Cars are great for day to day commuting and gettin around. They are also good for short road trips with a friend or two. But If you are trying to live out of your vehicle a passenger car is the wrong choice. Passenger cars are too small to live out of and offer very little privacy. It is true that they get the better mileage than a larger vehicle but you will be sacrificing comfort, storage, and privacy. If you do decide that a passenger car is what you want to live out of, here some tips on what you should look for to make your life a little more comfortable.
Choose a car that has a large trunk. The more storage space that you have in the trunk the better. A large trunk means that you can keep your supplies locked up and out of the cab. Nothing sucks worse than getting to your car and realizing that everything you own has been stolen due to a broken window. If you do not have enough room in your trunk for everything you need you can use your backseat, but you will be sacrificing your bed, and you will be risking getting your stuff stolen so make sure it's stuff that is not super important to you. I highly recommend using a dark window tint, or window covers on all your windows if you are living out of your car. This will make it harder to see into your car whether you are in there sleeping or not. If you don't want tinted windows, use a blanket to cover your stuff so passers by don't see it while you are not there. Try to get the biggest back seat as possible or will get very few good nights of sleep.
Stay organized. In both your trunk and cab the best way to save space is by being organized. Use bins, storage containers, shoe boxes, and those net organizers for the back of your seats will all come in very handy. Small and medium size boxes work the best. You want to be able to move and shuffle stuff around easily in your trunk. Labeling your containers will help you in finding your stuff faster. Keeping your clothes in your car can take up a lot of space and can make them wrinkly. If you roll your clothes, as apposed to folding them flat, you will be able to store more clothing and by rolling them you greatly reduce wrinkling.
Sleeping in your car will be the most difficult thing to do. If you have kept organized and taken only what you need with you, you should have a back seat to sleep on. The seat itself is not very comfy or level. What I recommend doing is to cut a piece of ply wood to fit over your backseat all the way from the back of the front seats to the back of the back seat. This will cover the gap where you would normally put your legs. You can use a couple pieces of 2x4 to brace your board up in this area for added support. This will make your sleeping area wider by at least a foot. You have also created extra storage space for your in cab stuff like food and maybe your pee bottle. Once you have your board in place you can cut a foam mattress to size and add that for more comfort. If you do not have a backseat you will have to sleep up front which is not comfortable even if you recline. Also by sleeping in the front seats you are way more likely to get caught and ticketed by the police. I recommend not sleeping in your front seats ever.
When living out of a car hygiene can be difficult. There is not enough room or privacy for basic hygiene, so I recommend parking as close to a 24 hour restroom as possible. Gas stations, 24 hour grocery stores, and Walmarts are all good options. You can get away with a pee bottle in your car but anything else is not recommended. You can brush your teeth in your car but use a bottle to spit into. If a cop sees you spitting in the street they may ticket you. You can do your washing in any public restroom if you are brave enough, or if you lock the door. Don't get crazy though. You don't want to lock the bathroom door only to have an employee unlock it while you are naked and washing yourself in their sink.
Living out of a passenger car can be done, but it is not my preferred vehicle of choice. If you have no other options I hope this article will help you to be more comfortable living out of your car. If you have options choose something bigger than a passenger car. If you really think this is the way to go I would recommend getting a station wagon style car. You can set up the rear of your vehicle so that your stuff is on one half of the rear area, and your sleeping area is on the other. I hope this has helped you in deciding what vehicle to live out of. Have fun, be safe, and happy travels.