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Downsize living

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Idaho
    Posts
    293
    In 2013 I downsized from a 3 bedroom cabin-type home in the forest, to a 2 bedroom apartment on a prairie. Now I'm in the process of downsizing again.



    I've decided to move into a van. It is a high-roof van (so I can stand in it) and will be extended length (so I can install a bathroom). The floor space in the cargo area is about 6' by 13' - 78 square feet.

    This will be like a small bedroom with an ensuite and a big desk (since i want a desk much more than I want a kitchen. I'm single and eat simply.) I like to say the van will be my bedroom and the world will be my living room.

    I spent all year looking at alternative housing options including tiny homes, yurts, shipping containers, and anything else I could find. Finally I decided the van is the option for me because unlike a tiny home or yurt, I'll be able to go places in it.

    I've been yearning for road trips and now my life will be all road trips. Plus, I'll get to do the conversion myself and have it just the way I want it.

    I chose the van over an RV because of the costs involved.

    I'll be boondocking rather than staying in RV parks. I'm getting the van in April or May and will start my travels this summer.

    Meanwhile, I'm downsizing ... furniture will be easy to give away. The rest, I need to prioritize and give away as much as I can.

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    270
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellejay View Post
    In 2013 I downsized from a 3 bedroom cabin-type home in the forest, to a 2 bedroom apartment on a prairie. Now I'm in the process of downsizing again.

    I've decided to move into a van. It is a high-roof van (so I can stand in it) and will be extended length (so I can install a bathroom). The floor space in the cargo area is about 6' by 13' - 78 square feet.

    This will be like a small bedroom with an ensuite and a big desk (since i want a desk much more than I want a kitchen. I'm single and eat simply.) I like to say the van will be my bedroom and the world will be my living room.

    I spent all year looking at alternative housing options including tiny homes, yurts, shipping containers, and anything else I could find. Finally I decided the van is the option for me because unlike a tiny home or yurt, I'll be able to go places in it.

    I've been yearning for road trips and now my life will be all road trips. Plus, I'll get to do the conversion myself and have it just the way I want it.

    I chose the van over an RV because of the costs involved.

    I'll be boondocking rather than staying in RV parks. I'm getting the van in April or May and will start my travels this summer.

    Meanwhile, I'm downsizing ... furniture will be easy to give away. The rest, I need to prioritize and give away as much as I can.
    Go to www.cheaprvliving.com good information & experience stories' other boondockers have had, I for one winter (Nov - Apr) in AZ @ Quartzsite myself (2 years now). Each person's expectations & wants are diverse so take the advice with a open mind, do your own research. There are as many van configurations as there are vans. Some pretty basic, some way over the top. Good Luck!

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    141
    Quote Originally Posted by SharonTru View Post
    What about a tiny house for downsizing? Honestly, Iíve been researching these over the last couple of years and I would love to live smaller. I could live in 250-350 sq ft. Especially if it was outfitted for on and off grid living. It would be awesome to have a tiny house village of like minded folks. Living that way is cheaper but not cheap enough for someone just living off social security. Anyone here have any experience with tiny house living? Iím in the south but donít intend to live here for the Ďdurationí.
    As baby boomers look for alternative and cheaper ways to live maybe more opportunities will come about. But for now in my research unless you are off the grid cost of sitting somewhere still becomes a factor. The average cost of living in a mobile home the lot fees in my area (Portland, OR) can range $600-$1,000 per month. There is a tiny home community in Salem, OR that I thought was a great alternative to mobile home courts but again there is a monthly fee...

    https://www.hopevalleyresorts.com/our-history-1/

    Oregon makes it really hard or non existent to be able to place a tiny home on wheels permanently on your own home property, there are so many zoning laws to wade through.

    Good luck in finding your dream retirement.

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Idaho
    Posts
    293
    Quote Originally Posted by Roadwarrior View Post
    Go to www.cheaprvliving.com good information & experience
    I'm already a regular on their forum. . . it is a great place to pick up tips, even for someone like me who has to wait to get a van.

    Vandwelling is like tiny house living on steroids.

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Idaho
    Posts
    293
    Quote Originally Posted by hiraeth2018 View Post
    unless you are off the grid cost of sitting somewhere still becomes a factor.
    Yes, this is a reason I chose a van, and boondocking - because anywhere you go to stay in one place for a long time, you're paying landlords, electricity, etc. There will be a greater (huge?) initial outlay of funds but after that all you have to deal with in a van is insurance, cell phone and internet, mail forwarding service, food, medical insurance, gym (for showers), and of course, gasoline. I will be on a gasoline budget of about $150 per month, so wherever I go, it will be slow. My van will have a nice bathroom and solar panels, so will be entirely off the grid.

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    270
    Find out what it would cost to outfit your life and become a 'Camp Host'. They are always looking for people to man those positions. I don't know what it entails, if you're in fairly good health, trustworthy & somewhat computer savvy they want you. I've met some that are quite nice but others think they are the camp police & actually have a little authority. I assume it includes 'free' space. It's not something I would do being anti-social but it's doesn't look like brain surgery. That's just an idea, I don't think you can live in a van while doing it but who knows.

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Idaho
    Posts
    293
    I heard that if you're willing to accept more remote and less loved campgrounds, they may take vandwellers.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    270
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellejay View Post
    I heard that if you're willing to accept more remote and less loved campgrounds, they may take vandwellers.
    Well there you go! In addition go to the BLM office get your 'Senior' lifetime pass. Read up on all the perks & have a great time camping all over the US. Again - Good Luck!

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Nrw Jersey
    Posts
    1,014
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellejay View Post
    In 2013 I downsized from a 3 bedroom cabin-type home in the forest, to a 2 bedroom apartment on a prairie. Now I'm in the process of downsizing again.

    I've decided to move into a van. It is a high-roof van (so I can stand in it) and will be extended length (so I can install a bathroom). The floor space in the cargo area is about 6' by 13' - 78 square feet.

    This will be like a small bedroom with an ensuite and a big desk (since i want a desk much more than I want a kitchen. I'm single and eat simply.) I like to say the van will be my bedroom and the world will be my living room.

    I spent all year looking at alternative housing options including tiny homes, yurts, shipping containers, and anything else I could find. Finally I decided the van is the option for me because unlike a tiny home or yurt, I'll be able to go places in it.

    I've been yearning for road trips and now my life will be all road trips. Plus, I'll get to do the conversion myself and have it just the way I want it.

    I chose the van over an RV because of the costs involved.

    I'll be boondocking rather than staying in RV parks. I'm getting the van in April or May and will start my travels this summer.

    Meanwhile, I'm downsizing ... furniture will be easy to give away. The rest, I need to prioritize and give away as much as I can.
    This sounds like an interesting, free lifestyle. Your plan reminds me of people I've seen on a show called How To Live Mortgage Free (now on Netflix). It's out of the U.K. so sometimes I don't understand what costs the host is quoting but sometimes she gives the prices in U.S. dollars. She featured a family of four (I believe) that converted a bus and a girl who converted an old boat. There are several conversion stories. It amazes me what ingenious ideas people come up with to be comfortable in very small spaces. I hope you'll share your conversion with us when it's done.

  10. #55
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    370
    Quote Originally Posted by StarSong View Post
    An RV with solar panels and a bank of batteries would satisfy what you're talking about, with the distinct advantage of being less expensive, fully mobile and widely available - both new and used. As for affordability, it depends on where you want to park it and your monthly income. A number of RV parks also have "park models." Lots of pretty good options out there.

    There are some full-time RVers on this forum. Perhaps a couple will weigh in.

    Who here is a member of the ' IRV2 Club '? We were for a short time but sold our camper a couple years ago.

  11. #56
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    370
    Quote Originally Posted by hiraeth2018 View Post
    As baby boomers look for alternative and cheaper ways to live maybe more opportunities will come about. But for now in my research unless you are off the grid cost of sitting somewhere still becomes a factor. The average cost of living in a mobile home the lot fees in my area (Portland, OR) can range $600-$1,000 per month. There is a tiny home community in Salem, OR that I thought was a great alternative to mobile home courts but again there is a monthly fee...

    https://www.hopevalleyresorts.com/our-history-1/

    Oregon makes it really hard or non existent to be able to place a tiny home on wheels permanently on your own home property, there are so many zoning laws to wade through.

    Good luck in finding your dream retirement.
    Many places now have strict zoning laws. And for property owners sometimes that is a good thing. We had a couple living in camper and realtor told us property values dropped 40%. We've also had 'sqatters' Neighborhood Watch got rid of them too. Neighbors complained and city made them move.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roadwarrior View Post
    Well there you go! In addition go to the BLM office get your 'Senior' lifetime pass. Read up on all the perks & have a great time camping all over the US. Again - Good Luck!
    We use our van and a tent. We're what I call professional campers,lol.
    But now it is really hard to camp at State Parks unless you make reservations up to a year in advance. So many are understandably leaving the rat race that places to stay are dwindling fast.
    Police don't care much for us either. WalMart is turning into a homeless ghetto so many are not allowing over nighters anymore.

    Do your research if you plan to live on the road.

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