Should I Rebuild My Lemon For Tiny Housing?

Thanx for the suggestion. I’ve given all I can to hard labor, after 20+ years, in manufacturing, & injuries. I work. 2 seasonal jobs, & delivery driving - now, I’m close to paying off my disabled vehicle. I came here for optional thinking. I’ve been fascinated with vehicular residency, since I was a little girl, watching camping/family vacation scenes, & hoping to escape the hostility, among relatives. I began this journey in 2010, because I was forced to. Apartments are nice, if there’s repair, & the neighbors aren’t helping co-workers bully you about inappropriate contact.

I have 3 jobs, now. A 4th is debatable. This year, I celebrate 40yrs of work history. If a vehicle is in good condition, & I’m not forced to stay in it, for too many hours, at a time - because I’m allowed to work, it’s appropriate, for me. No partner; pets; plants; police pursuits. A membership at the gym; access to coin-op laundry, & food…all is well. My life isn’t complicated. I only wanted options I hadn’t, already lived, or thought of. Thank you.

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Remember that having a vehicle that is configured so it is possible to live in it doesn’t mean your local neighborhood & gov’t organizations will let you do that. Some will, many won’t. Suggest to sus-out that issue first.

If you’re capable of doing this sort of work, ask around at the local auto repair shops in your area if they have anything needing doing. Even if it just cleaning up an oil spill. If they say “yeah, come tomorrow at 8 am and work for a day”, then show up on time and work diligently. Maybe you’ll land a full-time job and will be able to afford to rent an apartment.


Thanx. This issue is resolved, now. I’ve been living this way, with no legal issues, (Homeless, & UnderEmployed) since 2010. I wanted to be open to other ideas, in a situation where - vehicular residency is actually safer, & more practical, for working as a delivery driver, waiting for seasonal jobs to begin, again, for some of us. Sorry. It’s complicated, here.

Issue has been discussed here, for example, while it won’t help, you may find this interesting.

I’m not familiar w/that particular problem myself, but folks I know find themselves in a position where they must avoid working for pay, b/c if they get any pay at all they’ll lose important gov’t benefits they depend upon for living. So I understand how it can be complicated.

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Thank you! This is more help than u know. I need relocation options. I’ve been counted, among homeless, since 2010, My vehicular residency helps me with delivery driving, & I can do this, anywhere. It’s too cold, here.

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I know the postal service sometimes sell postal trucks. They are right hand drive, which is great for delivering. they probably will need some work. The one thing that is bad is they do not have a/c, just a fan mounted on the dash

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The postal service will likely be selling-off all of their old Grumman-made trucks over the next couple of years, as the new postal trucks made by Oshkosh Defense continue to roll out. Since the old Grumman trucks date back to the mid-90s, I think it is fair to say that they will need a LOT of word, as well as a lot of gas to propel them.

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Thanx. After What I’ve Been Through, That’s Luxury. No Heat, Or Air, Here…No Battery. Blankets, & Hot Flashes Keep Me Warm.:relaxed: I’m Not Sure If I Want Another Vehicle - Ever. I’m Shopping Options, But, I Would Need To Learn Auto Mechanic Proficiency, Next. I’m Too Tired, For That. If I Can, I Will Become A BackPacker.

I don’t know if this a creative writing thing or someone who has spent 12 years refusing to try and solve their problem . Even a Walmart job will get a person off the streets and out of a Mold infested vehicle.

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No Creative Writing. I have 3 jobs. My 4th job was as a Pharmacy Tech, & I Was Terminated, In Sept, While Other Workers Were Offered Volunteer Time Off. Crisis Makes Money, For Some. My Crisis Isn’t Serious Enough To Qualify For “Get Off The Street”. Thanx For Responding.

Your post asks if you should rebuild your “lemon”…Maybe you need to describe the reason it earned the term “lemon”…what’s wrong with it?

My original point is that if the car is already so bad that you described it this way, spending a lot of money to convert it to a live-in vehicle might be a terrible investment. It depends on what’s wrong with it. Better to START with a car in good condition.

Since you’ve made clear that you are committed to living in a vehicle for reasons that work well for you, then the very FIRST question to address is whether your present vehicle is ideal for living long term in a vehicle.

If it is not, then you need to figure out what type of vehicle is ideal for the lifestyle you prefer, and buy that, instead of spending on the lemon.

If the lemon is exactly right, AND if the problems that led to the disparaging nickname are repairable, then look online for identical cars in good condition and compare the prices to the price to fix the lemon.

Then, before deciding to invest in converting your present car to your ideal live-in rig, please have an established independent mechanic evaluate everything as if you were considering buying that car, so you know what it will cost to fix whatever they find.

Summing up:

  1. Is The Lemon the ideal vehicle for the lifestyle you prefer?
  2. If not, what vehicle is better suited for that lifestyle?
  3. How much will it cost to fix all the issues with the lemon?
  4. Are used cars of the same model as yours offered for sale for less than the cost of repairs needed for the lemon?
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Sometimes I forget how long I have been retired. but the ones I was in charge of were always well maintained. but that was a long time ago. :wink: :rofl:

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Yes, but even with excellent maintenance, after almost 3 decades of use, things break or simply wear out. I think that a newer vehicle would likely be much more reliable, and would use a whole heap less gas.


This is the answer I hoped for. Thank you! Houses, & Apartments, Are Usually, Too Much Space, For Me. This is a side from not having proper maintenance support, if needed. My “dream car” is a 2009 Chevy TrailBlazer SuperSport! Taxes Are Low, & I Love The (vroom)“Go!”

Hmmm, you do “deliveries”? The Trailblazer is quite the gas hog. See last line from Edmunds review, link for full review is below:

TrailBlazer LTs come equipped with a 4.2-liter inline-6 that generates 285 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. It’s backed by a four-speed automatic transmission and a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The TrailBlazer SS boasts a 6.0-liter V8 cranking out 390 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. For the SS, one may choose standard rear drive or an available full-time AWD system that maximizes street performance instead of off-road ability. Either way, the SS is plenty quick and can hit 60 mph in under 6 seconds. Maximum towing capacity when properly equipped is 6,800 pounds. A 4WD TrailBlazer with the six-cylinder engine delivers an estimated 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 17 mpg in combined driving. An AWD TrailBlazer SS, not surprisingly, checks in considerably lower with a 12/16/13 mpg rating.

Full review here:

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Wow. Nicely Done. If I Could, I Would Hire U To Find It, For Me, With Hard/All Weather Flooring; Stain-Resistant Seats, Throughout. Black - Exterior, & Interior. Limo, Or Legal, Tinted Windows, & MultiMedia Equipped - Including, BuiltIn Karaoke; JukeBox, & WiFi…Thank u!

If you want a vehicle to live in, buy an old camper. Having someome else rebuild your van the way you want it would cost thousands in labor and from the sound of it, you could not even fund the parts. I don’t understand why you are working 3 jobs and cannot afford a room. I just heard an ad on Buffalo radio that First Student is giving $28 an hour to start. Bank of Americas starting wage for tellers is $25. Every nursing home and assisted living facility is begging for help. Fast food places here are at 18 here and some are only open for Drive through or limited hours because they cannot get enough help.

Good Morning, & Thanx, For Responding. Buffalo? NY? Never Been There. The Cost Of Living Is Lower, Here, & Most Of The Jobs U Mention, Are Standing, All Shift. After 40yrs, This Year, Work History, Returning To Retail Worsened My Knees, & The Stress Had Me Hospitalized, For 5 Days, In 2019. I Retired (2017) - Too Young For Full Pension, From 20+yrs, In Manufacturing, & Injuries. I Respect My Limits.

2 Of My Jobs Are Seasonal. Delivery Driving Was Supposed To Bridge The Gaps. Used Cars Sales Sold An UnSafe “Lemon” I Couldn’t Afford To Return.

Jobs Are Not As Available As They Seem. Most Applications Are Online, Where We Learn Jobs Are Posted To Keep Traffic Coming, & Advertising Paying For WebSite Space.

Think About It. Workers Know Jobs Are Open, & The Jobs Are Filled, Internally. Stores, & Warehouses, Put Up Flyers For Occupied Jobs, Filled, & Waiting For Training Classes To Delivery Workers, Not Ready To, Actually, Work. See?

Thanx For Responding.