Living in a Car
A few circumstances back in 2005 led me to a situation wherein I had to live in my 1997 Geo Metro for a couple of weeks. The experience provided me with some joy and sorrow. Somedays I enjoyed the independence of being able to move wherevever I wanted whenever I wanted. Other days I felt like a loser and thought to myself, "what the heck am I doing sleeping in a car?" Anyhow, if you are interested in living in a car be it for spiritual, financial, religious, or whatever reasons, then read on.
Choosing your Mobile Abode
Choose your car based upon your level of comfort and budget. Although a large and spacious van may be comfortable, it will guzzle up lots of gas. Also, a small car like a Geo Metro may get decent gas mileage, but may be too cramped for most. For me, I did find sleeping in a Metro quite uncomfortable and the front seat where I slept did not have much padding. Moreover, the top 1 foot of the seat was curved inward forcing me to perch my neck forward while sleeping. I could have used one of those neck pillows to make the expericence a tad more comforting. I did try sleeping in the back seat, but it was too narrow, and I had to sleep with my legs elevated on the side of the car. I'd suggest getting a van for comfort, and I do not recomend sleeping in a tiny car such as a Geo Metro unless you have no other choice.
Where to Park
I did my car living in Hawaii where is can get quite hot. So to minimize getting roasted like a huli huli chicken, it was essential I parked somewhere with shade. I tried under trees with large canopies, or in parking garages. There are some free parking garages here next to 24 hour business that didn't seem to mind my being there. But when it is cold out, you should park in an area with minimal obstruction from the sun so your car can store up some heat up during the day keeping you warmer at night.
To keep food costs down, I recommend getting a portable propane stove and a cast iron skillet. Remember, do not cook inside your car! You will probably die from carbon monoxide poisoning or from a fire. Instead, invest in a folding table to use as a surface for cooking outside. Have multiple jugs of water so you won't have to constantly look for a fountain.
I had a YMCA membership and just showered there. Some universities have locker rooms with open access that you might be able to utilize. If you live near a beach, there are usually shower facilities there as well. Public pools are another option. If you are filthy and have no other choice, you can wash yourself using water from the sink and use the hand soap to cleanse yourself.
Well, that about covers it for now. I will update this page when I figure out more tips on car living. Living in a car was an interesting experience that everyone should try once. It's quite an adventure. I thought of it as urban camping. Your basic needs of food, shelter, and hygiene can easily be covered while living in a car; it just takes a little planing.