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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

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This one looked nice it was on a tv show



answered Nov 27 '12 at 12:28

tke248's gravatar image


A full size van could work for a single or a couple. a buddy of mine fitting out a van with a plywood bed, plastic dressers from Walmart, and a good inverter to run his electronics. he used to camp all summer out west in natl forest campgrounds and national parks, relying on their restrooms. if desired, you could add a five gal. tub/toilet.


answered Nov 27 '12 at 18:22

raven397's gravatar image


VW Vanagon and Eurovan Westfalia ("Westy") pop-top campers are comfortable and efficient. They can carry, sleep, and dine up to four people. There is plenty of owner and vendor support, even for the older models.

Wiki: http://www.vanagonwiki.net/ Email List: http://gerry.vanagon.com/ Web Forum: http://www.thesamba.com/ My Westy: http://www.fuelly.com/driver/sbw/vanagon


answered Nov 28 '12 at 07:52

sbw's gravatar image


I used to own a 1975 VW camper bus, man was it fun! But again it was an old vehicle and did not drive it in cold snowy weather. I've been thinking of getting something more modern like the 1995+ VW eurovan camper conversions. These look great but are quite expensive for late model versions.

The Samba classifieds

Fleetwood makes a few neat looking popup campers such as the scorpion, evolution and element series. The element series Neon is so small and lightweight it can be easily towed with a small car.

Fleetwood trailers


answered Nov 29 '12 at 09:13

Patfur's gravatar image


edited Nov 29 '12 at 09:14

This may be kind of late, but Kevin Kelly asked what is a slie-in camper. I guess there are few of them in Silicon Valley. this is a unit carried in the bed of a pickup, typically with aluminum hull and a section which fits over the cab. the size and weight vary. some are 8 feet long, thus lighter. longer ones extend past the back of the truck and require a pickup with much greater weight capacity. most have a toilet, some add a shower. most have a propane fridge and stove unit.


answered Nov 29 '12 at 12:16

raven397's gravatar image


I've had a few RVs and traveled from one side of the US to the other in various vehicles. In my experience the best RV is the smallest one you can be comfortable in.

Towing anything is a PITA and limiting -- it restricts where you can park and backing up, even after you get good at it, is still no fun at all.

A slide-in camper for a truck is nice (like these: http://www.lancecamper.com/truck-campers.php) but often very heavy and require a stout truck. A camper "shell" for a pickup is basically just a fiberglass cover and I can tell you from experience they can get very cold at night! But if you fix it up right this is a great way to go.

If your needs are simple (i.e. just sleeping and don't need a bathroom/shower) a van might be your best bet. In William Least Heat Moon's book "Blue Highways" he just used a simple workman's van with a cot in the back. That's a good approach, but nowadays I'd recommend a minivan instead. They're safer, get better milage and so numerous on the road you're essentially invisible.


answered Dec 01 '12 at 07:26

Mike%20Sisk's gravatar image

Mike Sisk

Depending on your needs and your DIY skills there are a bunch of options. The Sprinter has already been mentioned and is probably at the upper end of the size and comfort range (for a small RV-ish vehicle). It can be outfitted with a shower so you can be really self-contained. Down from that are van conversions (generally subtract the shower) and the Vanagon has already been mentioned there. Camper slide-ins are also possibilities, but they generally require a substantial truck (excepting the more Euro-style ones that can be dropped on to many smaller trucks). Again, they've been mentioned as well.

If you're solo, probably the smallest option is to look at a Ford Transit Connect camper conversion. They're tiny, can come with a portapotty, and have great gas mileage. If you're comfortable living that close together (and don't come in the large, economy size), two people can travel in one of these.

If you're considering trailers, just about the smallest is one of the teardrop trailers. Again, no shower (and frequently no potty), but they can be towed by nearly anything.

If you're looking for something larger and have good (bordering on great) DIY skills, picking up your own vehicle and converting it will work. Any of the aforementioned vehicles are great candidates. Also worth considering are used box trucks. They're common, easy to work on, and the box on the back is just begging for a cool conversion unit.


answered Dec 01 '12 at 10:30

kws103's gravatar image


www.livinlite.com/camplite-overview.php has both campers (from 11' to 16') and slide in truck units. We own a 16' travel trailer with all the amenities and enjoy it immensely. All aluminum construction means it will last, and their towed campers are light enough, in some cases, to be pulled by a large range of vehicles.


answered Dec 01 '12 at 14:42

g503600's gravatar image


A lot depends on your budget and your aptitude for mechanical and handyperson stuff. The Sprinter-based RVs are great if you have a budget of $50-60k. Toward the low end of the budget spectrum the Toyota-based RVs are a good suggestion, and a look a eBay suggests that a nice one should be available around $8k and below. In between, the VW Rialta might be worth looking at (usually around $16-22k), and maybe also the Winnebago Lesharo.

Beyond that, you can always watch used C-class RVs on eBay or RVTrader, and postings on Craigslist. I have seen quite a few appealing RVs sell for low prices. Good luck!


answered Dec 01 '12 at 17:25

CaptObvus's gravatar image


For a small trailer with good accommodations take a look at Aliner campers. I have one and swear by it.


answered Dec 02 '12 at 09:01

Arthurh's gravatar image


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Asked: Nov 26 '12 at 16:27

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Last updated: May 30 '14 at 10:14

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