Hi all! I have read a ton of great posts and really love this site. I was hoping you all could answer a few questions I had.
I am planning a combination roadtrip/move for March-April-May 2007. I will be leaving home here in south FL, with a general trip outline of New Orleans, then up to Minneapolis (with a detour to Ohio), across to the Tetons, down through AZ and NM, then up the coast of California, thru Oregon and ending in Spokane, WA. Very squiggly and windy, but I am trying to see all 50 states by the time I turn 35 (4 years!), and I need to pick up a bunch of them in the midwest.
The moving part is relatively easy, as I am not taking any furniture. After much deliberation between small rvs, travel trailers, big pickup trucks, I think I have finally decided on a plain cargo van. It has plenty of storage, can go thru national parks and drive thrus easily, and gets fairly decent mileage, compared to an rv or a towable.
So, my questions:
1. Is it recommended (or feasible even) to add a second battery, for use with a converter, to power a laptop, ipod charger, various other standard plug accessories? I would like to run the van radio at night when I am camped, as well as a laptop, and don't want to wake up the next morning with a dead battery.
2. The van has only two rear doors, no side windows. Can someone give me recommendations on how to create screening for the rear entryway, so that I can park with the doors open but keep bugs and intruders out?
2b. Related, is there any kind of an alarm I could get that would trigger if someone attempted to get in thru the mesh? For example, I have seen car alarms in convertibles that go off if the "plane is broken", meaning if you reach a hand in past the level of the door the alarm sounds.
3. I am considering getting a cb radio. However, I know that one of the satellite radio networks has a trucker channel, does anyone know how it works? Is it the same principle as a cb, only you call into the station?
4. I am what you would call "big and tall." I am planning to use a twin size air mattress in the van. I don't want to sit on the inflated mattress and have my butt still be on the ground. Any recommendations on a heavy duty model? Should I consider getting two and stacking them? What about an air mattress on top of a cot?
I am sure I will think of more as my departure date nears! Thanks in advance for all of your help and advice!