Extreme Frugal Living: Tips For Living In Your Car

Tips For Living In Your Car

Whether you really need to pinch pennies for a long road trip or are really at the end of your rope with your financial and living situation, desperate times call for desperate measures--and sometimes that involves living in your car for an extended period of time. It is certainly not easy, but with the right equipment and know-how, making your car your abode is certainly possible if you make the continuous effort to keep things clean, be smart about where you park your car and avoid arousing the suspicion of local authorities. 

Got your own tips or experiences to share for living it out in your four-wheeled home? Share with us in the comments below. 

Click on image below to enlarge. 

Extreme Frugal Living: Tips For Living In Your Car

Want to master Microsoft Excel and take your work-from-home job prospects to the next level? Jump-start your career with our Premium A-to-Z Microsoft Excel Training Bundle from the new Gadget Hacks Shop and get lifetime access to more than 40 hours of Basic to Advanced instruction on functions, formula, tools, and more.

Buy Now (97% off) >

Other worthwhile deals to check out:

Join the Next Reality AR Community

Get the latest in AR — delivered straight to your inbox.


I've always wanted to live in a van. A nice spacious van/camper thing. Just cruise, but I can imagine those things being hell on gas.

There ARE whole communities based on living the four-wheeled mobile life. For some people it's a matter of financial necessity, but for other people it's what makes them happy. :)

Instead of a car cover or tinted windows, black plastic trash bags can be make-shift curtains. Cheap and potentially unsightly, but effective!

This post makes me think of "dirtbag" rock climbers like this one: https://vimeo.com/16246801

V. cool video, Narinda. Thanks for sharing!

I think she meant "abode"

Mea culpa. Thanks for pointing out.

All good ideas. Car covers can be removed by strangers. Try black drapes with velcro. Buy at fabric store. Have a ready made excuse (pretext) for nosy cops and neighbors. Try parking on the street in well lit areas. You might be able to park at industrial park companies just as long as your gone before they start work the next morning. Weekends are better. Try overnight parking in unattended parking garages and only leave after you've been there for awhile. Put a sign on the car "ENGINE TROUBLE - WILL RETURN ASAP TO RETRIEVE CAR". Try parking at 24-hour stores like Wal-Mart Superstores. They never know if your'e in the car or in the store. Just park normally and put up your privacy screens. Look for TA truck Stops. They let you shower for $10 bucks. YMCA for $16. Ask motel managers for shower access for an hour - may be free if they are good people. You could always wash up in a sink at gas stations. Find electrical outlets to power up household equipment like a small space heater or cooling fan. Don't want to waste gas or battery trying to stay warm or cool. Never use an ORANGE extension cord. Go for black or dark green or gray. Others will see your hookup and unplug it or bug you about it.

I don't recommend EAR PLUGS. In an unknown environment you need to be cognizant of all activity surrounding your vehicle. You need to listen for cars pulling up next to you, people walking your way, large animals, tow-trucks, security guards, cops, bad guys, drunks, etc. I don't recommend falling asleep to a radio or TV either. Conserve energy, don't block out exterior noises as they may be important to you even when asleep. Falling asleep to multimedia may induce bad dreams too. You won't get restful sleep. Invest into a car alarm with panic feature. Never open your door or window to anyone. Let them just knock and you act like no one is in car. If they start to force entry blow your horn or set off the alarm. Before pulling away take down your privacy screens so you can see but I'll bet your windows will be fogged up due to your breathing in a enclosed vehicle.

Hi Spooky, really great tips. Thank you for sharing additional valuable and detailed ideas with us.

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest