Forums: Climbing Information: General:
Road Trip advice needed regarding van size.
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for General

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All


Futureroadtripper


Oct 1, 2009, 7:51 PM
Post #1 of 36 (3484 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2009
Posts: 3

Road Trip advice needed regarding van size.
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

We (my wife and I) are heading on a year long climbing road trip next year. Plan is to travel around the states & Canada. We have a camperised Volkswagen Westfalia which we love, but we are thinking an extended road trip of this length maybe we should get a bigger van/motorhome to make things easier. Having to move stuff around constantly in our small van does take its toll.

Advantages on the small van are better fuel consumption and easier to park. But living in the motorhome will mean easier daily tasks and hopefully a more enjoyable living experience.

Any experience with this sort of thing and advice would be greatly appreciated.

I have no knowledge on certain climbing areas about parking, I have heard for example that Rifle can be busy and I'm wondering if the bigger motorhome would be a real inconvenience.

Our rough plan so far is to head to Hueco first then head North to J-tree/Redrocks/bishop/Yosemite as the weather gets warmer.

Thanks for reading my post :)


irregularpanda


Oct 1, 2009, 8:40 PM
Post #2 of 36 (3464 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 13, 2007
Posts: 1364

Re: [Futureroadtripper] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

This is my suggestion. I saw this guy near squamish, he seemed legit.


I think if you put a rack on top, then you could store large bags of things, and have more room for sleeping, cooking, and other creature comforts.


rhythm164


Oct 1, 2009, 8:50 PM
Post #3 of 36 (3459 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 964

Re: [Futureroadtripper] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

Subu Outback + Thule box = problem solved


xaniel2000


Oct 2, 2009, 7:53 AM
Post #4 of 36 (3421 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 7, 2007
Posts: 99

Re: [rhythm164] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

don't get a motorhome, get a nice tent and sleep outside


moose_droppings


Oct 2, 2009, 8:37 AM
Post #5 of 36 (3406 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 7, 2005
Posts: 3356

Re: [Futureroadtripper] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

From everything I've heard and read, the Volkswagen Westfalia is prone to more than the average breakdowns while touring. Sell it and get a full sized van equiped for camping in.
A motor home would be overkill, but probably more comfortable.
Should gasoline jump to $5.00 a gallon, you could get one cheap. Smile


camhead


Oct 2, 2009, 9:40 AM
Post #6 of 36 (3375 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 9, 2001
Posts: 20748

Re: [rhythm164] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

rhythm164 wrote:
Subu Outback + Thule box = problem solved

uhh... no. He's asking about vans. For a year long roadtrip.


meanandugly


Oct 2, 2009, 10:49 AM
Post #7 of 36 (3356 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Posts: 312

Re: [Futureroadtripper] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I just put the rear seats down in my 96 Ford Explorer and throw in a matress. I love it so much sometimes I sleep in it when home. Never been stuck and never a breakdown, but might be a bit much for a year on the road.
If I could I would get a cargo van and convert it for such a purpose or a saburban with the rear seats removed.


Edvin


Oct 2, 2009, 11:13 AM
Post #8 of 36 (3344 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 12, 2009
Posts: 31

Re: [meanandugly] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Yeah, second that! Got a '95 Ford Mondeo which I been sleeping quite alot in. Either I've just thrown in my regular air matress or I put in an extra large regular mattress that covers tho whole back of it.

Two people sleps like kings, three is maximun if you want your own space, 4 or 5... well you must be quite good friends.

But for living a longer period, I don't know kind of messy to dry clothes, flip the seats and rearrange all the bags and stuff during travel.

My best advice would be the find the smallest possible motorhome with kitchen facilities, a table and two(or one big) beds seperated from the table. If you are going to live in it for a long time you don't want to have to move around all your stuff all the time just to eat, sleep, travel etc.


shimanilami


Oct 2, 2009, 11:53 AM
Post #9 of 36 (3322 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 24, 2006
Posts: 2043

Re: [Futureroadtripper] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I would think a motorhome would be overkill. Have you considered one of those big-ass camper shells on the back of a pick-up truck? At a place like JT or Yosemite, you could leave the camper shell on its "stilts" while you drive to the crag to climb.


Futureroadtripper


Oct 2, 2009, 2:53 PM
Post #10 of 36 (3283 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2009
Posts: 3

Re: [shimanilami] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Some interesting thoughts.

Having spent trips of up to 6 months living in a tent my love for extended camping has diminished.

Likewise the Subaru option would not work either.

12 months living out of a car? no thanks.

What have people used for their long road trips?

The comfort of a 22' motorhome will never be beaten by a tent, but where would this size of vehicle be more of nuisance?

:)


sspssp


Oct 2, 2009, 3:33 PM
Post #11 of 36 (3274 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 2, 2003
Posts: 1731

Re: [Futureroadtripper] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Futureroadtripper wrote:
The comfort of a 22' motorhome will never be beaten by a tent, but where would this size of vehicle be more of nuisance?

:)

As far as J-tree/Redrocks/bishop/Yosemite, I don't think a motorhome would be a big deal in any of those places. For a big ass motorhome, I think things like grocery stores and gas stations might be the biggest pain in the butt. I'm not sure somebody can really tell you whether the tradeoffs are worth that.

I have been on logging (or other bad) roads where it would matter, but not too many. Indian Creek would be a pain, but even there, once you parked you could probably get rides from other climbers.

If you are in a motorhome, you won't be able to do "low key" bandit camping. Even a westy doesn't scream "I'm sleeping inside" quite like a motorhome.

If I had the money to burn, I would probably get the largest motorhome that is built on a full size pickup chassis. (Not a camper shell, but the mini-motorhome). You can even get these in 4 wheel drive and raise the suspension a bit. If you are really wealthy, I guess you could get the motorhome and pull the SUV behind...

Have fun on your trip. I've been on the road for up to 4 months (converted full sized/cargo van). A year would be sweet.


(This post was edited by sspssp on Oct 2, 2009, 3:34 PM)


k.l.k


Oct 2, 2009, 3:48 PM
Post #12 of 36 (3265 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 9, 2007
Posts: 1190

Re: [Futureroadtripper] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

a year is a long time to live in the ass end of a pickup. or even in a westfaila.

but it's also a long time to have to use a 22' road whale for each and every beer run, doctor's appointment, and restaurant run. if you go the rv, then i'd get a decent motorcycle and a rack for short trips.

i'd think about buying a trailer that you can tow with your everyday ride, assuming you have one that isn't a prius or a miata. the trailer can get planted for weeks at a time-- you could even do a short road trip away for a night or two. and trailers frequently have more interior room than comparably sized rvs, since you don't need to accommodate a drive train.

i did see a big rv get stuck in the "A" loop at HVC. That narrow lane was too small, and he got it wedged between two boulders. had no choice but to drive it slowly through, with a hideous scrapping scream of metal-on-monzonite.

We all laughed our asses off.


sspssp


Oct 2, 2009, 3:53 PM
Post #13 of 36 (3261 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 2, 2003
Posts: 1731

Re: [k.l.k] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Yea, I was thinking about posting that a trailer might be a reasonable comprise. But for the trailer to be better living conditions than a van, it would have to be a pretty big trailer. That is a bit of pain also. Although being able to disconnect it would be sweet, especially places like the Creek.

Returning to the original post, a lot of the times I end up driving on bad forest/BLM roads, it is because I am looking for free (or at least unlikely to be hassled) camping. You can't get to those places as easily in a big motorhome. Now if you don't mind paying for your camping and/or the KOA wastelands, then that wouldn't be an issue.


kyote321


Oct 2, 2009, 3:55 PM
Post #14 of 36 (3258 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 24, 2005
Posts: 636

Re: [Futureroadtripper] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

motor-homes are great - to a point. do you really need a shower and indoor toilet? sure it is nice sometimes but you can acquire those things outside and not havea tank to dump.

my best experiences have been in large van or diesel trucks with poopup camper tops.

i agree that VWs over 100k are prone to drama. get a tundra with a popup (heater is nice) and you are golden.


guangzhou


Oct 2, 2009, 5:17 PM
Post #15 of 36 (3241 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Posts: 3389

Re: [kyote321] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Some small motors are not much bigger than a big econoline van.

Speaking on Econoline van, After high school, I lived in Yosemite for a year. Worked for Curry. At the end of the year, I took a 14 month climbing trip with a partner, not wife, but close enough. We used a Ford Econoline.

We made some small minor adjustments, like an elevated bed in back so we could store stuff in back. We also bolts a large metal box inside. The box was nice place to keep thing out of reach when on walls and away from home, but also acted as a table.

We addedc a couple of hooks and bought a hanging stove from an RV center. We had the stove bracket both inside and outside. (I prefer cooking outside, but when it rains, it was nice not to have to venture out.

On rainy days, vans or RV are nice. You can seat up, strech, play game/cards, not so true in a waggon or pick up.

I've done two other extended trips. Both nine months long. One was in a Pick Up with camper, the other in a Station waggon. Both worked, but I can't imagine two people for a year in either. Nine months not sharing was hard enough.


If I did this trip again today, I would go with one of the small RV. Agaim, they are not much bigger than a large van, but the comfort and convenience would be great.

The portable camper shell what lift on stilts would be nice option too, but never tried.


rhythm164


Oct 2, 2009, 5:30 PM
Post #16 of 36 (3239 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 964

Re: [camhead] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

camhead wrote:
rhythm164 wrote:
Subu Outback + Thule box = problem solved

uhh... no. He's asking about vans. For a year long roadtrip.

uhhh..yea, I'd have no problem living out of my wagon for a year.


altelis


Oct 2, 2009, 6:38 PM
Post #17 of 36 (3223 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 10, 2004
Posts: 2168

Re: [rhythm164] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

rhythm164 wrote:
camhead wrote:
rhythm164 wrote:
Subu Outback + Thule box = problem solved

uhh... no. He's asking about vans. For a year long roadtrip.

uhhh..yea, I'd have no problem living out of my wagon for a year.

That week straight of rain would get old REAL fast in a wagon....or a pickup w/ shell (not camper shell, just a shell), etc.....


rhythm164


Oct 2, 2009, 8:31 PM
Post #18 of 36 (3197 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 964

Re: [altelis] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

altelis wrote:
rhythm164 wrote:
camhead wrote:
rhythm164 wrote:
Subu Outback + Thule box = problem solved

uhh... no. He's asking about vans. For a year long roadtrip.

uhhh..yea, I'd have no problem living out of my wagon for a year.

That week straight of rain would get old REAL fast in a wagon....or a pickup w/ shell (not camper shell, just a shell), etc.....

only if someone steals your wheels...


seatbeltpants


Oct 4, 2009, 12:36 PM
Post #19 of 36 (3125 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 9, 2008
Posts: 581

Re: [Futureroadtripper] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

interested to see the comments here - my wife and i are starting to plan a trip around the usa so are looking at options along these lines too.

we're currently toying with renting a vw from these dudes: http://www.vwsurfari.com/, which sets you up in one of these...





not sure how well thought out this plan of mine is, but having something like this to drive around would be so damn stylish i'd put up with a few breakdowns!

steve


acorneau


Oct 5, 2009, 7:54 AM
Post #20 of 36 (3078 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 6, 2008
Posts: 2889

Re: [seatbeltpants] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

If I were going the car/camper route I would probably check out one of these instead:



http://www.ursaminorvehicles.com/camper.htm

I would guess a new Honda would be much more reliable/comfortable than a 30 year old VW, but I've never tried one out personally.


hhelbein


Oct 5, 2009, 8:21 AM
Post #21 of 36 (3069 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 16, 2007
Posts: 112

Re: Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've been lusting after a Dodge Sprinter van after watching someone pull two long sea kayaks out of one. Diesel engine, reasonable gas mileage, a still has that low key look. There are long bed and raised roof standard options, plus there are all kinds of RV conversion options out there.

-hch


tradmanclimbs


Oct 5, 2009, 9:20 AM
Post #22 of 36 (3053 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 24, 2003
Posts: 2599

Re: [hhelbein] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Lived in a vanagon syncro, roadtripped in a westy a bunch. road tripped a bunch in honda civics, pickups, Galaxy 500s etc.. as well. Vans RULE! Westys get old in a hurry though when you spend climbing days twisting wrenches, trying to get parts etc. also suck driveing on windy roads and bad weather unless you have the syncro. That thing was a TANK! My current setup is a crysler Town and country with a bed in the back, curtains etc. Cramped but drives super nice like a car not a van. Comfy.

Dream rig is of course the Sprinter!! Screw the conversion job. i want to rig my own as i will do a better job of utilizeing the space for liveing. they stuff too much crap into those conversions and it kills your liveing space. Don't need a toilet I need a place to hang and play guitar when its raining!


subantz


Oct 5, 2009, 9:38 AM
Post #23 of 36 (3046 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 7, 2007
Posts: 1247

Re: [Futureroadtripper] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I bought a chevy express van. built a platform in the back. stuck a futon on it and made it tall enough for my whitewater kayaks to slide underneath. Its the jam.


camhead


Oct 5, 2009, 10:00 AM
Post #24 of 36 (3034 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 9, 2001
Posts: 20748

Re: [rhythm164] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

rhythm164 wrote:
camhead wrote:
rhythm164 wrote:
Subu Outback + Thule box = problem solved

uhh... no. He's asking about vans. For a year long roadtrip.

uhhh..yea, I'd have no problem living out of my wagon for a year.

good for you. start your own thread about it. it is completely irrelevant here.


reno


Oct 5, 2009, 10:12 AM
Post #25 of 36 (3024 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 30, 2001
Posts: 18283

Re: [k.l.k] Road Trip advice needed regarding van size. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

k.l.k wrote:
a year is a long time to live in the ass end of a pickup. or even in a westfaila.

but it's also a long time to have to use a 22' road whale for each and every beer run, doctor's appointment, and restaurant run. if you go the rv, then i'd get a decent motorcycle and a rack for short trips.

Yep.

A third option is a pop-up camper towed behind a car.

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Information : General

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook