Author Topic: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?  (Read 5187 times)

moneetalks

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Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« on: March 20, 2017, 09:14:58 PM »
I often consider a prolonged road trip when I FIRE.  I envision my son and myself (he has special needs), living in a converted van or small RV, leisurely making our way around and seeing this great and vast country.  I wonder what the budget would be like.  The cost of staying in campgrounds and the like seems like it adds up pretty quickly. 

Is anyone doing something like this?  Can you give me any guidance?

Thanks,
David

FrugalZony

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 11:31:28 PM »
Depending on what you are looking for this can cost as little or as much as you want.
We have been living full time in our RV for 15months now and started travelling 7 months ago.
We have met people iving in vans, small rvs or even cars, mostly camping for free on BLM land, living on super tiny budgets.
On the other hand we met folks with rigs costing 250k plus not batting an eye at campground charging
 $ 1000 or more a month..expensive club memberships and yada yada

There are some amazing resources out there on how to rv on a budget and live a comfortable life on pretty much any budget

We love being out in nature, so boondocking is our preferred way of camping, which certainly helps with the budget too

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Caoineag

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2017, 07:28:43 AM »
DH and I are in the process of converting a van ourselves. We have been using it for several vacations now and find it to be a relatively inexpensive and comfortable way to travel. Even if you don't boondock, there are always campsites available for $10-15 per night and those are usually the most spread out campsites. I do recommend reading various blogs, especially of people traveling in Class B or small rv's to see if you think its something you would enjoy. Most people recommend renting one if you have never stayed in one before buying. For us, we were upgrading from tent and car camping so were pretty sure we knew what we wanted.

The one caution I would give, is make sure you don't need space or a lot of belongings. You are going to be very limited on those two things. For us, we are willing to make the trade off and will be doing the multi year FIRE traveling in the van (about a year left till takeoff!) and will be taking lots of week long vacations in the van before then to test everything out. Good luck!

Cassie

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 01:54:58 PM »
I get claustrophobic in our 27 ft RV after a month.  We don't have slide outs and I think if we did it would make a difference.  Also what we found when traveling is that if you stay in a place for a month the rates are much cheaper.  That is what most people do. For us it has not been cheap because we want to go places and see stuff so the gas and site fees add up quickly.  When we go camping with a group of friends we go to state parks that are fairly cheap and I do not mind not having any services. But for a longer time we want them and they cost $.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 02:29:58 PM »
The cost of staying in campgrounds and the like seems like it adds up pretty quickly. 

You don't have to pay for camping in a lot of places, but let's assume you do:

- 31 days in a month
- 15 days at a bling pay campground @$35/day
- 16 days at a cheaper pay campground @$15/day
- accommodation cost for the month = $765

That would be less than a cheap apartment around here so for accommodations that seems reasonable. You can for sure pay $0/night some of the time so your actual cost could be lower.

Cassie

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 02:37:22 PM »
In big cities in the US we paid 55/night for a so-so campground. We looked into the Oregon coast and it was 800/month even for tiny towns. The national parks were some of the most expensive with The Grand Tetons being 75/night and YS 55/night.  The public ones around here are about 25/night. So it really depends on where you are going and how long you want to stay in one spot. If you went to the Midwest it is probably much cheaper. 

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 02:41:29 PM »
In big cities in the US we paid 55/night for a so-so campground. We looked into the Oregon coast and it was 800/month even for tiny towns. The national parks were some of the most expensive with The Grand Tetons being 75/night and YS 55/night.  The public ones around here are about 25/night. So it really depends on where you are going and how long you want to stay in one spot. If you went to the Midwest it is probably much cheaper.

I've camped all over the western US and Canada and never paid more than $35USD and that was for bling, wifi, pool, showers, real toilets and laundry, etc.. Typically we'll pay $15/night for a Forest Service style campground or camp free.

For $55 - $75/night I would just go to a hotel.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 02:43:12 PM by Retire-Canada »

Cassie

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 02:49:30 PM »
RC: if you want to stay in a national park and not drive long distances to get into and out of the park everyday that is what it costs.  We have 4 dogs so no hotel for us.  It can consume hours if you stay outside of the parks. In Denver it was 55/night and far from bling. However, there was a bus stop out front which was nice and showers/washers/dryers but that was it.  Now in TX and KS yes it was cheaper.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2017, 02:51:57 PM »
RC: if you want to stay in a national park and not drive long distances to get into and out of the park everyday that is what it costs.  We have 4 dogs so no hotel for us.  It can consume hours if you stay outside of the parks. In Denver it was 55/night and far from bling. However, there was a bus stop out front which was nice and showers/washers/dryers but that was it.  Now in TX and KS yes it was cheaper.

I go to the smaller parks where there is not the same traffic and cost. I have never regretted that, but if you are going to travel for a long period and want to go to some bling parks just balance that out with some free or cheap camping so your overall costs fit your budget.

Cassie

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 03:01:07 PM »
I have never been to a bling park. I research online and find the cheapest for the location we are going to. Actually we have decided that we would rather take a cruise for the amount of $ it costs us for gas and sites to go with the RV. We now just use it to camp with friends or as a guest room when we have too many guests. When we went to Yosemite we stayed outside the park to save $ but it was not worth it as we wasted hours everyday getting into and out of the park. When we travel to visit people we park on their land if there is room.  We went to San Fran once and that was not cheap either. If you plan to stay at one spot and pay a monthly rate you get a better deal and of course you are not driving it so not a huge cost of gas. We don't like to stay in one spot that long.  Our RV gets 9 miles to the gallon.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 03:06:46 PM »
It sounds like RV/Van travelling is not a good fit for you Cassie.

To answer the OPs question it doesn't have to be expensive. Like just about any other form of accommodation you can spend a huge amount, but that's optional. I spent a week travelling down to CA and then around AZ. I didn't pay for any camping at all. There were free options wherever I went. I've camped in the Baja for free for months at a time. The longest time I've spent on the road camping is 4 months and I didn't pay for any campgrounds that whole time. The longer you are travelling for the easier it gets as you are not in a rush and can scope out the best options in an area and stay there a while to take advantage of them before moving on.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 03:13:41 PM by Retire-Canada »

DTaggart

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2017, 03:20:11 PM »
I often consider a prolonged road trip when I FIRE.  I envision my son and myself (he has special needs), living in a converted van or small RV, leisurely making our way around and seeing this great and vast country.  I wonder what the budget would be like.  The cost of staying in campgrounds and the like seems like it adds up pretty quickly. 

Is anyone doing something like this?  Can you give me any guidance?

Thanks,
David

I'm not sure what your son's situation is, but you might see if he is eligible for the National Park Access Pass - it's available to those with permanent disabilities. With this pass, you can get 50% off many National Park and National Forest campground fees, as well as free entrance to National Parks, Forests, Wildlife Refuges, etc. My husband has one and I often tell him it's the reason I'll never divorce him :D
https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

MsRichLife

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2017, 04:56:27 PM »
We are in Australia and just FIREd late last year. We've received a bit of a windfall since then, so we are considering buying a caravan to use on weekends or for trips of about 4 weeks at a time. We intend to do the lap of Australia when my son is a bit older. That could take up to one year.

Since I've started researching, I've found great Facebook groups of families who are just doing the same thing and have discovered that there are so many more free or cheap camps than I thought. At first I was put off the thought of staying in caravan parks all the time, but now I'm excited to get out into the wilds a bit more.

Now the question is what sort of van to get and what compromises will we make in terms of $$$, size, amenities etc

Exhale

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2017, 08:01:15 PM »
I often consider a prolonged road trip when I FIRE.  I envision my son and myself (he has special needs), living in a converted van or small RV, leisurely making our way around and seeing this great and vast country.  I wonder what the budget would be like.  The cost of staying in campgrounds and the like seems like it adds up pretty quickly. 

Is anyone doing something like this?  Can you give me any guidance?

Thanks,
David


Cheap RV Living (blog and YouTube) by Bob Wells is an excellent source of information - lots of vehicle set-up ideas, gear lists, a forum, etc.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 08:58:34 AM by Exhale »

CanuckExpat

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2017, 11:20:38 PM »
There are a few people on the forum doing something similar.
It can be as expensive or cheap as you make it, and as good or bad as you make it.

We're approaching our six month mark in a 24 ft Class C (two adults, baby, and two dogs). We alternate between RV, hotels, short/medium term rentals, as makes sense for the location we are in. When camping we alternate between state/national parks, free campsites, and various boondocking spots, few RV parks thrown in.

Boondocking is free and nice. State parks tend to run $20 - $40 / night it seems. Expensive campgrounds closer to the city we've paid ~$50 / night.
$50 / night is about my cut-off, since that roughly equates to $1500/month rent. Above that point, I'd find an alternative :)

Driving around too much makes you burn gas, so it makes sense to economize. Drive short distance, stay for a while. Enjoy yourself :)

I had broken down and written up our experience and expenses comparing our costs driving cross country in an RV vs a car

That's only one set of experiences and expenses, but maybe you can use that as a baseline for how things compare. Hope that helps some.
Was targetting Freedom35 but ended up retiring a couple years early. Currently Based in Buffalo for the summer.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2017, 11:28:50 PM »
Following. Kid with special needs, group care not an option, one-on-one not available, and just received notice on beloved tenancy, so researching RV-living. Crossing into the US is too fickle, so looking at just summers in Canada then back indoors. Ordered various books on the topic from the library.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2017, 11:38:07 PM »
CanuckExpat, your RV vs Car post was phenomenally helpful! I'm starting with the same car, am reluctant to swap, and couldn't really see an RV working out cheaper. Also, I assume we'll do this for max 12 weeks after which I'd want my car back :)         Excellent blog post, thanks!!

avrex

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2017, 09:54:44 PM »
Thanks @CanuckExpat for the terrific write up.

I've done a lot of car camping over my lifetime and am now considering  and RV or travel trailer for future travel.
Thanks for your timely article.
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Cassie

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2017, 01:06:55 PM »

I also loved reading the comparison. Both big trips we took the cost of gas was higher then what you paid.  When people ask about traveling in an RV I think it is important to note the negatives too because often people don't think about it until they actually experience it (myself included).  When we bought our RV in 2007 we were the third owner and it only had 34k/miles on it. Now ten years later it has 47k. It was made in 1993.  I think that is why many old RV's don't have a ton of miles.   We also met people that lived in them f.t. and loved it. They usually had bigger rigs with slide outs and they followed the weather so no extreme heat in summer or cold in winter.  One thing that we like is that we can take our 4 dogs with us.   Can't do that with a car as no one will rent a motel room with that many. When we have the RV we don't eat out much as it is pleasant to eat outside and enjoy nature. We are finally old enough to get the cheap national park pass so the next time we go our costs should be much less.  I actually was surprised how much the NP's charge for a site but maybe they need the $ to pay all the associated expenses with operating the parks.  The NP's we have been too have definitely been worth the cost. They were so stunning. Traveling in a car with a small child for long periods of time is no fun so I can see how it is much easier with the RV. 



jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2017, 01:14:14 PM »
When people ask about traveling in an RV I think it is important to note the negatives too because often people don't think about it until they actually experience it (myself included).

+1. I seek that info out, and it's harder to find than the plusses. The cons don't put me off, just help me prepare more thoroughly. I like that. The journal of Allie is an awesome read right now for both the pros and cons.

Dicey

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2017, 01:27:01 PM »
Check out Hitchitch.com. It's a roundup of RV bloggers of all stripes. Glenn from To Simplify is my favorite. Check out this link if you want to read his story from the very beginning. Hint, he's on his third rig now and doesn't post nearly as prolifically any more, which is our loss. It's all good stuff, but you might be heading down a black hole. You've been warned.

http://www.tosimplify.net/p/10.html

Hey, sorry for the bum steer on hitchitch.com (not .org). Typo is fixed above.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 12:16:30 PM by Dicey »
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2017, 01:59:52 PM »
Anyone know of a blog of a dreamy, not-mechanically-inclined, single parent with kid RVing?

MisterTwoForty

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2017, 08:11:08 AM »
I watch full-time RV and Van-dwelling videos daily on youtube.  There are many channels.

My favorites are: Nomadic Fanatic, Adventure Van Man, Cheap RV Living, Less Junk More Journey, The More We Explore, and A Streamin' Life.  There are more that I follow but those are my favorites.

I long for the day that I have a large enough 'stasch to quit my job, buy a van, and hit the open road. 

Exhale

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2017, 09:05:37 AM »
Following. Kid with special needs, group care not an option, one-on-one not available, and just received notice on beloved tenancy, so researching RV-living. Crossing into the US is too fickle, so looking at just summers in Canada then back indoors. Ordered various books on the topic from the library.

The Internet will be your friend on this one - so much information and a welcoming community.
- Check out your fellow Canadians at Exploring Alternatives
- Excellent information at Cheap RV Living and Technomadia
- Knorpp and South shows a family w/9 kids, several of whom are special needs traveling in a RV

Best of luck!

Exhale

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2017, 09:13:52 AM »
When people ask about traveling in an RV I think it is important to note the negatives too because often people don't think about it until they actually experience it (myself included).
+1. I seek that info out, and it's harder to find than the plusses. The cons don't put me off, just help me prepare more thoroughly. I like that. The journal of Allie is an awesome read right now for both the pros and cons.

I've been researching this quite a bit and think that the folks who do well are those who know themselves and have been super honest with themselves about their needs (this includes the need to not be a nomad). For example, someone really needing to have an easily accessible bathroom and/or shower, having a vehicle that can go off road, standing up in the vehicle (that's a big one), room for pets, etc. The room for pets is my dilemma - I'd prefer a Prius or Subaru, but want to be able to have a gaggle of foster dogs and room to do my yoga stretches inside on rainy/cold days. I know, First World problems...

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2017, 10:35:58 AM »
...fellow Canadians at Exploring Alternatives
- Excellent information at Cheap RV Living and Technomadia
- Knorpp and South shows a family w/9 kids, several of whom are special needs traveling in a RV

Thanks very much, Exhale!! I'm going to check out that first one, as I'll be limited to Canada and that has its own variables.

I can't bear to read any more dual-adult ones, so am hunting for sole-parent RV blogs, if anyone knows of any. (I found two that had, like, one post then seemed to go dead.)

Stasher

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2017, 11:44:23 AM »
@Jooniperberries - I have a few friends that live the nomad life in Vans...BUT they are not FIRE, they are the truest to the term of Dirtbags. Single no kids and seeking escape from society so my links have no bearing on your search unfortunately.

With most FIRE first hand experiences, the problem is that so many people are single or couples with no kids. Even myself I am finding no commonalities with many as they have no kids to plan a fitter for our have finances sinking into.

I love @RetireCanada's way to explore and is how I do it ... I am a hiker and MTBer so "roughing" it a very frugal speaks my language.

The one VanLife blog I like and he is a forum member is @C40
http://mywilddreams.net

Great blog post comparison @CanuckExpat
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2017, 05:21:50 PM »
Thanks very much, Stasher! By dirtbags, do you mean your friends are lowlifes, or is this happy lingo they use for themselves for fun? :)  My past involved sketchy people seeking to escape society, and that awareness leaves me wary of certain environments and communities. Desire to escape, I have no issue with. Violence, disregard for others' safety and choices, lack of basic boundaries I do. There are some variables I don't want my kid exposed to (before he makes the adult decision to be, which my therapist claims I won't have control over).

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2017, 07:35:05 PM »
Thanks very much, Stasher! By dirtbags, do you mean your friends are lowlifes, or is this happy lingo they use for themselves for fun? :) 

Quote
Dirtbag:

Official Webster dictionary definition (INCORRECT):


A low, worthless person.

Climber / Outdoor Enthusiast / Person Living the Dream definition (CORRECT):

Any person who allows passion to infiltrate their lives
Gives permission for the heart to dictate the actions of life
Someone who can be truly happy doing what they love
Does everything possible to maintain a lifestyle which allows them to follow the heart and live the dream

Cannot Wait!

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2017, 08:24:20 PM »
I plan to buy a basic van and go minimalist to start so I get the best gas mileage,  try it out, meet other people and see what I need and if I like it before purchasing a long term vehicle.
806228541398102 is my referral code for Questrade and 48650126S1 for Tangerine.  Hey, why not?

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2017, 09:31:32 PM »
I am a dirtbag!!!!!!! I did not know!!!! Love it, and glad I asked :)

Stasher

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2017, 10:02:12 AM »
@Jooniperberries my pal @RetireCanada nailed it
As stated the big difference is they often have next to no money and everything they have they sink into the pursuit of their passion. Cleaning dishes somewhere to make enough to fill the tank to get to the next climbing destination or surf spot etc.

Whereas we are different in that we will have the financial independence to just seek out the destinations without the worry.
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CanuckExpat

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2017, 11:37:53 PM »
OP, here are a couple of related threads from the forum:
FIRE in a Sprinter Van
Vandwelling and FIRE

Regarding single parent travelling with children, not quite the same, but I swear I recall a thread by someone in Europe who had an electric campervan, and would take month long trips alone with her children while her husband worked. I can't find it now, someone with better memory or searching confirm I'm not crazy?
Was targetting Freedom35 but ended up retiring a couple years early. Currently Based in Buffalo for the summer.

Exhale

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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2017, 08:51:01 PM »
^ YAY!!

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2017, 10:17:41 PM »
I think the kid-specific and Asperger-specific stuff is things like:

*how my kid literally can't tell the difference between a stranger and a friend (thus will wander far with either)
*how my kid will disappear regularly, and familiarity of a landscape helps me narrow down where he's gone
*how known-neighbours are helpful in being able to help me locate him (e.g. today!)
*kid cravings for ongoing friendship (vs meeting a series of strangers, as some hermits or major-introverts may be satisfied with)
*getting to emergency care with a bulky vehicle (several blogs do cover that)
*lack of respite/child care/time off for the sole parent (though this is also true in my current, housed life)
*kid craving for "stuff"

The woman interviewed just above was really lovely and wise!

Bikeguy

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2017, 10:25:43 AM »
Don't forget the free overnight parking at Walmart.

http://www.walmartlocator.com/rv-parking-at-walmart/

Also, there are people that choose small RVs (think Sprinter or even more of a cult following Rialta), and then park on public streets in expensive cities like San Francisco.  As long as the van is car size, they are allowed to park for free.  Then take public transport for the week or two that you are there.

That was totally my plan until my wife told me she wouldn't do it for more than 2 weeks a year. 
If you're FI, why are you still selling days of your life?  You only have so many, and if you have enough money, you're trading them for something you don't need.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2017, 10:38:55 AM »
That was totally my plan until my wife told me she wouldn't do it for more than 2 weeks a year.

I've used my boss' Sprinter RV. A single person could live in it full-time in the city if they were determined and not go mad or get noticed, but I don't see that happening for 2 people. They are just too small. Now if you don't have to be low profile and can have camp chairs/table outside and the doors wide open that makes the van seem twice as large, but if you are parked in a residential neighbourhood in front of someone's house they'd get tired of that real fast.

Bikeguy

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #38 on: March 31, 2017, 10:47:45 AM »
That was totally my plan until my wife told me she wouldn't do it for more than 2 weeks a year.

I've used my boss' Sprinter RV. A single person could live in it full-time in the city if they were determined and not go mad or get noticed, but I don't see that happening for 2 people. They are just too small. Now if you don't have to be low profile and can have camp chairs/table outside and the doors wide open that makes the van seem twice as large, but if you are parked in a residential neighbourhood in front of someone's house they'd get tired of that real fast.

Agreed.  Here si a great site I just found for living in vehicles in cities.  Gotta love the information on the internet.

http://www.cheaprvliving.com/boondocking-stealth-parking/live-grid-cities/
If you're FI, why are you still selling days of your life?  You only have so many, and if you have enough money, you're trading them for something you don't need.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #39 on: March 31, 2017, 11:03:29 AM »
Agreed.  Here si a great site I just found for living in vehicles in cities.  Gotta love the information on the internet.

http://www.cheaprvliving.com/boondocking-stealth-parking/live-grid-cities/

Nice. Yes the internet is so great for info like this as well as where you boondock near towns/other points of interest. :)

Bikeguy

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #40 on: March 31, 2017, 11:22:19 AM »
if you are parked in a residential neighbourhood in front of someone's house they'd get tired of that real fast.

I was thinking more along the lines of on the Alamo Square Park side of the street in San Francisco.  Agreed, right in front of someone's home would be bad.  And I have parked here for free, it was just in a car.  Left it there for several days and just took the bus and streetcars.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Painted+Ladies/@37.7762645,-122.4355235,341m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x808580a524767fb9:0x8421d0c06f9e59c5!8m2!3d37.7762593!4d-122.432758
If you're FI, why are you still selling days of your life?  You only have so many, and if you have enough money, you're trading them for something you don't need.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2017, 11:37:32 AM »
A boyfriend and I lived in a small van for awhile. It was tricky. In a residential area, the residents knew the van didn't live there, so called it in. Cops banging on the sides in the night. In the same town, while we were out walking one morning, we returned to find it had been towed! Commercial/industrial area. Heaps of streetside room. No signs. First we thought it had been stolen. Turns out, the city had some 'no parking' zones that, yep, had no signage. One was expected to know (by reading by-laws or just being familiar with the area). Cost us to get it out, and the impounders had rifled through personal stuff.

I have a friend living in a car now, and I think it goes quite well for him because it's a car, not a van so no one suspects the sleeping part.

KateH

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #42 on: March 31, 2017, 12:17:10 PM »
If your son has a disability, he may be eligible for a golden access pass from the federal government. It gives you discounts at federal campgrounds. We've used my daughter's when we've camped at a couple of federal parks. It's worth checking it out.

Bikeguy

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2017, 04:46:06 PM »
A boyfriend and I lived in a small van for awhile.

I read about a couple that placed an ad on craigslist for van storage.  When they met the potential landlord, they asked if they could live in the van and pay extra.  It was in an expensive city.  Cost them a few hundred a month for the parking spot, but no hassles.
If you're FI, why are you still selling days of your life?  You only have so many, and if you have enough money, you're trading them for something you don't need.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2017, 07:00:07 PM »
^ haha!!! How brilliant is that?!?!?!?!?!?!!

Exhale

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #45 on: March 31, 2017, 07:56:19 PM »
I think the kid-specific and Asperger-specific stuff is things like:
*how my kid literally can't tell the difference between a stranger and a friend (thus will wander far with either)
*how my kid will disappear regularly, and familiarity of a landscape helps me narrow down where he's gone
*how known-neighbours are helpful in being able to help me locate him (e.g. today!)
*kid cravings for ongoing friendship (vs meeting a series of strangers)
*lack of respite/child care/time off for the sole parent (though this is also true in my current, housed life)


These truly are barriers to being a nomad. My ex had a child with these qualities and it was a utterly exhausting to keep the child safe and happy. So, hats off to you already for all that you do!

That said, here are some random ideas
- Therapy dog for company, safety (both protect and bring the child back when called), help w/self regulation, etc.
- Stay in areas that are flat and easy to survey and free of people (probably still need the dog to help fetch)
- Set up a pattern of volunteer gigs at some of the amazing assisted living communities/gatherings/summer camps that exist for folks with disabilities. You wouldn't have to live there permanently. Instead, stay for a couple weeks and be in community. Buddhist communities might be open to this as well (e.g., volunteer there in return for being able to park and be a part of a community).

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2017, 08:28:40 PM »
Wow, Exhale!! Those are phenomenally relevent and useful ideas!! Thank you!! Those make it seem at possible to start thinking about things...

Exhale

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2017, 11:01:13 PM »
Check these out
- Autism fetch dog = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwn5XngHgGU
- Autism service dog = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7lAN1zno0w


Two more thoughts:
- It seems to be that one of the things that could be good about van dwelling is the chance to go places the support success (location, communities, etc.).
- Also, many kids (adults too!) do better when they have more contact with nature.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 11:04:18 PM by Exhale »

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2017, 01:51:00 AM »
Yeah, when I was reviewing a bunch of van-dwelling stuff today, I realized my biggest attraction to it is the proximity to nature. As in, never more than a few feet away, depending on where in the van one is standing :)  I don't feel I can return to apartment-living (though will if I must). My current place is ~450 sq feet, set in a park, so I do have that contact, and it does make all the difference! Next closest thing would be a van/RV.

Another bonus of van-dwelling is you CAN have a dog. I haven't lived in a pet-inclusive place for I don't know how many years. It's hard enough finding a place around here that will accept kids. I didn't dare add a dog (though I didn't for other reasons as well).

I assumed Kid would want a dog, and was surprised to find he's not a huge fan. But as a therapeutic intervention, I do consider it. That Alfie dog would have come in handy twice in the last three weeks!

And then, yes, we can get to one place after another, as needs change and opportunities arise, not have to unpack/pack at each location, always have somewhere to stay...

I adore this one: http://tinyhousetalk.com/vanual-cargo-van-tiny-house/   Light, white, bright, plenty of glass, clean, spartan, comfy.

Bob Wells instructed me to test out a mock-van today, see how I feel. Turns out his measurements were almost exactly the size of my bedroom, which I'm in most of the time I'm home :)

Exhale

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Re: Anyone traveling in / living in a van or RV or similar?
« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2017, 08:37:05 AM »
Yeah, when I was reviewing a bunch of van-dwelling stuff today, I realized my biggest attraction to it is the proximity to nature. => Getting into nature to heal/manage his depression was the impetus for AdventureVanMan (has a YouTube by the same name).

Another bonus of van-dwelling is you CAN have a dog. I haven't lived in a pet-inclusive place for I don't know how many years. => I hear you. MY FT job and non pet-inclusive housing options = no dog. :-(

I assumed Kid would want a dog, and was surprised to find he's not a huge fan. But as a therapeutic intervention, I do consider it. That Alfie dog would have come in handy twice in the last three weeks! => That's interesting. I think that Kid might change his mind when he discovers that dogs are people magnets. This will put Kid at the center of attention! Also, what I love about my ex's dog was that it allow her kid to socialize as well as be safe (dog was friendly but also had many non-aggressive strategies for protecting the child and, if necessary, would've been aggressive).

And then, yes, we can get to one place after another, as needs change and opportunities arise, not have to unpack/pack at each location, always have somewhere to stay... => And for people like us with disabilities, the mobile living allows us to have our detox/recovery/grounding place immediately at hand.

I adore this one: http://tinyhousetalk.com/vanual-cargo-van-tiny-house/   Light, white, bright, plenty of glass, clean, spartan, comfy. => Love it! I think putting down flooring makes all the difference in the world to the "feel" of the van. The only thing I'd change would be to make those panels windows (for letting light in even in inclement weather). His van reminds me of this one (same idea, but with windows and less sophisticated carpentry) => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EwKRnWPj2A

Bob Wells instructed me to test out a mock-van today, see how I feel. Turns out his measurements were almost exactly the size of my bedroom, which I'm in most of the time I'm home :) => Bob is my #1 resource and inspiration for how an introvert can have a satisfying social life. He's also awesome for helping single women getting on the road. For me, the size of space isn't the challenge (like you I'm happy in a small space). It's the toilet management issue that I'm still mulling over to see what would work best for me. (I lived w/o indoor plumbing growing up and feel some resistance to going back to something similar.) However, I suspect that the trade off (great life vs. minor inconvenience) will win out. :-)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 08:39:46 AM by Exhale »