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Old 02-15-2017, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,319 posts, read 4,167,038 times
Reputation: 18334

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertBrat View Post
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.
From the OP's original post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post
I have a 2009 Corolla which travels just fine, but am considering a smallish van that I could sleep in.
So it seems the OP is considering solo camping at least as a possibility. And sleeping alone in a van is really no safer than sleeping alone in a tent; it's easy enough for someone to break the windows and crawl right in. If you wouldn't feel comfortable sleeping alone in a tent at a given spot, you shouldn't be sleeping there alone in a van either.

And the OP can get a decent tent plus all the other needed camping supplies for less than $1,000. That's a lot cheaper than buying or renting a van!
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Central NY
4,676 posts, read 3,250,875 times
Reputation: 11982
There have been some really interesting posts regarding my thread. I appreciate all of them as they are, IMHO, the best way to learn of all the ways I could do this trip.

But I'm agreeing with AZDesertBrat. I will take the car and hopefully do some research on line for safe and reasonably priced motels. I can't imagine doing a tent. It's just not me. If I had someone going with me who knew more about tents than I do, I might consider it. But if some are saying I would not be safe sleeping in a van, I'm pretty sure that would be more true for a tent.

I am on small budget, too, so buying something (van/motorhome/tent with all necessary accessories) would not work for me.

Bottom line, the simpler, less complicated way is my choice.

Thank you everyone. You've taught me a lot here.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,689 posts, read 4,725,286 times
Reputation: 28161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
So it seems the OP is considering solo camping at least as a possibility. And sleeping alone in a van is really no safer than sleeping alone in a tent; it's easy enough for someone to break the windows and crawl right in. If you wouldn't feel comfortable sleeping alone in a tent at a given spot, you shouldn't be sleeping there alone in a van either.
Try driving a tent away from a campsite and see how far you get.

In the real world, it takes time to brute-force one's way into a sturdy vehicle like a van, even for a bear. Most commonly people are looking to break into unoccupied vehicles to steal valuables. One time a man shone a flashlight into my van while I was in it. He fled as soon as I made my presence known.

This has descended to the level of near-silliness.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,319 posts, read 4,167,038 times
Reputation: 18334
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Try driving a tent away from a campsite and see how far you get.

In the real world, it takes time to brute-force one's way into a sturdy vehicle like a van, even for a bear.
Try driving your van away when you're awakened from a deep sleep in the middle of the night by the sound of glass breaking and the sight of someone crawling in through your now-smashed windshield.

Contrary to your assertions, it's very easy to break into a vehicle quickly; and all you need to do it is that high-tech device known as a large rock. (Bear country is an exception to the rule precisely because grizzlies haven't figured out how to use rocks, or that glass is more easily broken than metal.)

Quote:
Most commonly people are looking to break into unoccupied vehicles to steal valuables
Those aren't the people you need to worry about.

Campervans are very, very popular in New Zealand, and there they've had a real problem with gangs of thugs assaulting (and occasionally murdering) tourists using campervans to get around the country. (And many of the targeted weren't sleeping alone; so much for safety in numbers!) A few examples: https://e2nz.org/2010/05/22/french-t...ervan-robbery/
Freedom campers terrorised at Caroline Bay, Timaru | Stuff.co.nz
Attempted murder charges after campervan attack - National - NZ Herald News

Vans (whether modified for camping or not) are just vehicles, not armored fortresses. It's no harder for a criminal to break in to assault someone sleeping inside a van than it is for him to break into one to steal the stereo.

OP, the chances of anything bad happening to you if you're sleeping alone (especially in a truly remote area) are nearly close to zero - but on very rare occasions attacks do happen. Given what you've said in your most recent reply, you should probably skip any plans buy/rent a van and just plan on sticking to motels. Your Toyota sedan, a cooler (so you can buy some groceries instead of having to eat at restaurants all the time), and a AAA membership and Triptik is all you need for your adventure! Have fun!
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,689 posts, read 4,725,286 times
Reputation: 28161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Campervans are very, very popular in New Zealand, and there they've had a real problem with gangs of thugs assaulting (and occasionally murdering) tourists using campervans to get around the country. (And many of the targeted weren't sleeping alone; so much for safety in numbers!) A few examples: https://e2nz.org/2010/05/22/french-t...ervan-robbery/
Freedom campers terrorised at Caroline Bay, Timaru | Stuff.co.nz
Attempted murder charges after campervan attack - National - NZ Herald News

Vans (whether modified for camping or not) are just vehicles, not armored fortresses. It's no harder for a criminal to break in to assault someone sleeping inside a van than it is for him to break into one to steal the stereo.
New Zealand. Yeah, I must have missed the part where the OP was going to do all this on North and South Islands.

Now it's descended into complete silliness. Congratulations.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 762,376 times
Reputation: 1859
I don't know how tall you are, but you could also think about trading that car for something with a bit more cargo space, like a Subaru Outback or Forester. The back seats usually fold flat so you could put a mattress in the back. Add some curtains - and there you go! If you eat your main meal in the middle of the day, that's less expensive than eating dinner in a restaurant. Eat fruit, sandwiches, etc for the other two meals.

As far as safety - stick to family type campgrounds. KOAs, etc. Campers tend to look out for each other.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,319 posts, read 4,167,038 times
Reputation: 18334
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
New Zealand. Yeah, I must have missed the part where the OP was going to do all this on North and South Islands.

Now it's descended into complete silliness. Congratulations.
Vehicles are flimsier in New Zealand than they are here? As someone who's visited both countries, that's news to me.

I repeat: Vans are not fortresses, and when parked with the engine off (as they usually will be when you are asleep), they are easy targets. Using a van does not make sleeping in dodgy areas any safer. If an area is too unsafe to sleep there safely in a tent, it's too unsafe to sleep there in a van.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,319 posts, read 4,167,038 times
Reputation: 18334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbythecat View Post
As far as safety - stick to family type campgrounds. KOAs, etc. Campers tend to look out for each other.
This is good advice. The safest places to be are either places where you're surrounded by a lot of other people, or places where you're by yourself way out in the middle of nowhere (which by definition means you probably didn't get there by driving there on a road). "Fringe areas" where people come and go with some regularity, but where very few people are likely to be found at any given moment, are the places you want to avoid. Think trailhead parking lots, parking garages, shopping mall parking lots, etc. Don't linger in fringe areas, and be more alert when you're traversing one, and you'll avoid most trouble.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:57 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 352,091 times
Reputation: 3248
If you are considering camping, here's something you may want to look into. Easy set up. Low cost. Comfortable and roomy. You could resell it when you are done with your road trip. Or you could hold on to it for later adventures.


iKamper | Best Roof Top Tents - Skycamp
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,319 posts, read 4,167,038 times
Reputation: 18334
Oh, and there is one other thing besides a cooler I'd recommend buying: a rubber door wedge. Most of us use those to hold doors open, but when you're traveling it's nice to use one to keep the hotel/motel door closed when you're in the room. (Ever stop to consider how many people may have access to the room, or how many copies of the room keys may be floating around out there?) You can picky up a cheapie at any big box store, or you can go fancy and get one that has an integrated alarm, like this: https://www.amazon.com/Door-Wedge-Al.../dp/B004DX7JZE

It's by no means a necessity (as I said, the chances you'll run into any trouble at all are very low), but it does add a bit of added security when you're staying by yourself in a strange place.
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