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Living in a Truck: 10 Things I Learned on a Trial Run

Being forced to stay out of the house for most of the day while carting around my Siberian Husky and Jack Russell Terrier/Chihuahua, gave me the unique opportunity to pretend what it would be like to live out of my truck. There are several resources available on the Internet about living out of a car, a truck or living out of a van as more people opt to save money or simply reclaim various forms of independence.

This is my personal experience and what I learned out the very first day. Of course, these things are also in the resources you can find about actually living in such a manner. However, jumping in with both feet, even for a trial run, will teach you things about yourself, your life and how you perceive the world that you may otherwise didn’t know exist.

I have a regular sized pick up truck, no 4-wheel drive, with a long bed and a canopy already affixed to the vehicle. In the back of the truck bed, I have a few emergency supplies I always carry with me, regardless of the weather or how long my trip out will be. In addition, there is a big fluffy dog blanket that I use for the Husky when we go out and I’m required to take him with me. Both windows of the canopy slide open and stay sealed with built in screens. In the front of the cab, there is myself, my big winter coat, my day bag that contains my “gear”, my laptop, a small 100 watt inverter I bought at Walmart some time back, a book for leisure reading and some snacks. There are full water bottles, a child’s booster seat, a windshield reflector and some important papers stashed behind the seats.ekspedisi cargo murah

The plan was to drop my little dog off at the groomers for his haircut and then spend the next three to four hours out with the big dog while I worked. Then to see how long I could comfortably stay out while being fair to the dogs and their needs to stretch. Prior to this, the dogs and I had gone a long walk and I had hoped this would keep both of them more relaxed for the day’s activities. I dropped the little dog off at the groomers and off the Husky and I went in search of a dog park.

We found the dog park but since I had never gone to a dog park before, I waited and attempted to get some work done on the laptop. I had to get out of the truck, move everything over to the driver’s seat and then set up the laptop up in the passenger seat. While I was driving to the dog park, I had my laptop plugged into the inverter which was sticking out of the cigarette lighter, to help keep the battery charged.

I worked for an hour on the laptop and recorded my findings and observations about the dog park. I folded up shop and took the dog into the park for about 30 minutes. Back inside the back of the truck he went. During the time he was sitting in the back and while he was playing in the park, there was plenty of access to fresh water.

This is where the challenge started. What to do next. How do I maximize my time out and about to work while staying comfortable? I could go to a library, coffee shop, casino or Walmart parking lot. I could stay in my vehicle and work or go inside and sit down to work. Should I eat out for lunch or should I wait for dinner? If I did not have a home to go back to, how could I have planned this better?

As I drove, I really pretended like this truck was my home and that I had two dogs to cart around with me as I attempted to write articles for the Internet to support us. I noticed there’s a huge change of thinking and I realized just how much of our thoughts are consumed with having, keeping, managing and maintaining our stuff. This includes laundry, dishes, other household chores, vehicle maintenance, paying off debt, house repairs and so on.

In the truck, I did not have rent or mortgage to pay, there were no utility bills, no living room to clean, no dishes to wash. I suddenly missed being able to take my shoes off when I wanted to and stretching out on the couch. Instead I would be focused on my daily routine of waking, cleaning up, putting my gear away and making it appear that I indeed did not live out of a truck, managing my time, meeting the needs of the pets if I had any and keeping my vehicle maintenance up to par. I learned:

You need some sort of a game plan for each day. Even if you scrap the plans after you wake up in the morning, you need some sort of plan. This will give you a sense of purpose and structure. What city will you stay in or be traveling to?

Find something to do in the local area and if you have pets, use the Internet or Chamber of Commerce to locate local dog parks so your furry friends can stretch their legs too.

Learn about the different community events taking place and plan on attending one.

Locate all of the 24 hour establishments in your area such as gyms, retails stores or casinos and find out before arriving to the city, which ones allow overnight parking.

Keeping the front cab of your vehicle as uncluttered and clean as possible draws less attention to you.

Join some sort of a club, whether it be a fitness club so you can shower regularly or a community club where you can interact with other people. This will ease the need to feel as though you “belong” somewhere and keep your self-esteem up.

Make a list of all the friends and family you have scattered across the country and contact them directly or by using your social networking sites to see when you can drop by for a visit!

Locate and find the hours to local coffee shops, book stores and libraries so you always have a place to plug in and charge small electronics. If you stay in one place long enough, knowing these things can help you “rotate” and change up your environment.

Keep all of your belongings organized in non-see through plastic tubs (to protect them and your privacy), when not in use.

Don’t be afraid to try new things and discover something new while being “unattached” to one location.

I also would spend the time to locate and travel with the nicer weather patterns, alleviating the need for a big winter coat and increasing the chances of being outside for more time than you can when there is bad weather. I found a new appreciation for public bathrooms and cheap eating establishments. I also figured living out of a truck or living out of a car or living out of a van, I would spend a couple of nights in hotel rooms a month to change up the pace, the environment and get my “couch stretching” needs met.

Overall, I can see now how this lifestyle is very possible and how free I felt not being tied down to my possessions back at home, even the memorabilia items I thought I would miss terribly one day. I could see how I could focus more on spending time with the people I cared about and spending time on hobbies such as letter writing that would keep me feeling “happy.” If I did not have pets and had a job with a traditional employer, well, I could see the benefits of that too.

Next time, I’ll have to try doing this without the pets and maybe see if I can swing spending a night in the truck just to see what it’s like.