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Man With a Van Rents It Out to Airbnb Customers for $22 a Night

Want to stay in New York City for only $22 a night?

ByABC News
July 23, 2015, 1:29 PM
A van is available for rent in Long Island City, New York, via AirBnB.
A van is available for rent in Long Island City, New York, via AirBnB.

— -- "Real bed" and "quiet at night" are ways one Airbnb host describes his van that's available to rent in New York City -- not to drive, but as a home away from home.

Airbnb customers need to pay only $22 a day, or $160 a week, with a $6 cleaning fee, for the van parked in Long Island City, an up-and-coming part of Queens close to Manhattan.

"You will have 24.7 access to the van," Airbnb user Jonathan Powley wrote in his listing. "Only you will have access to it."

Powley, a stand-up comedian in New York City and suite attendant at Yankee Stadium, supplies batteries for fans in the van, but you can't move it. Jonathan has listed other conversion vehicles and campers, as first reported by local station Pix11 and a blog called Queens Crap.

PHOTO: A van is available for rent in Long Island City, New York, via AirBnB.
A van is available for rent in Long Island City, New York, via AirBnB.

Powley also has a seasonal Christmas tree company called "The Christmas Tree Stand-up," in which he sold trees around live comedy shows.

"Last year one of the vehicles I used for the Christmas tree business broke down," Powley told ABC News. "It was a 1979 Camper. It sat for a while, and then I decided to spruce it up and list it on AirBandB - to help pay for repairs and to give adventurous NYC visitors a more affordable alternative to traditional apartments and hotels. Over time, I gradually added more vehicles to my fleet. My latest addition - the Taxi Cab minivan - is undoubtedly my favorite."

Powley said he recently started to film a documentary tentatively called, “One Camper, One Hundred Stories" that features his guests. He is also a seasonal river guide for his father's company Whitewater Challengers.

"That's probably where I get my entrepreneurial spirit," he said.

Creative Airbnb rentals are opportunities for customers to find more "affordable" housing in pricey neighborhoods. Earlier this summer, a man listed on Airbnb a tent in his parents' backyard in Mountain View, California, near the headquarters for Google. The asking rent, which includes one shower a day, wireless Internet and access to electricity, was $899 a month.

It’s legal to sleep in your car in New York City, according to the New York Police Department.

The listed vehicle is described as a "conversion van with large plush sleeping area, nice window blinds for privacy, and two buckets seats for storing luggage," according to the Airbnb site. It has a view of the Empire State Building and is located one block from a subway station, only one stop from Manhattan and three stops from the bustling Times Square, according to the listing.

Airbnb did not respond to a request for comment by ABC News. Jonathan could not be reached for comment.

Out of 17 reviews, the listing has 4.5 out of five stars.

One Airbnb review states, "Jonathan is a supernice guy, social and talkative, which made us immediately feel very welcome! The van was perfect for our short visit to New York. The direct view on the skyline of New York was simply great!!!"

Airbnb, founded in August 2008 and based in San Francisco, has hosts in more than 190 countries. There are more than 1.5 million Airbnb listings in over 34,000 cities, including castles, treehouses and a covered bridge in Nevada City, California.