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Old 06-03-2019, 04:06 PM   #1
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Location: North East IA
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Full time van life.

Anyone on here live in their van full time?

I have been looking at the logistics of this myself and was curious how others have gone about no longer having a physical address. I know the lifestyle is popular for those who can "work from home", But if you do live on the road how do you finance things like fuel and food? Also what do you have in place for unhappy random happenstances like breakdowns, or other problems such as this?

I am still building my van, but have been on several extended road trips, and over landing living in my old truck. The longest being just over two weeks, and I didn't want to go back home.

I already know of plenty of free campsites, and other places to stay that cost nothing. I have used these in the past with my truck. So far as income I'm not quite at a place where I can live off the dividends from my investments while on the road, and I'm quite a ways away from retirement age. I'm also tired of just working so I can go in my next adventure, I'd rather just live on the road. I am rather nomadic after all.

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Old 06-03-2019, 04:14 PM   #2
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People who "work from home" are working while on the road. They stay in a single spot for a while to work on projects and email and whatever. Then they get paid and that sustains their lifestyle. There are many people living in vans documenting their lives and the costs. Seems like it costs about $2k a month to live in your van.

I think the most helpful thing is to have a van that doesn't draw any attention. Then it looks less like you are living in it, which inherently gives people the vibe that you're undesirable.

Breakdowns are hard because your house broke down. If you can't sleep in it at the shop, you are out of luck. Best to have some savings for a hotel room at that point.

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Old 06-03-2019, 04:51 PM   #3
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How quite a while from retirement are you?

We all hate our day jobs BTW. Join the club.
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:55 PM   #4
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Take a spin on here . Click on Home and that'll bring up a side bar then click on Forums. All of your answers will be there
Peace, Regis
2011 Express 1500
I'm a camper not a glamper
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:01 AM   #5
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There are dozens of "van life' channels on YouTube. Every one of them has their own take on how they finance their life.

Recent van-life convert and travel blogger Casey Roman has a few videos where she discusses costs and how it's often not as cheap as some may portray.

While not in a van, another couple "Bound for Nowhere" recently did a fairly comprehensive video about how they make money on the road.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:35 AM   #6
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I'm 37, and it's not that I hate my job, don't get me wrong there are moments of dislike, it's that I hate being stationary most of the time and only working for the next time I can travel.

I've only glanced at a couple of the youtube channels, but in general YouTube and Instagram share one thing in common, they always make it look better than it is. That's why I was hoping to see if anyone here does full timing, get a little more realistic view.

Currently I'm in telecommunications moving towards more of the IT side. Ive done all manner of construction. There are temp services all over in cities. I know with my wide skill set I can find work and I can make money that way also.

Regis, interesting link, thanks.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:56 AM   #7
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Bound for nowhere is one of the better channels imo. They don't really sugar coat things and try to give a balanced view of life on the road, but like NEIA Nomad, they just cant see themselves being stationary.

My advice would be to invest your time heavily into IT knowledge. There is more and more remote based work in that arena that you could leverage as a full time remote employee or as a contract based worker that could create more flexibility.

I am a software engineer and I work full time remote. I do this for different reasons at this stage of my life, than high levels of travel, however, that was an original goal and one my wife and I hope to pursue in the future. I technically can work anywhere I have internet. It just changes how you travel a bit (e.g. I have to work "9 - 5" still so our plan is to spend larger chunks of time (1 - 2 weeks) in a given place so I can work and then we can explore, experience and then move on.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:21 AM   #8
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That's exactly why I've been pushing in the door for the IT department at the company I'm with. That is the greatest benefit of where I am right now is that it affords me the ability to learn the field, and the reference on the resume... and vacation time is earned weekly, not a set amount every year.

I will look their channel up, it did sound interesting.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:34 AM   #9
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We like to follow a few YouTube travelers that travel the way we'd like to soon. We are into the retirement years so that isn't like your situation. A few nomads have gone the Work Camping route. Maybe your skills can be useful for temporary jobs, a time commitment would be required but not permanently. I haven't seen only the easy side of life on the road from the Youtubers.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:41 PM   #10
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I am a full timer. I was fortunate enough to have built my own home (sweat equity) in Portland OR about 17 years ago. I have been a contractor/ general contractor since 91. My business did well but I kept it small so I never really built up a big savings. What savings I had got eaten up during the recession. Contractors took it in the *ss. I fought through that and was able to live fairly comfortably, send my kids to school etc. I knew this was the life I wanted to live as I hated being tied down with the "american dream". So when the kids moved out I stuck it out for a year to make sure they were heading in the right direction. I then sold my house. I never took a second mortgage or equity line out on my house. One of my few good decisions in life. That coupled with the fact that I built it myself which saved me a ton and that Portland real estate was going crazy I was able to pocket a bit of cash. Bought a van. Did a rebuild on it and here I am. It has been about two years and I would not ever go back to sticks and bricks intentionally. Never. I come back to Portland for the summer and bang out remodels to resupply the bank account. I do live with the knowledge that one day the $ will run out. All I can do is make some cash when I can and believe that I will be able to sustain until I physically cannot go on. After that I am probably ****ed but I am OK with that. I am 53 and did the "keeping up with the Joneses" for a long time. I raised my kids right (I think) and now I want to live what I consider a liberating and rewarding lifestyle. I am studying IT online as a possible means to make some additional cash while "living in a van". It is most definitely an alternative lifestyle and one that many could not or would not want to do. It works for me. @

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