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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • Some people decide to 'holiday' in their campers before giving bricks n mortar the total boot. Some need to leave a family home for so many reasons. Some may have a romantic vision of life on wheels, water, their own two legs, etc., etc., WHATEVER the reason...well I think you may be getting my idea by now - hopefully! :) But where to start?...…………

    Those of us with a wealth of experience under our belts could surely impart some VERY useful knowledge. Just imagine, for example, you are a young person just leaving care so have no other family for advice or opinions other than CC family. Examples of advice you could give:...……………...

    Vehicles that make good homes, are reliable, can easily be adapted into a 'live in' home.

    Where to go for insurance.

    Best heating and cooking ideas whether its a full-on double decker, barge or tent. Theres a HUGE variety of homes locally on the river also many tents but this time NOT on the river.:madlol:

    ANY helpful thoughts/ideas you can share that could prove to be a blessing to NEWBIES place them here, please!

    THANK YOU! :clap:

  • There's a whole myriad of stuff to think about when someone is after getting out of bricks and mortar and set off in an alternative lifestyle. The biggest question that tends to arise first is what to do for work/money, thats almost a whole threa din its own right. But firstly I would say if someone has got in mind the way they want to go wether a vehicle, boat, low inpact/community living on the land etc is to get to know at least a few folk who are already living in the way they wish to explore. there's no better way to get info and ask questions than from the horses mouth. that way you will get the pro's and cons, positive and negative etc. Do homework and research as much as possible.

    For anyone who hasnt had much contact or had any previous experience, maybe try practicing living without or using mod cons they are engrained with to create the detachment that will happen. Start having strip weashes in the sink rather than a bath and cut the plug off the 50 inch pasma t.v. and get over being squemish about digging a hole with a spade in the woods to go for a dump and when you do that make sure you you take your keys and phone out of the trouser pockets because it isnt pleasant having to fish them out of the hole 8o. For someone who's never lived out it is quite a culture shock so to walk out the door and lock it for the last time, having gainined some experience first is worth persuing. For someone on a house I would imagine its as well to sort a vehicle first and go on little forays out into the big wide world, or maybe if its boat life, I know its money, but maybe hire a holiday boat for a couple of weeks to get a measure of it.

    Having money behind you is a big help, a lot of folk when it gets near the time of heading off have saved and or put by enough for say a year without having to work to really find their feet and see how the life suits them, not everyone can do that and it can be done on a shoe string but you need to be pretty handy and resourceful as that cna be fraught, buying budget priced vehicles and boats can be very costly in the long run. Oh and lastly for now, remove the rose tinted spectacles, place them on the floor and firmly stamp on them and dispose resonsibly because they will give you a false sense of the actual reality.

  • just had 3 days in van done some walking got electric lights radio cooker so got more or less everything for easy living but i could not live full time in a van/bus/truck i doff my cap to them peeps that do noticed a bloke in a tent next to me this morning small pop up thing asked if he wanted a hot tea said i was his best new friend l cannot believe i used to go to winter rallys on my motorbike camping for the weekend and recon l had a brill time

  • Yep, home comforts mean a lot more as we get a little older, I reckon.

    We live in a small flat and it's a bit cramped, but I couldn't live in a van or tent full-time now, neither. A day or two on a mate's narrow-boat is more than enough nowadays, or a few days in a (summer) tent.

  • We should really have had a smallholding, not a small flat!

    There's just not enough room to store all the useful shyte I can pick up almost every week, and the O/H picks up every other day!

    The place soon gets jammed out with stuff, and the less useful stuff has to go. Just before you need it the week after, of course.

    This is the problem of being of a wombling nature; there's just too much stuff thrown out by the rest of society, and some of it can be seen to be useful, so one can pick it up for nothing. Like most of you van-dwellers, we haven't spent half a quid on furniture in over 30 years, nor on anything constructed in the garden, nor down the allotments. All recycled or upcycled stuff!

    I'd agree about the bills though; the rent on a small council flat is bad enough, and add to that a rented council garage, and the fugging poll tax - now called the council tax - and the massive bill for water we don't use but which helps subsidise people who have large families and use rivers of water daily (we aren't allowed water meters); and then quarterly electricity and gas bills on top, and there is little left of two UK state pensions. (We in the UK have the worst pensions in Europe apart from Romania and Latvia, last time I looked!).

    So although I have some empathy for people living in vans, because I can see some of the attractions like a lack of a flood of bills every month, I just think there wouldn't be enough space. I like to do stuff around the place, especially in weather when you can't get out much.

    (I sometimes watch those D-I-Y vids on Youtube, where some Yank is making a bit of wooden furniture in his workshop, and it amazes me that his own personal workshop is as big as, or bigger than, the one down our Men's Shed, where ten blokes can work in comfort, and packed out with gear, materials, hand tools, power tools. That's the way to live, brothers!):cool:

  • The truth is it's hard to live away from the mainstream in whatever form you choose. If you grew up with central heating and the internet, shops you drive to and home comforts it can be a a nasty shock.

    A holiday isn't a real experience of living the life a lot of people on here live. Best advice would be do two weeks in the middle of winter, choose the worst conditions and see what you think.

    I live on a boat and as I type this I'm running the engine to get some hot water for a shower and to do a load of washing up. I'm trying to decide if a need to light the fire as it's been pretty warm and if I keep my jumper on and have a blanket it'll be warm enough till bed time.

    Saves on logs and coal and when it's not very cold the stove creates so much heat you end up sitting in your pants with all the hatches open and no-one wants to see that :-)

    If you really want make it work you will but think long and hard before committing to a life of non-conformity, before you know it you'll end up happy and being pointed at by the strange folk who buy BMW's and don't wear big boots and combats ;-) x

  • Why are you not allowed a water meter Keith?

    It's against local council policy for council properties, Akasha. The idea is that everyone pays a set charge, which varies by size of property, and those who have smaller premises with few people tend to pay more per person than those in larger properties with more people.

    The original idea was that large families with kids would find it difficult to pay large water bills, so the overall cost can be shared by everyone else paying a little more. But now with more offspring staying at home until they are 25 or 30, many large houses have four or five people either employed, or of employable age.

    Many council properties are now private, of course, and they usually have a water meter.

  • It can vary from council authority place to place as to whether you can have a water meter in a council property.

    Our biggest use of water is flushing the loo, as we only wash once a week... No, I'll re-phrase that: as we only do the washing once a week. That's better!

  • Years ago, back in the day, I had a flatmate who used to wash just the top front of his shirt, and sometimes his shirt collar, before a Saturday night date:whistle:.

    I never saw him wash anything else in the way of clothes, but I'm sure he must have done, as, (unlike another flatmate at another time), he didn't smell too bad, apart from a bit of whiff from the armpits.....:D

  • But what ?

    I have got a small hand turned washing machine which takes a hot kettle full of water,half the same kettle of cold water and a tea spoon full of washing powder and and will take a couple of pairs of trousers and a couple of t-shirts and some smalls and it takes only a few minutes to do the wash. Its not good enough to get big stains out,but to get rid of sweaty smells and a bit of dirt it works fine.

    Access to water can be handy for the rincing though as that is what needs most water.

    They are not expensive to buy and will save you a fortune.

    Economical,environmental and a time saver,its a win win win situation xx

  • We don't have room for a washing machine, leastways, not a normal-sized one. But we do have a Belfast sink, that we narrowly prevented the local council contractors from changing to a shiny new handbasin-sized one, when they came around looking for what 'improvements' they could make.

    Hand-washing is pretty easy, but as IC says, it it the rinsing that takes up most of the water used.
    Nearly anything can be washed in this sink, although a double duvet is much easier taken down the launderette.

    We have a Zanussi spinner, which we bought s/h about 20 years ago, and it is still going strong! This uses far less electricity than a tumbledryer, and of course takes up far less room. I don't like tumbledryers; they have a poor safety reputation, especially domestic models.

    One of our neighbours has a tumbledryer in their living-room, because there's not enough space in the kitchen!