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Old 01-24-2013, 10:59 PM   #21
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I'm thinking of buying a used van and taking it to have it customized. I want just the basics; electricity, insulation, a high top, and maybe a bathroom where I can put a toliet but no plumbing (I'd use the bio bags). I'd use inflatable camping mattresses instead of a bed. I would cook outside on a campstove and use an ice chest with block ice.

This will allow me to see if I like traveling this way without dumping a lot of money into it. Also, I don't want to have to deal with things breaking/not working. Plus, I will have lots of room for backpacking gear, camping gear, clothes, etc.
Honestly, this seems like the sort of thing you could do yourself, aside from the high top.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:49 AM   #22
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I did that myself, many years ago when I was single and much younger. Perfectly possible, but not really as easy as you might think.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:33 AM   #23
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My biggest beef with ALL of the stock class B's is storage space for "toys". I usually travel around with climbing and backpacking gear, and sometimes with a whitewater raft, and there's no storage space in any of them for them for this equipment. Almost everyone I know with a class B uses all/part of the bathroom for storage.
For instance:

http://www.letsgoaero.com/productdetail.asp?pid=17
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:03 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Helen View Post
I'm thinking of buying a used van and taking it to have it customized. I want just the basics; electricity, insulation, a high top, and maybe a bathroom where I can put a toliet but no plumbing (I'd use the bio bags). I'd use inflatable camping mattresses instead of a bed. I would cook outside on a campstove and use an ice chest with block ice.

This will allow me to see if I like traveling this way without dumping a lot of money into it. Also, I don't want to have to deal with things breaking/not working. Plus, I will have lots of room for backpacking gear, camping gear, clothes, etc.
I've been looking into a ford transit connect. Small, but could work for short trips, an occasional overnighter or 2.

Ford Transit Connect Camper Conversion - Expedition Portal
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:30 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Helen View Post
I'm thinking of buying a used van and taking it to have it customized. I want just the basics; electricity, insulation, a high top, and maybe a bathroom where I can put a toliet but no plumbing (I'd use the bio bags). I'd use inflatable camping mattresses instead of a bed. I would cook outside on a campstove and use an ice chest with block ice.

This will allow me to see if I like traveling this way without dumping a lot of money into it. Also, I don't want to have to deal with things breaking/not working. Plus, I will have lots of room for backpacking gear, camping gear, clothes, etc.
There are many sites devoted to this kind of van conversion and longer term living/traveling in the resulting RV.

I currently have an old, small C; but, I found many of these sites interesting. Cheap RV Living was one that I found particularly interesting for some reason; but, I decided that was not the path for me, at least pre-ER.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:03 PM   #26
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If I own a B and need storage space, I would use one of the following additions.

As to using a converted van, we'd rather need or want the amenities of a motorhome, even those of a small one. Being urban dwellers and having never done tent camping in our life, we enjoy nature, but do not love it enough to camp with a van.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:49 PM   #27
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Having used a similar thing in past, I would load mainly light, bulky stuff in it. Even 300# (rated capacity) will alter van's handling & might overload tongue wt of light duty (Class 1) hitch.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:48 PM   #28
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Having used a similar thing in past, I would load mainly light, bulky stuff in it. Even 300# (rated capacity) will alter van's handling & might overload tongue wt of light duty (Class 1) hitch.
Oh, definitely be aware (beware) of your unit's weight limits. For instance, with a full load (well, only two passengers) our Roadtrek 210 (the largest model) came in only 150# under total allowed (see my earlier Post regarding the Law and Insurance Companies). You can, however, load it up with quite a lot if you "balance" the load.

BTW, getting your weight is easy, peasy "drive in-weigh-pay for-drive off." The cost is around $10 but invaluable. CAT Scale

I, of course, was assuming that one would realize that "You can't have everything... where would you put it?"
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:03 PM   #29
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Uh oh! I forgot about the common weight limitation of the B's. We can never own one then.

My wife is the type who always worries about us running out of provision. She would pack so much food and supplies on our trips, the RV content looked like we were going on an Arctic expedition. No matter that we constantly looked for Costco to get cheaper gas, and Walmart to spend a night while in transit, she always fretted that we might run out of food.

This part of a trip preparation is what she enjoys and gets excited about, so I must be careful to let her have her ways, or she won't come on the trip. Good thing I have more than 2,500 lbs of CCC.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:20 PM   #30
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Buy a used Qigley conversion. Well made.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:33 PM   #31
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Thanks for all the comments, suggestions and links!
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:12 PM   #32
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Uh oh! I forgot about the common weight limitation of the B's. We can never own one then.

My wife is the type who always worries about us running out of provision. She would pack so much food and supplies on our trips, the RV content looked like we were going on an Arctic expedition. No matter that we constantly looked for Costco to get cheaper gas, and Walmart to spend a night while in transit, she always fretted that we might run out of food.

This part of a trip preparation is what she enjoys and gets excited about, so I must be careful to let her have her ways, or she won't come on the trip. Good thing I have more than 2,500 lbs of CCC.
*sigh* I tend toward the same sort of thing. I have exercised some discipline with the trailer because I know we have weight limitations. Nevertheless, I routinely have a week's worth of food on board before we load up for a trip. I justify this with the idea that the camper is also our escape pod if needed, but I do similar stuff elsewhere. In the truck I have a box with a tent, MREs, a couple ways to make fire, a box of shotshells, etc. In DW's minivan there are MRE's a large first aid kit, water filter, etc. In the house I probably keep a month or two of food, 60 gallons of fresh water, etc.

I would be scared to think what I would load into a class C with that much CCC.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:10 AM   #33
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I found I was able to save quite a bit of weight by switching my stockpile of dehydrated water from those big heavy cans to very lightweight foil pouches.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:54 AM   #34
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I really like my small trailer. It provides shelter for two when the weather is very bad. Otherwise we put up a small canopy near it and have an extended patio area that is most useful for cooking, and just hanging out on a warm summer day. If the weather turn very bad, we go back to the trailer. The trailer can be unhooked from the car so I can drive all of those roads that forbid big motor homes.
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