Meet the neighbours

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  • A bloke in a Sprinter struck up a conversation with me yesterday. He's living in his van too, and it got me thinking how many people are living in various vehicles nearby to us. There's two caravans, a convoy, a pilot, a merc coupe and various visitors - two transits, a connect, a Peugeot estate (that's had 3 different live in owners) and two Latvian registered sprinters. The young guy in the merc is only 21 and he's got nothing. My OH gave him a duvet.
    Between us all, there's at least six nationalities!
    Gotta say, I don't think it's getting better, it's getting worse. People in vans tend to work. Our mate in the convoy is working, and the guy in the pilot has a later signwritten van. The guy in the sprinter works his van too, and amazingly has slept in the FRONT of his van for FIVE years after losing his house in a divorce, cos he keeps it empty for work.
    Anybody else notice other van dwellers?

  • 5 years in the conservatory! Goodness me, I'd still have kipped in the back and stored the stuff in the front when I woke up.

    Since I've been living in the van, I've noticed a lot more potential homes driving about. And I'm sure that everyone that knows Eyebrow, is also looking at vans more closely.

    It's awesome that you've got a little W. London community going on over here - looking forward to my visit even more. We can get the burners going, and chuck a jacket or two in.

    Read about the duvet thing before, was really nice of you to help each other out. Neighbourhood watch and all that!

  • Yeah that had to be done. I even have another spare duvet now, in case somebody else happens by. Our duvet we are using at the mo is a duckdown job again with cleaning tag pinned to it. Come to think of it, maybe there's a drycleaner or laundry dumping unclaimed stuff. Had HUGE curtains before, gave those to a yard neighbour to sell at a boot fair, which she did!

  • When i was in the UK last I could have desribed 15 or 20 regulars who used the same park ups as me, the most at once was 5 of us, I spoke to a few, but some were obvious they were trying not to admit they were living in a car or van. some were in it for the lifestyle, but others were dirt poor and had no choice.

    But in all fairness, 25 plus years ago when i started it was much the same. I had a vw camper for weekend trips and was struggling to afford my rent, then i met a bloke living on the trading estate in a converted 7.5 ton stealth Luton, it was bigger than my apartment and bill free.

    It opened my eyes, i never even knew people lived i their vehicles and had never considered it, within a month I was seeing them everywhere.

    no, i don't think it is getting significantly more common, though i think it should be with the financial pressure so many people are under.

  • I've got a Sprinter near me in Oxford. It moves around quite a bit but I have never ever seen the owner in the WEEKS that I've been parked behind or next to it. The other day I met a lovely guy and his old Merc, and we had a good ol' conversation about everything van. I get really excited when I see other van dwellers, but I usually have to call Fire-Tree and make her convince me to go knock on the door! :D

  • I always talk to other van dwellers..I can spot one from a mile away..feel free to knock on my door .cant suss out how to post pics on here..someone posted the pics in my album for me a few years back..check my van out on my facebook page if anyones interested. .chris spick..its a merc two fb pages.. had probs with my phone and set a new account up.latest one has got my black and silver merc.old one has got my silver merc 709 bus..with julian the gypsy s burner in.

  • The lad in the merc bought a van, it was delivered on a recovery truck. The first time I looked in the back, it stunk of damp and it came with a free smashed iphone and a DVLA clamp!!
    Anyway, I am now collecting kitchen stuff for him. He started a job yesterday and tells me he will be buying a little single gas ring this week. I'm so proud! :D

  • FINALLY! Not seen the lad for two weeks, I had been hanging on to loads of stuff (wood, pans, a duvet, all sorts of donated items). Turns out his mate had trotted off with the key to the padlock on the back door!! So he could get in the front, climb over the seats, but not get much in the back. Well now he's got in, and the van's looking good. He's got a sofabed I found for him, and now rugs and cushions, duvets and throws. He's very grateful, and gave me a fiver, bless.
    I also went online and put the van on SORN for him. Remember, it's on a private industrial estate road so I don't have a problem with that.

  • I have considered your application, and you will be welcome!! :D

    Now here's a funny thing. Just recently, maybe over a month, there's been a nearly new (65 plate) sprinter parked in 'our' street. He's often parked behind us. Currently it's been in the same place for days. The driver uses good ole bin bag curtains, and sleeps in the front. It's plain not signwritten/company/hired, so doesn't fit the 'profile' of an employed or self employed driver with a new van. I can't work it out. If you sold up and went full time wouldn't you sleep in the back? If you work the van er, wouldn't you sleep in the back? He can't always be loaded.

  • I slept in the front of my van for most of a year, back was full of my tatt until I bit the bullet and sold much of it off via boot sales to make enough space for a mattress.

    Between homes or lost one suddenly would be my guess. Not everyone who lives in a van has always been poor, I remember dropping 50 large in cash for rare 1950s Citroen which I eventually drove through a second story stone wall. ( long story, it involved alcohol)

  • I finally got the lad (y'know, my nephew!! :D) to put up the lights I gave him. His van's actually looking like home now. And it doesn't smell. :) I still have to keep nagging him about the cooker though. He went to Ikea to use the wifi/electricity and spent £8 on food!! WTF?? Why? They sell veggie hotdogs for 70p!!

  • I am pretty sure we have new neighbours.I have been noticing a young couple in an old R reg astra, over the past week. It's not cold now so they will be OK. They don't look like they have much stuff at all in the car.
    Also, I tried to catch the eye of the sprinter driver but he wasn't having any of it.