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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default You are spot on!

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    If she could find a later model with a V-6, automatic transmission, and A/C, I think that's exactly what she's looking for.
    Once again, you are spot on. That is exactly what I want... with a three way fridge. Nothing bigger than 6 cyl. And no longer than about 17'. Class B is usually about 20' or 22'. Remember... it's gonna be driven by a lol.

    There are some in LV, but there must be more elsewhere. Would be nice to check out others for comparison.

    Lifey

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default I know it is going to work!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    I'd still recommend renting one for a trip and see if that really is going to work.
    You sound as if I don't know what I'm talking about. We drove the VW Microbus, and VW Bus for decades, when going on holidays with the family. I am familiar with the vehicle, and feel comfortable with its size. Many folk whom we have known over the decades, have VW campers, and lots have taken them on the Wallaby (the round Australia trip). It is going to work, don't you worry! And with a three way fridge, will not even need a hook-up in a campground.

    And besides all that.... would you really want to be restricted by the terms of a rental agreement? And how much would six months rental be worth... multiply that by several trips - probably one a year from now on - and you will soon have covered the cost of a camper, and its upkeep. Besides, friends in MN will have use of it while I am out of the country.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    One of the best times of the year to be looking is late Fall to early Winter (in North America = October to November) when many folks are putting their camper vans to bed for the winter and debating about the storage costs.
    That was what I was wondering... what the best time is to look for one. Ideally I would like an ex rental, but they all seem to have so many fittings in them. I don't need things like water tanks and all that. It only helps to make the vehicle heavier, and guzzle more gas!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    What I really recommend you do is contact our two long-time RV Lifestyle correspondents -- they know just about everyone in the greater RV "commercial" community and they'd be an excellent resource for you.
    Thank you, will do.

    I have found a couple of very helpful RV dealerships who, although not dealing in the smaller vans, have offered to put out nationwide alerts to see if they can find one. But I would not expect them to put much of their time into looking for a vehicle for me.

    Lifey

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,103

    Default

    Lifey, how about some of these? Toyota motorhomes, 17 to 22 feet, some 4 cylinder, some V-6, some automatics, some manuals.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,658

    Default Lot's here.

    Have you stumbled across this site ? There seems to be something for all budgets.

    On the same site I came across this company who restores them. You might not want something fully restored but they might be worth contacting to see if they would sell something with good mechanics in a more 'natural' state.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default Great links, thanks.

    Gee, thanks guys. I had not come across those sites, though I have a dozen or so which I am watching... included in them the VW Owners site and other VW specialist sites.

    glc, those Toyotas are not like the ones with which I am familiar. You see, what I like so much about the VW, and which is the same in the Toyota and Nissan here, is that you can move from the driver's seat to your bed, without having to go outside the van. (The same as I had in the Dodge Caravan last trip, just walk between the two front seats.)

    Dave, thanks for those great links. I had not come across either of them, but then, I think I was more focused on sites which had forums where I could ask questions, etc.

    That first link in particular, is very helpful. It raises more questions than it answers, but I will deal with that in due course. All I really need is a vehicle in which I can arrange some sleeping space and a fridge to keep my perishables from spoiling without draining the battery when the engine is not running, i.e. a three way fridge (or even a two way fridge).

    The restored vans look fantastic. I will try to contact the firm and see what I can get from them. The ones pictured are more than a little outside my budget, but then, who knows what I could pick up. So thanks.

    Check out this place, which is in LV. These are the closest I have seen to what I am looking for. They still are far more luxurious than I desire, and have many features without which I can well do. They are also the only ones I have seen who mention a three way fridge. I have had valuable help in checking out this place.

    Lifey

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,658

    Default 'Bongo'.

    but then, I think I was more focused on sites which had forums where I could ask questions, etc.
    You probably noticed that you can sign up for the forums on that site.

    Check out this place, which is in LV.
    I have had that place saved on my computer for some time for future reference, as an option if just the 2 of us travel next time. I checked it out earlier to double check whether they had a sales Dept as well.

    That's the only downside of the VW for what you want, and that's the high price they demand. OK for resale purpose's, but doesn't help when purchasing. I can't seem to find much on the Mazda Bongo type Japanese vehicle in the US, but I think they would be a great choice for you.

    [Better do some more packing now].

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default Already checked that out

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I checked it out earlier to double check whether they had a sales Dept as well.
    With the help of an RTA member, that has already been checked out... and yes, I have all those details.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    That's the only downside of the VW for what you want, and that's the high price they demand.
    That is only because they are such a fantastic vehicle, easy to handle, economical and go forever. I also discovered, while going through those links, that what they call a Van, was called a Bus here. My husband always wanted to get the number plate VWBUS.

    Lifey

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default Thought I would share this

    Have just now spent three quarters of an hour on the phone, chatting with Don at Autotourusa.com. An extremely valuable phone call. Learned heaps. Gave me leads to alternatives, which will give me what I am looking for. Still trying to sort it all out in my own head, and now have several more sites to follow up.

    Also told him about this site. He said he had never heard of it, but would now check it out. Sure hope he does.

    Lifey

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,573

    Default Thanks for extending the invitation!

    Thanks for inviting him to take a look. We'd love to have someone associated with autotourusa.com checking in from time to time.

    Mark

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default Slowly, very slowly, getting there.

    An update, and a request.

    The researching has continued over the last six or eight weeks, and now it looks like a suitable vehicle may have been found. It is definitely the first vehicle which I would seriously consider.

    Next comes the pre-purchase inspection and report. These are a normal thing here, before purchasing a secondhand vehicle. However, it seems the concept is foreign to most folk in the USA. In Oz, as well as in the UK, the automobile clubs have quialified folk who do this for a fee. Here the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) offers a similar service. In fact, there is a whole industry around independent pre-purchase inspections and reports. Few would consider buying a car without one. The money invested in such a report, is well worth the peace of mind offered.

    I would be very interested if anyone knows of such a service in the USA.

    Meanwhile I have contacted the local Ford dealer, in the same town where the vehicle (a Ford) is located, to see if they are able and willing to do the inspection and give me an independent report on the condition of every aspect of the vehicle.

    A decade old dream is about to come to fruition.

    Lifey

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