- Billie Webb is a TikToker who filmed herself participating in the van life last year.
- Now she’s auctioned off her van to live in a 2015 Mazda, blaming soaring gas prices.
- Webb, who earns about $4,000 a month from branding deals, has ordered a Tesla Model 3 to live in.
A TikToker quit last year to join the van life movement. Now, with an income stream of $4,000 per month and a clean debt level, she has made the move to living in her car. Soon she will call Tesla her home.
Billie Webb is a TikToker and content creator who has been traveling the road for the past year, in a mix of 1990 Chevy G20 van and 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 to live in her own Tesla continues to fly.
Get used to car life
Webb moved to her van as restrictions were eased last year, citing high rental costs and low pay in the various odd jobs she previously worked.
“I would even refuse to go out with friends for lunch because I was really worried about not having enough rent to pay,” Webb told Insider. “But then I started meeting other vans who were also content creators and saw how much they were traveling and I wanted to join them.”
Van life has become more popular after the pandemic and rising rents and property prices. But it has backfired for some, with one nomad telling Insider she became homeless after trying to live in her van.
Webb quit the van life as gas prices rose, with her Chevy getting 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 someone to live in a van right now, especially if you’re traveling.”
Living in a car is then a surprising turning point, 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 I wish was lighter was the temperature,” Webb said.
With a $20-a-month Planet Fitness membership, Webb is also able to shower regularly. Fitness membership is a must for anyone joining the van or car life, she said. Sometimes she also sits in the house.
However, the TikToker has also been able to get rid of her car, credit card and student loan debt, which totals around $10,000, as she avoided paying rent and built a 700,000-strong TikTok following that enabled her to buy brand deals.
Webb earns around $1,500 from each branding deal she signs for her TikTok channel. She will usually do two or three per month focusing on car accessories. Her biggest deal recently netted her $5,000 for a partnership. Insider has seen contracts and emails from her agent.
Camping in a Tesla
It has not been easy to switch back to a car. But despite the warmer temperatures Webb has had to contend with, she said, “I’m a pretty low-maintenance person, so I don’t like that I don’t need a king-size bed, I don’t need a giant closet.”
But Webb hopes her troubles will be over when the Tesla Model 3 arrives in September.
Tesla’s camp mode allows the car to regulate temperature and airflow overnight, making it a more natural hotel than her Mazda, and making travel far cheaper too.
“Obviously, the gas bill will be much lower or nonexistent, the electric bill will be lower than the gas bill, and the temperature issues will be resolved. It’s going to be really cool — I’m really excited about it.”