Tips For Living Out Of Your Car - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Nor*Cal
Posts: 10,693
Tips For Living Out Of Your Car

http://www.motivemag.com/pub/feature...Your_Car.shtml





You say your job has been outsourced to Mumbai, your house is in foreclosure, and our great system of plenty ain't got shit for you? Join the club. With apocalyptic headlines promising the swan dive of America's economy, every day is beginning to look like 1929, only without the flapper hats, Gatsby, or legal pot. The problem is doubly sticky for car enthusiasts when things go completely sideways, popular theory holds that humans will abandon luxuries to fulfill their fundamental needs. On some level, it holds water eating canned Alpo isn't too popular, but then again, neither is starving to death. But what about when your car is a fundamental need? You looked years for that unmodified twin-turbo Supra, and you'll be damned if an economic "correction" is going to rend true love asunder. There's only one answer in that case, and it's to check into the Hotel Toyota.

This is a subject on which I can speak with some authority. Two years out of high school, it was the question, "So what makes you think you have what it takes to be a team member at Bennigan's?" that started me towards the door and down the long slide to unemployment as a lifestyle. I'd left the manager there, tomato-red and fuming, unable to intimidate me with his miniscule employment superpowers. Most jobs, I came to the conclusion, were ridiculous and if I worked at them long enough, I would become ridiculous, too. My bosses knew that I didn't want to be there; they didn't want me there, either. In the two months after that I'd discovered that I wasn't cut out for mowing grass, pouring coffee, tossing pizza, unloading trucks, customer service, shoveling dog food into bags, or what started the tailspin serving deep-fried bricks of suet to my distended countrymen.

I did, however, have a 1996 Integra GS-R, finished in the most ebony of color schemes and with which I sure as hell wasn't going to part. That's how, for the next three weeks, it was mi casa es mi coche. I've been there and didn't get my eggs scrambled, and there's no reason why you can't, either. But rather than survive by your wits alone, take a minute to run over the following tips so you don't make some of the same, dumb mistakes that I did.



#1
If you have the luxury of choosing, go for a minivan or SUV with tinted windows. Pickup trucks with a rear bench seat work well for this, too, since it's hard to see in the rear with the front seats upright. With a sedan, you'll run into the problem of how to conceal yourself at night. With a coupe, you'll need to fold the rear seats down and stick into the trunk, or risk turning your spine into a curlicue. Resist the urge to sleep in a contractor van. If you do, you'll run into grief from people thinking you're either an undercover cop, running a mobile grow house, or a pederast.

#2
Invest in some earplugs. Something you won't notice until you're actually trying to doze there is that the street is loud. Really loud. Garbage trucks, sport exhausts, and cars that go bump in the night will conspire to rob you of your precious shut-eye. Even people on the sidewalk project their voices farther than you'd expect. Yelling at people to keep it down from an apartment window usually works. Prairie-dogging your head out the sunroof to yell "Jesus Christ! I need to be at work in four hours!" doesn't garner the same sympathy.

#3
Screw fast food. You can pick up a loaf of bread, some carrots, apples, and cheap peanut butter at the grocery store for less than five bucks, and it'll keep you fed for days. No matter how tempting, don't give in to the urge to fill your stomach with yummy hot food a weeks' worth of the McDonald's dollar menu will set you back $42. Remember: Unless hitting the skids means you are forced to live from your Rolls-Royce Phantom, you won't have a built-in refrigerator. Everything you buy needs to keep at room temperature or be eaten that day.

#4
You'll need to keep clean to maintain your job and your sanity, and for this you'll need a shower. Don't be a dumbass and try to rinse off using someone's garden hose, public fountains, or swimming pools. Get thee to a truck stop. Gyms may have nicer showers, but truck stops don't incur a membership fee. Remember, there's a very tremulous balance between living in your car and absolute destitution, and all that separates you from the guy that panhandled you this morning is a shave, a shower, and maybe a perforated liver.

#5
Personal hygiene is also important. Unless you set up camp in a demilitarized zone or Chicago's south side, every fast-food chain in sight will have a clean, unlocked bathroom at your disposal. Just be sure that you don't hog the only sink in the joint, or else someone will complain to the manager. Remember, your job is to avoid conspicuity at all costs.

#6
Don't be an idiot and park in an industrial park. Those have security companies that will notice your car in the lot after hours. Don't head out to the suburbs, either. Homeowners in suburbia are already paranoid about the rabble spoiling their manicured lawns, and they'll call in a strange car on the curb faster than you can say "white flight."

If you don't want your car to attract notice, find someplace where street parking is de rigueur and overnight permits aren't needed. Nobody is going to notice your anonymous little car when it's sandwiched in between two banged-up urban kickabouts. Get there late at night and leave before 9 AM. This will draw as little attention to yourself as possible.

If you absolutely must, Wal-Mart stores let cars, RVs, and tractor-trailers park in their lot overnight. If the rent-a-cop in the white Ford Ranger with the little amber beacon gives you grief, tell him you're just passing through and need to crash for the night.

#7
You don't have the luxury of washing your sheets when they're car upholstery, and living in it for even a few days will funk up the interior like a gym bag. While you're out of the car, leave dryer sheets under the front seats to help mitigate the stink. If your car smells like someone gutted a hobo in the back seat, there's no way the Waffle House waitress you bring "home" is going to stick around, much less spend the night.

#8
You may be tempted to while away the time with some cheap and tasty booze. Don't. Not only is alcohol a sure-fire way to burn through your cash reserves, but if you're rocking a buzz inside your car and the cops come knocking, the presence of your keys anywhere inside the car could be enough to charge you with OWI. There's an old chestnut that says you should pop open the gas door and put your keys in there, so that they're not technically inside the car, but like on-board hydrogen generation and Ron Paul's presidential campaign, this is one of those things that only works in theory, in Imaginationland, and on the Internet.

#9
Electricity is a wonderful thing. You can pick up a cheap AC inverter for around $20, which will let you run your stuff off the 12-volt lighter socket in your dashboard. Just remember, you can drain your battery in a matter of hours with an inverter, and most auto clubs will only make one house call a year.

#10
Get a post-office box as soon as you can. If you wrangle a job interview, you can use it to provide a real address on your application. And if you still have a laptop, you can get Netflix to send you DVDs to keep you from going stir crazy; $15 a month for fresh movies is less than you'll spend in one night on the town.

#11
Wi-Fi hotspots are your best friend. Panera Bread is the old respite of the 'net-less, but Dunkin' Donuts is adding free Internet access across the country. Libraries used to provide a good place to jack in, but post-9/11 they've started welding the metaphoric sewer lids shut. Avoid airports, Starbucks, and most other chains that offer wireless access they contract those services out to a third party, and they can charge as much as $2 an hour to connect.

#12
Finally, you'll need to consider clothing. Clothes take up an inordinate amount of space just think about how large your dresser is and there are not many places you can fit them in your car while maintaining enough space for you, too. If you can't ditch the non-essentials with a friend, you'll need to find somewhere to keep them until they're needed. You'll also need a contingency plan for your dirty clothes; after spending a day calcifying on your skin, they'll pollute your clean clothes the same way a rotten apple will spoil a basket of fresh ones. Keep the dirties in their own bag until you can make a trip to the Laundromat. Dollar stores are a great source of strange-ass detergent (who knew that Tide destined for Jordan had a different label?) at cutthroat prices.

Above all, remember this: You have a set amount of hours in which to live. Most people slot those hours for staying inside on beautiful days, plodding down taupe-carpeted hallways and plotting for their next big promotion to Assistant Regional Undersecretary to the Vice President of Red Group. Hey, a man can dream, can't he? But by living out of your car, you will by choice or circumstance be experiencing distilled existence in a way that those shuttling numbers from column A to column B never will. The time ahead may not be easy, or comfortable, or safe, or glamorous. But it's going to be yours. And it's going to be interesting. Good luck.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Oricle is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 09:52 PM
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,464
Re: Tips For Living Out Of Your Car

Interesting read.

I mean no hard feelings for what I post on this website. Anything I type/write/post/say on this forum is only that of general debate and discussion. I am not biased toward anyone or anything. I am neutral in everything I do on this website. Only those facts that are presented to me sway my thought process and siding of each discussion topic that I post about.
KeepJeepin is offline  
post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 11:42 PM
Grand Am Series
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chester, VA
Posts: 400
Send a message via Yahoo to darkfuse
Re: Tips For Living Out Of Your Car

you never know when the wife will kick you out, nice find
darkfuse is offline  
post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Nor*Cal
Posts: 10,693
Re: Tips For Living Out Of Your Car

i camped out of my car for 2 days, wasn't to bad at all. fold down the rear seats, move the passenger seat all the way forward and lay diagonally (with your head at the rear of the car, its nice because you can see the sky with the way the rear window is angled. im 6'4" BTW) on a camping mat. id also recommend those eye covers to keep the sun from waking you up, unless you want to wake up around 5-6ish, and keep the windows cracked (you dont realize how much you may stink until you sleep in a small enclosed space)


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Oricle is offline  
post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 12:19 AM
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 2,794
Re: Tips For Living Out Of Your Car

This is a very good thing to have. Saved.

I can understand his logic. If I can sleep in a tent for more than 2 weeks on a boy scout camping trip, I could probably live in a car. But why does he not mention gas? That is a vital part of this lifestyle and must also be monitored well. If you plan to stay on the move, you must stay on the move. This requires expensive fuel, especially with a minivan or truck.
TrevDaddy is offline  
post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 04:26 AM
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 6,708
Send a message via AIM to araw at bituin Send a message via Yahoo to araw at bituin
Re: Tips For Living Out Of Your Car

i <3 sleeping in my car. its comfy.

and i get to take in the fresh aroma of squash



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

araw at bituin is offline  
post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 08:38 AM
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,464
Re: Tips For Living Out Of Your Car

That reminds me, when I was little my mom owned a Ford Econoline Excursion Van. The very rear bench folded into a bed, it had a tv and vcr in it, as well as a nintendo with duck hunt.




Ours was red.

I mean no hard feelings for what I post on this website. Anything I type/write/post/say on this forum is only that of general debate and discussion. I am not biased toward anyone or anything. I am neutral in everything I do on this website. Only those facts that are presented to me sway my thought process and siding of each discussion topic that I post about.
KeepJeepin is offline  
post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 08:50 AM
Grand Am Series
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: N.J.
Posts: 300
Re: Tips For Living Out Of Your Car

Yeah, it's a pretty cool idea. I don't know how long I'd last living in a car though.

| Sok07's Gas Pedal | Cobb Shifter Weight | TRZ Polyurethane Rear Mount | BC Racing BR Coilovers | SPC Adjustable Rear Camber Links | CP-E Xcel NANO Intake | CP-E Nviscid Pipe | Turbosmart Bypass Valve | Street Unit Test Pipe | Hawk HPS Pads |
filphil is offline  
post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 11:23 PM
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: St. Louis / Bourbon, MO
Posts: 25,357
Re: Tips For Living Out Of Your Car

The speed is pretty easy to sleep in, provided its not FLIPPING COLD outside. I've slept in it a few times, the last time was when it was 17 degrees outside, that wasn't a very good night of sleep.

A revolution gets its name by always coming back around in your face.
smokinAMD is offline  
post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-06-2008, 11:10 AM
F1 Driver
 
siscim23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 40,015
Send a message via AIM to siscim23
Re: Tips For Living Out Of Your Car

I slept in my car one night, but it happened to rain that night, so the windows were closed.... What a horrible night. Woke up every 30 mins dripping sweat to turn the car on and let the air blow for a minute or 2. Needed a squeegee the windows dry so I could see out of them



siscim23 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs > Misc > Lounge

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome