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  1. Default What kind of camper?

    Hi all,

    This is my first post and I am planning up for a trip. I'm an American living abroad and am planning to do a 6 - 12 month road trip all over the US, through Canada and up to Alaska.

    I am looking for advice on a reliable and small camper for two people. My budget is $10 - $25k. Anybody have any advice on what I should be looking for?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2

    Default More in the way of parameters

    Good morning traveljunkie,

    Your trip sounds great. Can I go?

    Wow, the range of products which would fit your "2-person" needs is pretty broad. It would cover everything from ultralight "pop-up" tent campers which can be towed behind a fairly small car, to large, heavy Airstreams requiring a large SUV or pickup truck as a tow vehicle, to a wide variety of "slide-in" truck campers which mount to a pickup truck bed (normally a fullsize), to motorhomes.

    If you have the vehicle already, your choices are limited to what you'll be driving and what it can accomodate. If you don't yet have the vehicle, your other parameters (tow-behind which allows vehicular mobility w/out the camper attached) and relative levels of roominess and luxury will then come together to prescribe the vehicle needed to accomodate your chosen level of roominess and creature comforts.

    So, what do you have in mind as far as vehicles go, or what is it that you already have and plan to employ?


  3. Default

    Thanks for helping out.
    No we don't have a vehicle yet - so open to many suggestions right now to help me out with research would be great.

    We're looking for something for the two of us, preferably self contained - I don't want to be towing anything and don't want to drive anything too large (want to make sure I can still navigate through places like NY!).

    As we plan to be on the road for some time, I presume we're going to hit some snow, so I want to make sure that we can handle that.

    We plan to sleep in the car as much as possible, but will be using motels every now and then to break things up. Don't need a shower or anything like that in the car.

    Main things are driving comfort, sleeping comfort, a 'feeling' of space and reliability. I'm not much of a mechanic so don't want too many surprises, although I expect a few.

    I guess that is quite a lot to ask, but would like to know if anyone has done a trip like this and there is a particular make/model/vehicle that stands out.

    Initially I was looking as VW campers, but I think I've written than off as bad for snow, not practical, and overpriced for what you get.

    Sorry to go on a bit there, but does that help?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Class B

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It sounds like a "Class B" RV would be right up your alley, as they are in a lot of ways vans converted for long term living. While I don't think you'll find a lot of specific recommendations for brands or models here, there is lots of information to help you find the right vehicle for your trip. This article breaks down the differences and pros and cons between types of RVs. This thread also talks about differences in RV options, including a couple posts with more specific information about different types and models of class b RVs.

  5. Default

    Great. Thanks for that. Will start looking at the class b's. cool.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I understand that specific brand recommendations may be frowned upon here, but a "Toyota Mini Motorhome" may be what you are looking for. I think this may be closer to a Class C than a Class B. They were built on the Hilux chassis with a stock Toyota drivetrain, which made them very economical to operate compared to the full size V8 or diesel domestics on a full size van or truck chassis. There are websites dedicated to these things and I think you should be able to find one well within your budget. Being a Toyota with their famed reliability, a used one shouldn't be a money pit if it's been cared for. They have enough room for 2 people who are "good" friends to live in, albeit with limited internal facilities. They are compact enough to make them pretty easy to navigate through cities.

    Years ago, I had a friend in the military with one of the very early ones from the 70's, it had a 4 cylinder with a manual transmission. He actually lived in the thing. I believe the later ones all had a V6 with automatic available.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Specifics are ALWAYS preferred herein

    The chassis and design I like the best is produced by RoadTrek, I can't remember the chassis they use, but I like their tongue-in-cheek definition of a SUV = (Seriously Useful Vehicle)

    Another company I like is the Chinook brand -- which I know are built on Ford Chassis -- the model I always wanted to purchase was the Chinook Baja but it is out of production now.

    For true functionality -- you might like the Earthroamer (a bit pricier) -- some photos and more information about these specialized RVs is available on our Off-highway Resources Page.
    ....Years ago, I had a friend in the military with one of the very early ones from the 70's, it had a 4 cylinder with a manual transmission. He actually lived in the thing.
    We lived in the Phoenix One for 6.5 years (200 square feet, had a complete office and living space for three creatures -- Megan, Marvin and Me).


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Thanks for jogging my memory - my friend's was a Chinook. They may be using Ford chassis now (nothing at all wrong with that, I love my F-150) but his was an early 70's and it was definitely on a Hilux chassis. It didn't have anywhere near 200 square feet.

  9. Default

    Thanks for all the input. I like the look of the Roadtrek, although I may need to go for something 2002-2003 (I found a 2004 that looks absolutely brilliant) to stay within my price range. The Pheonix One looks amazing, but definitely not going to be anywhere near what I can afford (or what's practical for us)!

    I'll be looking at the mini Toyotas as well. I've got some time before our long drive so will do some shopping around.

    Thanks again for all the input.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A couple of thoughts

    You could try hunting around the rental companies for ex fleet deals like this one from Cruise America which is one of many for sale. I have no idea if it represents good value or not but it's worth investigating. If you are planning on selling the R.V. when you are finished they also do buy back deals,[as do other companies] again not a recommendation but might be worth looking at.

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