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Old 10-31-2019, 08:57 AM
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Living the #vanlife



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Anyone already done, or thinking to do, the #vanlife? I am nearing retirement, always enjoyed camping, but never had the time to really “see the USA”. Thinking about selling my car and switching over to a van that I can camp in. Tons of plans, stories and adventures online. I’d love to hear your thoughts and about your adventures, see your pictures, and gather wisdom from your advice. Peace out.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:14 AM
jerryray
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I lived in my truck with a cap on the back for 4 years in the late 70's and early eighties. So I was way before youtube and Walmart parking lots. I had a job that included a lot of travel so it was only about half the time overall. Saved a lot of money. I took showers in parks or gyms. I usually just parked outside of small towns somewhere in upper Michigan where I was working. I was never hassled by cops or anyone else. Eating in restaurants was cheaper back then with more healthy food. But I had a stove too and cooked simple meals. Overall I look back positively on the whole experience. I still take trips with a truck with a topper and camp but three weeks is about my limit now. Plus I like my house and possessions.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:55 AM
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My first job out of college was forest inventory in Colorado (1977). I spent almost three months living in my Ford PU. I'm only 5'6" so I slept on the bench seat and worked from daylight to dawn.

Went almost three weeks in August that year without seeing people. Elvis died while I was in the woods.

I don't miss those days (other than the physical abilities then vs. now).

Good luck with your travels.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:25 AM
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If I do it, I'm going the mini-van route. Looking at Toyota Sienna, not sure if I want FWD or AWD, and might install a Journeys Off Road lift kit. To start out, I'll keep the inside mods simple until I figure out what I really need. I am used to tent camping, so already have an idea of the minimalist items I might need.
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:48 PM
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Friend of mine is in a Honda Element club. Guy in their group lives in his Element most of the time and drives all over N. America. He owns an apartment building, and I guess the income from that allows him a lot of time to do what he wants.

Seems like a good choice of vehicle...



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Old 10-31-2019, 05:48 PM
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Gave any thought to a teardrop? One can build it themselves, keep it lightweight, and even use foam for much of the structure.

http://www.tnttt.com/

Roger
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:16 PM
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Apparently you're on a "budget" and looking to do this low cost. But keep in mind that what was doable at a young age is down right uncomfortable at retirement age. Especially if you're going to do this full time. There are a lot of ready made low cost trailers on the market, but maybe not as flexible or manuverable as you envision for your perceived life style. If money isn't that much of an object there are quite a few ready made Van type units available - new and used.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:20 PM
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Hindsight is 20-20

" . . . not sure if I want FWD or AWD . . . "

You might not be sure, but I am . . . you want AWD.

I had FWD mini-van: absolutely HELPLESS at the mere sight of snow.

Good Luck!

Don
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vee3 View Post
Friend of mine is in a Honda Element club. Guy in their group lives in his Element most of the time and drives all over N. America. He owns an apartment building, and I guess the income from that allows him a lot of time to do what he wants.

Seems like a good choice of vehicle...

That style be my pick so far with a 500# capacity storage box that rides on the trailer hitch. You can never have too much room.
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:53 AM
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I envy you, living on the road and enjoying the sights sounds like a real adventure. Not many people decide to act on those thoughts. When I read the book Blue Highways by William Heat Moon, his description of journey gave me some inclinations to do the same. He was on a budget and drove a plain jane white "plumbers van" for his journey. His setup is probably worth referencing, as he could simply 'park and crash out' where ever he chose with little site preparation.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:43 AM
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Knew a guy back in the day we called the fish chaser that lived out of his van. He followed 'the bite' around the Great Lakes chasing salmon n trout while slowly heading south as the weather got cooler finally ending up on the ocean. He followed his whim.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:30 AM
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Here's an interesting article with photos of van conversions:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/a...ing-homes.html
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:35 AM
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I think all of the newer commercial vans are available in motorhome conversions. I don't think there's any shower, but have a bed, toilet, simple kitchen and ample storage. At my age, that's as simple as I could live with.

Truck stops are a great place to clean up. You get a private shower, clean towels, and usually soap and shampoo for about ten bucks.

In my twenties, I spent a fair amount of time over two years hitch-hiking around the country. Had a frame backpack with about 30 pounds of stuff. Spent many nights under bridges, or a mil-surp poncho rigged into a lean-to. Couldn't do it now in my physical shape, wouldn't do it because of the weirdos these days. I actually never had a real problem with anyone, back then.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:19 PM
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Like most things these days.....

….YouTube is your friend. Lots of how-to videos on van setup, bed and storage options, how to cook on your tailgate, etc.

Check out Wonderhussy for a starting point and she is easy on the eyes too. She will have some links to other van camping sites as well. Consider a satellite phone for emergency communication if you are really going off the grid.

Since this is a "gun thread" consider some self-defense options too. These days all kinds of creeps/thugs would love to rob you or take your vehicle.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:21 PM
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just some ideas as I was going through craigslist.
https://tucson.craigslist.org/rvs/d/...010359445.html
https://tucson.craigslist.org/rvs/d/...008972277.html
https://tucson.craigslist.org/rvs/d/...008716755.html
https://tucson.craigslist.org/rvs/d/...988097645.html
Not endorsing any of these just looking in my neck of the woods at options.
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