Advice for Extended Truck Camping

From a 4chan thread about living in your pickup truck.

living-in-pickup-truck

  • It gets cold. Real cold. Insulate your truck bed and camper shell as well as you can. Get a really good mattress to lay on.
  • You will want to install privacy curtains in your shell. You can do without for a few days but you will need some privacy. Velcro and cheap cloth will work.
  • You will want a way to heat up food and make a cup of coffee. Eating out all the time will destroy any savings you are achieving by living in a truck. I recommend a propane stove because butane doesn’t work well below 32F and white gas is too messy in an enclosed environment.
  • You will probably want a weapon. There’s no telling who is going to come rattle the door handles of your truck in the middle of the night. Being armed with something more effective than strong language is advised.
  • You will need a mailing address. There are a few options for this, but you will need to have one. Maybe you can receive mail at work. Maybe you have a friend in the area willing to receive your mail. Maybe you need a PO Box.
  • You will want electricity. Not much, but you will want it. You can wire a deep-cycle marine battery into your trucks’ 12V charging system and then run an inverter to power a laptop, or charge a cell phone, or power a reading light.
  • You will want a lockbox or safe. Burglary from automobiles is very common compared to home burglary. You don’t want to be worried about your valuables any time you’re away from your truck. A strongbox can be bolted to your truck bed and will give you a semi-safe place to store cash, IDs, passport, weapon, camera, etc.
  • You will need of a reliable way to dispose of waste. Have a plan for disposing of garbage, 3am piss, and emergency shit or vomit. Somewhere secluded. Your boss won’t want you tossing piss bottles in the company dumpster. A 5-gallon bucket makes a good trash can and can double as an emergency shit bucket.
  • You will want at least minor water storage and disposal. Cooking, sponge baths, dish washing… all require a little water. Expect to use 1 gallon per day. I used a 6 gallon “Jerry can” for my primary storage and then had some 1L canteens I used for my daily washing. I topped it off every 3 or 4 days with plain old tap water.
  • Disposing of used water involved another 5 gallon bucket. I’d dump waste water in it until it was nearly full then dispose of it somewhere out of sight – an alley or the roadside at night.
  • Last but not least you need to have SEVERAL parking locations mapped out. Staying in the same spot for night after night is a great way to find yourself talking to the cops. 4 or 5 good private parking spots should be considered the minimum. Wal-Mart is generally very accommodating to overnights in their parking lot, so that’s a good back up. You won’t want a bunch of HOA type neighborhood watch people talking about your truck and jotting down your licence plate. Stick to blue-collar neighborhoods, or park along fencelines where you’re not within easy view of anyone’s house. I live in a low-rent area. It’s safe but it’s not prim and proper. There’s a guy who lives out of his van 3 doors down. He’s nice to everyone. Doesn’t put anyone on edge. Nice guy, just down on his luck. No one cares. But if he tried to set up shop in a richer area he’d be fucked.

Keeping an RV Cool without Air Conditioning

Living full or part time in an RV can save a small fortune over expensive rent costs in the big city. The RV is the unsung hero of the tiny house movement, pre dating it by the better part of a century.

But unlike tiny timber houses, an RV’s most crippling weakness is its R value. In the summer, it heats up like a solar oven.

Now the easy solution is to flip on the AC and let it run, at great expense, all day. But the far more satisfying solution is to use the natural position of the sun and the shade to constantly pump in cool air by way of a cheap fan. A diagram illustrates how to set this up.


rv cooling in the summer no air conditioning

  1. Close and shade all windows facing the sun, then open a window on the shaded side.
  2. Place the fan so it blows air in. I prop mine on a bucket to ge t it at the right height.
  3. Open a roof hatch to give the air somewhere to escape.

You’ll want to move the fan and redo the windows once during the day as the sun moves from one side of the RV to the other.

Other Tricks to Reduce Heat Gain

If possible, do your cooking outside. I use a crock pot and a bread machine which can both be plugged into the exterior outlet and set on a table.

Your cab might have curtains you can draw to block it off. The cab is full of glass, making it the hottest place in summer and the coldest in winter.  In summer, keep the driver’s and passenger side windows open a bit so it doesn’t get over 100 degrees in there.

“Pick a Niche then Pick a Strategy – and stick with them.”

That was the advice given by Paula from AffordAnything.com on a recent interview with the Mad FIentist, a podcast that I listen to.

She was talking about investing in real estate, but the advice applies to building any asset base where the goal is building passive income.

So for example, if you’re thinking of getting into real estate, you should commit to single family homes or you should commit to mobile home park land, or you should commit to 20-unit apartment complexesthen proceed to learn everything you can about that niche.

As for picking the method, it could be buying distresses units and reselling them after putting in a bunch of work to fix them up. Or it could be holding them and relying on that monthly rental cheque. Pick one, and learn it, backward and forward.

My niche is blogging, since I don’t have the money to pay cash for real estate, and I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to bear a six figure mortgage. My strategy is to write better than average content which attracts a more balanced traffic strata than other for profit blogs. That way I’m not overly dependent on one traffic source (Google.) I shoot for traffic sources split approximately 33% between each – referral, direct and search traffic.

For fun, here’s my Niche and Method for winning Roller Coaster Tycoon. Pick a high traffic area, build a slide, and charge 3$ per customer. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, win scenario!

7-slidesAchieved 8,000 monthly income with a 18,000 company value. That’s what – a  500% annual return?

achieved