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geezer466

Man Living In A Van

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3476741/Man-van-City-worker-shuns-renting-buying-save-1-000-month-live-Transit-showers-work-doesn-t-drink-7pm.html

A man is saving £1,000 a month by sleeping on the side of the road in his Transit van.

Thrifty Alex Hill, 24, from Gloucestershire, can’t get enough of sleeping in his beloved motor but admits life on the road isn’t for everyone – especially if you enjoy an evening drink.

Alex claims to save hundreds a month from his eccentric living situation with the only drawback being he has to go without drinking after 7pm because he hasn’t got access to a toilet.

Looks like he has made it quite comfy.....

I can see this catching on particularly with the way madness in London.

Chap a few streets away from me lives in his van, see him in the pub occasionally. Showers at the nearby leisure centre, takes his dobie round the launderette....

If I was short of a bit of geld I would certainly consider it!!

I bet this is far more widespread that people realise.

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I put 2.5k away a month, largely from living on a boat and having only £200 a month mooring fees. Other expenses involved, and I'd agree some couldn't cope but despite the size, the flooding, the mud, the close relationship with my own excrement, the need to fill up with water and fuel, I'd hazard a guess that most people would consider my surroundings and living arrangement idyllic.

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I put 2.5k away a month, largely from living on a boat and having only £200 a month mooring fees. Other expenses involved, and I'd agree some couldn't cope but despite the size, the flooding, the mud, the close relationship with my own excrement, the need to fill up with water and fuel, I'd hazard a guess that most people would consider my surroundings and living arrangement idyllic.

Friend of mine has a narrow boat and reckons the maintenance bills are enormous. Mind you it was a bit of a wreck when he bought it ..... :wacko:

Edit to add...

There is nothing quite like the smell of the bilges mixed with diesel.... :)

Edited by geezer466

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I considered a narrow boat but a friend of mine who lived on one reckoned it wasn't any cheaper.

I did once spend a few days camping on the outskirts of London when I was between places. There was ice on the inside of the tent in the mornings as it was February - but with a decent sleeping bag it was doable.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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Yeah nice Mercedes Transit there :rolleyes: .

It's a bloody big van TBH, I'm surprised a relative youth like him has a licence to drive it, MGVW must be over 3.5T?

Edit: actually I'm being silly, it looks like a parcel van, high volume low weight.

Edited by Rave

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Campervan/van living used to be standard/obligatory for hundreds of young Aussies/New Zealanders living in London in the streets around Earls Court years ago - "Kangaroo Valley". Maybe it still is but more stealthy.

Edited by billybong

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Looks to have boarded and insulated it with carpet which will make it more comfortable.

Also a van doesn't give the game away like a campervan.

If I did this, would probably find a huge retail car park which at night is nearly deserted, apart from a 24 hours Tesco and Macdonalds, few out Beckton way like that.

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Looks to have boarded and insulated it with carpet which will make it more comfortable.

Also a van doesn't give the game away like a campervan.

If I did this, would probably find a huge retail car park which at night is nearly deserted, apart from a 24 hours Tesco and Macdonalds, few out Beckton way like that.

You would need to check that they don't have a maximum stay of x hours, no return within y.

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People please. Can we keep this very important thread on topic (i.e not quibble over what type of van it is, where to p**s, etc) and not lose sight of the underlying reason for this chap doing what he is doing - THE INSANE COST OF HOUSING.

Perhaps the fact that so many of these (depressing!) threads veer off course so quickly is a sign that even we HPCers here are becoming numbed to the 'normality' of such stupidly and socially destructive high housing costs? and are losing our collective sense of outrage? A truly sad thought if that be the case.

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I dunno - there have always been people willing to take creative approaches to London living costs. The south africans, kiwis and australians were known for their house shares on steroids even back in the 90s. I knew of one person whose bed was the bath in a two bed flat with close on a dozen people living in it in Earls Court.

But there are clearly pressures that weren't there before though. I cycled past the temporary moorings at Vicky park last year and it was absolutely rammed - 2 or 3 boats deep in places. I never saw more than a 3-4 boats there when I lived there and it was on my commute.

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I dunno - there have always been people willing to take creative approaches to London living costs. The south africans, kiwis and australians were known for their house shares on steroids even back in the 90s. I knew of one person whose bed was the bath in a two bed flat with close on a dozen people living in it in Earls Court.

But there are clearly pressures that weren't there before though. I cycled past the temporary moorings at Vicky park last year and it was absolutely rammed - 2 or 3 boats deep in places. I never saw more than a 3-4 boats there when I lived there and it was on my commute.

Yes. But that's central London. It has always been crowded and expensive (so necessitating so called 'creative' approaches). This chap is not trying to live in central London. He is quoting insane rental costs for the suburbs.

As someone else above alluded. There are for sure plenty of other people being forced into these 'creative' means to put some sort of roof over their heads. I myself have seen people sleeping long term in cars. Something only in recent years.

Lets be frank and honest with ourselves here. This chap, as he alludes to quite clearly, is doing so for financial reasons. IF housing were genuinely cheap does anyone here really believe he would still choose to rough it in a van??!! So please can we stop trying to always fill these threads with replies that seemingly make 'excuses' or try to explain away why so and so is sleeping in a van. This isn't the BBC here. There's no obligation to go through the motions of giving an alternate viewpoint just to provide 'balance' to a story - even where there really isn't anything rational to offer!

Outside of the odd case of personal eccentricity it is simply not normal or desirable to live in a van. End of!

These cases need to be relentlessly held up high for all to see and rubbed in the faces of the TPTB till they squirm with shame at their collective failure to address the issue of housing affordability.

Edited by anonguest

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I agree - as I alluded to with the narrow boat story (Victoria Park is hardly central London). How are you rubbing this story in the faces of the TPTB btw? Because you can bet if they are aware of it at all - they are treating him as a lone eccentric (after all, he's parking outside friends houses who have somehow afforded them).

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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I agree - as I alluded to with the narrow boat story (Victoria Park is hardly central London). How are you rubbing this story in the faces of the TPTB btw? Because you can bet if they are aware of it at all - they are treating him as a lone eccentric (after all, he's parking outside friends houses who have somehow afforded them).

You can be sure I do my good HPC duty wherever and whenever I interact with anyone remotely connected to officialdom or public policy making etc - frequently in a manner and volume they are sure not to forget!

Edited by anonguest

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if I couldn't live with parents this would be my solution as well. the huge costs of renting means your getting paid anywhere between £500-£1200 a month to live in a van.

if you designed it a little better and did really well with insulating, had a local gym membership. you could have a pretty good quality of life.

house-shares can be horrible, and flats can quickly become a nightmare with surrounding flats noise.

Would take a bit more organisation with washing clothes, and types of meals you could make. but not impossible.

if your young you only really need the Internet, tinder and some mates and happy-days.

there is a lot to be said for building savings from a young age or even having free cash to enjoy yourself with.

I would better fit it out, and make the outside look more branded as a delivery service or drain clearance service. to blend in a bit more.

you could park closer to work than you could rent in central London, and you would get much fitter wandering around parks and the gym to stave off cabin (van) fever

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if I couldn't live with parents this would be my solution as well. the huge costs of renting means your getting paid anywhere between £500-£1200 a month to live in a van.

if you designed it a little better and did really well with insulating, had a local gym membership. you could have a pretty good quality of life.

house-shares can be horrible, and flats can quickly become a nightmare with surrounding flats noise.

Would take a bit more organisation with washing clothes, and types of meals you could make. but not impossible.

if your young you only really need the Internet, tinder and some mates and happy-days.

there is a lot to be said for building savings from a young age or even having free cash to enjoy yourself with.

I would better fit it out, and make the outside look more branded as a delivery service or drain clearance service. to blend in a bit more.

you could park closer to work than you could rent in central London, and you would get much fitter wandering around parks and the gym to stave off cabin (van) fever

That's actually a profound (and highly symbolic!) statement summarising the current lunacy of the housing situation! Even with the outrageous hourly rates for parking in central London one would still save money on renting AND possibly even more for commuting costs by parking said van home within walking distance of ones workplace!

It baffles me that TPTB, policy makers, etc simply cannot see just how out of kilter the general cost of living has become when these otherwise absurd lifestyle choices actually start to make real economic sense.

I am led to understand that, in some parts, of the USA sleeping in a vehicle is illegal? Presumably to prevent such sort of 'vagrancy'?

IF this lifestyle choice really takes off here then expect the authorities to no doubt make it illegal. Such is the 'vindictive' nature of the British ruling classes and justice system. After all they can't allow the riff raff and hoi polloi to drop out of 'the system' en masse.

Edited by anonguest

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How long before the price of these vans rockets, as they are bought by savvy 'investors' seeking to rent them out to younger folk?

A retired teacher said "We are ahead of the curve. We've got seven vans rented out already, and are making a very healthy return..."

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How long before the price of these vans rockets, as they are bought by savvy 'investors' seeking to rent them out to younger folk?

A retired teacher said "We are ahead of the curve. We've got seven vans rented out already, and are making a very healthy return..."

I'm looking forward to government initiatives such as licenced Vanlords and limited van building in order to protect the countryside. Furthermore allow housing benefits to go directly to Vanlords. Edited by Si1

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I'm looking forward to government initiatives such as licenced Vanlords and limited van building in order to protect the countryside. Furthermore allow housing benefits to go directly to Vanlords.

Surely inspectors will have to go round looking for parked vans sitting very low on the springs - VMO's. Vans in Multiple Occupation

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IF this lifestyle choice really takes off here then expect the authorities to no doubt make it illegal. Such is the 'vindictive' nature of the British ruling classes and justice system.

The authorities subtly make it quite hard already to live without a house. No overnight parking signs on roads. Residents only zones. Car parks in remote places with height restrictions to prevent any van like the one pictured. You will be fined for staying more than 3 hours in many motorway service stations and supermarket car parks. Council-run public conveniences have been closed down in vast swathes of UK. It's almost impossible to get a bank account or a vote. On top of this, locals will get upset if you kip near their houses. If you go somewhere quiet, then weirdos/criminals approach you. If you buy a plot of land to escape this, you are not allowed to sleep there for more than a few weeks a year. On top of this, if you pay to camp officially, it doesn't work out any cheaper than renting a basic room. You also eat out more, spend more time in cafes and pubs, and need to find money for the laundrette. And because you can't store anything, if you need something like glue or a tool, you buy it then dispose of it.

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I know someone doing this in London, converted an LWB Luton van, fully insulated, internal timber cladding, wooden flooring, fridge, gas oven, double bed, solar, sink, shower, toilet. I don't even have an oven in my flat. From the outside his van just looks like a regular white van, he's been in it 3 months and has had no trouble whatsoever.

I'm not in London but thinking about doing this myself, my towns rents went up 20% last year and they are still going up. A friend has already had to move as his greedy boomer landlord put his rent up twice in 1 year. 60% of my outgoings are on rent + council tax. I don't really see the point in grinding away anymore with nothing to show for it.

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People please. Can we keep this very important thread on topic (i.e not quibble over what type of van it is, where to p**s, etc) and not lose sight of the underlying reason for this chap doing what he is doing - THE INSANE COST OF HOUSING.

Perhaps the fact that so many of these (depressing!) threads veer off course so quickly is a sign that even we HPCers here are becoming numbed to the 'normality' of such stupidly and socially destructive high housing costs? and are losing our collective sense of outrage? A truly sad thought if that be the case.

The really sad part is no one in gov seems to actually want it to change. Wait til neg. rates and cashless, see the -20% rates move savers into their bloated housing market and watch hyperinflation and destruction of currency in front of you BEFORE anyone lifts a finger to solve this completely evil game.

At least in the GDR, everyone had a house...

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