THERE ARE MANY REASONS TO HAVE A CONVERSION VAN. MOST FOLKS WILL USE IT FOR AFFORDABLE TRAVEL, AND SOME DOING THE MORE EXTREME BOONDOCKING AND EVEN LESS LIVING IN IT PERMANENTLY.
Some use it as their mobile office, while traveling around the country, others have made it part of the Tiny House Movement.
For me it is all about mobility and extended stays, while preserving functionality and comfort.
Generators have been a source of irritation for many RV’rs for a long time, but their time has come, unless you have an air-conditioner to run. Solar panels have come a long way and even the smaller RVs can support multiple panels with ease. Especially the new high efficiency flexible solar panels that can be fit and hidden on top of the roofs of most cargo vans.
Elon Musk: “A battery by definition is a collection of cells. The challenge is taking a very high-energy cell, and a large number of them, and combining them safely into a large battery.”
With prices as low as they are, van owners should not limit themselves to one panel, but go for the maximum that space allows. With flexible panels, weight is not an obstacle anymore and the maintenance of a photovoltaic system is simple anyway. What a relief it is to be off-grid, yet still be able to use all your gadgets with fewer limitations, even on long trips.
More panels mean more free and renewable energy and increased independence from campgrounds!
A good night’s rest may be hard to find in the average RV. Convertible sleeper sofas or dinette sleepers often leave you broken after a night on a thin pad or between pads, if the bed is constructed from several individual pads instead of a solid mattress.
A little comfort makes travel so much easier!
Either on a short road trip or while long term boondocking, good communications are becoming more of a necessity!
In addition, frequently backup camera’s add to driving safely. Adding these inexpensive camera’s to all sides of the vehicle with access to them from a tablet, would dramatically improve safety for these small Class B RV’s, especially for those who travel alone or as a couple. With night vision, this also creates a wonderful opportunity to watch the local wildlife, that crawls around your van at night.
5. Energy saving:
Anybody who has traveled in an RV, has experienced the limitations on energy use in such a vehicle and owners are continuously on the watch for improvements. The recent developments around LED lights has made them more affordable, but more importantly, their ultra low power consumption makes them ideal as the light source of choice in recreational vehicles.
And more energy savings means more independence.
6. Water saving:
Another big limitation on boondocking trips is access to water. Installing extra water tanks should fix that problem, if water wasn’t so heavy. At more than 8 lbs per gallon (1 Kg/L) you’re always restricted by the maximum payload of the van.
For now, the best solution is conservation. Taking one-gallon showers and installing a water saving shower head like the Oxygenics, may extend your boondocking with a couple of days.
Winter cold and summer heat are the biggest enemies of every van owner and while better heating may be a solution, cooling is virtually impossible, unless you’re on a campground or have a large generator at your disposal.
Good insulation brings with it condensation, with cooking, showers and heaters as the worst offenders.
These waterless devices work on the principle of separating the fluids from the solids, thus eliminating any foul smells. They make disposal a lot easier and eliminate almost all water use.