Van Life in NYC: How to Live Rent-Free in New York

by Simplify

New York City is home to more millionaires and billionaires than you could probably imagine. With their luxury penthouse apartments in some of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world, these individuals are certainly living the high life—both figuratively and literally.

But, strangely enough, anyone can learn how to live rent-free in NYC with a little creativity. And Kedar is one of those people who encourages others to enjoy van life in NYC.

Living on the road in NYC

Can you live in a van in NYC? Of course, you can.

Kedar is more than happy to share how to live in a van in NYC for next to nothing with anyone who wants to listen. He modded out his own van DIY-style and has been living in it for several months now. In fact, he calls it his dream home on wheels.

Purchased entirely empty, Kedar customized this 2015 Mercedes Sprinter to meet all of his needs while living in the city.

Surprisingly enough, Kedar’s van has 300 watts of solar and two large fans mounted to the roof—which keeps his van nice and cool even on the hottest of days. And inside, he has a turf-covered stair for added texture and color, luxury vinyl floors, and a swivel chair.

Plus, he has a diesel heater, a small closet, storage shelves, a hidden toilet and shower, strip lights on the ceiling, and a small kitchen.

The space is noticeably tight, but he still has enough room for a spice drawer, seating area, and bed.

Is it legal to live in NYC in a van? Not a bad question. As long as you’re careful where you park it and follow local ordinances, anyone can legally live in a van right in the city rent-free. And Kedar proves that van life in NYC is pretty great after all.

Van life in NYC

For more stories of life on the road, discover this unique ambulance conversion into a camper or take a tour of this rock climber's DIY ProMaster camper van.

To see more videos, check out the New Jersey Outdoor Adventures YouTube channel.

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 1 comment
  • Pjo26908388 Pjo26908388 on Jan 02, 2023

    It’s great to hear of creative Nd functional alternatives to the cost of renting or owning a place to live.

    Kedar has a story that will be interesting to follow. His set up is first class- well done!