How to prepare a car if you have to live in it

How to prepare a car if you have to live in it
How to prepare a car if you have to live in it

A car is not a luxury, but a means of transportation. And in some situations, it is also a place of relatively comfortable living. If, of course, everything is organized correctly. Today we’ll talk about how to prepare a car in case of unforeseen circumstances, as a result of which this very car will be the only place to sleep, rest and shelter from bad weather.

How to prepare a car if you have to live in it

Let’s start with the fact that life in a car is rarely comfortable. Yes, in ideal conditions we are talking about full-fledged SUVs, trucks, vans or even “mobile homes”, specially modified for a comfortable stay. But alas, our world is far from perfect. And it may happen that you have to live in a completely unsuitable car for this. Fortunately, he can be prepared to some extent for this case. And now we will tell you exactly how.

Basic training

Basic vehicle preparation

The most important thing is to insure your car and keep it in optimal technical condition… Plus – always have a basic tool kit, essential spare parts, a tire repair kit, a few spare bulbs, a replacement belt and replacement filters on hand. If there is still free space, it should be filled with a supply of technical fluids, such as oil, antifreeze and fuel.

Next, collect all the equipment that you think will come in handy during your life in the car, and conduct a “field test” – live like this for two days. This will allow you to identify planning errors and missing critical components. An emergency evacuation kit, or better yet, an extended version of it, could be a good baseline for this.


Safety is your # 1 priority! After all, if you have come to life in a car, then the situation around, to put it mildly, is not very good.

carbon monoxide (carbon monoxide) detector

The first thing to worry about is the carbon monoxide that the engine produces when idling. This is especially important for those who will sleep in the car. Therefore, it will be extremely useful to get a battery-powered CO detector, specially designed for the car. Well, or organize a decent ventilation in advance, since it is always possible to slightly open the windows.

Since you now live in a car, you need to somehow organize the storage of “valuables”. This includes money, documents, change of clothes, toiletries, food and water supplies, and a complete emergency evacuation backpack in case the car has to be abandoned. And yes, you will need to keep this bag with you at all times – you never know what can happen.

self-defense in the car

Finally, there is direct protection against threats. This is a little easier for you, since the car itself is a good first line of defense. And to escape with it, albeit at the cost of some damage to glass or wheels, is the best defense tactic.

However, remember that even though your car is now your home, it is still a thing not worth dying for or being seriously injured. If you have a choice – either to risk your life for the sake of a car, or to lose it, but survive – definitely choose the second option.

Features of storage

Features of storing things in the car

First, open all the doors and trunk. Check each location for fittings or additional storage compartments. Determine if you have a large glove compartment, spare wheel storage, seat pockets. This will allow you to plan what modifications you will need to install for a more comfortable life. If you do not have to survive alone, then the situation becomes somewhat more complicated.

Items that you will use frequently should be stored either in the seats or in the compartments on the doors. And the already mentioned emergency evacuation bag should be compact enough to fit in the legs and not interfere with pedaling.

Storing things in the car

The main storage place is the trunk. However, you need to take care beforehand to make it as effective as possible. At a minimum, purchase a number of containers with tight-fitting lids. And arrange them compactly – to minimize empty space.

On the lid of each container, it is necessary to indicate what is in it. This will make it easier to find the things you want. At the very least, specify the category. For example, “sanitation”, “medicines”, “warm clothes”, etc.

There may also be some free space in the compartment where the spare wheel is stored. It is great for tools and spare parts.


Comfort in the car

If you do not have a truck or van, you will understand from the very first attempt that sleeping in a car is an “amateur” pleasure. Better to have a small tent, a sleeping bag, and a mattress, and not this is all. But if this is not an option, then you will have to modify your car somewhat.

For example, by installing solar-powered fans in the windows, which improve air circulation in the cab. And the sun visors will also help keep the interior cooler.

In any case, it is better to park in shaded areas. If there is no shade, then use tarpaulins, paracords, or elastic cords to create an impromptu canopy that will protect from both direct sunlight and rain.


Storing water in the carWater is your # 2 priority! Without it, alas, we cannot hold out for long. Fortunately, in a typical urban setting, drinking water is not that difficult to obtain, even for free. So just keep a 10-20 liter tanklag or canister in your trunk and refill it as soon as possible.

It is also worth getting reusable plastic liquid bottles for everyone who will be living in the car. Moreover – separate for water and for juices/protein shakes/tea/coffee.

Food preparation and hygiene

You will not be able to eat exclusively fast food for a long time. And if you try, you will get health problems. So sometimes you have to cook. A simple travel gas stove with two burners will help this. It is portable enough to fit in any car but allows you to almost cook normal food almost completely. If, of course, you have suitable pots, pans, cutlery, and bowls. Desirable, taking up a minimum of space, light, with removable handles, or generally folding.

Cooking and hygiene in the car

But with hygiene, you will have some problems. As a last resort, you can use the stove to heat the water – to wash normally. But this is quite difficult, so it is worth scouting in advance – where are the free showers or toilets in your area.

The problem is also that due to the epidemic, many gyms and other establishments where you could wash normally were closed. There is, however, an alternative – camping showers, which are hefty bags for water. You fill them, climb in, wash, pour out dirty water. Astronauts use something similar in orbit. Well, in the warm season, you can safely wash in the nearby rivers or lakes (if they are clean, of course). Plus, do not forget about friends and acquaintances who you can turn to for help in this problem.

A separate problem is going to the toilet at night. You can, of course, quietly pour directly into the nearby bushes, but … An option, for example, is to park at large convenience stores, such as Walmart, which have free public toilets.


Navigation in the car

Most of us have either specialized GPS navigators or smartphones with global positioning and google maps. In principle, this should be enough for you.

But it is also better to get some paper maps of the area and a compass and keep it all in the glove compartment. And, of course, you need to learn how to use such cards. This is useful in any case – it develops spatial perception and the ability to remember routes. And “analog devices” are always more reliable than electronic ones.


Electricity in the car

Even though your car is essentially a complete diesel generator on wheels, you should have other methods of charging your electronic gadgets as well. For example, rooftop solar panels can be used to charge devices and batteries.

If your car is so old that it does not have a USB port for charging, then it is worth getting an inverter in advance, which can be connected to the existing connector.

In addition, to save personal resources, you should use free public WiFi. The main thing is to find places where you can catch him even from the parking lot.


Some people really like to live in mobile homes, but for most, this situation is the result of some kind of disaster or extremely serious personal problems. So it is worth pre-equipping your car with storage containers, spare bags, tool kits, water containers and other useful things.

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