I quit van life after gas prices soared.  Now I'm making $4,000 a month living in my car while I wait for a new Tesla.

I quit van life after gas prices soared. Now I’m making $4,000 a month living in my car while I wait for a new Tesla.

  • Billie Webb is a TikToker who filmed herself taking part in van life last year.
  • Now she has raffled off her van to live in a 2015 Mazda, blaming soaring gas prices.
  • Webb, who makes about $4,000 a month from brand deals, has ordered a Tesla Model 3 to live in.

A TikToker quit her domiciled existence last year to join the van life movement. Now, with a $4,000 per month income stream and a clean slate of debt, she’s taken the plunge to live in her car. Soon, she’ll call Tesla her home.

Billie Webb is a TikToker and content creator who has been traveling on the road for the last year, in a mix of her 1990 Chevy G20 van and her 2015 Mazda car.

Webb has now raffled off her van for $6 a ticket, selling nearly 2,900 in total, before moving into her Mazda, as her master plan of living in her own Tesla continues to take flight.

Van life to car life

Billie Webb hanging out of her Chevy G20 car.

Webb used to live in a 1990 Chevy 20 van, but the high cost of gas made it too expensive for her to travel.

Billie Webb

Webb moved to her van as restrictions eased last year, citing steep rental costs and low pay in the various odd jobs she was previously working.

“I would even be declining going out with friends for lunch because I was very worried about not having enough payment for rent,” Webb told Insider. “But then I started meeting other van lifers who were also content creators and seeing how much they traveled and I wanted to join them.”

Van life has become more popular following the pandemic and rising rents and property prices. But it has backfired for some, with one nomad telling Insider that she became homeless after attempting to live in her van.

Webb quit van life as gas prices soared, with her Chevy running at seven to 10 miles a gallon and costing her more than $100 to fill up. “I don’t know if it’s a very smart move for anybody to be living in a van right now, specifically if you are traveling.”

Billie Webb sitting in the boot of her 2015 Mazda.

Webb now lives in a 2015 Mazda, where she also lived before buying the van.

Billie Webb

Living in a car then, is a surprising pivot, given the small space, lack of amenities, and similar pressure from gas prices.

“Now I’m pretty used to it. So living in the Mazda, it’s not terrible for me. The only thing that I do wish was easier was the temperature,” Webb said.

With a $20-per-month Planet Fitness membership, Webb is also still able to shower regularly. Gym memberships are a must-have for anyone joining van or car life, she said. She sometimes sits in the house as well.

The TikToker, though, has also been able to get rid of her car, credit card and student loan debt, amounting to around $10,000, as she avoided paying rent and built up a 700,000-strong TikTok following that allowed her to pick up brand deals .

Webb makes about $1,500 from each brand deal she signs for her TikTok channel. She’ll typically do two or three per month focusing on car accessories. Her biggest deal recently netted $5,000 for a partnership. Insider has seen contracts and emails from each agent.

Camping in a Tesla

It hasn’t been easy switching back to a car. But despite the hotter temperatures Webb has had to contend with, she said: “I’m pretty low maintenance as a person, so I don’t like I don’t need a king-sized bed, I don’t need a giant closet.”

The Tesla Model 3.

Webb is planning to live in a Tesla Model 3 from the end of the year.

Xing Yun/Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images

But Webb hopes her difficulties will be over when her Tesla Model 3 arrives in September.

Tesla’s camp mode allows the car to regulate its temperature and airflow overnight, making a more natural hotel than any Mazda, and making journeys far cheaper too.

“Obviously the gas bill will be much lower or non-existent, the electricity bill will be lower than the gas bill, and the temperature problems will be solved. It’ll be really cool – I’m very excited about it.”

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