Ready To Travel? Bring Your Pet!

Most pet owners won’t leave home without their beloved animal and van owners are not different. A converted van may be limited in space, but that doesn’t bother Fido. As long as his boss is nearby, nobody is complaining.
Yet there are some restrictions to having a pet on board. The 600 mile daily stretch, to do the cross-country trip in as few days as possible is history. Doggie may not like driving that much and regular stops with long walks may relieve him in more than one way.

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First Look: 2015 MB Sprinter Review

This is the third cargo van review in a series that focus on the 2015 MB Sprinter, Ram ProMaster, Ford Transit, Chevy Express and Nissan NV. It is part of the buying process of a new van, that will be converted into a nicely finished, one-person RV.

Ram ProMaster Review
Ford Transit Review

These reviews emphasis the elements of a van conversion, and are strictly my personal opinion and how that impacts on my conversion needs.

This week: Mercedes Benz Sprinter

After my previous two dealer visits (Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit), I slowly start to understand which details of the van define the differences between the available brands/models and which features are Continue reading First Look: 2015 MB Sprinter Review

Fulltime RVing Is The Right Choice (If You Can!)

Before deciding to convert your own cargo van, you should find out if full-time living in an RV will fit your lifestyle and your budget. Or you may choose for extended RV camping, where you use leave home for a few months, like the Canadian snowbirds each winter.

You can go from a small Class B van, all the way up to a full-size bus or choose to go with a truck/trailer combination, with the latter having a separate vehicle to drive with. Cost varies between a few $1,000’s for a used van with mattress and a few cabinets, up to a $500,000 for your dream bus.
Continue reading Fulltime RVing Is The Right Choice (If You Can!)

Cargo Van Conversion: Safety First!

When you’re seriously considering to transform your cargo van into a full-fletched RV, you really have to pay attention to your SAFETY during and after the conversion. You know, whether you’re clumsy, impatient or don’t know how to hold a hammer. In that case, this undertaking is not for you. Go and buy a fully converted van from a professional or just put a mattress and porto-potti in the back of your van.
Continue reading Cargo Van Conversion: Safety First!

Installation Guidelines

A cargo van conversion should follow basic rules during every phase of the construction. Any change or addition to the van, may impact the warranties of the van or the appliances, that are added to it.

It may also affect the fuel consumption and performance of the vehicle. Aerodynamics , added weight and distribution of weight, all change the way you will use your converted van.

The design and implementation of the conversion should at least conform with the following stipulations:
Continue reading Installation Guidelines

Car Electronics – Part II

In the previous article I talked about GPS trackers, car DVR and reverse sensing systems; I’ll finish the line-up with backup cameras, side cameras, GPS and display screens.

Backup Camera

These tiny camera’s are simple and cheap to install yourself. Certainly with cargo vans, parking or hooking up a trailer will be a whole lot easier and safer.

Location – Some models mount on the license-plate frame, but some states prohibit these frames. A better location is at the roof looking down; this enhances the view on the screen.

Wiring – Legal issues are also abound when wiring it to a constant power source. The camera will show the road behind you even if you’re not in reverse, but that is prohibited in some states. The correct way is to connect it to the wiring of the reverse light.

Continue reading Car Electronics – Part II

“Selecting An RV Heater (Without Going Broke)”

Journey

My years of living in a travel trailer have long gone by, yet many good memories linger. Traveling along the highways from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia in the North and Mexico to Guatemala in the South.
Visiting many of the well-known and lesser known treasures in North America, often following the seasons to stay comfortable both in winter and summer.
espar airtronic B1LC
Sometimes we ended up in Death Valley in mid-summer with temperatures over 110’F or similar heat in Saskatchewan. And under these circumstances, living and boondocking in an RV, the only thing you can do is open the doors and windows, take it easy and sip on a cold drink.

Continue reading “Selecting An RV Heater (Without Going Broke)”

Car Electronics – Part I

With an imminent purchase of a new cargo van, it’s time to start thinking about how I start the conversion. Actual changes to the van, have to begin with electrical and/or electronic devices. Wiring must be done while floors, walls and ceiling are still accessible.

Some of these devices could have been acquired as an factory-installed option, but this way I save some money and get a more complete system.

Following up on 7 Gadgets to Super-Charge Your Cargo Van, I look at the required specifications and availability of these electronic gadgets, which will make life and driving a bit easier. Some are for fun, yet others are needed, such as Back Up Assist, which will be mandated for new cars within the next few years. You can spend thousands on all of these devices, but with a little effort I should stay within my limited budget.

    This is my wish list:

    dash cam

  • GPS Tracker.
  • Dash Cam.
  • Reverse Sensing System.
  • Backup Camera.
  • Cameras.
  • GPS.
  • Display Screen.

Continue reading Car Electronics – Part I

Is RV Soundproofing Really Essential?

In planning the upcoming conversion, one of the first issues I have to look at is insulation. While insulating an RV tends to be against heat loss and cold, more and more conversions nowadays incorporate some sort of soundproofing.

dynamatVery popular materials are Dynamat, Fatmat and the poor man’s Peel & Seal. Popularized with car audio installations, these products are finding their way into the RV business. High-end audio listeners appreciate the sound improvements these products can offer in passenger cars or trucks where they mainly dampen the redistribution of sound through vibration.

Continue reading Is RV Soundproofing Really Essential?

Hyundai H350: Will This Change My Mind….?

The three major brands have introduced their new European style Cargo Vans to the American market and I am finally ready to pick the best one that fits my requirements. Yet I may have to hold off for a little longer, as rumors persist of several new entries that may tease the American buyer.

As I wrote here before, the Hyundai H350 was introduced in 2014 to the European market and now it has been spotted, disguised and all, driving around in California. Other manufacturers, like Nissan with its NV400 Euro Van, would also like to grab a piece of Ford’s and GM’s market share. And the declining sales of the Chevy Express may force GM to quickly introduce its European Movano (based on the Renault Master).

Choice is always good, but these vans really lack much variety and for the untrained eye, they all very much look alike. Only a substantial price discount may attract buyers to these new models and that’s what we may get with the Hyundai H350.

New introductions do carry a risk; production problems will occur during the first few years and the lack dealer support has to be addressed too. Should I consider waiting….?

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