August 5, 2011


Just because I live in my car doesn't mean I don't have neighbors. Two rows back and a few steps to the left brings you to a black truck with a tinted cap. The gentleman lives here full time, just like me, but he has a motorcycle which he drives on nice days, leaving the truck parked at Walmart. In front of me and to the right is a small RV which stays here on week nights. The man who lives there likes to stay up late reading. Recently there is a Ford Torus who I can only assume is new to car dwelling. She has bath towels over her windows, which is fine for camping but not for urban stealth. I feel like I should welcome her to the neighborhood with a casserole, but I don't want to freak her out.

My neighbors and I don't talk to each other, not because we're antisocial but because we're there to sleep. The only time we really see each other is when we all get up in the morning, climb into our driver's seats, and go to work. Yes, another fallacy dispelled. Though houseless, we're all (so far) fully employed.

Aside from my regular neighbors, there are also "the interlopers". I have very mixed feelings about these people and present them to you as a cautionary tale. They're the vans that pull into the lot at 10pm with their radios on full volume and loudly prepare for sleep. You've seen them. The RV's that park and extend their awnings, drawing attention to those full times who would rather not be noticed. These people are like an invasion to the regular tenants of that lot.

So ladies and gents, the "mobile homeless" (as the media is calling us) are all around you, you just don't spend enough time in the mall parking lot to notice.We have our communities and they are not the shanty towns of American myth. Remember to be respectful of our neighborhoods, even if you can't tell anyone is living there.


  1. It's Ford Taurus.

  2. Definitly food for thought Ash! You never know what path peoples lives are taking.

  3. Good advise Ash !!

  4. interesting stuff here! i'm learning so much about this subculture. had no idea so much went down in walmart parking lots.

  5. I've stayed in WalMart lots before. I found it noisy as well, but with a little new insulation in the van, I'm certain that it won't be as bad.

    Those rv's that do that are not supposed to, and give everyone else a bad name. I believe it's actually the reason some walmarts don't permit camping overnight there anymore.


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