An AirBnB San Francisco listing may provide the ultimate proof that hotel and real estate prices are recovering in northern California. If you have a clean driving record and proof of insurance, you can rent a night in a 1990 Chevy Conversion van with only 45,000 miles on it for around $100 a night.
At the time of writing, the owners are quoting $480 for a week and only $520 for a month, so you get a significant discount for a longer day. Heck, for less than $600 a month, some of the more prosperous homeless guys in the area can consider moving indoors.
Don’t laugh. I haven’t stayed in this host’s vehicle, which is currently located on Mission Street in Bernal Heights but I’ve certainly camped out in a Chevy conversion van before.
My husband and I had a 1986 Chevy van but we did almost exactly the same conversion. For us, it worked great.
Unlike some hostels and other cheap alternative accommodations, the owner isn’t currently charging extra for a second person. It may actually be a pretty good deal. Sure, a few years ago, I would have laughed ’em out of town. The economic collapse, combined with some smart shopping, meant we had little trouble finding more conventional lodgings in San Francisco for less than $100 a night.
Heck, they even poured some free “Two Buck Chuck,” apparently San Francisco’s cheapest wine, at the hotel reception.
But that was 2009. Try that today. The Chevy van may be the offer you can’t refuse.
I do see one potential problem. Chevy conversion vans are not, shall we say, self-contained. We were occasionally turned away from RV parks because we needed access to public showers and restrooms. State and national parks were our best bets, not big cities.
WalMart — not a San Francisco favorite — also allows RVers and vans to camp on some of its properties, in recognition of founder Sam Walton’s hobby RV travel. Get permission, and pick a store that’s open 24 hours.
Before you make your reservations for the AirBnB San Francisco listing, you may want to find out where the owners suggest that you take care of business.
Me, I’m too busy kicking myself because I finally decided to sell our Chevy for scrap when the cost of gas got a little too up there.
So it’s one of those “Why the heck didn’t I think of that?” moments.
But some of my friends and family think I’m pretty kooky for my stays in hostels, tents, couches, and caves.
What about you? Would you stay in something like the AirBnB San Francisco listing?
[photos courtesy AirBnB]