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Old 03.12.2019, 13:31
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Living permanently in a camper van

Hello everybody.
I am Greek, 54, engineer (documentation). After 7 years employed in Switzerland, last February I quit my job and started looking for a new one. Little did I know, how difficult it would be to find a new one nowadays for people at my age!
Anyway, point is, I have decided to minimize costs before RAV benefit expires, so I decided to leave my apartment by end on January 2020 and permanently move into my VW T4 California (1991). My plan is to rent a spot at a all-year-open camping site, register to the corresponding Gemeinde with that address (so that I keep my C permit, insurance, bank accounts etc. here), and then either stay there or travel around the world... while looking for my next job.
Maybe there are other options for me that I don't know of, which would allow me to accomplish same target, i.e. do not abolish residence in Switzerland and at the same time abide with the local laws.
Has anybody any idea?
Thx in advance.
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Old 03.12.2019, 13:38
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

Have you informed yourself it is possible to register the camping spot as a steady home address and live there whole year round?
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Old 03.12.2019, 13:41
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

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Have you informed yourself it is possible to register the camping spot as a steady home address and live there whole year round?
Yes that is possible. http://www.sozialhilfe.zh.ch/Handbuc...wachsener.aspx

https://www.aargauerzeitung.ch/aarga...icht-131633338
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Old 03.12.2019, 13:43
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

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Hello everybody.
I am Greek, 54, engineer (documentation). After 7 years employed in Switzerland, last February I quit my job and started looking for a new one. Little did I know, how difficult it would be to find a new one nowadays for people at my age!.
I know it is spilled milk. But never ever, resign before you have lined up the next contract. Specially age 50plus.
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Old 03.12.2019, 13:58
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

I guess the main thing with staying registered are costs: e.g. health insurance, AHV (not sure if any exemption exists when on social help) which can add up. Some camping sites I saw specifically said that it couldn't be used as a 'wohnsitz' though I'm not sure what the underlying reason was. Good luck!
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Old 03.12.2019, 14:06
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

I love this idea too, but it's rather difficult in Switzerland. One has to live within a campsite - not my idea of freedom and peace - and even those are hard to find for permanent camping.

I know there is one in Frick and people live there all year around. BUT: website says there is a contingent for permanent campers and at the moment it is exhausted.

I hope you didn't do it like with your job and cancelled the flat before finding an all-year-space to camp
You can register with a friend's address and move around for a while and camp on parking lots but they will notice you sooner or later. Sooner probably.

Living like this here is rather difficult. It's just too regulated and controlled.
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Old 03.12.2019, 14:08
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So far I have come across camping sites that are only open from March or April to October, or all-year-round but with no available permanent spots. I was also told that it is entirely up to the corresponding Gemeinde to accept the camping address as my permanent one, or not (there are both kinds).
Maybe somebody knows of a camping site that matches the requirements, or has any other idea of what to do. The option to start travelling and stay outside of Switzerland for long periods (as long as I can prove that I stayed inside for >183 days) is surely on the table.

I did cancel the flat... end of January I am out.
I could come to an agreement with the owner to stay... but as soon as the RAV money expires, I would need to go... so it would only buy me some time.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 03.12.2019 at 23:03. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 03.12.2019, 14:10
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

See here
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Old 03.12.2019, 14:11
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

I was told that the Frick campsite is currently full and has exceeded the quota given by the Gemeinde, so apparently it can be done! It's only difficult to find availability.
It could also be in another canton, I wouldn't mind... if someone knows something.
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Old 03.12.2019, 14:11
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

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I guess the main thing with staying registered are costs: e.g. health insurance, AHV (not sure if any exemption exists when on social help) which can add up. Some camping sites I saw specifically said that it couldn't be used as a 'wohnsitz' though I'm not sure what the underlying reason was. Good luck!
Only on request (by the social assistance office, done yearly).
The registration with the "Ausgleichskasse" (SVA in Zurich) has to be done by the person themselves.

OP, do not forget such things. If you won't need social-money-support, pay it yourself!

In German, Beobachter
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Old 03.12.2019, 14:12
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

I can't help with the camping thing, but IMHO as a documented and qualified engineer you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding a job even at 50 plus. Maybe you might need to take a salary cut and learn some new skills, but by and large engineers of any shade or speciality are sought after.

I've seen enngineers aged around 60 being hired even, into positions that required some re-skilling. For example I knew a 59 year old telecoms engineer who was hired into a software testing team.
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Old 03.12.2019, 14:16
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See here
Thx, quite interesting. I am still counting on other ideas, though.
For example, I could hand my C permit to my Gemeinde and ask for an official leave. My questions are: how long could I be away, and what are the legitimate grounds for such a request?
Apparently, I do not dare go ask my Gemeinde...

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I can't help with the camping thing, but IMHO as a documented and qualified engineer you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding a job even at 50 plus. Maybe you might need to take a salary cut and learn some new skills, but by and large engineers of any shade or speciality are sought after.

I've seen enngineers aged around 60 being hired even, into positions that required some re-skilling. For example I knew a 59 year old telecoms engineer who was hired into a software testing team.
Unfortunately, these are the exceptions to the rule. Currently, GE in Baden is laying off and others simply don't hire. Not to mentions that most of the positions just suck... and I would not take yet another one like that.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 03.12.2019 at 23:04. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 03.12.2019, 14:39
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

The campground Sut Baselgia in Andeer is open year around. I am pretty sure there are others around the country.
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Old 03.12.2019, 14:50
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

D'Ya Like Dags?

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Old 03.12.2019, 14:57
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

There are many Vlogs with great info regarding living in a van.



Just search for 'Van Life' / 'Van Living' / 'Van Vlog' on youtube.



cheers
SC
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Old 03.12.2019, 15:16
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After reading the second article, I arranged an appointment with HOPE Baden today afternoon. I will keep you posted with any progress.

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The campground Sut Baselgia in Andeer is open year around. I am pretty sure there are others around the country.
Thx, I sent them an email asking. Sounds promising.

Last edited by roegner; 03.12.2019 at 15:35. Reason: Merging posts
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Old 03.12.2019, 15:30
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

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The option to start travelling and stay outside of Switzerland for long periods (as long as I can prove that I stayed inside for >183 days) is surely on the table.
Not if you want to continue to claim unemployment benefits it is not. Registering to live in a caravan will be big red flag to the RAV, so expect they will control you regularly....
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Old 03.12.2019, 16:49
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Re: Living permanently in a camper van

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Thx, quite interesting. I am still counting on other ideas, though.
For example, I could hand my C permit to my Gemeinde and ask for an official leave. My questions are: how long could I be away, and what are the legitimate grounds for such a request?
Apparently, I do not dare go ask my Gemeinde...
Legitimate grounds are being sent abroad by your Swiss employer, studying overseas or military service overseas for example. Being unemployed and wanting to travel the world won't cut it as a reason to put your permit on hold.
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