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Archive for January, 2017

A special kind of crazy

January 12th, 2017 at 06:33 pm

Still very focused and determined to make this whacky vandwelling rigmarole work. However, I have since decided to focus on something even whackier than a minivan. Yeah... but let me start from the top.

So, in the Vandwellers' world, regular RVs-- even class Bs-- are generally considered the Hamptons with the McMansions. They are spacious, well-made, and can be as expensive as real stick houses. I've specifically avoided these due to its exorbitant cost, my not wanting to drive anything that big, as well as its lack of stealth. Simply put, RVs are out.

However-- and again, through the lenses of the vandwelling community's perspective-- people with "normal" large houses run Sprinter-styled tall vans. The main advantage is that they allow you to stand upright. I've heard that this is a big deal, but I am betting that I can go without it. Also, they are still big vehicles to drive, with bad fuel economy, and are not stealthy IMO. I've never considered them to be an option for me.

Which leads to the middle ground of the group, or minivan-sized vehicles, including standard cargo vans. I was heavily... and still am heavily leaning this way because it finally allows me to have a vehicle that can park just about anywhere, can be affordable enough, and offers superb stealth. Unfortunately, they still offer really bad gas mileage, even though honestly, I can live with that kind of cost....

However, within all this is a select sub-group of vandwellers that are called cardwellers, which as the name suggests, live in cars. Yes. Cars... but hear me out.

Ok, let's just go straight to the disadvantages, and why even within the vandwelling community, some may politely consider it a special kind of crazy. The most obvious thing is that the space is really, really small. Most, if they have a choice, would prefer to just have more space than this.

Also, many fall into this camp simply because they are so down on their luck that it's their only alternative to literally sleeping out in a park bench with newspapers as blankets. As if vandwellers don't suffer from negative stigma enough, cardwellers get it even worse.

However, there are nevertheless a small, select group of people who willingly choose and are successfully living out of their car, especially using what I would consider the king of cardwelling, the Toyota Prius.

The Prius is one of the most popular choices for cardwelling, mostly because its distinctive climate control works very much like a home thermostat. At the same time, its super-efficient engine cuts on very briefly to generate the necessary power needed to maintain that climate control. If you get the nicer models, you can also get one with a sunroof to vent out the heat, as well as built-in solar-powered fans that can run all day to help prevent heat build-up. All of that is on top of the already amazing fuel efficiency (for regular driving), and affordability (I am eyeing one right now at under $20k).

However, and I can't emphasize this enough... space is at an absolute premium. There's so little of it, that just about every build I've seen is about the same. There is simply no room for imagination. Don't get me wrong though, because I am OK with that. These are among the most minimal and practical setups I have ever seen (mostly out of necessity), which appeals to me.

However, I would also like a very nice looking build if possible. I want to try my best to make it look as comfortable and homey as possible with what is essentially a family sedan.

Is it possible? I don't know, but I am going to go find out.