Roses are red, violets are blue, why not click a pic or two?
So why should a person choose a van for full-time living? That's a question I ask myself more and more nowadays, and I still haven't given myself a definitive answer.
I enumerated some of the problems of living in a van yesterday and probably left out a few because what's okay for me might be a problem for someone else or vice versa. But there's a lot of good things about a van, and here are a few.
You may already have a cargo van, and the Internet is chock-full of people showing you how to turn a cargo van into an RV. So you can be on the road to Happy Camping Arizona fairly quickly, without a budget-breaking expense, depending on how spartan or luxurious your plans are.
A van is basically a pickup truck with a box instead of a cab and a bed. This means it has all of the strength and reliability of pickup trucks that are built at the factory specifically for strength and reliability.
Their easy to park in typical parking spots and camp in places where regular RVs fear to tread.
They can be repaired at places that repair any other vehicles. And parts are easy to come by because they're mostly just a pickup truck. But as a side note from what I read, the Mercedes vans, especially the diesel version, require special attention at the Mercedes dealerships, assuming one can find a Mercedes dealership in Lizard Lips, Arizona.
They come in various sizes, so you can pick the length and height that will fit your particular situation.
They are very customizable from the factories, and even more so if you build it out yourself. And all of the accessories you need to turn a van into a camper, such as propane stoves, small refrigerators, even weird things like Murphy Beds, are readily available on the Internet.
The van makes an excellent daily driver. No need for a toad. And since you always have it with you, you don't have to leave it sitting out in the middle of nowhere, all alone at your boondocking spot while you go to the store. Taking a chance, remote though it may be, of something getting stolen.
You don't have to worry about tiny RV camp-sites that you have to back into because you can park a van darn near anywhere. And speaking of darn near anywhere, if done properly their also somewhat stealthy and can overnight in places I wouldn't dream of staying in my fifth wheel.
Depending on how you look at it, the van's relatively small size can be detrimental to your comfort. Still, it can be beneficial in forcing you to simplify your life further and get rid of even more of the things you swear you can't live without, such as a 57 year collection of Playboy magazines. My experience has been, most of what I kept when I went full-time has been useless, and I probably could get everything I need into a van... Maybe even the magazines with a roof rack.
I'm sure there are more good things that I haven't mentioned, and for some folks, these good things out-weigh the negatives, such as they are kind of small to live in full-time. Frankly, vans being small didn't concern me too much until the Bat flu came along. I got stuck in Tucson, Arizona, for a couple of months, where it was too hot to go outside for most of the day, so I was stuck inside the Arctic Fox, fortunately with air conditioning. Still, I remember wondering at the time how I would deal with this if I were in a van.
First of all, I probably wouldn't have put an air conditioner on the van because I seldom use the Arctic Fox air conditioner, so I feel like I can live without one. Because usually, I can drive to where it's cooler if I absolutely have to... But I sure needed it then. The Arctic Fox's big enough I can walk around in it, so I didn't go stir crazy. But I don't know about a van in that situation; on the other hand, that was a unique situation that may never occur again in my lifetime.
So what to do? What to do? How about something like a van, but not a van. Something with the mobility of a van but without some of the van problems. Is there such a thing? Tune in tomorrow and find out.
The old Volkswagen campers were called Vanagons, I don't know what the new ones are called. But I do know the older and uglier they are the more money they fetch in the used car market.
It seems like everywhere I look people are camping in vans.
These new vans I can stand up in make a lot more sense to me than crawling around on my hands and knees like I did with my regular van, but they do look like driving down the interstate with a hefty side wind could get pretty exciting.