Hey there! Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live in your car?
A lot of ordinary people live in their cars for a variety of reasons. Some travel a lot for work and find hotels too expensive a luxury. Some have set up online employment and are able to travel anywhere while still earning a living. Some are trying to cut expenses to save for something important. Some are simply down on their luck and grateful for the security of a vehicle to live in vs under a bridge or a homeless shelter.
Last night Matt and I spent the night in our car to see what it is like for those choosing this option. The first step was to seriously clean out the car. This was quite a project as we've been hauling so many things. Matt hauled in the last of what we'd brought back from the camper then we headed to Sonic Kiss Wash as they offer free use of their car vacuums. Matt seriously vacuumed out the entire car and cleared out the trunk.
Our next step was to set up comfy bedding in the back of the car. We laid the back seats flat and spread out two (2) comforters as a mattress. We added blankets to put over us and our pillows. It looked comfy ..
So, in keeping with the idea of what would it be like to be homeless we headed to the mall to kill time. It also gave us an opportunity to see what the Louis Joliet Mall is like on a Saturday evening. The mall was really crowded with teens, hoards of teens, many playing a wild game of chase in the mall. We won't be going back on Saturday evenings.
From there we headed to Walmart as that's understood to be the best place to sleep in your car. We circled the lot looking for a nice spot away from bright lights. We ended up parking next to a pickup truck with a camper on top. Heading inside we used the restroom and got meatball subs at Subway. Then out to the car for the night.
Seeing as there aren't any cup holders on the back dashboard we sat in the front seats to eat and watch the amazing number of cars that came streaming in around 11:00pm as well as the ambulance traffic heading to st. Joe's Hospital. By then it was too dark to really work on any projects we brought with us and it was finally time to crawl into bed. we headed to the backseat. Sleeping in the back of the car was not the end of the world but was definitely not as spacious as we'd thought it would be. The place where the seats fold flat is Not comfortable to lay on. We will definitely have to address this before we try this again. Also, although the trunk is extremely spacious, there is a piece of metal that runs behind the back seat and cuts the circumference down by 6". This allowed barely enough room for Matt to lay on his back or myself to lay on my side. It also meant that, when we were both laying on our backs, we were packed in like sardines!
All this said we slept about as well as in the house, but way better than in the camper. Walmart's parking lot is very quiet and we both felt very safe. If there was room/space I would add a mattress (the camper had the most amazing cotton filled mattress). Now we will begin to rethink our car as a bug out vehicle/home on wheels. We also walk away with a clearer understanding of the life of people living in cars. That's priceless.