Those Cheap Airbnb Van Rentals In New York City Are Over


For just $ 97 a night, you could “experience the #VanLife in NYC!” laundromat on East 2nd Street. While it’s illegal to park a converted pickup truck on the streets of New York for more than 24 hours, this red Ford Econoline, along with six others, has been welcoming guests to city sidewalks for the past two years. But Thursday and Friday, the sheriff’s office impounded the seven in a sweep it called “Operation Room Service.”

It wasn’t as if the authorities had completely ignored the vehicles: one of them racked up $ 1,500 in parking tickets in less than a year. All had New Jersey plates, three of which were from other vehicles, while a fourth had expired 21 years ago. It is not clear who owns one of the vans. But at least one, the East Village van, had a curious guest: Uptin Saiidi, a California YouTuber who stayed in the van in early August and documented the experience on his channel.

Saiidi’s first impression of the early ’90s Econoline, which was parked on East 2nd Street between A and B avenues, was that it smelled musty. “I’m a little torn between ‘This is so ridiculous’ and ‘I’m so excited’,” he said in the video. With little more than a bed in the back and curtains on the windows, there wasn’t much in the way of amenities – or even the basics, like a bathroom or sink. “I don’t know where I can go to the bathroom in the middle of the night,” he said. “Nancy,” the host, had suggested a few options: he could shower at Blink Fitness on A Avenue and use the restrooms at Tompkins Square Park or nearby Starbucks during the day or at Yuca Bar or Lilly’s la night. Saiidi managed to sleep through the night and the van only racked up one parking ticket during his stay, but it clearly was not the first – when Saiidi tried to crank the engine, he failed. ‘is not even returned.

As illegal projects disappear, Village van rental does not appear to have been a success: Saiidi said the list had very few reviews, suggesting that only a handful of people were tempted by the #VanLife urban experience.


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