do with the van. They basically boiled down to

1. Stress due to living too close to the financial edge
2. Long-term travel being a major life disruption that they struggled to deal with

The couple in the article apparently sunk their last $2000 into an old vehicle planning to put 10,000+ miles on it with zero margin for error. And as a result were constantly nervous about it. I've also driven an old van long distances (not that long or that old, but we put almost 4,000 miles on a 14-year-old van this summer). But I didn't stress about it breaking down because I knew I could afford to fix it if it broke.

Long term travel when you've never done it can be a shock to the system. But that doesn't have much to do with living in a van. If they'd gone on a long trip backpacking or by chauffeur it might not make a big difference. There's nothing in the article about getting on each others nerves due to being in a small space or needing privacy or personal time.

It's worth pointing out that a solid majority of humans live in as close proximity to others as two people living in a van do. Obviously, it's an adjustment if you're used to having 1,000 square foot all to yourself, but it's not impossible.
  #55  
Old 09-19-2019, 10:15 PM
sps49sd is offline
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Based on the RVs and vans around where I work, my biggest hope is that vanners don't use the street as a toilet.

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Down by the river, under a bridge....
...eating government cheese?
  #56  
Old 09-20-2019, 09:56 PM
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At the GM plant you have some guys who lived more than 50 miles away so they had a camper in the parking lot and only went home on weekends.
Here in Northern Va we call living 50 + miles from home our daily commute.
  #57  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:40 PM
Musicat is offline
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I had a good friend, albeit a few decades ago, who lived in a Toyota pickup with a large camper shell. He acquired contracts of 3-12 months to do technical development, software and/or hardware, and part of his contract was the provision that he could park in the company's lot and connect to their electricity. His living expenses were minimal, and his income, substantial.

Then he got married. Time to settle down and live in a house or apartment? But no, his new wife moved in to the camper with him.

Some people seem to enjoy the cramped quarters that others would find too confining. When my friend came to visit me once, he parked his camper next to my house, connected to my electric feed, shared meals with me (in my house), but declined to use my spare bedroom.

Oddly, his lifestyle worked to advantage on one occasion. One fall, he rented a house close to me, and that October, we had a severe storm, perhaps the worse I ever experienced. Our power was out for several days, and the rented house was without heat, refrigerator or stove. For me, that meant using a fireplace, blankets, and eating crackers, but my friend merely moved back into his camper, where he had heat, light, and cooking facilities (generator, propane). He was better off than the rest of the neighborhood.
  #58  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:50 PM
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My BIL works in the NY prison system, and he's from upstate. When he was assigned to Rykers he lived in the dorms provided for the year or so until he was able to move back upstate. His description of the employee dorms wasn't that bad, but I could understand the appeal of a comfortable RV. Winter would still be an issue.
I'm confused. Rikers Island is a New York City jail. All of the upstate prisons are run by the state (or by federal or upstate counties). A person doesn't normally transfer from a city job to a state job; it's starting all over again.

Are you sure it was Rikers Island and not a state prison in New York City like Arthurkill or Queensboro?
  #59  
Old 09-21-2019, 04:02 AM
Wendell Wagner is offline
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Have you seen the movie The Lady in the Van?:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3722070/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lady_in_the_Van
  #60  
Old 09-21-2019, 05:57 AM
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I'm confused. Rikers Island is a New York City jail.
Of course you're right. I'm not sure what prison he was in but it was just outside of New York City.
  #61  
Old 10-15-2019, 03:10 PM
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I mean, it's not like the Romany lifestyle is new, people have been living it for 1000 years at least. And for all of that time the occasional "Buffer" has felt drawn to it as well, although all the good stories start with a love interest. Caravans, narrow boats, trailers and RVs are home to generations of Irish Travelers as well. Some people have that call to travel constantly, and no real affection for the usual comforts.

I could see doing it for short periods, but I'd have to have a bathroom and a shower of some type. I pee way too often to be running into a building every time. (Sorry, TMI?)

My concern would be the social isolation of it. If you're a natural extrovert who is going to find people wherever you go, great! But if this appeals to you because you are an introvert, beware. The hermit life is not terribly healthy.
  #62  
Old 10-16-2019, 11:39 AM
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A former CNN journalist began living in a van with his wife. He is currently working on a book about their experiences.

https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2019...e-road-camping
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