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Author Topic: Vanlife Tips  (Read 689 times)

Bohemivan

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Vanlife Tips
« on: June 17, 2019, 10:10:02 PM »
Hi there,

I've just got back from an eighteen month campervan tour of the south of Spain having lived in Spain for over a decade.

I have lots of vanlife tips here... https://www.bohemivan.com/2019/06/vanlife-tips.html

They might seem like insignificant things but, trust me, when you're living fulltime vanlife, these little things can be massive irritations if you don't get them right. I learnt from trial and error.




Camper_Dan

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Re: Vanlife Tips
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2019, 04:21:39 PM »
Greetings!

Your site is very difficult to read with so many ads (50+)!  It's also just plain too busy with side bars on both sides.  Enlarging it enough to make the text readable causes readers to scroll right and left for each line.  On most sites, my browser will handle everything automatically to enlarge the text with proper word wrapping to make it easily readable, but your site is so busy my browser seems unable to do  it's job.

Why not copy and paste your content here, you can get honest feedback about your ideas and make it easier for everyone, then you can add a link to your site at the bottom as the source.

Cheers!
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Bohemivan

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Re: Vanlife Tips
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2019, 05:46:26 PM »
Greetings!

Your site is very difficult to read with so many ads (50+)!  It's also just plain too busy with side bars on both sides.  Enlarging it enough to make the text readable causes readers to scroll right and left for each line.  On most sites, my browser will handle everything automatically to enlarge the text with proper word wrapping to make it easily readable, but your site is so busy my browser seems unable to do  it's job.

Why not copy and paste your content here, you can get honest feedback about your ideas and make it easier for everyone, then you can add a link to your site at the bottom as the source.

Cheers!

Hi there. I appreciate this feedback. Are you viewing my site on a smartphone or desktop?

They're not adverts but my own links to my videos or my online shop....apart from the LED lights ad. I'll take your advice though and re-design the layout.

Thanks  :)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 05:50:01 PM by Bohemivan »

Camper_Dan

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Re: Vanlife Tips
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2019, 07:13:52 PM »
Greetings!

I'm on a laptop, and near as I can tell all your content links including your store are coming through just fine, but my ad blocker is killing 50+ non related ads.

Perhaps the server is putting them in...

Cheers!
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Camper_Dan

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Re: Vanlife Tips
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2019, 01:44:00 AM »
Greetings!

Okay, here's some feedback about your tips:

Re: Portable gas hobs. (cook stoves)

I won't have pressurized propane or butane in my van, to unsafe.  Kerosene wick type stoves, heaters, and lanterns are much safer, cheaper to operate, multi-fuel, and totally portable to take to a picnic table etc.  The fuel is cheap and non explosive, if the flame goes out, there are no safety concerns.  My 2x 7 gallon jerry can style kerosene jugs take up roughly the same amount of room as a 20# propane tank and will typically last me a year, including heating in some pretty cold areas.

Re: CHEAP, SMALL & LIGHTWEIGHT CUTLERY &  Pots, pans, dishes etc.

Here in the USA, we have lots of dollar stores, which is where I get all my dinnerware and cutlery.  I find that I like the large rectangular compartment style picnic plates, large and flat bottomed, compartments keep your items separated, and the ridges around each compartment aid in getting the food loaded onto your fork without sliding off the edge of the plate.  My plastic bowls are all flat bottomed for stability.

I use cast iron pots and pans.  They are heavy, but they are also darned near indestructible. As a side benefit, they can also be used on or in a campfire.  This eliminates the need for special campfire capable pots and pans.  I try to avoid duplication wherever possible.

I do appreciate having lids for all my pots and pans, not so much for escaping steam, but for the better cooking.

Re: PAN COOLER

Any cooler, even the soft sided ones will accomplish this feat, even without ice.  An ice chest with ice is both cheap and easy.  A large block of ice lasts me about a week even during the hottest parts of summer.  No power required, and ice is cheap.

Re: ALL NATURAL MATERIALS (blankets)

For starters, I have 3 sleeping bags, each a different weight.  Combined, they can keep you warm even in the most severe arctic conditions.  These are typically just extra padding on top of my mattress, but available if the need should ever arise.  Primarily I use fleece 12v heating & cooling blankets & seat cushions, used with or without being powered.  Purchased at truck stops, I believe they are thermo-electric, use very little power, and came highly recommended by other fulltimers.  I have 2 blankets, one for my bed, and one to use while lounging or working in my chair, then I have multiple seat cushions, one for the drivers seat, one for my chair, and one laid out flat and used for a mattress pad.  These alone can keep me either warm or cool without any additional heating or cooling sources.  They have dial thermostats on them to keep you the exact temperature to keep you comfortable.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Re: NO GLASS OR POTTERY

For the most part, I totally agree with this, however my lanterns have glass globes, and my liquid powered candles use short, wide bottomed glass jars with metal lids.  Care does need to be taken, but in many years I have never broken either.

Re: WIPE BEFORE WASHING UP

Wiping before washing is definitely a wise choice,  and I just want to expand a little upon that to explain my setup.  I use dollar store plastic dishpans for sinks, and trigger spray bottles for water delivery.  I typically keep 3 of them handy, one with soapy water, one with hot water, and one with room temperature water.  The beauty of this set up is that you use very little water, and it is totally portable so it can be used outdoors as well without duplication.

Re:  SEAL SALT

All salt, spices, and powdered mixes need to be kept in air tight plastic containers.

Re: EAT RAW FOOD

While there's nothing wrong with eating raw food in moderation, they're no replacement for good old meat and potatoes to keep you happy and healthy.

Re: EGGS

Not all eggs, in all areas are shelf stable without refrigeration. 

Re: PARK IN SUNNY, WINDY SPOT

Parking in the sun is a poor choice except during cold weather when you want to take advantage of the free heat.  The proper solution for condensation problems is to have adequate ventilation and a dry heat source when it's cold enough to require additional heat.  Parking in the wind can fill your van and belongings with dust and dirt.

Sun for heating, shade for cooling, works better than any amount of insulation, and short of additional heating or cooling power, is the best choice available.

Forget solar, it's the most expensive and least reliable power source available.  A reliable system includes charging your house battery(s) while driving, and a backup generator.  These are required with or without solar for a reliable system, and the solar can be totally eliminated without a negative impact.  There's no such thing as free solar power, you're paying dearly for it in equipment and severely shortened battery lifespan.  It will never pay for itself.



Not included in your tips were heating and cooling, two of the most important topics for many people, so would like to add a little about them to help out any of our readers.

Living and working in Alaska for many winters with temperatures as low as -80f degrees, and up to 3 months of total darkness, you learn about how to stay warm and what works and what doesn't.  Neither propane nor butane work well in extreme cold, but wick type kerosene appliances are available for the win, and provide warm, dry, and comfortable heating, cooking, and lighting.  Forget all the blarney about insulation, covering your windows, etc. etc.  The ONLY thing that works is having enough dry heat, with or without any insulation.

Cooling is as simple as an energy sipping 12v swamp cooler.  The right types will even work in high humidity areas, and actually dehumidify the air.  Mine works marvelously even in the hot and humid south, and even in direct sunlight.  A friend even has a candle powered one that requires no power at all, just a small refillable liquid candle, and it keeps his giant motorhome cool, even in direct sunlight.  If we utilize the proper technologies, an amazing amount of things can be accomplished without power, or with very minimal power. 

They say that with age comes wisdom, and that we should take advantage of the wisdom of the ages (history).  With age I am learning that newer technologies, things like solar panels, are a step in the wrong direction.  Many of these newer technologies are designed merely to cost us money, not to improve our lives, and in fact there are older technologies which are actually better and cheaper.  Heating, cooling, cooking, refrigeration, power, and even newer computerized engines are perfect examples of where older technologies are better,  especially for those of us living a mobile lifestyle.  From my youth, I remember engines that were powered by sunlight, running pumps, fans, and generators.  Far more useful power than that generated from solar panels, actual mechanical power, but no fossil fuels needed.  I think they were called Stirling engines and were of the external combustion variety rather than the internal combustion variety like most gas or diesel engines.  Those engines could be powered by the sun or by the heat of a flame if I remember correctly.  Absorption type fridges and freezers require no electricity.  It's greed, not progress, that's fueling many of our "modern" technologies.  The truly good modern technologies are being suppressed and hidden from us, all because of greed.  Gas cars can run pollution free on hydrogen which can be extracted from water.  But if we could fill our tanks with water, there just isn't enough money in that for the greedy.  There are much better technologies available than the rubbish we're being spoon fed by the greedy.  Technologies that can improve the lives of nomads, and the masses, exponentially.  Forget electric vehicles, and give us water powered ones, and conversion kits for existing engines.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 01:50:12 AM by Camper_Dan »
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