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Can People Live in a Van Successfully Without a Permanent Address?

I've been reading about our "nomad society" lately, mostly older people who get an RV and sell their homes, etc. and hit the road. But how can they? Wouldn't they have to fie taxes, get healthcare, or have some kind of address to vote, and get Medicare or Social Security? I don't think P.O.Boxes would work.

by Anonymousreply 3106/30/2020

P.O. Boxes work just fine for voting, medicare, SS is deposited directly into the bank. Blue Cross will sell a nationwide Medicare supplement and have no issues with a P.O. box. OP you have created a problem that does not exist for those of means.

For the true homeless it is a problem as they often do not have the funds for the p.o. box not the savvy to work the system.

by Anonymousreply 106/29/2020

That's not necessarily true. I have read instructions plenty of times that say you can't use a P.O. Box for certain things, you need a permanent address. In fact I think it's true for drivers' licenses. And certainly bank loans and other stuff.

I'm not "creating problems" at all. I'm just exploring how one goes about becoming a nomad. Many of the seniors who do this are forced to, and they even have to find menial jobs for a few months from time to time. It seems at first to be a carefree existence, but it isn't.

by Anonymousreply 206/29/2020

They end up parking their RV in their daughters back yard or drive way. Not pretty.

by Anonymousreply 306/29/2020

There is no such thing as a 'permenant address' as nothing i s permanent. This may help you.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 406/29/2020

I guess most of these older nomads have children, siblings, friends and just use their addresses for administrative stuff.

by Anonymousreply 506/29/2020

I’ve wondered this, too. I also, when going about my day, wonder how I will do all this when I’m really old and frail. Hopefully a massive coronary will come and get me before I’m too impaired. Honestly I’m surprised more elderly don’t commit suicide. And I now understand why people drink and smoke to excess. Who wants to life THAT long and have to go into a nursing home?

by Anonymousreply 606/29/2020

Surely you just use a relative or friend as your permanent address in situations like that?

by Anonymousreply 706/29/2020

In banking you need a permanent physical address to comply with the patriot act. Anything related to AML is going to require it. A mailing address can be a P.O. Box.

by Anonymousreply 806/29/2020


by Anonymousreply 906/29/2020

You have reminded me of the much-hated Eamon and Bec, a pair of Canadians who tour the world in their van, ferried from continent to continent, and hustle for money through their youtube channel, chai company, cookbook, consulting services and whatever else they can think of. They're perfect-looking vegans whose entire life is one big wind surf. What made me hate them were their visits to Morocco where they mugged for the camera dancing with local youths and then got offended when the kids asked for money. I think their catchphrase is 'between hippie and hustler." They're nauseating and I'm not going to link their youtube channel. Best episodes are when their stuff is stolen.

by Anonymousreply 1006/29/2020

There are RV centers in SD and TX that you can get a real address. Since 9-11 most of that was stopped, because the terrorists used those commercial PO boxes.

by Anonymousreply 1106/29/2020

I'm curious about the whole nomad lifestyle. But it seems lonely too. Because you never stay in one place log enough to form permanent bonds. And Spending the night parked in Walmarts parking lot with other RVs just seems sad.

by Anonymousreply 1206/29/2020

So this is a thing. Unless local zoning laws stop it.

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by Anonymousreply 1306/29/2020

So now, with corona, I wonder if I'm just driving a SUV, if I can park and sleep overnight at a Walmart? It would save me a bundle and I can avoid contact with people. Like. I'd go there around 11:30 and leave around 7:30. I'd just be on the road for a couple nights

by Anonymousreply 1406/29/2020

Neighbors of mine recently sold their house & made over $900k on the sale. They have been RVing for many years. They know people all over the country, know where all the RV sites are, know the owners, know which ones are owned by the state & how long they can stay, know when they have to apply to reserve a site to come back to next year, etc. RVing has a huge online presence. They gotten to know literally hundreds of other RVers over the years.

So they’ve got Social Security now and Medicare and over $1M in the bank. Not bad. They’re not going to live forever. They’re in their 70s. They’ve got a daughter in NM & a son in NY and grown grandchildren. They visit them all. They don’t pay for house upkeep, for oil to heat their 2 story house or electricity to pay for it. They won’t be paying for a new boiler, a new roof, landscaping, sprinkler system, property taxes, snow removal, updated kitchen. They don’t have to invite people over to their house to entertain & cook & clean up afterwards ...they just sit outside with a drink. People come over to visit from their site, bringing their drinks with them.

If the wife dies the husband will keep RVing. If the husband dies the wife will park the RV in her daughter’s driveway or backyard.

They’re very outgoing people. They make friends easily. It’s a good lifestyle for them. If you are not outgoing, it would be difficult to live that kind of life.

by Anonymousreply 1506/29/2020

PS - their RV is more like a trailer. It’s hitched to a truck, it’s not a motor home.

by Anonymousreply 1606/29/2020

OP, you should ask Milo Y.

by Anonymousreply 1706/29/2020

To maintain his privacy a friend used a post office box. When he was thirty decided to buy a house. Despite his finances, banks didn't want to give him a loan because they wondered where he'd lived since he got out of college. After six months, he got a loan.

by Anonymousreply 1806/29/2020

Down by the river, yesirree.

by Anonymousreply 1906/29/2020

You get a private mail box instead of a PO Box. Acts like a legit address. Some mailbox places will even bundle your mail every week or month or whatever and send it to the address of wherever you are at the time.

by Anonymousreply 2006/29/2020

You do what all those fake corporations do, you get a mail drop address

[quote] A mail drop is a commercial mail receiving agency. It provides a secure address, which is recognized and registered by the U.S. Postal Service as a receiver of mail. It’s manned and is good for small businesses. Some advantages are: You can have your express packages signed for; you can work from home, give clients a street address and keep your actual home location private; you can travel and arrange for mail-drop services to forward your mail. Many mail-drops offer additional business services, such as fax receiving.

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by Anonymousreply 2106/29/2020

The Post Office lets you use their mailing address with your PO Box number. For instance: instead of PO Box 123 you can use 222 main street #123. You will get packages delivered to that address where they won't normally deliver to a PO Box address.

by Anonymousreply 2206/29/2020

I read an interesting book about nomadic van life a few years ago. What's great about it is the author followed a bunch of seniors instead of IG influencers.

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by Anonymousreply 2306/29/2020

My husband’s cousin is married to someone who started a commercial mail agency in the late 1970s. He was a postal employee, a la Newman on Seinfeld. One day he heard some higher ups talking about commercial mail & how it would take a lot of business away from the post office. He went home, told his father about it, his father took out a loan and gave it to him & he started one.

Some people just have a head for business.

by Anonymousreply 2406/29/2020

R23 they interviewed that author on NPR and it was fascinating. I want to read the book. Although she paints a grim picture. A lot of the senior nomads have not much saved, they work menial jobs, and everything is fine until you need medical attention. The itinerant existence is not for everyone.

by Anonymousreply 2506/29/2020

[quote]You get a private mail box instead of a PO Box. Acts like a legit address.


That won't work anymore, now the DMVs will check all address to make sure it's a physical address with a house or apartment physically on it. I tried the PO box with my bank and they allowed me to get a credit card then a month later cut the credit card off, until I came up with a physical address (It was American Express), so they do check that.

by Anonymousreply 2606/30/2020

My bank has my PO Box, but not sure they have my physical address R26. I'll have to check when I go in around a month from now. Could be they have a mailing (billing) address and a physical address on file.

by Anonymousreply 2706/30/2020

Van life vids by young twink Ethan Lusby.

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by Anonymousreply 2806/30/2020

I know someone who lived for years in a trailer in a CA state park, right on the ocean. No property taxes. I’m not sure if there was a fee but if it was, it was small.

Then the homelessness epidemic started & people sold or lost their house, bought a rig & parked themselves in state parks all over CA. That got local residents upset. Here they are paying all the taxes while strangers move in, contribute nothing to the area & live on a pittance. So CA kicked all the long term park people out & put a limit on the number of days someone can stay in a state park.

It was a sweet deal while it lasted - tax free oceanfront property.

by Anonymousreply 2906/30/2020

We will let you know in a few months.

by Anonymousreply 3006/30/2020

R29 We stayed at a lot of state parks and you usually have to pay a fee that a ranger collects every day. In Utah, Colorado, NM etc. it was mostly $7-15 a day and you were required to move your vehicle after a couple of days. Sometimes you also have to pay an entrance fee and have to pay extra for showers or electricity. So your friend was lucky he could stay at the same park for months. I also think the daily fee is probably higher in California. Still a lot less than an apartment or a hotel if you enjoy living outdoors and in a van. State Parks are a great option if you don't want to stay on a Wal-Mart parking lot, tgey offer some basic facilities and are usually a lot cheaper than National Parks or private RV Parks.

by Anonymousreply 3106/30/2020
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