Author Topic: Living in a truck part time  (Read 5262 times)

dantownehall

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Living in a truck part time
« on: April 15, 2015, 08:44:10 AM »
I was wondering whether anyone out there with a longish commute has ever lived in their car part time.

I drive a pretty good distance to work each day, unfortunately (48 miles each way... ouch).  I'm single and at least several days a week when I come home I do nothing but read for a few hours and go to bed.  It recently struck me that I could do that in the back of my truck instead, if I bought a topper for it and put a futon mattress (which I already own) in it, and save quite a bit of driving.  There's a Walmart near work, so I could just camp out in their parking lot a few nights a week.

Anyone ever tried anything like this?

WhatIsFrugalAfterAll

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 10:34:43 AM »
I mean... so you are saving 100 miles.. that is like 3 gallons of gas?  Or < $9.

I would not sleep on a hard bed and have to be smelly and without my coffee the next day for $9. In fact, not being able to make my breakfast and lunch would cost me more than $9.


SunshineGirl

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 10:47:02 AM »
Is there a place nearby where you could camp (besides a Walmart parking lot)?

waffle

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2015, 10:47:59 AM »
I did that for a couple weeks. Last summer I was relocating from Nevada to Colorado for work. I moved my family out to Colorado a couple weeks before I was done in Nevada since the lease on our house was up and I didn't want to pay $1,000 for a few days. I also didn't want to pay for a hotel either so I just setup camp in the back of the truck. It worked really well. I watched Netflix on my phone and read on the kindle app. I'd cleanup/shower at the truck stop nearby in the mornings and on the one weekend I was there alone I drove a couple hours to visit friends.

Its not something I'd want to do all the time, but it saved a lot of money and was kind of fun. I'd say if you can park in a nice area and don't have anyone waiting for you at home go for it. If you don't like it then just hop in the cab and drive home.

mm1970

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2015, 10:51:42 AM »
I mean... so you are saving 100 miles.. that is like 3 gallons of gas?  Or < $9.

I would not sleep on a hard bed and have to be smelly and without my coffee the next day for $9. In fact, not being able to make my breakfast and lunch would cost me more than $9.
Well, for a truck that's probably 5 gallons of gas, so more like $15

And it depends on his work options.

At my work, we have a shower and a mini-kitchen.  So with the fridge and a toaster oven and microwave, he could have toast and yogurt and fruit or whatever for breakfast and leftovers for lunch.

3 days a week, that would be a $50 a week savings, or pretty close.

littleturkey

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2015, 11:12:32 AM »
That's a pretty long commute.  And it's not just the gas money, it's also the wear-and-tear on your car and the hours of your time you spend sitting in it.  Have you considered moving closer to your work?

Ricky

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2015, 11:14:49 AM »
Why not try it out? Won't know till you try. Might be fun. You don't need opinions on this...Just remember to ask Walmart before you do it else you might get woken up in the middle of the night...

Exflyboy

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2015, 11:47:27 AM »
Oh yeah.. The last 19 moths of employment I had a 80 mile one way commute.

The employer had a multi storey carpark and a kitchen, showers etc.

I had already taken the back seat out of my Neon and arranged it so it was very comfortable to sleep in (being only 5' 9" tall helps). Unfortunately my Wife discovered my plan and promptly kyboshed it..:(.. I was going to do it 2 nights a week. My plan was to move the car from the open air carpark to the multi storey at the end of my day shift, then go hang out in the lounge/ hit the gym for a couple of hours.. then go to the car to sleep. That way the car was not in one place any longer than a single shift.. i.e appeared quite normal.

It turns out there is quite a little community of itinerant workers who do exactly what I was planning, whats more Security knows about it but turn a blind eye. I did find a comfy spot inside work and slept there one night.. I deemed it too risky to do repeatedly, it was actually a sackable offense.. Sleeping in the office.. did not mention sleeping in the carpark though..:)

But heck yeah I'd do it in a heartbeat.. Make all my food in the company break area.. Save a lot of money..:)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 12:01:03 PM by Exflyboy »

dantownehall

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2015, 01:12:23 PM »
Thanks for the replies everyone!  I should mention that I first got the idea from several friends I have of the "dirtbag" variety.  One married couple I know lived for 4 years in a truck while working as climbing guides in Yosemite, and another guy I know has lived off and on in his Honda Element so he could spend most of his time fly fishing instead of working to have to pay rent.

That's a pretty long commute.  And it's not just the gas money, it's also the wear-and-tear on your car and the hours of your time you spend sitting in it.  Have you considered moving closer to your work?

This is probably the most Mustachian thing to do, I know.  I didn't get into this commute voluntarily; I own my house and the only job in my field nearby is 48 miles away.  I make a lot more there than I could closer to home.  Where I live is significantly better quality-of-life and property-value wise too.

Quote from: SunshineGirl
Is there a place nearby where you could camp (besides a Walmart parking lot)?

I've looked around, and anywhere I could camp would cost at least $12 a night, pretty much exactly cancelling out any gas savings.  No free forest service land or anything, unfortunately.

Quote from: WhatIsFrugalAfterAll
I mean... so you are saving 100 miles.. that is like 3 gallons of gas?  Or < $9.

I would not sleep on a hard bed and have to be smelly and without my coffee the next day for $9. In fact, not being able to make my breakfast and lunch would cost me more than $9.

It's about $12 in my vehicle.  Being smelly, hard beds, and no coffee until I get to work are not very big concerns for me.  My futon mattress is actually pretty comfortable, even just on the floor!  I slept on it for several years before my parents made me get a bed.  I never eat breakfast, and lunch is makeable in a truck for me (PB sandwich and banana or equivalent).

Quote from: waffle
Its not something I'd want to do all the time, but it saved a lot of money and was kind of fun. I'd say if you can park in a nice area and don't have anyone waiting for you at home go for it. If you don't like it then just hop in the cab and drive home.

I'm leaning towards giving it a shot.  Like you say, if I don't like it I can just drive home.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2015, 01:16:41 PM »

Anyone ever tried anything like this?

I lived at my office for a year - well actually a storage room next to my office. Zero rent. Never late for work. Saved so much time commuting.

At first my boss loved having me around so much because I could respond to his requests ASAP, but eventually he got sick of me and I had to find an apartment.

It was sweet while it lasted.

-- Vik

Chicken

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2015, 03:41:10 PM »
Here is some info for you about a gentleman who lived in a van down by the river...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nhgfjrKi0o

JoJo

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2015, 05:16:27 PM »
Also consider a gym membership.  For about $30.  Gives you something to do in the evening or early morning and shower afterwards.  And it's good for you.

LifestyleDeflation

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2015, 05:20:45 PM »
Definitely worth giving it a shot. It's not for everyone, but it sounds like you've got the right attitude and even if it doesn't work out, you won't be any worse off for it.

I would NOT recommend asking Wal-Mart if you can park in their lot. The strategy that has worked for me has been park somewhere (Wal-Mart is fine), be subtle, and in case someone says anything or asks you to leave, look like you're put together (wear decent clothes and be groomed), don't argue, be respectful, and move along.

Also, bring something to block out lights from outside.


Good luck and have fun!

Syonyk

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2015, 07:28:32 PM »
Sounds like fun to me.

Topper, some solar panels to keep your battery charged, and blackout the windows (so it's not obvious what you're doing).  Should be fine.

Daisy

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2015, 09:40:24 PM »
I did this for two nights recently. As a non-morning person, I was faced with the daunting task of having to be at work for all day meetings that started at 8am for two days in a row. I have about a 45 minute commute. At peak times, it could be a little longer than that. I was also worried about falling asleep at the meetings by having to get up so early (it's happened before). So after reading a thread on these forums about someone who was sleeping in their car while working in another city, I got inspired to try it out myself. I also thought it would be a good test to see if I could do this on some cross country road trips in the future.

So I slept two nights at work. I have a 4 door hatchback. I took a couple of yoga mats as a cushion and slept on a sleeping bag on top of it. We have showers at work. I brought food in to store in the company refrigerator to have breakfast and lunch at work. Since I didn't drive back and forth from home those two days, I actually got to get a workout in early in the morning. That wouldn't have happened if I was driving back and forth.

It all worked out pretty well. It wasn't the most comfortable thing, but the experiment taught me I could handle if for a couple of night in any future endeavors.

I live in South Florida so this was only doable in the winter. There's no way I could do something like this over the summer months.

Anyone that knows me would be surprised that I would do something like this. I didn't tell anyone at work I did it. I just happened to make it to the meetings on time every day (wouldn't have happened if I had to drive and get there that early and risk rush hour traffic).

Thedudeabides

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2015, 10:31:49 PM »
Oh heck yeah. Why not give it a shot.

Maybe you could rent your house out on AirBnB and turn this into a profitable endeavor!

scrubbyfish

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2015, 10:37:32 PM »
I lived at my office for a year - well actually a storage room next to my office. Zero rent. Never late for work. Saved so much time commuting.

+1. When I worked 16 hour days (and would have been left walking home through a seedy area in the middle of the night, sole female), I often slept in my office. People only caught on when I moved more of my stuff in, ha!

A number of folks in Vancouver live in their vans (or tents) full-time to save on housing, and I sleep in my car on trips, so this makes perfect sense to me.

mm1970

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Re: Living in a truck part time
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2015, 04:42:54 PM »
Years ago I got to talking with some regulars at the gym.  One woman there and her husband lived on a ranch about 2 hours away.

Their jobs were in town.
They lived in a 5th wheel motorhome parked at his mother's house. 
They belonged to the gym to shower.
So they drove to work Monday morning.  Spent M-TH nights in the 5th wheel
drove back to the ranch on Friday night.