Folks who live in vehicles do not have ready access to resources that house-dwellers take for granted. We have to notice resources and take advantage of them appropriately.
Similar to spider-man's “spidey sense”, as vandwellers gain experience they can develop an awareness of available resources in the area; paying attention goes a long way, as does the discipline to follow tyhrough and leverage resources as we find them.
Since 'dwellers are mobile, we are exposed to a wide variety of places.
Having an indoor job or attending school can be like winning the lottery for vehicle-dwellers. Learn what resources are available and maximize their benefit.
In addition to having access to climate control, work/school have power outlets, water fountains and sinks, rest rooms, etc.
Sometimes wifi, microwaves, refrigerator/freezers, ice machines, workout rooms, showers, or water spigots are available. Ask around!
Libraries and other municipal buildings often have water fountains, restrooms (elimination, water in sinks for hygiene and refilling water bottles), climate control, wifi, information, wall power outlets, and trash receptacles outside. Libraries often have PCs with printers.
Recreation centers may also have showers, especially those with athletic courts or swimming pools. A day pass might be $4-$6.
Public parks often have picnic tables for outdoor eating, water fountains, rest rooms, and a place to walk your dog.1) Take note of opening and closing hours to stay on the right side of the law. Some may have bbq grills where you can set up your camp stove. They are also used for recreation and so may make good places to relax or exercise outdoors.
Rest areas often have restrooms, water fountains, and trash receptacles. Some have water spigots and wifi. Many will allow overnight sleeping in the vehicle.
Cafes, restaurants, and bars will have restrooms and often wifi and power outlets. Ask to sit near a power outlet and charge your devices while you visit.
Gas stations have rest rooms, trash receptacles, etc. Some may have water spigots or water kiosks. Truck stops may offer (often-pricey) showers and open or paid wifi.
Carry a phone charger (with wall adapter) with you everywhere to take advantage of charging opportunities. If you have a laptop or tablet, bring them and charge whenever you see an opportunity.
In order to make most efficient use of your time near an outlet, it may make sense to:
Trash builds up quickly and can be hard to get rid of. Be ruthless!
If you work at an office you might be able to store perishables in the breakroom fridge and freeze water bottles or ice packs in the freezer. Remember to rotate.
You can harvest ice from an icemaker (leave some for others) or from ice cube trays in the freezer (remember to refill).
Leverage time spent in climate control (work, school, other buildings). Working overtime will keep you in climate control, out of the vehicle, and also build your emergency fund.
While you have access to internet