Thread: bed in a box
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Old 02-02-2021, 06:09 AM   #30
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 14
Vans Rule!

I'm late to this thread, but I will add my $.02

If you have a car, changing your vehicle to a full size van is a game changer--how you pack, how you travel, how you car camp. I went from a Honda Element, to a Ram Promaster van. Here are the advantages:

1. I store all seasonal outdoor equipment in the van. All I need to load for a trip (day trip->multi day) is some clothes, chuck box, cooler and overflow food. For instance, currently my van has wall tent, wood stove, pulk, mountain bike, snow shoes, XC skis, ski poles, bow saw, axe, splitting maul, sleeping bags, foam pads, gas lantern, extra white gas, one person tent and backpack ready to roll. (All inside he van, all protected from the weather).

2. Changing clothes at trailhead is simple and convenient. Get up from driver's seat, go to back of van and change. No need to go out of vehicle. You can change while parked in town, on a busy street.

3. Stop anywhere and take a nap in the back.

4. If you are car camping, you don't have to bother with a tent if you don't want to

5. If you are on a longer trip, the van gives you a 'safe haven', if the weather turns. You can somewhat live in a van vs. a car. I have a small table that I can sit at and do computer tasks.

1. Fuel Economy compared to car. All that space/vehicle weight comes a price.
2. Can' fit in parking garages
3. Parking is footprint is bigger than a car, but not larger than a full size pickup.
4. Vans are hot commodities these days, so prices are up.
5. A lot of van people go nuts with solar, battery banks, aux heat, water systems etc... depending on actual usage, these things may not be worth the cost. I think this depends on a person's background.... a backpacker knows how little you actually need and what is important... a non backpacker who hasn't camped probably thinks the van has to mimic the amenities of a house.

This is a good site that has forums on all matter of vehicle based camping:

Expedition Portal has forms for all kinds of things, trailers, van, medium duty trucks...etc.

Here is the beginnings of my van:


Last edited by jhl99; 02-02-2021 at 06:12 AM.. Reason: fixed typos
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