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Author Topic: Conversion wants vs. needs  (Read 2643 times)

ganchan

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  • Posts: 23
Conversion wants vs. needs
« on: January 12, 2015, 09:38:16 PM »
I've been trying to figure out what I need vs. what I want if I do a van conversion. Here's my list so far:

Things I need:

A way to heat food and boil water (no actual cooking required)
Heating/cooling/insulation/ventilation (or at least moisture control)
Ice chest
A place to sit, recline, and/or lie down (a reclining futon frame could do all this)
A lap desk
A pillow, sheets and blankets
Storage (plastic bins would do) for critical tools, toys, and documents
My laptop (with DVD drive) & cell phone
A wireless data solution
A house battery setup of some sort
Portable toilet
Something to wash hair and sponge-bathe with
Rolling task chair for getting around without stooping
A rack for my bicycle

Things Id like at some point later on, but can live without:

Nice rugs & paneling
Shelving
A little galley with a sink
Microwave
Coffeemaker
Fridge
An actual desk or table instead of just a lap desk
HDTV & Blu-Ray player w/headphone audio out (if I can power them)
Small wardrobe
A solar panel

Things I dont need or particularly care about:

Full kitchen w/running water
Full bathroom w/running water
Any bed larger than twin size

From this, I get the feeling that a fairly bare-bones conversion would be adequate for my needs. On the other hand, it also points toward a teardrop as another possibility, with the van towing and holding cargo.

What's your "must-have/sorta want/don't need" list?

Len and Jo

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Re: Conversion wants vs. needs
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 10:11:17 PM »
If you are going to do it yourself.  This is what we did.

http://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M

This is some of the places we have used it.

http://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

blw2

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Re: Conversion wants vs. needs
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 08:53:50 AM »
If you are going to do it yourself.  This is what we did.

http://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M

This is some of the places we have used it.

http://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Very nice!
I thought often on our recent 2 week trip that a smaller class C or B would be a great way to travel without kids.  You have taken that to an extreme! 
I loved our big C, and found it was a great way to travel with the family.  We really didn't get too cramped in in the two weeks, and loved having all the amenities.....but ours is a bit big when it comes to urban driving.  Always have to have clearances and routing in mind.  Your's would be little different than driving my pick-up!  I said to DW several times that i can totally see the option of going the smaller class B or C route when the kids are no longer going with us.  I was thinking the class C's on mercedes chassis, or even the smaller sprinter chassis B's.  I never even considered just a van like this!

Curious..... what was your motivator for doing it that way, over say just buying something like this
http://www.roamingtimes.com/rvreports/4/roadtrek-ss-ideal-class-b-motorhome.aspx
cost driven, or getting just what you want?

Anyway, very nice job!

And to the OP, good luck!
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Len and Jo

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Re: Conversion wants vs. needs
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2015, 12:58:09 PM »
.... what was your motivator for doing it that way, over say just buying something.......cost driven, or getting just what you want?

Anyway, very nice job!

And to the OP, good luck!

Cost was secondary and far down the list... although I do tend to be a cheap skate.  The real motive was to do it our way.  We REQUIRED decent  fuel economy (van is painted green :-) ), being able to get into places that we always could when tent camping.  Simple, low maintenance, etc.  Short coming is that at best we can only take one grandchild with us at a time and even that is not easy. 

The van is now 15 years old and we have reached the cross roads of building another or buying a pre-made class B or B+.  For our wants and needs the pre-make just have to much junk and stuff in them.  If we were to do it again (I still might do it) I would add a stand alone heater that does not require shore power or propane.  Priority now might be able to take g-kids with us and expose them to real out of doors.  WHAT no wifi NO electricity, hand pump for water, very dark nights...but oh what the stars !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


   
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 10:52:22 AM by Len and Jo »
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

camperAL

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Re: Conversion wants vs. needs
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2015, 01:30:14 AM »
Greetings,

I appreciate Len and Jo's conversion and hard work on their unit! They are creative. I entertained the idea myself of something like that but with the time we plan to spend in one, sold out for a much larger unit. If I was traveling by myself, I think I would go their way but have a manufacturer do my unit as I not as mechanical and would want it done on a shorter term so I could get to the camping. Best!
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

Snowman9000

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Re: Conversion wants vs. needs
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2015, 07:35:04 PM »
Len/Jo, what MPG did you end up getting? 
(Love the van!)

Len and Jo

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Re: Conversion wants vs. needs
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2015, 10:26:21 PM »
120,000 mile average was15.9mpg.  No longer follow the long term average.
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Snowman9000

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Re: Conversion wants vs. needs
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2015, 08:01:14 AM »
Plenty good.  Thanks.

pml

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  • Posts: 91
Re: Conversion wants vs. needs
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2015, 02:22:02 PM »
There is a fairly large community of van dwellers, urban and stealth campers on You Tube just do a search they have lots of useful info.

Stevemo

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Re: Conversion wants vs. needs
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2015, 10:11:39 PM »
I would think curtains and a power roof fan would be very important.  We use them every night.
Cheers, Steve

 

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