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-   -   Converting vehicles to moderate stay campers? (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/converting-vehicles-moderate-stay-campers-37096.html)

hayden55 12-17-2018 01:11 AM

Converting vehicles to moderate stay campers?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Anybody ever tried to live out of their vehicle? Scrolling through trying to find camper shells and quality of life improvements to them (mostly for weekend camping at the lake) and came across this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMiY...o6RHE2rcjGAHRg

I really think this would be a sweet way travel cheap and not have to pay rent when traveling and working in areas for short periods of time. Brainstorming moving to an area like Dallas after college, and trying not to spend $2000 grand a month on renting housing and thought this would be a fun and quirky little way to live and travel.

old_biker 12-17-2018 02:06 AM

not happy with his bed locking latch, not safe while driving. but cheap, I would see about a rock and roll frame for a VW bus, and build my own cushions & wood to fit the metal rock & roll brackets.

I never done this, but been a VW person all my life, & owned a bunch of VW busses with camper interiors.

are you planning to cook? an unusual stove fuel is look for marine stoves, to use alcohol, non pressurized, something you can find on road anywhere & is relatively cheap, relatively safe to transport.

Angel And The Wolf 12-17-2018 04:13 AM

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...=prius+camping

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQyAIyyYV70

California98Civic 12-17-2018 10:27 AM

Lots of young people have been doing this in recent years. Seems like an adaptation to housing crisises in many regions. I have done it for short periods in cars and vans. It is dodgier than it might seems: louder at night than you might imagine and sometimes not entirely safe on the streets, even in a vehicle. I think there are lots of testimonials available on youtube if you search for 'em.

Vman455 12-17-2018 12:29 PM

I "live" out of my car for up to 2 weeks at a time during my summer travels; it's much, much cheaper than using hotels, I get to see interesting places, and there's a feeling of freedom travelling that way when you aren't tied down to a fixed physical location.

I don't bother with cooking; I just eat cold food on the road, like yogurt, fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, etc. Shower at truck stops ($10-12 for a shower, and national chains like Pilot are always impeccably clean) or, now, I have a Planet Fitness Black card so I can go to any PF nationwide and shower.

Finding a place to park is the hardest part. I like to use Walmarts--3/4 of them allow overnight parking (google "no park walmart")--or campgrounds. I've never tried stealthing it on the street; that seems like inviting hassle from the police if you're discovered.

One of my projects over winter break is to add some thermal insulation to the cabin to make it more comfortable to sleep in, and revising my window blocks. They're currently just Reflectix cut to fit the windows, so I'm going to back them with 1" XPS board (R-5.0). In the doors and behind interior panels I'm fitting 1.6" denim insulation (R-6.7) and Reflectix radiant barrier. This should slow the rate of heat transfer at least a little--better than what's there, which is nothing.

The first year I camped this way, I took along a cooler, but last year I bought a 12V cooler/heater. Much easier; I don't have to bother with buying ice and draining water. The Prius' 12V socket will run up to 10 amps, more than enough to run the cooler and charge my cell phone and laptop with a little 100W inverter plugged into it.

http://i1047.photobucket.com/albums/...psxrkyfg7p.jpg
(Glacier, 2016)

hayden55 12-17-2018 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vman455 (Post 586272)
I "live" out of my car for up to 2 weeks at a time during my summer travels; it's much, much cheaper than using hotels, I get to see interesting places, and there's a feeling of freedom travelling that way when you aren't tied down to a fixed physical location.

I don't bother with cooking; I just eat cold food on the road, like yogurt, fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, etc. Shower at truck stops ($10-12 for a shower, and national chains like Pilot are always impeccably clean) or, now, I have a Planet Fitness Black card so I can go to any PF nationwide and shower.

Finding a place to park is the hardest part. I like to use Walmarts--3/4 of them allow overnight parking (google "no park walmart")--or campgrounds. I've never tried stealthing it on the street; that seems like inviting hassle from the police if you're discovered.

One of my projects over winter break is to add some thermal insulation to the cabin to make it more comfortable to sleep in, and revising my window blocks. They're currently just Reflectix cut to fit the windows, so I'm going to back them with 1" XPS board (R-5.0). In the doors and behind interior panels I'm fitting 1.6" denim insulation (R-6.7) and Reflectix radiant barrier. This should slow the rate of heat transfer at least a little--better than what's there, which is nothing.

The first year I camped this way, I took along a cooler, but last year I bought a 12V cooler/heater. Much easier; I don't have to bother with buying ice and draining water. The Prius' 12V socket will run up to 10 amps, more than enough to run the cooler and charge my cell phone and laptop with a little 100W inverter plugged into it.

http://i1047.photobucket.com/albums/...psxrkyfg7p.jpg
(Glacier, 2016)

Honestly you're not wrong. I'd say the Prius is a little more basic than I would like for anything over just a weekend stay, but personally but as a weekend vehicle, it isn't all that bad. All personal preference on how much of a minimalist you consider yourself.
What cooler do you have? Have you measured amp draw on it? I've heard a lot of the cheap ones really use a ton of Ah's to stay running. I've looked at alpicool. I think one of those wrapped in more R rated foam would be a sweet option to use.
Do you use any of the insulated winter sleeping bags to help with the temperature control?

Angel And The Wolf 12-17-2018 02:58 PM

I've not slept in my 2011 Prius, but I did in my 1990 CRX. Head at the tailights, feet on the gear shifter. OK for one person and a dog. VERY Minimalist!

freebeard 12-17-2018 03:42 PM

I've done that. One month in a 1961 VW panel van in 1972. I worked downtown and drove up into the hills each night.

More lately it's road trips, like to Bonneville. The Superbeetle had an L-shaped deck that was six feet long down the right side. It had a Koolatron in the rear storage compartment and a 12V outlet above the battery. It had a 110V converter but I never used it.

https://ecomodder.com/forum/member-f...-salty-bug.jpg

My latest acquisition is a little 12V coffee pot. $4 at Goodwill. I can sleep in the Dasher, as when I went to the Darko wind tunnel, but it's much harder to get in and out.

Vman455 12-18-2018 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hayden55 (Post 586273)
Honestly you're not wrong. I'd say the Prius is a little more basic than I would like for anything over just a weekend stay, but personally but as a weekend vehicle, it isn't all that bad. All personal preference on how much of a minimalist you consider yourself.
What cooler do you have? Have you measured amp draw on it? I've heard a lot of the cheap ones really use a ton of Ah's to stay running. I've looked at alpicool. I think one of those wrapped in more R rated foam would be a sweet option to use.
Do you use any of the insulated winter sleeping bags to help with the temperature control?

I use a Wagan 24L, not large. It only draws 3.5 amps, and it only cools something like 30 degrees F below ambient.

I use a 20F Slumberjack bag that I've had forever. It's plenty warm, but I think the added insulation to the car itself will both make it more comfortable to sleep in, and also reduce heating and cooling load when I'm driving.

Frank Lee 12-18-2018 02:58 PM

I discovered that I like enough headroom to at least be able to sit up in "bed"; something I couldn't do sleeping in the back of Moon Unit. Also it sure would have been nice to be able to open the rear hatch from the inside.

P.S. It would be good to have screens for at least one window too.


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