In what SFGate calls an "unusual odyssey out of homelessness," a couple from Los Angeles has, in the words of that blog, "hacked" housing and travel with an RV and a new club for others who might like to do the same.
Artist and photographer Amy Salvato along with her child and her husband Michael, a jazz guitarist and bandleader, have been living in their mobile home since 2013 when they were already living out of a van after a fight with their landlord. And now that they've formed a club — RV Life Rocks — they've become something of an authority on the subject. "RV travel is not just after retirement," they write. But is it really hacking — or just surviving?
“None of us grow up in an RV, for the most part; maybe we go camping in one sometimes growing up, but not full time,” Amy tells SFGate. “It’s fun to travel on the road, but you have to have a heightened sense of awareness, consideration and respect, and to compensate for people who don’t know what you’re doing, as in, ‘I see a big black RV. Are they making drugs?’ Or if you’re at a playground, people may think, ‘Are they going to abduct our children?’
“Michael kept getting approached by people and would be asked about figuring out how to maintain an RV and all sorts of questions,” Amy continues. “He just noticed the pattern that people would benefit from an information site that would have accurate information about the good, the bad, and the ugly about being in an RV, whether it’s for a year or a week.”
Perhaps its because the Salvatos are artists, building a community and sharing their insights, that some of called them hackers. Indeed, they've adopted the DIY ethos to a degree, collecting tips on their site reserved for customers who pay $50 per month for the first 3 months (and more thereafter.)
But the couple notably doesn't use the H-word themselves. "We're sharing with you the 'bottom line' what works and what doesn't," they write instead. So isn't the story of the Salvato's less about hacking life and more about finding ways to live it?
Related: Step Inside Oakland's Illegal Dystopian Shipping Container Community, Containertopia