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Thread: custom van

  1. #1

    Default custom van

    my friend and i want to take a summer road trip and we might get a van. have you ever seen or heard of a bed in a van. we want to sleep at rest stop so we can save money. thanks for your help -steven

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default I Don't Get It

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Sure you can do this. They're called conversion vans. Now, the legality and wisdom (or lack thereof) of sleeping in rest areas comes up in these forums almost like clockwork, so you should check the discussions from 2003, 2005, and 2007. But my main problem with your plan is simply the economics. You are going to spend several thousand dollars to get a van, several hundred more to 'convert' it to a sleeper, and several hundred dollars extra on fuel due to the low mileage of such vehicles. All to save $50-$60 a night for a motel room with two comfortable beds, a TV, and a shower. I just don't get it


  3. Default Experiences..

    *laughing* (at myself)... Everyone's got experiences and stories.

    Long time ago, my gf and I would do roadtrips together several times a year. She had a van -- and for a bed, we had a big thick foam cushion which would get folded down across the back of the van to put sleeping bags on.

    That worked pretty well -- the cushion was about 4" thick so it covered over the usual bumps and protrusions on the floor of the van, and since it could be taken up and rolled up during the day, we could still stow camping equipment and clothes and what not in the back. For cooking, I had a 1 burner backpacker stove which was enough to boil water and heat a lightweight frying pan.

    We never camped in a roadside rest area -- never had to. We usually found a campground for pretty cheap (like $10-20) and camped there - bathrooms were cleaner, most had showers and etc. A few times when we way out in the middle of no where, we camped on in an isolated spot in the national forest -- usually we'd find a ranger station and ask about the policies. Some forests, at least then, allowed remote camping where were could camp XXX feet off the road. I know some still do, and I've done it in a couple of places out in the desert as well.

    One trip coming back from northern California, we stopped at a roadside stand and got a huge tray of fresh juicy cherries south of San Jose. These were consumed coming down 101, with us spitting the pits out the open windows of the van as we barreled along. However, first time we stopped to get gas we realised there were these streamers of cherry juice and pits along the side of the van, flowing back from the driver and passenger windows...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Good one!

    ...there were these streamers of cherry juice and pits along the side of the van, flowing back from the driver and passenger windows...
    Reminds me of the time we flew out of Portland to go to Disneyland for a long weekend and parked the white Sable we had at the time at the motel right underneath a cherry tree. only was the car covered with cherries, pits, and cherry juice streaks, but the birds had left us dozens of their calling cards. While driving to the nearest car wash to clean up, people in other cars were pointing at us and laughing out loud. The kids and I slithered low in our seats and let my poor husband take the embarressment alone. Glad I don't know too many people in Portland! I actually ended up having to claybar the car to get the stains out of the white paint but at least the car wash got off the pits, stems, cherry remnants and birdie evidence!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Oh, re the custom van!

    Sure you can do this but I pretty much agree with AZBuck. Your own car or buying a car that you would enjoy driving for other things, and that gets better gas mileage, would be a better choice, imho. It's not considered safe to sleep at most rest stops anyway. In fact, it's illegal in many states. Just throw your tent and sleeping bags in the car and camp along the way if your budget is a factor. Campgrounds are usually about $15-25/night and well worth it rather than sleeping on the side of the road.

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