A forum for van conversions, van living and travel

Author Topic: a girl her dog and her van :)  (Read 14697 times)

little wing

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
a girl her dog and her van :)
« on: February 11, 2015, 11:10:01 AM »
Hello everyone......
Many thanks to Mike for starting this forum. I am based in the UK and travel with my very small dog in a very small converted van.  I am somewhat retired from the "normal" work a day world, and live on a limited budget, but love my van and being on the road. Converting the van and it's upkeep is a learning curve for sure! At the moment I am replacing door seals but the big project is researching solar panels, how to install etc etc. Anyhow, just waving hello to everyone for the moment...... again, thank you for this forum!

Dudegoeswalkabout

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 26
  • Karma: +6/-0
    • View Profile
    • Dudegoeswalkabout
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2015, 11:58:20 AM »
*waves back*

Hello!  What van do you have?  I too will be taking my little dog with me when I eventually get a van sorted!  I will definitely be adding solar panels too, I don't want to have to rely on the engine to charge my batteries in case I want to be parked up for a week or something.

Mandorla

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2015, 05:33:39 PM »
Hej Little Wing,

sounds familiar what you are doing! I do have a dog, but I am trying to find a new home for him, before I get on the road in May, for good. Think its too much for him to get along. But you are "free", how do you mean? I get sick pension and that gives me some money every month which make my Travelling possible. How is your life? Iīd love to hear more from you, because there aienīt much girls who do this kind of things, we should keep together. Do you only move around in UK. Solar panels is a must, Iīve got them, but sorry canīt help you more with that...

little wing

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2015, 06:54:13 PM »
hey hi :)

Jimmy the dude..... you have walked the El Camino! Someday maybe we will talk more about this. My van is perfectly tiny, a Daihatsu Extol. I know a few HiJets were converted but so far I seem to have the only converted Extol. To travel more than a few weeks I am learning minimalism......!

Will you have a new van soon???

little wing

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2015, 07:09:15 PM »
hello Mandorla :)

This is true - not many girls converting vans, at least not any i have met, so far! I do understand it could be difficult to travel with a dog, but this one is very young and has been on the road with me since a puppy. She is small and silly and fierce!

What will your route be when you start out in May? Do you have firm plans? Or will you go where the wind takes you? What is your van like?

Camper Van Travels

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Karma: +7/-0
    • View Profile
    • Camper Van Travels
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2015, 01:05:51 AM »
Solar panels? Get as many of the roof as you can reasonably fit and the higher the wattage the better. I use 3 x 80watt solar panels. Two are wired in parallel. The other one is a standalone solar panel to aim it straight at the sun to charge up the 12V batteries in the back.

The 80watt solar panels you can buy on eBay for about Ģ75 each last time I looked. Mine were fitted to the roof with some 4" aluminium angle (brackets) and those brackets were then Sikaflexed (Sikaflex 921i) to the roof of the van.

I say 'were' because I haven't yet put them on this 'new' van (the last van I lived in for 4 years, yet another LDV Convoy. Even in 100mph+ winds they were not going anywhere, they were on there like you wouldn't believe stuck down absolutely solid.

I'll post up some photos soon, so you can see how I'll be fitting them to this van I bought 12 months ago, only I've still not got around to putting them up on the roof yet.

Next you'll need one or two charge controllers, again these are available on eBay for about Ģ10 each.

I use a 300watt (600watt maximum surge) pure sine wave inverter for my laptop so I can carry on writing and also plug in the TV/DVD player or fridge or whatever else I fancy, for example, an electric fan to keep me cool on very hot summer days.

I'll be putting up a post about this very shortly on my own blog btw. Link below.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 01:08:04 AM by Camper Van Travels »

Dudegoeswalkabout

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 26
  • Karma: +6/-0
    • View Profile
    • Dudegoeswalkabout
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 08:17:18 PM »
hey hi :)

Jimmy the dude..... you have walked the El Camino! Someday maybe we will talk more about this. My van is perfectly tiny, a Daihatsu Extol. I know a few HiJets were converted but so far I seem to have the only converted Extol. To travel more than a few weeks I am learning minimalism......!

Will you have a new van soon???

A Daihatsu Extol?! You and your dog must both be tiny!

I have indeed walked the Camino - the most liberating experience of my life...  We can talk about it whenever you want.  :)  Have you walked the walk? Or do you plan to?

I hope to have a new van very soon, yes. I'm just undecided as to which van I want!

StealthCamper

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Travel My Way
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2015, 02:28:02 PM »
Your post made me smile, you and I sound alike. I'm 23 and bought and converted my little Fiat Doblo last year and spent 3 weeks traveling around Scotland - me and my dog (Hungarian Viszla).
Still doing some finishing touches to the van and constantly thinking of new things to do (Solar panels are one of my next steps too!)
Planning on hopefully traveling around the UK and Ireland this summer for 3-4 months, so long as i can stick to my budget and save up enough! I also want to go around Europe but realistically that will be 2016/17.
Glad to see I am not the only girl around!

Tai-chi wanderer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
  • Karma: +8/-1
  • Sherborne, Dorset.
    • View Profile
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2015, 03:22:37 PM »
Hi and welcome to you both.
Glad to see loadsa enthusiasm, that's what keep you rolling along.
Looks like we gotta quorum for a meet-up in the summer.

Mandorla

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2015, 03:37:13 PM »
I am going soon, I hope, on the road. Depends when I get the House sold. I have two interested at the moment and waiting. I am so ready to take my Mr. Motus on the road and we are going to enjoy the south of Sweden this summer. Then I will come back to Finland in august-september and check on my old father and my son. Like religion this is.... And then start my Big tour towards Portugal, slowly, but to be there during the s. c Winter... Much is open and much is said.

rovardotter rubbertramp

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • A viking on the road
    • View Profile
    • Conversion and adventures with "the pearl"
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2015, 06:18:37 PM »
Ohoy! I am new to this forum, but felt very comfotable to step in here somehow. Love this post, and as much as I dont have a dog I have recently thought about it... but also the restrictins that it invovles. I have a Mercedes 307D wich I just "finished" renovating, I am leaving Sweden this autumn to travel through Europe. 

So girls on the road. I am often met by the "Are you travelling ALONE?" And I guess it is a come-back subject in the nomad world. I am thinking about safety, if anyone wants to come in to my van they will. But it is about being street smart.

How do fellow females handle the situation? And guys, do you face the same situation?

Would be a great idea to create a support-forum for nomad females :)
https://rovardotter.wordpress.com/

Welcome into my wondervan!

kryten

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2015, 10:13:52 PM »
I'm male but I'll answer you anyway if you don't mind. You learn as you go along. If a parking spot doesn't feel right then move. Don't open you doors if anyone knocks, even if they say it's the police, you can conduct a conversation through metal if needed, or a slightly opened window. If you van looks like a stealth van then know one should know your inside unless you make a lot of noise or have visible lights. Just don't draw attention to yourself and you will be fine. There are lots of videos on youtube of lone female fulltimers, mainly in the USA but worth watching.

Having said all that, you have a dog and that is usually enough to put off any possible intruders.

There is a dedicated forum to wild campers which you can join, wildcamping.co.uk, vandog is also a member, and it covers Europe as well as the UK. There is also a very good french website with free aires and stopping places around Europe www.campingcar-infos.com it's in french but you should be able to find your way to the database. There are other websites and blogs with stopping places, just ask and I can give them to you to look at. Enjoy your experiences.

rovardotter rubbertramp

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • A viking on the road
    • View Profile
    • Conversion and adventures with "the pearl"
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2015, 06:09:45 AM »
Thank you for your response kryten! I am intressted in hearing everyones experience, and your response was super usefull :)

I have this far been thinking about keeping my van bland a bit tacky on the outside, just to keep off attention. My solarpanels are high up enough to be out of vision and I will soon install good blackout curtains. I have a lock for the steeringweel and I am concidering some other burgler alarm that is noisy as I dont actually have a dog.

There are two sides to the situation as a female traveller: I have been travelling in Portugal by my self for about 2 years and I felt safe in general. Some parts of me dont give a shit about being female, I just cut my hair short, wear baggy clothes and walk fast with heavy boots and always keep a knife with me. These things somehow just makes sense to me. My techiqe is to not give people a reason to think of me as vounrable. I have never come across any threats, only sleasy drunks that are usually just lonley and kind. Maybe I have been lucky. The situation with a van somehow makes me feel a bit more nervous, maybe becouse It involves more belongings and being less discrete...

I am still in Sweden and my plan is to mostly stand on WWOOF farms/friends projects as I go out in Europe. I just wanted to hear the experience of other rubbertramps.

Thank you and keep safe!
https://rovardotter.wordpress.com/

Welcome into my wondervan!

kryten

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: a girl her dog and her van :)
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2015, 02:11:52 PM »
I would be wary of carrying a knife with you while out of your van. It might make you feel safer but carrying a weapon in public can land you in a lot of trouble. Maybe swap the knife for an alarm, a loud noise is usually enough to scare off anyone.

For added security in your van, .Ii have read posts on other websites of people tying a cord between the 2 front doors. This stops the doors from opening while your inside and might be a cheap option to try. On the rear doors then a simple door bolt, see how vandog did this on his van, will stop the rear doors from being opened from the outside.