Friday, June 7, 2013

Living in your car - vandwellers wanted

I'm assembling a separate Wall of Fame for vandwellers in the right-hand sidebar. If you know of a blog that should be there, let me know. If you think you should be there, let me know. Not in a vehicle, but your blog is about the vandwelling sensibility? Bring it.

I'm about to start living a whole new way. What do you want to know? Should I track my spending? Do you want to know where I found wifi? Public showers? Where I parked?

Scenes From the Blotter


Officer 1: Oh, this is bad.

Officer 2: What happened here?

O1: It's ugly.

O2: [gags] What the ...

O1: Better get on the horn. Tell dispatch we need a ...

O2: [gags]

O1: Criminy, Ed, step away from the scene. Just go call ...

O2: How? Why? [gags]

Roxi: Officers, it's just lunch. Can I get you some ...

[Officer 2 runs behind bush]


Please don't ask me to track what I eat.


For a scene witnessed only once before by an Appalachian doctor, please visit Desert Diva's latest post.    She could have helped me, but she ran for her camera instead. I hope you're happy.







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54 comments:

Desert Diva said...

I'm "very" happy - it's called "PHOTO OP FOR BLOG FODDER!" ;-)

Good Luck Duck said...

I'm still laughing.

Donna B. McNicol said...

Have your found Van Tramps? http://www.vantramps.com/

Good Luck Duck said...

Good one, Donna. Wonder what they're up to now - do they keep a current blog?

Linda Sand said...

I want to know where you dump and what it costs. If Spud ever gets that fancy that is.

Good Luck Duck said...

So, Linda, like dump stations, or where I discreetly leave a bag when the Walmart bathrooms were being cleaned for an hour?

Good Luck Duck said...

^--- the answer would be "Walmart."

Gaelyn said...

I lived in a van, long time ago, after first living in a Vega. Life isn't about the size of your house.
Very funny shot by Cheryl.
So where too?

Good Luck Duck said...

North, Gaelyn, and up. Mostly "up." Lots of New Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Yes. I would like to know what kind of toilet paper you use. And how many squares it takes to get the job done.

Signed, Yer old buddy Midlife Cruiser

Good Luck Duck said...

That's right up my (poop) alley, Nellie.

Pam said...

Glenn, from To Simplify, will be a vandweller soon. Next time I'm on my old laptop I'll check my bookmarks. We had a B van before we started fulltiming so for years I read vandweller blogs. I'll see of I have any you missed.

I have a question. Are you still making jewelry? Will you be bringing jewelry supplies along? I keep checking your jewelry link-would love to see your work.


Are you going to be staying in state parks in New Mexico? We're doing that now and loving it so far. We plan to do that 4-6 months each year to help the budget, plus we love New Mexico. Maybe we'll bump into you.

Sorry for the long post and all the questions.

Pat said...

I second adding glenn. He's building his own vw van from the engine back.

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Two words: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Oh I saw wanted to be there for your rebirthing!!!! There's a sci fi novel in that picture!!!

Good Luck Duck said...

Cyndi, don't feel bad. Everyone had to sit in the waiting room. Where are you these days?

Thanks for the reminder about Glenn. I'll check him out again.

Pam, I am going to be staying in NM state parks, and I'll buy the pass at the first one I hit, which will be ______ <---TBA

I didn't bring my jewelry making supplies, because there was no room in Spud. I put my Etsy shop on vacation mode, because I didn't know how easy it would be to fulfill orders for a while. I was in shocked-out survival mode when I packed. Maybe someday I'll upsize to a van where I can have cats and make jewelry!

Jeannie and Eldy said...

Hi, Roxi. Is Nellie (Mid Life Cruiser) still blogging?

Good Luck Duck said...

I WISH! No, if she is, she's hiding it from me.

Nancy said...

I want to know everything. Well, within reason, of course, but really pretty much everything.
,

Good Luck Duck said...

EVERYTHING it is, Nancy! What the world considers TMI, we shall re-name must-know

Spotted Dog Ranch: said...

I used to tent camp and believe me, it's way easier than pulling a trailer, which I do now. I would still be tent camping if I hadn't messed up my back (picking up a heavy cabin tent). I prefer the simplicity, and living in a car has that same feel, I would think. You can get outta Dodge way fast when you want (and need) to. I also got really good at finding half-deserted backroads. I think I would've made a good outlaw - or maybe a snake oil salesman - I'm good at making quick exits, and you can only do that when you're not hauling around a bunch of junk.

Good Luck Duck said...

Nicely-put, Chinle. I'm looking forward to that ease and agility. And now we know I can tumble out of a hatch, except alone, I'll be tumbling out a side door.

Kate said...

Currently trying to figure out if I can fit me, two cats, and the entire booth setup in a Saturn wagon. The answer is 'possibly, except holy shit what are you thinking?'.

Spotted Dog Ranch: said...

And I'll add that I enjoy travelling alone because I can go and do exactly what I want when I want. It's way better than having company, no matter how much you like 'em. Excluding dogs and cats, of course, they're always willing to do and go where I want when I want.

Good Luck Duck said...

Kate, all of that. Would the cats need a litter box, or would they be free-range poopers? I've pictured having two of the cats with me. The thing is, wherever I go, there are the cats, and if I go shopping will I have the police paging me in the Piggly Wiggly? I can't leave windows down enough to make it safe, because they'd escape, plus windows would be down.

None of this is intended to deter you. I'm just disgorging the contents of my own thought process for you. Oh look! I don't remember thinking that!

Right, Chinle! But, I'm wondering what kind of cats you've known who were willing to do what you want, and when.

Mary Tipton said...

We don't live in our car, but we are also interested in knowing where the WiFi is good.

kristine barr said...

I want to know how comfortable you are, how many times you get routed at walmart and just general things you see and do. I would think any pet would be a hinderance if it is hot because you can't leave the windows down safely. Besides someone would turn you in.

Kate said...

...yeah, that's a lot of why I'm not so sure it'd work. I mean, the litterbox is doable, I just use a big flat Tupperware box with a lid, and put it in the driver's side footwell when we're not on the road. Though Loiosh is perfectly willing to free-range, as long as there's somewhere to dig.

Shopping would more-or-less have to happen at night, I think, unless it's raining or otherwise cool-and-cloudy. I'd want a crate of some sort to put them in (which would have to fit in the car TOO, hahaha what) when I can't be there for a while. Easy enough at outdoor shows -- I hitch Loiosh's leash to the booth as usual, and put Chocolate-in-the-crate under a table or something -- but other than that...

Glenn (of To Simplify) had his cat with him in his old van for quite a while (Emily has since passed, of extreme old age) and the two of them did fine. I think he spent most of his time in or near the van, though I know he also does long recording sessions and apparently had a way to deal with keeping Emily cool for those. Lots easier in a van than a car, though, especially since I'm pretty sure it has a roof fan or some such.

Kimbopolo said...

Primarily for van dwellers and one of the best out there as both a how-to and why-to.

http://cheaprvlivingblog.com/

Bob also has an active helpful forum for van dwellers

http://www.cheaprvlivingforum.com/

and

http://www.newagenomad.com/

and

http://mochagypsy.wordpress.com/

and

http://tara.birl.org/

Kimbopolo said...

BTW, the best Wi-Fi I find on the road is in Lowe's parking lots. It's lightening fast and has a good range. You are restricted to 2 hours but ... if you simply sign out, you sign on again for 2 more hours. No secure log-in needed.

Judy and Emma said...

You know me. Cut the crap! (no composting stories) :)

Sherry said...

Just look at all this information your followers have provided. Makes me want to rethink Winnona (shhhh don't tell her I said that-she's really such a sweetie). In my previous incarnation I tent camped and just slept in Ruby's predecessor when it rained. Worked out great. I went for weeks at a time but never more than a month. I do love tent camping although now I think I'd need some sort of comfy mattress to keep me happy. THEREFORE I want to know all. You may convice me to change my current ways.

Good Luck Duck said...

Okay, Judy! Only dump-and-run stories!

That's great to know, Kim! Can you also overnight there, or is it sketchy? Or, get all your surfing done, then move over to Walmart? :o) Thanks for the blog suggestions, too.

Right, Kate, the crate would keep them secure if the windows were down. I think the advantages to literal vandwelling with pets are that there are alternate ways to cool the vehicle, and people can't snoop. Although a friend reports traveling in her bona fide class C RV with her dog, windows rolled down, fan on, water available, parked under a tree, and still having someone call the police.

Your outside-the-(litter)-box thinking will bring you to a solution.

Okay, Kristine and Mary - good suggestions. I'll discuss comfort as I go along, and definitely wifi.




Donna K said...

If you write it, we will read it!!

Good Luck Duck said...

Aw, thanks Donna!

Sherry, never let Winona get wind of your defection. Her personality will turn on you. I'll let you know how comfy it is with my arrangement of memory foam, Thermarest pad, yoga mat, down comforter, sleeping bag, and sleep sack.

Contessa said...

I'm with Donna, just keep us informed. We just need to know where and how you are.

Hugs,

Suzanne said...

Hi, Roxanne,

I guess I can't qualify, even though I am "living in my," and I am on a van chassis, huh? LOL!

I would be interested in knowing about what internet connectivity is like from your own "independent" source...meaning not campground wifi, but your cellular ATT/Verizon service, (whichever the case may be.)

But like Donna K said, I am gonna read, even if your "turtle shell" is a backpack and a rain pancho!!

Can't wait to come along on the journey...
Suzanne

Kimbopolo said...

I've stayed overnight at Lowe's just once. (On this trip). I was given permission from the manager. According to overnightrvparking.com, Lowe's is always a good prospect for the night.

I've also used Home Depot's free Wi-Fi (once) and this corporation also allows overnight parking. At least mostly, the answer varies by store, of course.

Rambling Vegans said...

I would love to hear about where you're finding showers as well as free wi-fi. Any areas to park in free are great, too, of course. :)

BTW- I'm glad you commented on my blog because it seems as though your blog disappeared from my following list again. So frustrated with Blogger!

Good Luck Duck said...

Hey you Vegans, my roll drops blogs, too. Randomly. Okay, for showers, wifi, and free parking! I love those things.

Kim, did it feel weird without other vehicles around overnight? Or were there other overnighters?

Suzanne, as soon as I get an independent connectivity source, you will hear the party wherever you are. But, Yes! to the rain poncho!

Thanks, Contessa! I'll keep in touch!

jennytakearide said...

That birthing picture is hilarious. I love to read your blog because I always get a good laugh. I haven't posted anything to mine in a couple weeks cause I've been lazy and staying at my daughter's rather than traveling. Guess I should get busy huh?

I'm staying in one of the prime locations in one of the most beautiful tourist spots in the country, St. Michaels MD on the Chesapeake Bay.

Love the vandwelling life but I may stay put awhile.

Kimbopolo said...

There were other overnighters. Not of the RV-persuasion but other cars. I suspect they were employees - maybe stockers? (Different from stalkers).

Harriet said...

OMG! The birthing pictures is priceless. You give a whole other meaning to being “Born Again”. A side note, I hope you find another way of exiting Spud when you’re in a camp ground, or someone might call 911 to help extract you.

Whatever information you feel like sharing would be great, this is a learning experience for us as well.
For Kate, when you figure out how to travel in your car with your cats, I would love to know. I have 2 dogs and a Cockatiel and I cannot for the life of me figure how to get me on the road in my RAV 4. A friend of mine has 2 dogs and when she has to shop she leaves two, 12inch rechargeable fans running until she gets back to the car. It seems to work for her and the dogs.

Grace said...

I just want to know how you're doing. Doesn't matter what you write about -- I'll read. Grace (in Tucson)

Good Luck Duck said...

Thanks, Grace! I already know you're a faithful and conscientious blog-reader.

Harriet, you made me LOL. Yeah, I'll try a different door every time.

That makes sense, Kim. I just wouldn't want to be the only car in a lot.

Jenny, if you're in a spot that nice and loving it, that's already the dream. Get moving when you're tired of it.

Kess said...

Roxie, glad you're ready to launch. I'll be happy to read it all. Do you think it will be difficult to keep a vegan diet while van dwelling? I'm glad youre going for the NM state park pass. I opted not to because i have the Federal access pass for disabled and there is plenty of federal options in SW. I am currently in Sedona till Saturday then heading to Colorado via NM. Hope to see you on the road. Be safe.
Kess

Good Luck Duck said...

Hi Kess! Good to hear from you.

That's a good question about diet - I think it will take a little more determination. When someone is willing to cook for me, HOLY MOLY! I love that. But, when I'm on my own I don't think about food much until I get past hungry, so having the right food on hand will help a lot; I'll have things I can eat without thinking about it.

Tesaje said...

My blog is primarily about my van-dwelling experiences and what I do with the van. I am currently house-bound but trying to unload the house and then I will move into the van full time. At least for awhile.

I have traveled and camped in my Subaru wagon with both cats and dogs. It is a lot harder to manage than camping with them in the van. I used a crate to hold the cat but he ended up being happier loose in the car. Despite being a tamed feral, he absolutely did not want to leave the car and when I opened the door, he retreated back away from it. I had a litter box in the crate for him and use pine litter. Seems to be the best for odor control. It was also a tight fit for me. Would have had more room if I didn't have the crate. I took him because he was ailing and on a special diet. The cooler to hold his food also took up substantial space. All in all, the most uncomfortable thing was the lack of head room. Also, stopping meant I absolutely had to find shade and I just didn't take them in any kind of hot weather. The temp swings in the car are just too much.

The van has water available at all times, even in motion and with the fans and insulation, it won't go above the ambient outside temperature so it is safe for the animals. If I'm transiting very hot areas - my margin is 90F, then I can run the generator to run the AC or camp in a campground with electric and run the AC. My dog is trained to be quiet and wait patiently altho she does hop into the drivers seat to watch me go. The current cats tend to stay in the van mostly but I do have to watch them when camping as they get a little more curious then. They regard the van as a house whereas they regard the car as scary. I set up rope tethers for the cats (and dog) and the cats wear harnesses and leashes at all times when we travel. That way, I can see where they've gone and grab them if they decide to be difficult. The van is a lot easier to live in than the car would be especially with animals in tow.

Some links I find interesting. Some are infrequent bloggers but give insight on how to manage (in addition to the ones others have suggested above. Vandwellers seems to be mostly an archive now. They seem to be landed at present and were moving to a homesteading lifestyle but I don't see much blogging. I just hope health isn't the issue there.
http://jaysonkaufman.blogspot.com/
http://www.technomadia.com/ currently bus dwellers but they lived very small in a trailer and have tons of techie info.
http://thetuckerbag.blogspot.com/ young car dweller in the past
http://www.stealthvandweller.com/

Oh yeah, interested in all of it.

Kate said...

Tesaje, thanks for the info! It's especially useful because my older cat is also on a special diet that needs to be kept cold -- not hard for a short trip of a week or two, but longterm, it's gonna be exciting.

HoboHounds said...

This couple and their dog live in a Astro van

http://2completespirits.com/

Brenda A. said...

We want lots of humorous stories of your unintentionally hilarious escapades (oh come on, you what I mean....think Lucille Ball!). This is what we're counting on. No really. :)

We're just a couple of down-on-our-luck basement dwellers. So don't add us to your van dwellers list. That would be silly. I think all the van dwelling blogs we follow have already been mentioned.

Good luck Roxie! Excited to follow you on your new adventure!

Good Luck Duck said...

Good list, Mary - thanks. I had your blog up there right away. Thanks for the reminder of those two, HHound.

Brenda, you're thinking of me collecting eight tons of rocks in Spud, or shoving vegan chocolates down my dress, aren't you?

Harriet said...

Here are a couple of sites that offered a bit of insight:
http://www.wikihow.com/Live-in-Your-Car
http://www.vanabode.com/
http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=50253
http://www.thrillist.com/nation/cars/2010/12/14/swiss-roombox

Good Luck Duck said...

Thanks, Harriet! I'm depressed now, but better informed! :o)

A Picture A Day by Roxy said...

http://HomelessGal.blog.com/ - She has lived in her car on and off for the past 8-years (she has house sat in the winters). Some very interesting, scary, and wonderful stories in her blog. Such as Sleeping Under Pine Bark in Grizzly Country, or Strange Goings on in the Woods, and more...

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