Some Practical Advice for Perma-Campers

The lap of luxury for a perma-camper. (From dave_7, Flickr Creative Commons.)

I heard a story on NPR the other day about NPR’s perma-campers. What’s a perma-camper you ask? Well, it’s someone who exists in the nebulous place between having a roof over your head and the homeless. Here’s an example:

Some of them are old-timers, but there’s also a wave of newcomers and younger people, like Marcus Featherston, a 20-something who lives in a Ford Econoline van.

Featherston’s van has a fold-out couch, a miniature sink and a fridge running on batteries. He moved into the van last year, after losing a couple of jobs.

“It was kind of either food or rent, and I ended up selling a car that I had and moving into the van and deciding to go to school,” Featherston says. “[The decision] was kind of freeing, to be honest.”

When I start to ponder the plight of the perma-campers, I keep thinking about the RV-couple from Into the Wild. You remember them right? The hippies who live in their RV, making a living by selling old books at flea markets and the like. To be honest, I kind of wanted to be them after seeing that movie so I can see how Featherston would find the move into his van freeing. Someday, when I retire, I’d like to hop in a camper and drive around ┬áthe country. In fact, I’ve given this quite a bit of thought (as did my friend and her boyfriend, who quite their jobs last year and spent several months traveling the country in an RV and shooting videos about it for American Odyssey.tv). Continue reading