There’s not a whole lot I can offer as far as information when it comes to living in a car. I haven’t done everything I could to stay under the radar.
Here’s a good article on living in a car although I don’t agree with everything he says. Much of it is widely accepted regarding living in a car which I don’t agree with which I will touch on in a later article. Being Prepared To Live In Your Car Successfully
One of the things I know I need to improve is hanging around the walmart parking lot in the morning. I know it’s best to leave after using the bathroom and cleaning up a bit but I’ve gotten into the habit of sitting in the parking lot much longer than needed. Usually at night I hook up to their wifi and watch netflix or youtube if the wifi is weaker.. Luckily, I don’t have to watch youtube that much but I like Paranormal Survivor, Hauntings, Hotel Hell and Kitchen Nightmares with Chef Ramsay. There’s also a variety of hour or more long documentaries which I enjoy. But Netflix has been my saving grace. I used to get on at Mcdonald’s which doesn’t always have good wifi and I would end up eating their food which is no good and more expensive. Discovering walmart wifi was one of the best things that happened. I found it about a year ago when I was on the road. It frees me up to buy food there which is much healthier and cheaper.
I eventually went back to my hometown and shared a house with my ex husband for a few months. But even when he wasn’t drinking his behavior was verbally abusive. More so than when we were together. He blames me for everything. And took it out on me on a daily basis. Sometimes , I think he made it as rough as he could in hopes I would just leave. I tolerated it for a few months but I got tired of being treated like a dog. And shortly after I left(less than a week) he started back drinking after being sober for months and lost his job just as he always does when the drinking starts. I’ve tried to share a house with him twice after losing my place to stay after my ex roommate’s church gossiped and caused so much trouble I had to leave.
Looking at the future now is harder than it was before because now I’m not looking at going home after a few weeks on the road. Now I have no place to go back to. I try not to think about it. I just try to live one day at a time.
My ex roommare asked me what I planned for the future. I plan to save money, stay healthy, stay occupied, try not to get off course. But as far as staying in one place for an extended period(I’ve already learned that can’t happen living in a car), returning home, having a relationship, building friendships, anything that requires me to stay in one place I can’t do. Even if I tried to stay in my hometown it wouldn’t be long before the police would oust me out. Communities hate homelessness or anything that remotely looks different from societal norms. And living on the streets, in a car or even an RV is not considered normal in modern western society. The police, communities, towns, everyone just wants it “out of sight, out of mind”. No one wants to see it.
In this respect, I’ve learned that I can’t stay in one town for more than a few weeks. Last year I managed to stay in a little town in Kentucky for two months. But that’s far from the norm and the night before I left a police officer stopped to watch me but had to leave before he could question me. I left the very next day. This year I managed to stay in a town near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for 23 days before a police officer stopped to question me about my situation. I left the next day. In another instance I was only at a walmart in Ohio for a few days before the manager came out to speak with me. This is the second time in Ohio so apparently they aren’t hip on people sleeping in cars. Or even being in their parking lots more than the time it takes to come into the store and buy stuff and leave.
The average stay in any town is about two weeks. I can honestly say I found California to be the least invasive but almost no walmart that I stopped at was 24 hours and I felt the least safe out of anywhere else I’ve stayed. I’ve found the very small towns to be bad places to sleep in walmart parking lots. These are only good for a day or two stopover to the next stop. Large cities are not a good option either. I try to choose medium sized towns without too much police presence. My experience has taught me that the areas with high police presence usually indicates a higher crime area. Of course, I’m sure there are exceptions. But if I see alot of police cars just milling around parking lots I don’t stay.
I’m trying to adopt a better routine of leaving the walmart parking lot as soon as I can in the morning. Leaving earlier instead of binge watching TV at night and not going to bed until late. In the winter it will be much earlier because it gets dark early.
I hope to offer more in the future in the way of information that helps others living in a car.