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School me on small RV/Vans

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Looking at doing a 2 month or so road trip going south, then west, hitting national parks etc.

Very seriously considering getting a large van/small RV, class B to do this in. I had looked at class C RVs but found it is very hard to drive these thru small towns, find a place to park to sleep, etc. I don't want a large RV to pull a small car, nor do I want a truck to pull a camper.

I have seen the Sprinters and competitors and am wondering if anyone here has one, or did a trip in one. I have seen 2500 and 3500, I know boats well and it seems lots of technology crosses between these, such as solar , inverters, same procedure for winterizing, etc.

If you have done a trip in one of these , I would love to hear pros and cons. My other alternative is to just drive and stay in hotels.
 

Spanz

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i was seriously considering one of these teardrop trailers...they weight almost nothing, so long as you are not hauling it up/down pike's peak, a car should pull it.



its kind of like a pop up trailer/tent....but without the moldiness of the fabric

 

appraiser

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Class C is not that big.

used ones over 10 years old especially around here are prone to roof leaks, water damage, rodent damage and other issues.

Avoid the Ford cab and chassis, Sprinters with a Mercedes Diesel would be my choice.

Watch the clearance signs, they are taller than you think
 

garandman

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I owned a 2016 Transit an currently own a 2006 Sprinter 118 (short). There are reasons why Transit outsells Sprinter 4-6x. Notably, smog-controlled diesels are not happy, which is why T1N Sprinters (through 2006) are selling for big numbers. Mercedes is releasing a gas model. The FWD Ram ProMaster (Fiat Ducati) has some proponents as well. There are fanboys for each.

Sprinter Forum has tons of info on conversions. There’s a big #VanLofe movement because younger people feel that most commercial vans are designed for retirees to drive from campground to campground, while they are interested in more wilderness experiences. The private builds are highly variable in quality, from crap to amazing. There are many commercial builds as well.

Virtually all camper conversions have a house battery along with a starting battery. If you run the engine regularly they stay charged up. Solar panels are more and more common and charge controllers to charge off engine, shore 120AC, or solar. Batteries are moving from AGM’s to lighter, more dense but more expensive LiFe cells.

Sprinter RV's & Conversions Talk - Sprinter-Forum

The Competition - Sprinter-Forum

Adventure - Sprinter-Forum

Ford Transit Forum Index page
 

KBCraig

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How many lifeforms will be in this vehicle? Human, quadruped, and other? Sizes of all of the above?

Two people and no critters, minimalist overnights including some campgrounds? Then definitely whatever you're driving now and a teardrop trailer.

Family with kids and dogs? Probably something larger. Dog-friendly motels can be cheaper than an RV.
 

Spanz

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Dog-friendly motels can be cheaper than an RV.
this is exactly what the wife keeps saying, everytime i bring up buying one.

i guess the idea that i can drive all night, and when i get tired just pull over and rack out in the back...is what i like. Maybe i am being unrealistic about that part?

In my road trips without her onboard, daytime is for stopping and seeing stuff, and night time is for driving
 

Asaltweapon

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If your pulling something you can’t just step in the back and make a samitch.
My buddy bought a diesel pusher that needed tires, the carpets done and a new recliner for dirt cheap.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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Looking at doing a 2 month or so road trip going south, then west, hitting national parks etc.

Very seriously considering getting a large van/small RV, class B to do this in. I had looked at class C RVs but found it is very hard to drive these thru small towns, find a place to park to sleep, etc. I don't want a large RV to pull a small car, nor do I want a truck to pull a camper.

I have seen the Sprinters and competitors and am wondering if anyone here has one, or did a trip in one. I have seen 2500 and 3500, I know boats well and it seems lots of technology crosses between these, such as solar , inverters, same procedure for winterizing, etc.

If you have done a trip in one of these , I would love to hear pros and cons. My other alternative is to just drive and stay in hotels.
There is a thread from a guy (I think its Mr E?) Thinking about living in a van. There, Rusty Shackleford (NES member) posted about his 2-3 month roadtrip in a van.

I suggest you find the thread and read his post. You will get good info.
 

Spanz

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There is an excellent Steinbeck book...travels with charlie, that i recommend reading
 
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Just me, the wife and a small dog. My wife has already pointed out that if you go to a RV park, that is about $75 for the night, so why not just get a nicer motel that allows dogs for like $100. Rent a nice comfortable car, and just drive to a Hampton Inn etc.

On the other hand, a RV like a boat, you have a place where you can unpack all your stuff and chill, in a hotel each night you have to pack/unpack, get used to a different bed/pillows each night, etc. Also the camper might be nice to be in to take a break, if you drive 6 or 8 hours a day, you need to pull over for gas and lunch and bathroom every few hours, with the RV you pull over, read a bit, or watch a movie etc.

I will look for Rusty's thread on his road trip, it should be very interesting.
 
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Nice thing about an RV is if you gotta take a leak or a dump you can in your own clean space at any time.

Tough thing about an RV is when you need service you are forced to bring the whole thing to the shop.
 

appraiser

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just remember some RV parks are very sketchy.... especially state and national ones..... not that hotels don't have issues.

The more it costs, the less chance of screwed up things going on.
 

M1911

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A lot of RVs are built like crap and now you have all the appliances, plumbing, furnace, and generator to care for, not to mention the black water tank.
 

MisterHappy

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Unless you've done it, try it first, small scale. You might be surprised at what's important, and what's not.

A while back, I got a used pop-up. MsHappy thought it was the cutest thing she'd ever seen! We had to use it that night!

So, I found Crystal Springs (now gone) in Bolton, and off we went. Four of us, including two 9-10 year olds. Dinner on the camp stove....win. Kids in bed, and marinated shrimp over the coals...win. MsHappy needing to use the facilities at zero-dark-thirty, when they're 100-150 feet away, and it's started to rain....not win.

Well, the boys and I got plenty of use out of it!

Like Jack says to Rose, "You seem more like an indoor girl." [rofl]
 

KBCraig

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If your pulling something you can’t just step in the back and make a samitch.
My buddy bought a diesel pusher that needed tires, the carpets done and a new recliner for dirt cheap.
Google motorhome crashes.

They're made out of fiberglass and aluminum. They might be on a truck frame, but everything on that frame just friggin' disintegrates upon impact.
 

KBCraig

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this is exactly what the wife keeps saying, everytime i bring up buying one.

i guess the idea that i can drive all night, and when i get tired just pull over and rack out in the back...is what i like. Maybe i am being unrealistic about that part?

In my road trips without her onboard, daytime is for stopping and seeing stuff, and night time is for driving
Our first trip from TX to NH, we used our GMC conversion van to tow our 24' travel trailer. Because reasons, we got away late and drove straight through in 42 hours, stopping to eat, drain the dogs and kids, and for me to catch naps of 30 minutes to two hours.

Our next trip, we pulled the same trailer with our GMC pickup, on our move here. We had flat tires, a burned out wheel bearing on the trailer, and other mishaps. We made one overnight motel stay outside Bowling Green because of the tires, but otherwise did the straight drive with naps at rest areas. All with seven dogs and three cats in kennels under the camper shell, and enough guns and ammo driving the NY Thruway to send us all to prison forever.

That was fun!
 

SERE

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I hate to send you elsewhere but this site is wide ranging and covers just about everything from all highway to technical 4x4 winch assisted climbs and descents.
Expedition Portal

If you tow anything your tolls go way up. A new light weight all aluminum minimalistic trailer can be had from inTechRV. They were born recently from inTech Motorsports trailers of the rich and famous NASCAR teams and fans.
https://www.intechrv.com/
inTech RV
#intechrv hashtag on Instagram • Photos and Videos

This EXPLORE is the taller of the small models.

As mentioned above the biggest items are, do you want to sleep in the same vehicle you drive and where do you want to get rid of bodily waste?

Best of luck. Matt.
 
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Blackmore

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Anytime I think about buying an RV first I divide the cost by $100 and figure out how many motel nights I could buy for the same price. Then I compare my car's MPG and driver position comfort level with that of an RV. Finally, I think about a depreciating purchase sitting in my yard when I'm not using it as the roof leaks develop and the rodents invade.

I'd second the advice to rent first before making that big an investment.
 
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headednorth

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Google motorhome crashes.

They're made out of fiberglass and aluminum. They might be on a truck frame, but everything on that frame just friggin' disintegrates upon impact.
The guy in Canada who lost his breaks and evil-keniveled onto the moving ferry...it collapsed like a wet cardboard box.
 

Spanz

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Anytime I think about buying an RV first I divide the cost by $100 and figure out how many motel nights I could buy for the same price. Then I compare my car's MPG and driver position comfort level with that of an RV. Finally, I think about a depreciating purchase sitting in my yard when I'm not using it as the roof leaks develop and the rodents invade.

I'd second the advice to rent first before making that big an investment.
i know!
Yet when i scan craigslist for small easily towable RVs, i get used crap for $13K! I would have thought a ton of people would have bought one, tried it a few times, and after sitting in the yard for five more years, would have paid someone to get rid of it!
 
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