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I am in the market for RV-ish vehicle: a small camper I can sleep in and live on the road, but not a full-fledged RV.

asked Nov 26 '12 at 16:27

Kevin%20Kelly's gravatar image

Kevin Kelly
196


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If all you want is a place to sleep, any pickup with a camper shell, or a van or minivan or wagon will suffice. But that's obvious, so by your question I'm assuming you want a bit more than that.

My suggestion is that you take a look at the RVs that are built on Sprinter bodies. The Sprinter is a Dodge/Mercedes van that can be used as a cargo van or modified to be a camper van. It's 22 feet long and you can park it in a standard parking space. (It's the size of a full-size truck, e.g. a F/250 crew cab truck.) The Diesel engine model will get you 20-24 MPG in the real world. My dad lived in one full-time for 3 years as he traveled all over the US. It's cramped for full-time living, but it does have everything you need, a tiny bathroom, a tiny sink, a tiny stove, a dorm-size fridge, and a queen size bed.

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answered Nov 26 '12 at 22:14

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jcdill
76

answered Nov 26 '12 at 17:10

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50thomas
16

Fantastic blog. A real discovery. Thank you :)

1 year, 10 months ago
AJfinch's gravatar image AJfinch

The most versatile RV is a truck camper and is not a vehicle at all. If you currently have a pickup truck you are already halfway there. In addition to providing compact, comfortable accommodations on the road or about town, it can be easily removed from the truck and become a fully functional cabin at the site of your choice. Unlike vans and motorhomes, each part of the combination can be upgraded or replaced separately and in most states the camper is considered cargo and does not require registration. Sizes and styles are available from small pop ups and hardsides for one or two people to palatial units with multiple slideouts for a family. For the larger truck campers you will need a truck with considerable load capacity but the smaller units are made to work with full sized half tons and smaller trucks. Good deals can be had in the used market and if you are at all handy, a well selected fixer-upper can be a good value. For a wealth of one stop information visit truckcampermagazine.com.

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answered Nov 28 '12 at 08:00

larrybluhm's gravatar image

larrybluhm
16

We bought a conversion van by GTRV which has been great. It's a Dodge mini-van which has a pop top added like the VW westfalias. The interior has been renovated with a fridge, stove, mini sink, and even a furnace. The rear seat folds down into a bed and the pop top has a bed as well. It's very discreet. Ours is a 1997 with 200,000 miles and its still going strong, getting about 21-22 MPG. We drove across the country and back last summer with no issues. The company does conversions like this to a couple of models of minivans and full size vans as well. I suggest you take a look at these.

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answered Nov 29 '12 at 07:49

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Topher
16

You should look at a Silver Shadow or other models made by Little Guy. We had a large trailer (25 x 20) and sold it to go with this.

The positives are that it's basically a well-insulated tent on wheels that can be pulled by almost any vehicle. It has a queen-size bed. Adequate storage inside. The only accessories we have are five gallons of water and a two burner stove.

Many people think they want an indoor toilet / shower and a heater. We typically camp is National Forest campgrounds, which have nice toilets. We don't understand why people want to carry a toilet with them. The camper is well-insulated — body heat keeps us warm enough. Our sleeping bag is rated to 45 degrees. We've camped in 40 degree temperature. It rarely gets to 50 inside and if it does, we're in our sleeping bags.

It has a tongue weight under 100 pounds and GVW under 1000 pounds. It costs about $7500 new.

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answered Nov 26 '12 at 17:32

jwmci's gravatar image

jwmci
1

A slide-in camper is the best all-round option inmy opinion. This is especially true if you plan to go off-road and camp in the woods/desert. The lightweight aluminum framed rigs are built for 4x4 use.

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answered Nov 26 '12 at 19:03

epistememe's gravatar image

epistememe
1

A slide-in camper is the best all-round option inmy opinion. This is especially true if you plan to go off-road and camp in the woods/desert. The lightweight aluminum framed rigs are built for 4x4 use.

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answered Nov 26 '12 at 19:04

epistememe's gravatar image

epistememe
1

I don't know what a slide-in camper is. ANd are there better makes and models?

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answered Nov 26 '12 at 20:00

Kevin%20Kelly's gravatar image

Kevin Kelly
196

answered Nov 27 '12 at 07:07

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jrh517
1

I like the Toyota motor homes, they haven't been made since around the mid 80's but they are equipped with bullet proof Toyota engines and come in different configurations. I particularly like the Sunrader which is a fiberglass body and approx 20 ft. long. They come equipped with bathroom, shower, kitchen, air conditioner and also a walk thru from the cab to the back. The gas mileage seems to average at around 14-19 mpg. Keep in mind that these are a lot of systems to maintain but occasionally a Toyota with less than 50,000 miles shows up for sale as they are seldom used.

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answered Nov 27 '12 at 08:39

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aisleofview
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Asked: Nov 26 '12 at 16:27

Seen: 7,572 times

Last updated: May 30 at 10:14

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