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Author Topic: Minivan RV  (Read 31151 times)

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Alice

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2008, 07:40:03 PM »

 :tap  That's me, impatiently waiting for an update.  Since we have nearly identical vans and possibilities, am really trying to be patient, but somehow I have an idea your version of a camper minivan will be better than what I do.  Do I gotta get tough with ya Magispook?  :tap

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Magispook

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2008, 08:09:15 PM »

Got everything but the requisite number of milk crates.  Just biding my time.  Will put in another request for milk crates on Freecycle.  I could adapt and use what crates I have but then I would need some plywood and I wouldn't have the storage and adaptability I had planned. I got an unexpected cash amount for Christmas from a relative which would have covered the cost of the new ones at KMart but used it for a CCW renewal instead.  Although all van campers will henceforth get a much closer look by law enforcement after the hiker murder in GA, I still plan on putting together the "RV."  I haven't given up on this project.   ::D
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Alice

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2008, 09:26:54 PM »

I was at the Dollar General Store this evening.  They have white milk crates for $4 each.  I thought maybe I should buy some so I can copy off you when you show us how it all comes together.  :hug
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Magispook

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2008, 10:10:41 PM »

Coincidentally I saw just one at Big Lots this morning.  But it was a bit bigger than the one cubic foot ones I've been collecting.  It was also a softer plastic.  How 'bout the ones you saw at the Dollar General Store Alice?
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Alice

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2008, 12:13:18 AM »

Um, I would say they were a tad larger than 12x12x12 but I didn't measure them.  As for strength, they didn't look as stout as the commercial ones.  I would stand on a commercial one without thinking anything of it.  Not sure these would have held me as effortlessly.  Still, cable tied together would likely have been all the strength I needed.  Just not sure what your game plan is.  can hardly wait.
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Magispook

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2008, 02:58:47 PM »

Scored three more crates from my brother today.  Gettin' there.
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PackRat

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2008, 04:25:07 PM »

This is so cool.  Not something I want to do while the kiddos are still home, but for dh and I it might be a great way to travel later. 
I hope you'll share photos when you finish.
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pixelphoto

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2008, 07:44:19 PM »

magispook thats a good idea if you could take photos of the transfermation taht would be great.
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Garnet

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Re: Minivan RV Plug-in Cooler
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2008, 05:35:20 PM »

Over the years, we've traveled and car camped in a variety of vehicles.  Glad you are outfitting your own T&C to suit your needs and preferences.  By now, we have a pretty good idea of what works for us.  (But we may be just about beyond the point of camping out.  And times have changed, parks and campgrounds have changed, and fuel is no bargain. )

Anyhow, a lot of designs, features, and equipment have been disappointing or unsatisfactory or not what we expected.  But some things have been good. 

One of the most successful travel items has been the plugin cooler.  DH bought it used and we have used it many times for about 10 years.  I'm not sure of the spec; seems it is 40 degrees below ambient.  I keep a ref thermometer so I can check the temperature.  I use the silver window screens over and around to insulate, except the side with the fan has to be kept uncovered.  Even traveling in hot, desert weather, it has kept contents at 40 degrees.  It has cooling  fins at the business end.  Frozen food goes at the opposite end, so the fins will keep cooling.  We turn it off when we stop for very long.

There is an adaptor for AC, and we have taken it into a motel or plugged into campground hookups.  We might have to unload contents onto a tray to transport them and the empty cooler indoors separately.  We have kept it in someone's garage while we were visiting as an extra refrigerator.

Friends moved from another state and had to camp out in their new home for a week until the  mover arrived.  They used our cooler.  It does not freeze ice, but if you start with frozen food, it does not thaw fast. 

I have used my cooler for transporting cold/frozen food from the grocery to home on very hot days or when there would be a delay.

There are 2 settings - for hot or cold.  We have only used the cold.

There is also a cooler with special insulation that is supposed to hold ice for 5 days.  We have friends who have one and like it.

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Cowgirl

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2008, 05:56:08 PM »

Our pickup truck is a rolling BOB. It has a topper, and in it we always have a BOB so that if TSHTF, and if we must bug out, we can roll immediately once we are together. It isn't as fancy as an RV - primitive camping, actually. But there are always the minimum items necessary stored permanently in the truck. If we must leave and leave FAST, perhaps without even stopping by home, it will do the trick. Under those circumstances, we could sleep in the truck.

If we had extra time to grab more stuff from home prior to a bug out, I have lots of camping gear in totes, ready to go, plus more food in totes, and lots of water and fuel. Then, because the truck would have more preps in it, we would sleep in a tent.

So, what we have is not an RV by any means, but definitely a rolling BOB. :)
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Magispook

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2008, 08:23:41 PM »

I have one of the coolers Garnet.  Same as yours from the description.  Draws about 5 amps continuously.  I use the same trick of insulation to help it a bit and carry the adapter for grid use.  I have powered it with a solar panel but of course would have to drain the battery at night so I typically turn it off at night.  I have a topper for my Nissan Frontier and outfitted similar to Cowgirl.  At present, the Frontier is down as I'm having steering wheel problems and I don't have the funds to invest in repair right now.  Also I only get 18 miles to the gallon with it.  The Nissan is my work vehicle and I most likely will do 4000 miles this month so it's actually a good thing I have switched to my wife's Toyota Echo (40 mpg).  Hard to outfit the Echo for supermini RV status but probably could if I used a minimalist mindset.  Scored three more crates at the local flea market.  Problem is I'm using them to store food right now as I'm buying what I can now in anticipation of shortages and increased prices.  I have not given up on the mini-van RV though.  My current work allows me to come home rather than have to stay overnight somewhere.
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Garnet

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Re: Minivan RV Inside/Outside
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2008, 11:11:02 PM »

The smaller the RV that you plan to live in - or out of, the more thought you have to give to what you want to use inside and what you can use outside.  I want the bunk inside, sheltered and convenient, with easy setup.  I want cargo -  food, clothes, supplies and gear - inside and convenient.  I want to be able to grab a snack and cold drink or heat a cup of water for a hot beverage.   

Aside from warming something simple in the little lunchbox plugin oven, I want to do the cooking outside to avoid spills, spatters, and odors in the vehicle.

Dressing, bathing, and managing the portapot are a challenge in a small vehicle with limited space and headroom.  I saw a post about an instant locker room that can be set up beside a vehicle or tent.  It had no roof, but someone said you can set an umbrella over the top.  A tent with adequate center height would work if you had the time and space available.  The instant locker room has a smaller footprint and collapses into a smaller package than a tent.

It's tricky to find a balance between all the cargo you can pack in and enough space to move around and access the cargo.  What works best with our minivan is arranging the cargo in a layer so that some can be restacked to one side to free up the bunk space. 

Foam cushions about 22" square that were in a layer across the top of cargo while on the road can be easily laid out on the floor.  That's 66" length plus a pillow.  You have to figure the minimum length you can get by with and hope your vehicle has that.  You do want space a little wider for elbow room.    For 2 people, DH gets the longer space in back and I get the 2nd seat to make a crosswise bunk.  Just sharing our minimalist thinking here.  FWIW :)

I hoped a backpacker foam mat would work, but we tried it and decided it wouldn't do.

We keep the 3rd seat folded down for a level floor, and I covered the floor with vinyl runner.  I want to be able to keep it clean.

I made dark denim curtains and have remodeled them more than once to adapt to various vehicles.  They are simple, front to back panels with a top casing for a rod and loop at each end of the panel.  They are just dropped down for travel and lifted up and hung when we stop.

I also got some pieces of fine screening.  Haven't used them much.  Will have to take a look and figure out again how to mount them. ::)
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Garnet

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Re: Minivan RV Rolling BOB
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2008, 11:20:06 PM »

Cowgirl, your rolling BOB is a good idea.  Sounds like you have packs about like mine.  Except I don't keep them in the van all the time.  Mine are in a special location ready to load in the minivan.  Not as well set up as you are, but then I don't know any place to bug out to.  Would probably just stay put.
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Garnet

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Re: Minivan RV Toyota Echo
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2008, 11:27:56 PM »

Will have to see what a Toyota Echo is.  But I rode in my friend's Honda (I think) Fit in Virginia.  It gets 40 mpg.  I don't think there is any way to think minimalist enough to live in that Fit!  ::D
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PrairieGirl

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Re: Minivan RV
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2008, 09:46:37 AM »

Toyota Echo (or the Yaris...same car, different name):


I have one.  They're great.  I can do about 650kms on one 45km tank.  They're great cars.  Lots of room, great on petrol, spunky...the list goes on and on. 

Magispook - when can we see some photos of your work? 
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