Skip to main content

How to Live in Your Car

Whether you have to move into your car or you want to, there are some bases you need to cover.


  • Step 1: Furnish your car Furnish your car with blankets (at least one made of wool, for warmth); a couple of pillows; a cooler; a camp stove; and a voltage converter so you can power appliances with your cigarette lighter.
  • TIP: Consider removing the passenger and rear seats for more room.
  • Step 2: Know where to park at night Know where you can park at night. Trucker areas off the interstate are usually safe, as are hospital parking lots. Wal-Mart allows RV’s and cars to park in their lots overnight.
  • TIP: Never park near a school. Someone is sure to call the authorities.
  • Step 3: Find restrooms Shopping malls, supermarkets, and hospitals are good places to wash up. For a shower, go to a truck stop and ask around for a shower coupon; truckers usually have more than they need and are happy to give some away.
  • TIP: A gym membership will allow you to shower regularly.
  • Step 4: Gas up during off hours Buy gas off-hours at stations with convenience stores. When you go to pay, ask if you can use the microwave to nuke a meal, like a baked potato or a frozen entrée.
  • Step 5: Stock non-perishables Stock up on foods that are nutritious and don’t require refrigeration, such as peanut butter, beans, and cereals.
  • Step 6: Stay cool or warm Stay warm in winter with the help of a hot water bottle; stay cool in summer by parking in the shade and spending the hottest part of the day -- noon to two -- in someplace air conditioned, like the library or mall.
  • FACT: Mad Money host Jim Cramer once lived in his car for five months.

You Will Need

  • Pillows
  • Blankets or a sleeping bag
  • Cooler
  • Camp stove
  • Voltage converter
  • Access to restrooms
  • Places to park overnight
  • Hot-water bottle

Popular Categories