A forum for van conversions, van living and travel

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Common Room / Re: Hello van lifers !!!
« Last post by Camper_Dan on June 22, 2017, 05:51:04 AM »
Enjoy your travels!  Remember... Opening windows, bug screens, and 12v fans are your friends.  Roof vents, not so much.  Shade is your best friend too.
Common Room / Re: hello all. Questions on travel
« Last post by Camper_Dan on June 22, 2017, 04:47:51 AM »
I'm in the USA, but when I was traveling Europe, if I wanted company I would stay at a campground.  Sometimes met wonderful people, and we would travel together for a little while.

Good Luck!
Living and travelling... in a van / Re: Update on my old Chevy!
« Last post by Camper_Dan on June 22, 2017, 04:41:29 AM »
I don't know how effective they are, but I have some little ornament things attached to my bumper that are supposed to keep wildlife away while driving.  In the past, I've had close calls with deer, elk, and moose.  None since I've had these...  Luck or they work, I don't know.
Living and travelling... in a van / Re: A couple of upgrades to the old chevy
« Last post by Camper_Dan on June 22, 2017, 04:36:06 AM »
Pooch says "Can we go camping now?  I'm ready, really... I am!"

Van Conversion / Re: Very long petrol vans, rookie concerns
« Last post by Camper_Dan on June 22, 2017, 04:31:50 AM »
In Europe, diesels are cheap, reliable, easy to repair, and mechanics are easy to find.  In the USA the exact opposite is true.

In the USA cargo/panel vans are a target for both cops and thieves.  When I traveled Europe, I did so in a windowed camper van, and had no problems.  Now I do the same in the USA and the problems are far fewer than with a cargo van.  The more you try to hide, the more obvious & suspicious you become.  SOMEONE is ALWAYS watching, and honest people don't camp or live in cargo vans. 

No vehicle is secure from thieves.  A window van with nothing of value in sight, is less of a target than a cargo van that MIGHT contain tools or other things of immediate value.  If your valuables are hidden, basically nobody breaks into an obvious camper van.  Thieves aren't very interested in pots, pans, or clothes, they want valuables.

Passenger vans have many advantages over a cargo van, like opening windows, already finished interiors, where you can just remove the rear seats and move your stuff in, saving you thousands from having to build walls, floor, and ceiling etc.  Cargo vans have usually been used and abused, passenger vans are usually in far better shape, but frequently sell for less money.

Good Luck!
Van Conversion / Re: Inverter issue with Mac charger
« Last post by Camper_Dan on June 22, 2017, 04:09:35 AM »
I totally agree with car chargers, you should only use inverters if no other options  are available because they are so inefficient.

Also try fully charging your house battery by means other than solar.  One thing I learned after wasting thousands of dollars on solar setups is they all lie.  Solar will NEVER provide as good a charge as a battery charger or charging while driving.  Now I mainly charge while driving, and that totally solved my power problems.  Now my house battery will last me a week+ with no driving.  When I was relying on solar if my power lasted all night I felt lucky.  Same battery, same usage. 

Van Conversion / Very long petrol vans, rookie concerns
« Last post by philipmather on June 21, 2017, 01:22:01 PM »
   Parents have a Mazda Bongo/Ford friendee which I've used, driven, borrowed etc... mostly for paddle boarding and surfing type stuff. So I have several very, very long boards, 14 foot to be precise. These traditionally live on the roof rack but in the bongo that means dropping it off and leaving it "somewhere" when raising the popup. My daily car is a volvo that's getting long in the tooth and only really plods up and down motorways as I live in London and work in an office doing IT.
As the Volvo is ageing the idea of replacing it with a van conversion grows in appeal, so here's my thinking...

1) Replace car with van or other vehicle like a VW or Bongo that can at least get around a town without being too huge like a caravan. I feel width is the important bit, don't mind extra length as such and most places I go don't have height bars (or I'm happy to walk a bit).
2) Don't care about badge or style, would prefer to save the money for the interior hence slightly -ve for the VWs perhaps. Also prefer the idea of being very stealth. This is likely to end up with a lot of computer gear, and very expensive boards, water equipment in. If it looks like a very boring trade vehicle from the outside that I can park around a town somewhere without being bothered that's a very big plus.
3) I very much like the idea of having an extra long wheel base so that I could actually fit boards inside the load area, don't laugh. I help run national level races and being able to keep my own race board inside (below raised floor?) plus however many more for short runs would be very, very, very handy.
4) Diesels worry me and is a big part of why I'm here asking really. All the big vans I could get converted, lets assume a Sprinter, are obviously diesel only. I'd be looking to buy this van either new or newish, so old or engined swapped vans aren't that attractive and this is a long-term investment. So if I buy this, convert it and then get screwed by some new tax in 4 years time I'm going to hate it.

Ideally, I want a petrol, new (or -ish), extra long wheel base (14ft load length by 30", extra height as well probably) panel/delivery style van... I can't find any. All diesel. :-\  Anyone know of something that would fit that I've missed? I'm also welcome to other ideas, or just comments about the feasibility of such a situation/plan really.

Kind regards,
Living and travelling... in a van / Meeting up with fellow adventurers
« Last post by Munich17 on June 20, 2017, 04:53:41 PM »
Hi All ( just joined this website/blog ),

Looking to spend a year travelling all over Europe in my campervan.

Would be interested to know if there are any sites where I can chat and maybe arrange to meet up during the trip with fellow like minded folk? ( hopefully not crazies!! )
Good campervan communities I guess!

Would appreciate any ideas...


Van Conversion / Re: Inverter issue with Mac charger
« Last post by ecotrails on June 20, 2017, 09:42:36 AM »
It probably is an inverter issue, running a low wattage device on  a high output inverter might not be triggering the inverter into action.
Rather than try fix big bug I suggest buying a macbook air car charger  (4.99) and a cigarette lighter socket (free from a scrapyard or a couple of pounds elsewhere. and connecting direct to the leisure battery ?
Common Room / hello all. Questions on travel
« Last post by Munich17 on June 19, 2017, 10:00:40 PM »
Hi all,

My longest trip has been 3 week in France but have a few questions on travelling longer and further.
Hopefully a year.

1. Are there any communities that can enable like minded folk to meet up or even travel in convoy for a while?

...bit concerned that I might get bored with my own company! :-/


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