Tips on How to live in your car in the Winter

How to live in your car in the WinterThe main difference between excitement and boredom when it comes to spending nights in your car is adequate prior preparation. Your car might break down by bad luck, or you may have planned on car camping. Whatever the case, you need to have tips on how you can live in your car and this article to understand what you ought to do in such a situation. Most people often wonder how to live in your car in the winter but not to worry as this article has captured every detail of what you need to survive in your car during winter.

Adequate Preparation

Enough preparation is compulsory if everything has to work out well. Your car should be given proper priority by taking it out for service before embarking on your camping trip. Also, make sure that you get everything right, including the flashlights, engine oil, brakes, and drivability. You should also have a checklist for various items such as your car heating and insulation system, blankets, antifreeze, and cooking utensils as well to avoid forgetting even the most minute of details. 

The best way to make sure that you do not forget all the items you require during your trip is packing them one after the other while ticking against your checklist. An emergency first aid set is a must-carry since you may not know when you might need it. Other essential items would be a shovel to help dig out snow in our tire tracks, tow straps, some tire chains, or even a bag of sand that would assist in providing traction in case the ice gets too slippery.

Choosing the Location Wisely

You will spend most of your time outdoors if you are going to spend nights in your vehicle. It goes without saying that some areas are way better than others due to various factors. For instance, try finding warmer regions in the area that you will have decided to camp in. You are also at an advantage because living in your car comes with the flexibility of moving around quickly. Areas closer to hot water springs would make a perfect choice for you to camp. It is advisable to park your car strategically so that you avoid direct exposure to storms or wind. This allows you to keep your window open for ventilation easily. However, if your car can no longer keep you safe and warm as you expected, it is prudent to consider getting accommodation.

How to live in your car in the Winter

How to Prep Your Car for the Ride?

Since your car will be both your temporary home and ride, you have to make sure it is habitable and in good condition to drive around with much ease. You would not want any repair issues while in the middle of your camp, as this would ruin almost every possible good memory, you may have created before.

Finding the best winter-grade oil the market has to offer would help ensure that it runs through your vacation without default. Adding antifreeze to your car’s fluid is also vital since your car cannot typically work if all its fluids are frozen. Winter tires ensure your vehicle has a good grip on the ground. Skidding is, therefore, significantly reduced as you cruise along with ice and snowpacks. 

Keeping Warm Is a Must

Winter is usually freezing cold, and if you are sleeping in the car during winter, preserving the little heat produced through insulation is important. Temperatures will tend to reduce to zero or below which is not the ideal temperature for human survival. Before heating your vehicle, figure out first how you will keep warm as well as prevent the heat from escaping. People use reflective foam panels as insulators, and they do not disappoint in preserving heat in the vehicle. 

Heating your Car 

Basically, there are not as many sources of heat during the winter season. Thus, you need to improvise and use what you have with you. However, to avoid running out of options to warm the inside of your car, pack some fuels such as propane, butane, electric blankets, or wood before the trip.

Electric heaters are a great, clean, and easy method of heating to use. They are a safe option, although a source of power is vital for this method to work. Most van campers prefer using propane because it is not only suitable for heating but can also be used for cooking meals. 

If you prefer butane heaters, they are more or less like their propane counterparts, although it is a more expensive option. Firewood is also great, and other than being simple, this method gives one the real feel of adventure. 

It is advisable to invest in a sound insulation system to help keep your energy costs to the minimum. As a safety precaution, any heaters should not be let on as you go to sleep, and good ventilation goes a long way in ensuring you do not get intoxicated with fumes.

Insulate your Body

Insulating your car is not enough. You ought to keep warm yourself and keep in mind that your worst enemy at night is humidity and not the cold. If you are not dry, you are most likely not super warm. The cold seeps to your bones. To avoid this damp torture, you can meticulously dry stuff while the car is running. A pair of dehumidifiers can work exceptionally well for you. 

Dieting Well

People living in cars often rely on canned or convenience foods such as granola bars, sandwiches, or fruits. However, while on such a camp, you still have a good chance at preparing some fresh meals. If you eat well and a balanced diet, this will play a significant role in ensuring your body organs are always active and thus keeping warm. If you can, try carrying flasks or hot dishes to keep your food warm. You will, therefore, not need to keep on warming the food when it is time for the next meal. 

Freshen up Whenever Possible

Showering often is almost impossible outdoor during winter, and for many, it is never an option. Warming some water for a quick shower is one way of killing bacteria. Typically, your body is inactive and does not sweat a lot due to low temperatures; hence, you might not be as dirty. A sponge bath is one way to freshen up.  Do not forget to carry a disposal bag for the rubbish that accumulates in your car. 

Consider various Storage Options

Car camping is more like having a home away from home. Therefore, even at home, it proves daunting to try and locate something you cannot remember where you placed it due to being disorganized. Storage plans will help keep disorderliness at bay, and thus, you will have an easy time locating anything you need fast. Find the perfect option that will fit in your van’s limited space without much hustle.

How to Kill time

Clearly, outdoor activities are not an option, especially in sub-zero temperatures. You should, however, make sure you carry some entertainment items such as an iPad, your laptop, tablet, novels, or even your favorite indoor games. These will give you something constructive to do as you pass the time, and from time to time, you can go out and try some ice games such as skating or building an iceman! 

However, you should ensure you are dressed warm enough before going out, and when the cold exceeds, you can always leave whatever you are up to for later. A dog is a man’s best friend. Thus make great companions, and you can never get bored with one around. 

Extra Tips and Tricks

Your wallet should never run out because you never know what may come up during your stay. For instance, your car might not serve you as you expected, and hence, paying for accommodation to avoid freezing to death might be your best way out. Also, your camping van may require regular service or, something that is not in your itinerary may come up. Nonetheless, as long as you are prepared, you will not have to worry about a thing. 

A solar charger or Jump Starter is yet another item that comes in handy, but most people tend to forget it. This is an excellent alternative to draining your car battery. Enough is typically never enough. Always carry a few extra supplies for two or three days because you can never be sure how long you will have to stay. A boot dryer is a valuable tool for car camps for both your clothes and boots.

It is also essential to have containers where you can easy yourself. You definitely do not want to keep on going out to the cold after trying so hard to get warmth. Your car wipers as well should remain raised during the night so that they are not frozen to your windscreen come morning.

Stay Connected

If you are often on the move, then you will rarely have WIFI access or the chance to charge your techno-bits. Maccy-Dees have free Wi-Fi, and they are typically everywhere. Have coffee, charge your brainwashers, and also check your crack book. how to keep warm in a car in winter

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

How Should You Sleep in your Car in the Winter?

Typically, your safety comes first, and keeping warm should also be a priority. Also, your best chances of survival depend on emergency supplies and knowing how to use these supplies to your benefit. If you are ever in such a situation and you cannot contact a rescuer, staying in your car is the best option. 

You can try running your engine every one hour for about ten minutes as long as you ensure that the tailpipe is clear from snow. It is also advisable to purchase a CO detector strip that would help you keep the toxic fumes at the minimum level to avoid poisoning. 

How do You Survive a Car in Winter?

It helps to have an all-wheel-drive on your car, although even the most robust and most powerful vehicles could still get stuck in snow every now and hen. It is thus crucial to know how you can avoid such situations, and in case they happen, what the best thing to do would be. 

In case you do not know, winter car camping heater comes in handy in providing the warmth that you need. The bottom line is to avoid panic, turn on your car when you get cold to conserve gas, and also periodically check your tailpipe if your engine is running. Also, keep an eye out for windshield cracks, check your tire pressure, keep the coolant at equal parts antifreeze and also ensure your car’s battery is working.

Can you Legally Live in Your Car?

Living in your car is legal. If your vehicle is parked in your driveway or owner of the property where you have parked your vehicle allows you to do so. It typically depends on whose space you are occupying. A private owner of the property could have one arrested for trespassing if they spend too much time off the road and in the lot. Therefore, it all depends on where you are. Some places are legal, while others may be considered illegal, especially in cases of private property.

Can you Sleep in a Car in Winter?

Sleeping in your car looks pretty cozy. It protects you from the wind and snow. Although it may get as cold during the night, there are necessary measures to take for insulating the little heat produced. Sleeping in your car in winter typically gives you the freedom to experience the open road. You only need to be adequately prepared for any outcomes that could arise in the worst-case scenario.

Is it Legal to Sleep in Your Car at Night?

Certain cities in the US have laws declaring sleeping in the car illegally. Also, there are individual states that do not allow overnight parking at specific stopovers. Generally, there are no federal laws that penalize one for sleeping in their cars. Still, as long as you are not trespassing, intoxicated, or actively driving, you can always sleep in your vehicle. For you to be safe, it is better first to familiarize yourself with the laws of the land as it all depends on where you will park your car.

Tips on living in your car in the winter (sleeping, road trips, etc) YouTube

Final Words

I hope this guide has been resourceful, and you are now more than ready to set on for that memorable camping tour with you and your family or friends. If you get stressed, panicky or anxious, chances that you may make a mistake are much higher. Always take care of your immediate needs, and if you are funded, fed, set up, and watered, there is no need to worry. To make the best memories, be prepared and let things happen. 

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