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Old 01-08-2010, 11:53 AM
 
Location: marianas trench
27 posts, read 90,854 times
Reputation: 33
Default converting cargo van into stealth camper

i am interested in acquiring a used cargo van like an econoline and doing a diy custom job on it.
it would be my primary car for getting around so want reliability and good gas mileage and want it to blend in so one could park and sleep in most areras.
also want to be able to camp and hit the beaches with it with space for a surfboard or jetski or dirt bike.
i've seen some awesome conversion vans like my old high school buddy's bedroom-on-wheels with shag rug on the walls and ceiling, but they are not practical for my purposes.
think i need something more modular and space-saving like a flip-up bed and rubber liner for the outdoor gear/vehicles area. i could just use a porta-potty and camping gas stove and batteries.
i've seen a lot of people in hawaii practically living in their vans and shower and clean up at the public beaches.
with current economic conditions and the rise in unemployment and homelessness, it would be good to be able to use mine as a temporary shelter or bug-out vehicle.
anyone made anything like this or live in their vans?
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:54 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
6,797 posts, read 6,518,198 times
Reputation: 12025
Cheap RV Living was mentioned in another thread. Or maybe it was over in the Frugal Forum. Anyway, you might find some info there
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:39 PM
 
4,285 posts, read 10,009,965 times
Reputation: 3684
Full size vans do not get "good" gas mileage. They are large vehicles with large engines and generally have healthy appetites for their fuel of choice.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,958 posts, read 7,728,192 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornerguy1 View Post
Full size vans do not get "good" gas mileage. They are large vehicles with large engines and generally have healthy appetites for their fuel of choice.
Very true! To make matters worse adding all the weight required to modify a van to live in will only make the MPG worse.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:59 PM
Status: "Lady-Bug got Spayed today! Now she is a sh-it LOL" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: West Virginia
8,077 posts, read 16,235,750 times
Reputation: 4220
In regular Vans there is No safe way to Heat or Cool them! I would look for a small RV or RoadTrack. & you can Over nite at Most Walmarts.
Also consider Down grading from an Apt to a room [for rent] That way you can save money too. IF you are like most people now living pay check to pay check & lose your job...your Not going to have gas money or food money muchless ins & upkeep for the van. So look around Now & Reduce your spending.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:32 PM
Status: "Lady-Bug got Spayed today! Now she is a sh-it LOL" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: West Virginia
8,077 posts, read 16,235,750 times
Reputation: 4220
Here is another link!
Conversion Van Camping Advice
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Barrio Logan/Shelltown
8,624 posts, read 11,630,470 times
Reputation: 4684
I have had two full size vans, both Dodges. One was an V8 that got 12mph, the other was a V that got 10mp. I now have a Chevy Astrovan that gets 15mph city, and 22mph highway. But I'm going to be putting a set of Michelins on it next months, and my mileage should improve.

I also lived in a 1976 Ford Econoline with a Windsor engine that got 6mph. But the Ford was an actual Class B van conversion. It had wood paneling, house insulation, a refrigerator, 3 burner stove, oven, gaucho couch/full size bed, and a Thetford portable toilet. I lived in it with my ex and his dog. He installed florescent lighting, and a 9" tv/vcr combination. For heat in the winter, we turned on the burners for a few minutes to warm it up, or used a candle for the same amount of time.

If I was going to buy an RV of my own, I would buy a Class B Roadtrek or other kind. We also had a Ford Falcon RV (now known as Horizon), that got 6mph. In my opinion, a Class B is the way to go if it's going to your only vehicle.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:59 AM
 
Location: EPWV
4,713 posts, read 2,520,437 times
Reputation: 7089
Default roadtrek

We are currently looking at getting a roadtrek class b rv and notice that only the 190 series can be converted for 4 wheel drive, does anyone have a 210 and how does it handle in the snow and getting into off pavement roads? Does anyone have capabilities of adding 4 wheel drive to the 210?
Thanks

Last edited by Cornerguy1; 09-13-2010 at 01:35 PM..
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:17 PM
 
47,586 posts, read 33,766,826 times
Reputation: 21518
My dad has a big fifth wheel but sometimes they like to just go camping in a GMC van. Campgrounds have the bathrooms and showers so you don't really need to have all that and you can use a camp stove for your coffee in the morning.

Plus nothing stops you from keeping a tent or canopy in the van to use when you feel like using it it. You can get those vans where the back seat folds down into a bed, a clothes rack and/or plastic drawers for clothes and things, you can take out the middle seats for more space, have a portable tv, a little coffee maker, cooler or small refrigerator to plug in - you could have a small generator too. They even have tents that are designed as showers and big enough for a porta-potty also.
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:52 PM
 
1,027 posts, read 1,746,311 times
Reputation: 1292
My dad has a GMC Sportsmobile conversion van. Long body. It gets 15 mpg. Sleeps five (really three, but officially five). Fridge and sink (but no stove, which is a waste of space IMO because cooking inside a camper just stinks up the place).

Google "Sportsmobile" and you'll find the website of the company that does these conversions.
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