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Living in your Car: How to Make it Work

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On: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 3:53PM | By: Bill Wilson

Living in your Car:  How to Make it Work

Life is filled with uncertainties; that’s why people have insurance and savings accounts. No matter how careful we are, however, sometimes things can knock even the most cautious person off her feet. Fortunately, if you own a reliable vehicle, you can always be reasonably safe and comfortable, even if you have only a small amount of money. Here’s why:

Cars offer climate control in the form of heat and, in most cases, air conditioning.

Cars provide shelter from the weather, animals, and other human beings.

Cars require only fuel and occasional maintenance to to keep running, so long as they are reasonably sound mechanically.

Cars allow a high degree of mobility, in case one’s current location is unsafe or unpleasant.

With a little innovation, cars can provide entertainment options and even a way to cook food.

Most cars can be made comfortable enough to live in, at least for a few days.

Living in a automobile is a popular topic with minimalists, survivalists, and those who live on a limited income. There’s even a website devoted to the subject.Those who have used their cars as a home offer the following tips for those who, out of need or from simple curiosity, want to try it out for a while:

Get a pair of foam earplugs. These will block excess noise, while still allowing the user to hear someone tapping on the window or approaching the vehicle.

Find more than one place to park, and rotate from one to the other each evening. This will prevent police and security guards from possibly harassing you.

Use sunglasses, a hat with a large brim, or even pieces of cardboard to block light when sleeping.

Leave a window open very slightly for ventilation purposes.

Find a place to shower; this is essential for hygiene and mental health. Gyms, state parks, truck stops, and homeless shelters are all possible locations. Stay clean-shaven and neatly dressed to minimize any possible problems.

While an auto battery can power a small TV, entertainment sources like the radio, books, or tablets consume far less power.

Public libraries can provide information, recreation, and even a place to sit in comfort during the day. They are also great places to access the internet or local job boards.

In a pinch, it’s possible to clean oneself using a sink in a public restroom. A bathroom also offers a place to take care of sanitary needs.

Where to park is the biggest factor to consider when living in a car. Here are some possible places:

Highway rest stops.

Church property.

24-hour retail outlets, especially those that allow truckers to park overnight.


Local or state parks.

Few people would consider living in a car to be a fun part of their lives, of course. But, when the unexpected occurs, knowing how to do so can make the difference between surviving reasonably well and being totally homeless. Think of the ideas presented in this post as a form of personal insurance, one that might come in handy someday.



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