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Van, bus or trailer?

Discussion in 'Van Dwelling / Rubber Tramping' started by PinkLore, May 11, 2018.

  1. PinkLore

    PinkLore Pilgrim

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    Ive been thinking a lot about my next set of wheels. I used have a ford econoline (even had the business logo from the people I got if off of).
    It was a sweet van! But some things I want to do different...

    -be able to stand up. I'm not really into a topper idea, since I would like to be able to walk in and out anytime.

    -be able to cook. I had a camping stove, but the van was a tight squeeze for cooking inside of better off taking the stove outside. But then...might as well build a fire at that point.

    -have a big bed--that can withstand a threesome. Not that I am into that kind of thing. But I would imagine bumps, and multiple people sitting on it would be the equivilant. I had a great big bed that I built a frame for that folded down. But that got to be more maintence as well and ended up breaking. Id like to have a bed that stayed in place all the time without adjustment.

    -Easy to fix. Ford was a good make for fixing and finding parts for. Gas efficiency isn't so impprtanr to me. I've seen RVs jug across the country so I figure gas isn't a big deal as much as easy fixes.

    -can accomidate passengers. My van was huge but could only seat 3-4 people because of the set up. Thats good enough for me, but if I see hitchhikers or have friends, I want them to be comfortable.

    -windows. It might sound silly, but I actually want more light inside my space. My van had no windows in the back and it made me miss looking out into the distance from inside.

    It sounds dumb, but its part of the reason I don't feel sprinters.

    So...what do you think? If I went for a van again, I would want to make adjustments to get my roof higher...but that seems like work I am pretty unfamiliar with. Realistically, I'm not sure how capable of that I would be...

    There's also the idea of getting a pick-up and a little trailer. Throw my blankets in the flatbed, and use the trailer as a kitchen and a closet.

    Or a bus....which seems like a big deal. I would need a CDL for one. I've also heard a lot of intimidating cons to bus-life. From trouble with cops to expensive breakdowns. Deisle fuel is a thing and while veggie oil sounds great in theory, it seems like a lot of mess and space.

    At the same time, who really doesnt want a bus? A short bus would be awesome...

    Has anyone heard of using bread-trucks (the FedEx busses?) I dont know if thats a good option, but I also know nothing about their repairs etc. Etc.

    Lovin STP and all you guys :) thanks for any tips!!
     
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  2. A Simple Step Van

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    Step Vans are what I recommend. Same engines as all the other options. But I am not talking those long UPS and Fedex kind. Mine is 19 feet from the front of the front bumper to the back of the back bumper. Its 12 long to the back doors 6'-6" wide and 6'-4" high. Some are 10'. I waited and waited and waited till I found one with a gas engine and was an automatic. Best of luck to ya. ~ peace
     
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  3. Wild Ty Laserbeam

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    Honestly for you, I would recommend a full size van with a travel trailer. Plenty of room to hang out. Easy to get around town. Can carry extra people. Both trailers and vans can be had for pretty cheap.

    I personally have a 26 ft. Bus. It's awesome but I've ended towing a car behind it which makes me wish I just got a van and trailer.

    Good luck. Let us know what you get
     
  4. Sameer

    Sameer Rambler

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    Personally, I like a van because of the gas mileage and the idea that I can go anywhere, many places other RVs can't get too. I have a high top.
    Reading your post I 0429181840a. think that you may have talked yourself out of a van and into something else. You might enjoy the extra space of a cargo trailer with a van. However, I do think you have talked yourself out of a van. Hahaha!
     
  5. Wild Ty Laserbeam

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    Just curious, what are you getting for MPGs?
     
  6. Bedheadred

    Bedheadred Vagabond

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    If you register a bus as an RV, you do not need a CDL license. I am looking into getting a bus right now myself
     
  7. Sameer

    Sameer Rambler

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    13 mph mostly.... the engine is pristine.... I've always done all the work myself.... that's good mileage for up and down the US 95 here in Nevada.
     
  8. A Simple Step Van

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  9. erisACAB

    erisACAB Newbie

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    Currently traveling in a older ford van and I dig the setup. Nice big bed and plenty of storage, but I feel you on wanting to stand up, cook inside and being able to carry more people.

    Prior to the van I was traveling in a older ford f150 with an in bed camper, and was a pretty nice setup. You could stand, it would sleep 4 people pretty comfortably in the back(5 if you got really cozy) plus one person up front in the cab. Our truck already had decent mpg and the camper definitely affected it quite a bit but it was still reasonable (probably 10-13 mpg from 18-20 without the camper). We got our camper for like 100 bucks in Austin off craigslist but that was a steal and it was kinda janky. I'd probably expect to spend more like 500-1000 on the camper and probably about the same on the truck. If you get the camper in the Fall/Winter it's probably gonna be way cheaper than spring/summer.

    I think one of the biggest benefits of this is that older ford trucks are ridiculously easy to work on, the parts are cheap at and widely available, as opposed to buses, or rvs where the parts might be hard to find and you most likely couldn't work on it yourself, or it'd be just way more of a pain in the ass.

    Hope you find what works best for you dude. Good luck!
     
  10. Cornelius Vango

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    In order to register a bus as an RV, it has to have certain amenities and unless you have proof that it was professionally converted, you might have to pay a professional to look it over and say it's sound...

    I registered by bus as commercial vehicle for non-commercial use and it was actually cheaper.
     
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  11. Bedheadred

    Bedheadred Vagabond

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    I did not know that! I still have a lot to learn about buses as I am just now looking into it and doing research. Do you need a CDL license to register it like that?
     
  12. Cornelius Vango

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    I didn't have to, as far as o know, unless its for commercial use, you don't have top, but my bus is a medium length at 25 ft so for a full length, the rules may be different, but I don't think so
     
  13. CaptainCassius

    CaptainCassius Wanderer

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    Seen a few box truck living space/workshop conversions which were pretty cool, you'd probably be alright with an old u-haul or Penske

    But I know a lot of the small bread trucks and delivery vans were never intended for highway travel and so have extremely low horsepower engines compared to the size of the damn thing, they just meant for them to putt around town.

    At least with a bus you'd have a sturdy gearbox and high torque motor that ain't afraid to take hills.
     
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  14. NotmybestNotmyworst

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    Right now im rocking the pick up with a box camper. Plenty of room (mine is small bur you can get even roomier ones). I love the standing room/table/storage/good sized bed/windows/stove/sink/etc. The only thing i dont like and why i want a van again next is to be able to go from bed to driver seat without having to go outside. Its pretty insignificant but is nice to have direct access to the back. The camper is an old busted ass piece of shit i got for $200 and my truck was my grandfathers. Old and not good on gas but originally free, so that effected my decision.

    If you are basically free to choose i still think in most cases a bus is overkill, a camper (box/pull) has its pluses and negatives, a good conversion/DIY van is best imo. Pull campers can be cool cause you can ditch them places but they can be a pain in the ass to maintain and cause alot of wind drag. Thats my opinion.
     
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  15. CaptainCassius

    CaptainCassius Wanderer

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    Cut a hole in the back of the camper about the same size as the truck cab rear window, rivet or form a lip on the siding so a rubber bellows type cab-to-shell seal will fit it (like the kind for a fiberglass topper) remove the rear window of the truck and now you got an access hatch to the truck cab.
     
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  16. NotmybestNotmyworst

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    Its a '96 chevy, solid glass back window. Id rather just walk around then fuck shit up and make more work fo myself. Thanks tho
     
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  17. CaptainCassius

    CaptainCassius Wanderer

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    It's just held in with a rubber seal around the lip of the glass and the lip of the window frame, fairly easy to remove with two people, you stick a hook in the seal from the inside(use soap to lubricate)and push outward working your way around while the helper holds onto the glass from outside the cab.

    To pop it back in you do the opposite, or you can use a string around the seal to pull it back in instead of a hook.

    Not saying you're wrong, Jus saying its an option
     
  18. CaptainCassius

    CaptainCassius Wanderer

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    OH you know.. unless it's one of those that's glued in like your windshield, in which case, yeah it's a little trickier
     
  19. NotmybestNotmyworst

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    https://9gag.com/gag/aAx44Ed saw this and thought it was pretty sweet. Made me think if this thread. If the link dies, for the curious its a VW beetle with a camper attached at the top with a swivel thing. Im assuming you could disconnect and simply be driving your car around while camp is stored somewhere. Seems fun.
     
  20. NotmybestNotmyworst

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