WATCH: It’s no secret that living on BC’s west coast will cost you. And as Jill Bennett reports, some people are giving up the comforts of home for a different lifestyle, just so they can afford to live in the Lower Mainland.
With B.C. renters in an “affordability crunch”, a middle-aged man who lives in his RV says more and more people are seeing the benefits of living out of their vehicles.
“Vancouver, North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Burnaby, I would say in my travels I’ve met over 100. Today I could take you to about 25,” says a man who goes by the name Justin Credible.
“A lot of people do this for a lifestyle choice.”
Credible, who works as a wireless phone salesman, has been living in an 130 square foot RV since January. Along with a standard RV bathroom and kitchenette, he’s fitted it with an electric fireplace, TV and queen size bed.
He says he’ll pay between $600 and $1000 in gas each month, depending on how many mini-vacations he takes around the province.
“I don’t see a point in throwing away all my income on renting a small concrete cube somewhere in Vancouver. Basically my whole life would be working for my house,” he says.
“I can do what I want, I save a lot of money, I can turn on a whim. It’s great to have that personal freedom.”
But he does have a number of tips for people thinking of adopting his lifestyle, many of which he posts on his YouTube channel.
First, don’t draw too much attention to yourself.
“You’ve kind of have to be a stealth camper,” says Credible, who advises people not to make a mess around their RV and to change locations with some regularity. “Some cities are worse than the others, but the Lower Mainland isn’t too bad. I used to get notices on my windshield by bylaw officials a decade ago, but less so now.”
Second, you have to be on top of utilities.
“You have to fill your water tanks, you have to dump your tanks, you have to be on top of it. You’re not paying a landlord and it all works.”
He says overall, “the number one rule is to be respectful.”