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Old 02-14-2017, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,118 posts, read 8,165,408 times
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My vote would go to a cargo van from U Haul, which you can rent by the week or the month, and they have an extended mileage option which will also help you cut costs. The vans are quite new and they clean them well. Go into a U Haul dealer, tell them your timeframe and estimated mileage, and they'll make up a package deal. If you reserve in advance, someone will usually call you a few days before and offer you discounts.

Cargo vans give you a lot of privacy, which is important if you're a woman alone and will he sleeping in a vehicle. You could spend a couple hundred at Walmart, and get it all set up - a cot, sleeping bag, a cooler, an LED lantern, and a folding camp stove. You may already hsve some of that stuff.

Good luck, whatever you decide on, and have fun!
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Toss in a tent, some basic camping supplies (air mattress, camp stove, folding chair, sleeping bag or blankets and a pillow), and a cooler, and you'll be covered for pretty much any situation. And using a combination of couchsurfing/Airbnb/motels/campgrounds will be a lot cheaper than renting a camper! Not to mention that a Toyota Corolla is a lot easier to drive in a city than a van is.

I love to go camping and always have but I have never, and will never, go camping alone. I just couldn't do it. Anything else is fine and I've done thousands of miles of road trips, all alone, but camping is not something I could do. I doubt the OP is into solo camping either. I'm small enough I can sleep fairly comfortably in the back seat of my car if I had to, and have a couple of times. I guess I'll stick to motels.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
9,002 posts, read 7,766,040 times
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I did consider doing what the OP has said so I spent some time looking about. I looked at purchasing a small, used motorhome such as a class C or a 5th wheel (towed behind a truck) then selling it at a later time.

My final thinking was buying a used Class C motorhome and towing a small, lightweight car behind it so if I got to a place I liked, I could hookup the motor home at a campground for an extended time and use the small vehicle to get around. Also one could "dry camp" (as in need no hookups) with a Class C for a few days/nights before having to worry about sewage/water and in comfort with a gasoline generator.

I found there were many that bought motor homes and ended up using them very little so there were some good deals as they just wanted out from under it.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Planet Woof
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Back in the eighties I had a VW camper bus. Now that thing was cool!
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:52 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,652 posts, read 40,020,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelinLow View Post
Back in the eighties I had a VW camper bus. Now that thing was cool!
If it was an aircooled VW van, it was especially COOL in the winter, and HOT in the summer!

BTDT for many yrs.

one thing is certain with VW vans; You will bring home a lot of war stories to tell your grandkids!

Unfortunately the VW camper Van prices have skyrocketed in last 5 yrs. A $1700 westy will now set you back $10k + fix up costs.

Most camper vans (VW or otherwise are very desirable and ez to sell, especially if you take a rust free CA / NV / AZ van and resell in NE USA. )

My mom sold her Roadtrek in 3 days. Her Rialta in 1 week.

Van travel is really quite ideal when you are older and like to go at your own pace. I do a lot of travel in my car too, but it is clearly not as comfy for LONG days and LONG nights. I like to take a small motorcycle with me to explore National Parks and off road trails. 100 mpg for bopping around the region is nice too.

BTW... a Cruise America is gonna get 12 mpg and that is very expensive (plus mileage charge).

I have bought 3 minivans each for under $1000 and each got me over 100k without much expense (<$200 + tires)
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:54 PM
 
504 posts, read 217,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Toss in a tent, some basic camping supplies (air mattress, camp stove, folding chair, sleeping bag or blankets and a pillow), and a cooler, and you'll be covered for pretty much any situation. And using a combination of couchsurfing/Airbnb/motels/campgrounds will be a lot cheaper than renting a camper! Not to mention that a Toyota Corolla is a lot easier to drive in a city than a van is.
Agreed. Me and an ex girl friend took a 30 ft motorhome from Florida to the Pacific NW. Between gas (think 6-7 miles to the gallon) and RV camp spots, it cost a fortune. My current GF and I will be doing a similar trip this summer, and it will be by tent and car, with the odd motel thrown in. Oh, I'm 66 and she is 60, and tenting works really well. I will never do a motor home trip again.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,478 posts, read 5,941,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Renting a campervan is VERY expensive. ($800 - $1200 / week)

you can buy very nice ones for $20k and sell them instantly.
or, you can buy older ones for $3000 - $5000.
Roadtrek is ideal, you can find them from $3500 - $120,000

You can 'convert' a minivan ($3000) as a simple camper for a few hundred dollars (for ideas... Look at campervans on "trademe" NZ craigslist)

when / if you hit the road... KOA is VERY expensive and pretty noisy and crowded too.
There are several "free camping in USA' sites, as well as Harvest host / other organizations with affordable places to stay.

Many city parks and fairgrounds in Rural USA have free / inexpensive camping. With a camper van it is very ez to 'stealthcamp' (Free)

If you take the car... Use Hospitality exchange - Wikitravel Free to $20 / night worldwide. Usually if you ask for a camping / RV parking it will be free. I use farms as hosts and they have PLENTY of space, safe and quiet.

There are several sites for 'house / pet / pet sitters' you can usually stay for free. (or even get paid to stay!)

Vans are IDEAL for road trips, as you can nap / stealthcamp, have a ref and stove... and take a bike. Minivans can get 22 - 25 mpg and are very CHEAP to buy, insure, repair... and very ez to resell.
Having thought about the same idea as the OP I see this as great advice. As posted renting a van or camper will be very expensive and as the OP is retired and possibly interested in many trips over a period of years I'm not sure renting anything, including a van with the giant word U-Haul splashed on the side, would be my choice.

No I like the idea of a small van and a cot, small camp stove (vent windows) with solar or some sort of way to generate a small amount of power for laptop/phone recharge, light, fan in summer. No air matress for me, a cot is MUCH more comfortable, it provides a seat for putting on shoes and storage beneath. Stealth or free camping does appeal to me to some extent but I would be worried about security, even at Walmart where they allow free camping overnight. I have learned to take a very refreshing shower by heating a gallon of water on a camp stove and simply pouring it over my head. You could pull that off in a van by standing in a small blowup kiddie poll to catch the water. I'd need to look into the free camping options described here.

I do have to wonder how reliable a $3,000 van would be, little interest in breaking down on the back roads of the Grand Tetons.

Last edited by DaveinMtAiry; 02-15-2017 at 06:02 AM..
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,856 posts, read 4,969,586 times
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I had a friend who sailed around the world while he was in his 30s.

When he got to New Zealand, he bought a used camper van cheaply, used it for 2 months touring both North and South islands, then sold it for a profit.

I suggest you do the same.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:19 AM
 
504 posts, read 217,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Having thought about the same idea as the OP I see this as great advice. As posted renting a van or camper will be very expensive and as the OP is retired and possibly interested in many trips over a period of years I'm not sure renting anything, including a van with the giant word U-Haul splashed on the side, would be my choice.

No I like the idea of a small van and a cot, small camp stove (vent windows) with solar or some sort of way to generate a small amount of power for laptop/phone recharge, light, fan in summer. No air matress for me, a cot is MUCH more comfortable, it provides a seat for putting on shoes and storage beneath. Stealth or free camping does appeal to me to some extent but I would be worried about security, even at Walmart where they allow free camping overnight. I have learned to take a very refreshing shower by heating a gallon of water on a camp stove and simply pouring it over my head. You could pull that off in a van by standing in a small blowup kiddie poll to catch the water. I'd need to look into the free camping options described here.

I do have to wonder how reliable a $3,000 van would be, little interest in breaking down on the back roads of the Grand Tetons.



I bought a 2003 Montana van for $3,400 four years ago, which, at the time, had 120,000 miles on it. It now has 180,000. I've driven it to most of the contiguous States over that time, as well as many places in Canada. Repairs?

$450 for four tires and a four-wheel alignment
$250 for a CV joint

It's good for a few more years.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,478 posts, read 5,941,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dillionmt View Post
[/b]

I bought a 2003 Montana van for $3,400 four years ago, which, at the time, had 120,000 miles on it. It now has 180,000. I've driven it to most of the contiguous States over that time, as well as many places in Canada. Repairs?

$450 for four tires and a four-wheel alignment
$250 for a CV joint

It's good for a few more years.
Cool. Did you sleep in it?
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