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Wild Living ... No Renting, No Buying, No Selling ...

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  • downshifter
    downshifter Posts: 1,122 Forumite
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    Have you thought of working from home (in your van?)A friend does this, she's also in IT related job, and imagine how I feel when she rings and she's sitting working alongside some loch or other. Easy to do with mobile phones and broadband dongles. (Not always a perfect signal but a few miles up the road allows her to return calls or send her emails)

    I also have a motorhome (cost £16k), travel alone apart from useless dog and Nick Rosen's book has long been one of my books to dream by. There are online groups of lone women motorhomers, as well as more organised groups of single women who travel around and meet up for social things and just look out for each other without imposing on privacy. There's also a network of pub landlords who allow overnight parking in their car parks which could help with security, as well as other advice about good and not so good lorry parks (again, water, showers etc) and motorway service stations. A bit of googling should throw up all of those. I stopped membership to the Caravan and Camping Club after my first year as their sites weren't any cheaper than so many private ones (even with the over 55 reduction) and I'm not interested in rallies and social events so a waste of money for me.

    Go for it, it will be brilliant - though the downside of it is that you would be job-chasing. Would working from home not be an option for you? Even if it meant slightly changing what you normally do? If I can ever wean myself off my garden and my hens I'd be joining you but I don't think I fancy sharing a motorhome with 3 noisy chickens!

    DS
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
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    dopester wrote: »

    Does this dealer only get the occasional autosleeper/motorhome in?
    No, he's a motorhome dealer ... but for bigger/posher ones than I am after.
    dopester wrote: »
    You want to buy local because you're not prepared to travel to perhaps a dealer (maybe hiring a car and staying in a budget hotel the night) where they have more stock, better models, perhaps keener prices, and more knowledge? Sounds like you're risking increased chances of doom to me.
    Well, it'd probably be a 600 mile round trip all the way up north, taking 3-4 days in total, to really go and see them all. I could go ... I was just trying to avoid it.
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
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    Would working from home not be an option for you? Even if it meant slightly changing what you normally do? If I can ever wean myself off my garden and my hens I'd be joining you but I don't think I fancy sharing a motorhome with 3 noisy chickens!

    DS
    I will be "working from home" from the van .... but I will be placed in an area where I can get work in, find jobs, too ... so I am not 100% reliant on that, just in case I find a great job. I don't have a home at the moment. Current situation is: looking for a home, possibly looking for a job ... but there are none within 100 miles of where I am ... so I thought I'd go somewhere where it's more likely there might be work at some point... thing is, where do you randomly pick? If you randomly pick then you have to sign an AST.... so the van solves everything.
  • downshifter
    downshifter Posts: 1,122 Forumite
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    Absolutely, when I said 'working from home' I met working from your van as your home, which would mean your work is wherever you park up. Brilliant.

    If I was thinking about this, or any change, I'd get a big sheet of flipchart paper or similar and really plan this out, proper project management with finances, timescales and the lot set out. Then you can go to motorhome shows and look into other things as part of a plan and know where you want to be with it, and when, and how the money side will work. Stick it on the kitchen wall and work through it all, making sure you research and make properly informed choices. Otherwise you flit from one bit of your plan to another without getting anywhere, while your money runs out on everyday living with no motorhome bought.

    By the way, I'm sorry you won't consider travelling up to the Midlands, or even further north, I would have thought that areas like Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds (esp the latter) are ideal hunting grounds for work, esp IT. But IT is an enormous area and covers multitudes of different skills, - which bit is your speciality?

    But perhaps once you have your lovely van, you will realise how easy it is to get to other places and reconsider. Good luck with it.

    DS
  • dopester
    dopester Posts: 4,890 Forumite
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    PN... I know of the Easter Egg cause that is running elsewhere. It's nice to see so many people actually stepping up and being generous to a person who has difficult personal/family circumstances.

    I personally can't bring myself to help further that cause, when I've not had an Easter Egg myself for a very long time. No matter how deserving the person is for an Easter Egg.

    However if circumstances were someone championing an Easter Egg appeal for you, to perhaps get a week's hire of a motorhome (prior to you actually buying one) - I'd be up for putting £10 in the fund - especially if you'd if you'd later post up some info about how you found the experience of travelling about and living in it over the week.
  • fushion_julz
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    So, to clarify: I am planning on buying a proper autosleeper from a proper dealer, with proper paperwork ... and driving it on British roads, to nice middle class camp sites ... and living in it. It'll be just like a 2 week holiday .... only about 20-30 of them back to back.

    Oh ... and as for "life experience", I've lived in a mobile home before, rented a tiny studio ... and am as old as most people's mothers :)

    Despite what some previous posters have said, you can get a decent autosleeper for (much) less than £12k...My brother recently sold his Transit based one for £5k...

    Reliability is (or should be) excellent...However, I think you are being optomistic on your 20mpg budget...I non-turbo Transit based small motorhome will only acheive 20mpg(ish) on a long, slow motorway cruise...Around town, in traffic, country lanes, etc, even lightly loaded you are in the 12-15mpg territory...

    In reality a Transit (or similar) light commercial motorhome isn't any more economical than something such as a Merc 609D/709D/814D or Dodge 50 light HGV with a bespoke conversion...
    The engines in these are designed to last 1 million Kilometres (or more) without major intervention...same for the transmission, too....
    Downside is you'll need a C1 licence, but you can pick these things up from the traveller community very cheap...They are more suited to full-timing, too, with loads of storage, wood burners, etc...
  • Jowo_2
    Jowo_2 Posts: 8,308 Forumite
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    Have you ever read Anya Peters' story? She lived in her car, initially in Brighton and later in London (Epping Forest, I think) for 9 months. I followed her blog at the time and have since read the book that was borne from her experiences, and how she ended up in the situation!

    Haven't read the book but read her blog and the criticisms of it and its a faintly depressing and puzzling read given the cold, hunger and loneliness the lady suffered while living in her car with her unemployment benefit was not apparently not sufficient to pay for groceries.

    The blog and its critical responses alleging that it is fake or exaggerated leads to more questions than it answers - i.e. how an erudite, professional and highly intelligent woman has the capacity to negotiate a book deal about her personal history that led to her homelessness, communicate her emotional issues to the world via a blog and set up a paypal account for her expenses but has no apparent skills or insight to prevent or resolve the issues she has.

    It's either a true example of how many complex issues come together to cause mental health and homelessness problems and make someone vulnerable out of the blue or something much worse.
  • fc123
    fc123 Posts: 6,573 Forumite
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    I will be "working from home" from the van .... but I will be placed in an area where I can get work in, find jobs, too ... so I am not 100% reliant on that, just in case I find a great job. I don't have a home at the moment. Current situation is: looking for a home, possibly looking for a job ... but there are none within 100 miles of where I am ... so I thought I'd go somewhere where it's more likely there might be work at some point... thing is, where do you randomly pick? If you randomly pick then you have to sign an AST.... so the van solves everything.

    I have been really thinking about this PN...promise :) and initially, I felt it was a great idea but I have got some reservations.

    DS's suggestion of renting one for a month to try it out (in terms of lifestyle) seems sensible and I would worry about you spending some serious house fund dosh on a heap that ends up not being able to drive anywhere without collapsing or grinding to a halt.


    I wonder if going backwards to the original problem may help a bit. That is; your hometown has no work but you can move to where a job may be.
    In a way it's too broad a brief so, maybe, maybe, it would help if you edited down the job search to an area...rather than consider a role absolutely anywhere?

    The whole London thing would have worked and it was a shame it didn't come together.

    But a studio in London (and the cheap areas aren't all grotsville..some are cheap because they are just dull suburbs) may work as you can get a train from a central London station to pretty much anywhere. It's like a star with all the routes striking out in all diff directions.

    I am off up to Sheffield next week...2 hours from St Pancras (OK I will be tagging on a Brighton bit) to check out a new factory. It will be painless as i will read on the way there and back and not crazily expensive on off- peak travel any time.

    I don't know what to suggest really as I totally understand your situation and can only post from my own perspective.

    The freedom of van living appeals and many of the posts here are inspiring but something bothers me.....but can't put my finger on it.
    Maybe my brain is scrambled as I am having a mid life crisis.:o

    Just to ad, when I lived in a tent, it was in Italy.
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
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    Absolutely, when I said 'working from home' I met working from your van as your home, which would mean your work is wherever you park up. Brilliant.

    If I was thinking about this, or any change, I'd get a big sheet of flipchart paper or similar and really plan this out, proper project management with finances, timescales and the lot set out. Then you can go to motorhome shows and look into other things as part of a plan and know where you want to be with it, and when, and how the money side will work. Stick it on the kitchen wall and work through it all, making sure you research and make properly informed choices. Otherwise you flit from one bit of your plan to another without getting anywhere, while your money runs out on everyday living with no motorhome bought.

    By the way, I'm sorry you won't consider travelling up to the Midlands, or even further north, I would have thought that areas like Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds (esp the latter) are ideal hunting grounds for work, esp IT. But IT is an enormous area and covers multitudes of different skills, - which bit is your speciality?

    But perhaps once you have your lovely van, you will realise how easy it is to get to other places and reconsider. Good luck with it.

    DS
    I'm a Project Manager ... what you said about the flip chart I'm doing on my laptop with a copy of treepaid and some spreadsheets. I don't have a kitchen ..... no walls. That's why I need the van, somewhere to live :)

    Once I have the van then things will look different, but from here to there is a long long way in a tiny car for now.
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
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    edited 8 March 2010 at 11:35PM
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    dopester wrote: »
    PN... I know of the Easter Egg cause that is running elsewhere. It's nice to see so many people actually stepping up and being generous to a person who has difficult personal/family circumstances.

    I personally can't bring myself to help further that cause, when I've not had an Easter Egg myself for a very long time. No matter how deserving the person is for an Easter Egg.

    However if circumstances were someone championing an Easter Egg appeal for you, to perhaps get a week's hire of a motorhome (prior to you actually buying one) - I'd be up for putting £10 in the fund - especially if you'd if you'd later post up some info about how you found the experience of travelling about and living in it over the week.
    LOL/Easter Egg. I've not had an easter egg since about 1995, they're way too pricey for low income singles :)

    Re hire ... I am thinking about doing that in the next 2-3 weeks. I think I need to rent one from 200+ miles away because they seem so much cheaper up country than where I am. So I need to work out where to start from and where to go.

    I've got the money to cover a week's hire OK.... and to buy the van too. I am just a poor personal decision maker, I dither way too long when spending money on myself.

    What I need to do is register a domain and blog about the whole event, starting from about now. I could blog it with a 2 week time delay, to protect anonymity as I'd be saying where I was and where I was going next... so a 2 week delay should cover that.
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