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Author Topic: Considering Van/Jeep/RV/Trailer life. Perspective please  (Read 3949 times)

archikal28

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Perspective please
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2018, 04:57:08 AM »
Hello! This is a long post, I apologize but if you have the time to read and give me feedback it'd be much appreciated. I'm seriously interested in the nomad life. I'm currently active duty military, stationed in the Pacific Northwest (USA). So I'm generally pretty stationary but I'm exhausted from rentals, roommates, paying rent while on deployment just to have a secure place to live when I get home, and potential transfer. This, mixed with my quarter life crisis and the realization that home buying and maintaining a rental is keeping me from nature and truly experiencing the geography in which I live, has made the mobile life incredibly appealing.
However. I'm having a hard time making a decision.
I don't really need any advice on military regulation or finances. Just the literal logistics of roughing it, working full time, and living in a place where it's pretty dark and cold for almost half the year.
Van conversions are appealing because they're simple, they're discreet so I'd be far more flexible with where I live and for how long and boondocking would be easier. However I'd rely on solar as my primary energy source, keeping me in the dark for half the year. I've considered renting a room during the winter(I bet I could monopolize on people who leave for vacation in the winter as a live in house-sitter) other con is, I already own a jeep wrangler which I'm desperately in love with. I'd prefer to not convert it to live in, it's simply too small, and it's heavy. I wouldn't be able to drive my living vehicle on base because I'll probably keep my firearm with me. I already own a gym membership, and base access, of course. So the only logistics is managing the jeep, and the winter months.

Getting a trailer to tow behind my wrangler is another option. However I'm heavily restricted on towing capacity(3500#). A lot of camp sites in the area accept trailers in RV lots but not for camp sites so my boondocking abilities would be restricted but not to as great an extent as an actual RV.

Or, of course, I can buy an RV and tow my jeep behind. The Winnebago view is one I've fallen in love with and there are plenty of RV parks here with long term rental options. It appeals to my lifestyle I'm currently living but definitely limited in my discretion, and it would be a purchase decided upon only due to the limiting factors of the above, because of the winter months and other issues of being totally off the grid.

I'm so open to options. I'm an aircraft electrician by trade, I get home from deployment in May so the decision might be made for me, as if I convert a van it could take me all summer, which would leave me to deal with renting or something during the winter, and I'd still have the jeep to mitigate. I've had very little luck finding people in my situation. I mostly feel like I'm so close to the trees right now it's hard to see the forest and I'm hoping there's some perspective someone can give me to help me make a decision  I haven't been able to see before. The people I work with and am friends with are totally not involved or interested in the life so it's hard to get any good conversation from them. I hope you can understand what it is I'm looking for. Thank you for your time!



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archikal28

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Laterally challenged solar
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2018, 10:58:38 AM »
I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience living off-grid(solar) far north or south during the winter. I live in Washington state, and planning a van conversion but it might not be feasible to live full time in the van if I'm going to have power issues for half the year. Unfortunately due to my job I'm also landlocked to the state for now so I can't follow the sun. Thanks for your time!

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archikal28

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Laterally challenged solar
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2018, 10:59:06 AM »
I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience living off-grid(solar) far north or south during the winter. I live in Washington state, and planning a van conversion but it might not be feasible to live full time in the van if I'm going to have power issues for half the year. Unfortunately due to my job I'm also landlocked to the state for now so I can't follow the sun. Thanks for your time!

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archikal28

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Laterally challenged solar
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2018, 11:00:45 AM »
I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience living off-grid(solar) far north or south during the winter. I live in Washington state, and planning a van conversion but it might not be feasible to live full time in the van if I'm going to have power issues for half the year. Unfortunately due to my job I'm also landlocked to the state for now so I can't follow the sun. Thanks for your time!

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archikal28

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Laterally challenged solar
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2018, 11:02:14 AM »
I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience living off-grid(solar) far north or south during the winter. I live in Washington state, and planning a van conversion but it might not be feasible to live full time in the van if I'm going to have power issues for half the year. Unfortunately due to my job I'm also landlocked to the state for now so I can't follow the sun. Thanks for your time!

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Saucy.sims

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So I want a pop up top...
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2018, 03:35:58 AM »
87 gmc 2500 vandura. I want to be able to have plenty of stand up room. Right now my neck is at a 90 when I stand straight. I've thought about buying a new top but in middle TN there isn't much out here. So I've decided to take the dive and modify my top I have on. I've searched the internet and haven't found anyone who's done it themselves like I'm planning to do. My plan is to cut the top right behind where the top of the driver's & passenger door ends.
Remove the back section of the top.
Add all the necessary gaskets and seals where needed.
Connect 4 of these struts http://www.gowesty.com/product/gas-struts-for-lift-assist/4505/pop-top-lift-assist-strut-kit- (2 on each side of course)

Then for the front side of the top (above the driver and passenger seats) I will add a 4 inch lip on the underside that the top will seal against (like the westy tops have)
Plus the necessary latches on the inside to make sure it's sealed all around.

For the tent I'm not sure yet. Debating stitching one together myself or if anyone knows where I could order one post a link!!

Right now this is all just drawn up in my head so if anyone knows anything that I'm overlooking please any opinions and inputs are much appreciated!! Thank you!

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Saucy.sims

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So I want a pop up top...
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2018, 03:36:04 AM »
87 gmc 2500 vandura. I want to be able to have plenty of stand up room. Right now my neck is at a 90 when I stand straight. I've thought about buying a new top but in middle TN there isn't much out here. So I've decided to take the dive and modify my top I have on. I've searched the internet and haven't found anyone who's done it themselves like I'm planning to do. My plan is to cut the top right behind where the top of the driver's & passenger door ends.
Remove the back section of the top.
Add all the necessary gaskets and seals where needed.
Connect 4 of these struts http://www.gowesty.com/product/gas-struts-for-lift-assist/4505/pop-top-lift-assist-strut-kit- (2 on each side of course)

Then for the front side of the top (above the driver and passenger seats) I will add a 4 inch lip on the underside that the top will seal against (like the westy tops have)
Plus the necessary latches on the inside to make sure it's sealed all around.

For the tent I'm not sure yet. Debating stitching one together myself or if anyone knows where I could order one post a link!!

Right now this is all just drawn up in my head so if anyone knows anything that I'm overlooking please any opinions and inputs are much appreciated!! Thank you!

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Johnjoe01

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Leisure battery questions.
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2018, 11:06:21 PM »
I'm thinking of fitting my leisure battery on the over cab shelf at the front of my Mk7 Transit.  Any thoughts on this? 
Also, if my starter battery is already grounded to the chassis, will grounding the leisure battery cause any problems?  I've got it hooked up to a solar panel & will probably also end up fitting a split charge relay.

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Johnjoe01

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Leisure battery questions.
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2018, 11:06:30 PM »
I'm thinking of fitting my leisure battery on the over cab shelf at the front of my Mk7 Transit.  Any thoughts on this? 
Also, if my starter battery is already grounded to the chassis, will grounding the leisure battery cause any problems?  I've got it hooked up to a solar panel & will probably also end up fitting a split charge relay.

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organic_martina

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European emission standards
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2018, 06:49:15 PM »
Hello everyone! I'm going to buy a secondhand Fiat Ducato to be diy camper converted soon, but I am terrified by the European emission standards and by the fact many European cities will ban diesel vehicles in the next few years.
Given that my budget is 4000, max 5000, I won't get anything better than an Euro 4. Now, how do you think this would complicate my life? How do you deal with restrictions? And does anyone have infos and feedback on the installation of a Diesel Particulate Filter, which should bring any vehicle to an Euro 5?
Also, is it worthed to buy an euro 3 diesel, and convert it to gpl?
Thanks in advance!

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organic_martina

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European emission standards
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2018, 06:49:27 PM »
Hello everyone! I'm going to buy a secondhand Fiat Ducato to be diy camper converted soon, but I am terrified by the European emission standards and by the fact many European cities will ban diesel vehicles in the next few years.
Given that my budget is 4000, max 5000, I won't get anything better than an Euro 4. Now, how do you think this would complicate my life? How do you deal with restrictions? And does anyone have infos and feedback on the installation of a Diesel Particulate Filter, which should bring any vehicle to an Euro 5?
Also, is it worthed to buy an euro 3 diesel, and convert it to gpl?
Thanks in advance!

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organic_martina

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european emission standards
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2018, 06:49:41 PM »
Hello everyone! I'm going to buy a secondhand Fiat Ducato to be diy camper converted soon, but I am terrified by the European emission standards and by the fact many European cities will ban diesel vehicles in the next few years.
Given that my budget is 4000, max 5000, I won't get anything better than an Euro 4. Now, how do you think this would complicate my life? How do you deal with restrictions? And does anyone have infos and feedback on the installation of a Diesel Particulate Filter, which should bring any vehicle to an Euro 5?
Also, is it worthed to buy an euro 3 diesel, and convert it to gpl?
Thanks in advance!

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