living in a van with my guitars?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by NevilleMan, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. NevilleMan

    NevilleMan TDPRI Member

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    Hey everybody!

    I'm graduating college next year and am going to live in a van while I try and make it as a guitarist in Nashville. Why a van? So I don't have to get more than a part time job to cover my cost of living (gym membership for showers, gasoline, etc.).

    But what about my guitars? I've known for years that leaving them in the car is a big mistake. But if the van is partly insulated and I left the guitars in their cases and wrapped them in blankets when it was cold, would I still have issues?

    I'd like to hear y'all's thoughts on what I could do to protect them from the elements on the road.

    Jameson
     
  2. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    ha ha! find a nice boarding house and get you a room. If you choose the right boarding house, you might have a lifetime career ahead of you!
     
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  3. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Besides climate, theft would be my concern...
     
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  4. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Biggest problem would be getting your guitars ripped off, IMO. If you can get a really secure box that's welded into the van to contain your precious valuables, you should be OK,
    unless you're talking nice acoustic guitars. Even those would probably be just fine as long as you avoid really fast temperature changes. If you bring them into a warm room,
    leave them in the case and let them slowly warm up to room temp.

    I don't live in Nashville so don't know the particulars. Out here they actively harass and discourage folks that live in old RVs and other vehicles. A regular van like
    a white Econoline work van tends to be a better bet because if you do it right it just looks like a plain old work van. But many jurisdictions prohibit sleeping in vehicles on public streets
    and will harass you in the wee hours of the morning if they catch you. Sometimes churches will let you use their parking lots, which are private property and therefore not subject
    to hassles by The Man.

    It's a pretty tough life style, certainly not any easy one
    to get a good girlfriend. (Who wants to date a guy living out of his van?). Also might make it a bit harder to network and achieve your goals. Maybe it would make more sense to
    try and find a cool housemate situation where you are living with a bunch of musicians? That situation might directly lead to a good gig with some luck. A lot less lonely, too.

    One nice thing about having a van you can sleep in is it solves the DUI problem. I used to go to clubs, park my conversion van out front, and be able to get as hammered as I wanted
    to because I knew I could just stumble out, get in the nice bed in my conversion van, and crash out until the next morning.
     
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  5. strat56

    strat56 Tele-Holic

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    Since guitars don’t generate any heat for the blankets to trap and keep their temp more constant i’m not sure what the blankets are for. Otherwise if you think you can stand the heat and cold of living in a non-climate controlled environment, go for it.
     
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  6. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    ive been homeless with my guitars before.
    let me tell you something.....IT SUCKS and i do not recommend doing it.
    and if youre in nashville you better practice your butt off. even the worst of the worst there are really good.
     
  7. FrontPU

    FrontPU Tele-Holic

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    2 questions (if silly sorry in advance, I'm a foreigner)...
    Can you get a decent job without a home address to be documented on the papers (application form for job interview, etc.)? Do you write the one for your parents?
    And the winter climate in Nashville is warm enough for you to sleep in a car?
    Just (so) curious.
     
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  8. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted

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    I wish I could live in a van. A mortgage is such a drag.
    But sharing a van with a woman and children (AND all my guitars and amps) would be a bigger drag.
     
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  9. unfamous

    unfamous Tele-Meister

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    I can't see how that is a wise choice.
     
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  10. Chester Burnett

    Chester Burnett Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Find some roommates.
     
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  11. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

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    well, theft would my first concern,

    if they steal your van, .. you not lost only guitars .. you also lost home .. i't might be a doable thing for a period of time, but i don't see that working out well in the "long" run, think you should look for a room instead.

    and yeah this :) it's s very high competitive market afaik.

    :)
     
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  12. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

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    While I appreciate the spirit, the amount of risk that plan entails is extraordinarily high. There are countless stories of souls being crushed in Nashville. I’ve played with people whose souls were crushed in Nashville, and they weren’t dealing with all the difficulties associated with living in a van. Unless you’ve got great networking skills, can read music and play lights out country guitar, gritting it out in a van on music row seems like an exercise masochism, to me.
     
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  13. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted

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    If you aren't going to rehearse in a van, too, I'd rather keep them at a rehearsal space. Or... try flatsharing?
     
  14. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    It's Nashville, just put your gear in a locker and get a few roommates.
     
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  15. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I know a guy who can show you the best places to park it......

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Get yourself a hot chick, pimp her out on a Vanlife YouTube channel and you can just pretend to live in a van for the e begging revenue. Then you'll be able to rent a nice pad so long as you can keep coming up with emergency situations than require help from your gullible subscribers or the chick shows enough butt to sell a ton of Merch.

    Don't forget to keep mentioning how Vegan you are and pointing that out every time you eat something. A man bun will help too.
     
  17. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    You didn't mention what kind of guitars you intend to keep in the van, but if any of them are acoustics, then cold isn't your worst enemy, but heat is - for an acoustic.

    Any number of examples of heat softening up the glue and the bridge just pops off. I have a friend who lives in his car. Musician/songwriter, in Houston. Martin D15; bridge just came off. He did scrape together the money to get it repaired, but that is his only guitar.

    cold is problematic only if you're in a hurry and try to rush a guitar from very cold to warm in a short period - and that's mostly a finish problem - crackling finish. As mentioned above, blankets aren't really gonna do much, unless you plan on sleeping with your guitars next to you under the blanket. How many are we talking about here?

    I salute your ambition. Your survival technique plan has some flaws, but it might work if you think of it as only temporary.

    Here's an example - Carolyn Wonderland moved to Austin and lived in her car - but, she had friends who let her park in their driveway (and let her keep the guitars in the house) and she didn't do it for longer than a year, IIRC.

    If you go for it, think of it only as a temporary plan and yeah, as mentioned several times here - you need a network of friends and/or roommates. Don't just park on the street and hope for the best.
     
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  18. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Follow your dream … good luck

     
  19. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

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    that's a great Song @tery ;)

    edit ! corrected a typo !
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    tery likes this.
  20. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Edit: @brogh gets one free ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
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