Google Employee Lived in an RV in Google's Parking Lot for Two Years

Pete, Kara and their RV 1 photo
Photo: Pete and Kara
What's your idea of a Google employee? We've all seen the facilities offered by the tech giant to the people working there, and we've all been one click away from filing our resignation and moving to San Francisco.
The people working there have got to be the most hip individuals you can find, right? They're the trendsetters, the gadget freaks, the fashion victims, the thick glass frame wearers, the bearded men, the independent women - they're the new Mad Men, except this time they have more women among them.

Well, talk about the difference between perception and reality. Meet Pete and Kara. Pete is a 33-year-old guy from Attica, Michigan, who has now been working for Google for nearly five years. Back in 2010, when Pete's contract in Chicago expired, he and Kara decided to buy an RV and try something new, living small and not being tied down to one place.

They paid $1,900 for the 1985 Winnebago Lesharo, and after a quick trip back to Pete's home to fit the RV with a bed, they set off to Austin, Texas. They had $10,000 and no jobs but, at least, they had a (cheap) place to stay. And they stayed there for four months, still unemployed and with the money reserve quickly dwindling.

Business Insider talked to the two, who remember the dire situation in these words: "We were on our last $50, shopping at Walmart for rice and beans." That's when Pete got a call from Google, offering him a temporary job, which he obviously took. After working from a distance for one year, in January 2012 the two made use of the mobile aspect of their home and set off to San Francisco.

Since Pete's position within the company wasn't that firm yet, they didn't park their RV straight on Google territory, settling for a trailer park first. Then, though, the only way a Google employee could have lived closer to his office than Pete was actually to move in the office. Food was not an issue since it came cost-free from Google (and takeaway was possible too), while other facilities such as showers were also available.

Huge savings

With Kara working as well, the two managed to save up a nice sum of money (they say that up to 80 percent of their income was surplus) that they used to buy a house in 2013. Initially, they thought of it as an investment, but were quickly convinced by the central heating system, the running water, electricity and other stuff you and I take for granted. But they still rent part of the $530,000 property, so apart from the initial payment, the house isn't really costing them that much.

Sure, it takes a certain kind of man - not to mention woman - to be able to do this, but it just goes to prove how expensive this comfort we've got really is, and how much more you can do when you just cut away from it. Imagine if you only had to pay for your mobile phone, your clothes and a few nights out per month - you'd never ask for a raise again.

Here are Pete and Kara summing up the experience of living in Google's parking lot: "We do miss the Winnie life for a number of reasons. It keeps you humble. It's a small space to maintain and clean. Your whole life is mobile. It's financially liberating. Tailgating is next level. The campus life was fun, too. You see and know things that nobody else knows."
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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