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Topic

Levyrat 1 month ago

Looking for some ideas. Basically, I'm going to without a home in a month or two without much money. This is not a suddenly homeless situation, because I have a couple of fallback options. But I also have another, computer-related option I've been thinking about.

Basically, the idea is too sell most of my stuff, buy a van or SUV, and hit the road with my dog, my cameras, and a laptop. Instead of just driving around mumbling to myself, I'd turn this into a social media project and try to earn some money through content creation, odd jobs, and looking for cheap antiques I could flip on eBay.

Or to put in the most crass terms, I'm looking to monetize a cute dog to support a nomadic, e-begging lifestyle while I look for a new place to settle down.

I've started researching this, but I'd love to hear some ideas from other people. Does this sound doable? What's the best approach to getting mobile internet access? Do you know anyone who's done something like this successfully? Should I break down and get a Facebook account just to broaden my social media presence? Would I be better off with a laptop and various cameras, or should I just get a high-end smartphone to handle all the shooting and editing? Is it worth trying to get a small RV rather than a van?

Again, this isn't an emergency situation. I'm just brainstorming a possible content-creation project, and I could use some other brains to review the idea. Thanks!

Comments Sorted by:

tomtomj2 9 Builds 3 points 1 month ago

Look on r/vandwellers, it’s actually very possible to live in a van, SUV or even a small car. In your case I’d sell as many unneeded items as you can, buy a reliable minivan like a Toyota Sienna and move your permanent residence address to a relatives house because once you lose your address it’s VERY HARD to apply for jobs, credit cards, and even buy/lease a home/apartment.

Honestly if you’re doing this unwillingly I would suggest you don’t do anything crazy like road trips and stuff and selling weird things, last thing you want is to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no money and nothing basically. Stick to one area or city, stay inconspicuous and find a job and try and save as much money as you can. You can bathe in local gyms or community centers. Black out the back windows of your van and try to park in well lit areas.

Good luck!

Levyrat submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Well, there's one good tip already. I don't do Reddit much, so I didn't think of checking there. I do have a permanent address I can use, so I'm good on that score.

Just to be clear, this isn't an unwilling thing, and it's not quite just living in a car. (Done that before.) I've kind of written off going back into the professional life, the commuting to a cube farm thing, but I can still get a lower-end job and a place to live without much problem. I'm in a small, friendly college town, so I could have a pretty good life here. Also, I'm not broke, so it's not a desperation move.

It's just a creative project that occurred to me, a mobile business basically, and the more I've thought about it, the more it's seems like it could be fun. Of course, it could go badly wrong if I'm stupid about it, which is why I'm looking for input and ideas.

And you've already helped on that score, so my thanks for that!

tomtomj2 9 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

I highly suggest you check out r/vandwellers then even if you don’t reddit much, there’s also YouTubers you can watch and dedicated forums, seems like you’ll get a lot of help from these. What you ask is not impossible and a lot of people do it if that’s the choice you want to make. I’ve considered it but I’m not really in a position to do it lol

Again I wish you best of luck, keep us updated if you decide to go through with it!

Levyrat submitter 2 Builds 2 points 1 month ago

I'll definitely stay in touch, since this would be a heavily computer-related endeavor. And since I still want to do a Ryzen build. :)

Just took my first look at r/vandwellers. Very interesting material there. I've got to get busy on yardwork now that the sun is up, but I'll be all over that sub later tonight.

To put this all in Star Wars terms, I'm at the end of a trench run, and a voice is telling me to turn off my targeting computer. I saw that work once at the movies. ;)

tomtomj2 9 Builds 2 points 1 month ago

Use the Force Luke!

PCPPAccountant 2 points 1 month ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cFRJ0kUg40

And for internet, just commute from starbucks to starbucks

Levyrat submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

I'll have to watch the video later, but it looks good.

There are actually a lot of places that offer free access, but I'm still looking at some other options that might offer more widespread coverage, like Netbuddy or something similar.

It's like shopping for cellphone plans. Lots of options, but you'd better read the fine print.

aud10_fr3ak 2 points 1 month ago

remember to use a vpn if you go the free wifi route.

free wifi can be hacked easily.

Levyrat submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Definitely good advice. Added to the checklist. Thanks!

PCPPAccountant 1 point 1 month ago

Exactly, should be fun. An FPV pilot I watch on Youtube did it. Lived in a van for like a few weeks(months?) can't remember. It can certainly be done though.

Levyrat submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

btw, I finally watched the video. Inspirational!

But hopefully not prophetic. ;)

PCPPAccountant 1 point 1 month ago

Lol it was from when Top Gear was good. Glad you enjoyed it

VelvetLounger 2 points 1 month ago

My suggestion is to start creating content immediately. Long before you start on the trip. It's easier to take your audience with you than to build one along the way. You also give your audience background and context for the road trip. BTW, I have been on the road for 3 years now so my advice is from my personal experience. Above all take time to enjoy the trip. It's easy to become wrapped up in telling the story but unless you take time to experience and enjoy then there isn't much story to tell. Cheers! and have a great trip!!

Levyrat submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

My suggestion is to start creating content immediately.

Good idea. I'm still in the planning stage, but there's no reason I couldn't start documenting the process. I'm already working on a content outline to help establish a coherent theme and purpose so it's not just random videos, and this fits right in.

Above all take time to enjoy the trip.

Definitely. I'm not just going to stop and smell the roses, I'm going to smell everything along the way.

Thanks for the tips!

tragiktimes101 1 Build 2 points 1 month ago

Get a drone. It will up your shot quality a lot, especially if you plan on visiting places with cool scenery or architecture. Also, a composting toilet and some small fold-out solar panels wouldn't be a bad idea.

Levyrat submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

I was hoping you'd chime in. :)

I have a drone, although I'm thinking of selling it and getting a smaller one. I also want to get my part 107 certification before I hit the road.

I've just started looking at solar options. The subReddit that tomtomj2 mentioned has a lot of good ideas on how to set that up. Whether it's a fold-out setup or roof-mounted panels, I like the idea of having extra energy available. In fact, I'm going to need it if I'm going to be a digital nomad. Gotta keep the gear charged up.

Firearms are another thing to think about. I'll probably sell my long guns and keep just a pistol, but I'll have to be real careful about how I store it, since some states have weird laws. You know what I'm talking about.

Thanks for the advice, and I hope things are smoothing out for you.

PCPPAccountant 1 point 1 month ago

I have a DJI Mavic Pro. It would be an ideal option for easily storing and transporting from place to place.

Levyrat submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

That's the kind of thing I'm thinking about. I have an Autel X-Star. Nice drone, but kinda big.

PCPPAccountant 1 point 1 month ago

Autel makes the Evo now that I've heard is very comparable to the Mavic. Might be a good option if you are already comfortable with the Autel

tragiktimes101 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Also, if you want to do it right and luxuriously (lol) you should get a 25-50 water tank mounted on top of your vehicle and paint it black. You can use it as hot water storage for offroad showers. Just need some hose and a shower head. Keep in mind, that would be ~400 lbs of water on top of your vehicle if you go with a 50 gal. tank. Might make the vehicle a bit top heavy if you go too large, lol.

Levyrat submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

That would definitely be luxurious. I might compromise with a 5-gallon jerry can mounted on the bumper. I can take Navy showers with just a couple of gallons.

Levyrat submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Getting lots of good ideas here, and I appreciate it. I'm starting to feel more and more like this is doable. I haven't firmly decided to hit the road, but I'm planning the move just to be ready.