Day 2: A Humbling Restroom Experience (30 Day Car Living Challenge)

Journal: 9/4/2018

The aftermath of Night 1:

Last night was tough. I roasted, sweated like a pig, and had very vivid dreams, some close to nightmares. This is not uncommon for me when I sleep in hotels or unfamiliar places.

It wasn’t all bad though, day 2 is not as hot as it was last night, and I feel more adjusted to sleep. All part of the challenge! This night I am going to slightly crack two of my windows about the thickness of a nickel to create ventilation.

As a side note, despite the fact I parked between two street lights, it is ironic that my car’s curtains block out more light than my own dorm room!

Now it is time for the second night and we will see how it goes.


Day 2: “So what about restrooms?”

“How do you go to the restroom?” Is the most frequently asked question when it comes to the topic of living in your car.

This is one of the difficult and uncomfortable topics to talk about. Nevertheless, it is a reality we have to face during the car living project. I have to address it eventually, so we might as well talk about restrooms today.

I do have to say that I had a serious emergency tonight. So what happened was that I made the mistake of eating a whole box of craft deluxe mac & cheese. I’ve known to have stomach issues with eating mac & cheese afterwards. Let me tell you something, I was not prepared for what storm and hurricane was going to hit me in my stomach that night! At 4 AM my stomach screams and I feel like the American purge is occurring in my belly.

Time was imminent, I must make a decision. These were my options:


  1.  I had some Walmart bags in my car that I could layer three times, “release the Kraken” in the bag. Then, tie the bag and put it under my car and deal with it in the morning.
  2. I can illegally go into the woods and “pass some legislation through the senate.” Not preferred at all.
  3. Last but not least, I could bail out and go to my dorm room which is about 400 feet away from me.


When you have never “released a chocolate hostage” in your car before, nor do you want to create a mess in the middle of the night, you are going to choose option number three and bail. That is what what I decided to do. I ran out of my car, sprinted across the parking lot, scrambled for my keys to unlock both the dorm and my room, and I barely made it in time. It was one of the closest restroom calls I have ever made.

Despite realizing how uncomfortable, inconvenient, and embarrassing the event was for me, it was a fantastic experience because it woke me up to the reality of the challenges I would have to face in the future. I was actually lucky that I did not park at the north parking deck, which I’ll tell you now, that public area does not have open restrooms at 4 AM. It is miles away from my dorm, and there are not any woods that I could’ve gone to unless I ran across the deck, sprinted down 5 flights of stairs, and then embarked an expedition into the forest. That means that if I want this car camper project to continue, then I need to prepare for future incidents.

I am both lucky and privileged to sleep near my apartment complex! This emphasizes the need to experiment with your car camper while having a safe place to fall back and learn from your mistakes before you fully commit to this full time or during your meditation retreats. However, not everyone has a backup dorm or a home to fall back to if any problems arise.

That’s one reason why I really want to write this car camper blog because it will show you the reality and the expectations that you’re going to deal with if you ever consider embarking on such a challenge yourself.

How will I prepare for this in the future?

For now on, I will have 2 to 3 layers of plastic Walmart bags available at all times. During emergency restroom situations, I can tie them up and take it to a nearby trashcan or dumpster. I just realized that my parking apartment complex has an area close to a dumpster and that might be a more suitable location for me so then I can just throw it away and not have to worry about it.

Do not worry! It might seem weird at first to throw human waste in the trash. When you think about it, parents have to throw diapers in the trash all the time. If you have a dog, you throw away the pet-waste bags as well, there is no real difference. An important question came to mind, can I create a seat of some sort to do my business?

I was in the restroom when I looked at my little trash bin next to the sink.

I found it for free when it was “move out day” when many students leave perfectly good furniture, tools, and amenities out in the open. It was the perfect size, clean, and sturdy.

I just realized that I have some extra foam pipe insulation I used to cover any rust in the opening between the trunk and the car interior.

Pipe Insulation Foam

I might as well put the foam around the rim of the trash bin. Here is the prototype:

Not too shabby if I say so myself!

Here are a few things that I learned tonight:

  1. Be careful of what you eat! Your diet will have more consequences for you while you live in your car.
  2. Get to know your location, know where there are available restrooms and find nearby trashcans and dumpsters.
  3. Lastly, plan to go to the restroom somewhere before you sleep for the night.

Join the discussion:

Now that is out of the way, how do you feel about the car living project?

  • Have you ever had a brutally uncomfortable moment in your life that was embarrassing?
    • If so, did that experience grow you as a person in some shape or form? Have any suggestions for me?

Share your insights with us! – Justin

Click here to continue at Day 3-4.

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