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Old 01-13-2014, 03:50 PM   #1
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Default A quick introduction and a few questions

I am a nurse and have recently decided to become a traveling nurse. I will be traveling alone so instead of taking the housing that the travel agency provides, I have instead decided to provide my own housing and pocket the extra $10/hr (average). I have decided to purchase a cargo van and convert it into a camper and use that as transportation and my home away from home.

My first question is will I have any issues getting an RV site at campgrounds? I plan on just getting a site, for the few months I am at each location, so I have access to electricity, water and hopefully a shower if its a bigger facility. I just want to make sure that they will allow me to stay there even though I will not have a typical camper/RV. Has anyone had any issues with this type of "camping"?

My second question is will it be better off in the long run for me to purchase the cargo van and build into it or pay more money and get one that has already been outfitted? Money is a huge concern right now and I really dont think I will have enough money to purchase a roadtrek or similar anyway. I really only need a bed and a small countertop to put my stove and some storage so I really dont need anything too fancy.

I know that these vans are out there and I have seen quite a few online but I havent been able to find a forum dedicated to them, so I figured someone here would be able to point me in the right direction.

Thanks for the help in advance.

Photocodo
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: A quick introduction and a few questions

Do you have budget or dollar figure in mind for the van?
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: A quick introduction and a few questions

Quote:
My first question is will I have any issues getting an RV site at campgrounds? I plan on just getting a site, for the few months I am at each location, so I have access to electricity, water and hopefully a shower if its a bigger facility. I just want to make sure that they will allow me to stay there even though I will not have a typical camper/RV. Has anyone had any issues with this type of "camping"?
In regards to this question. It should not be a problem. There are a few resort type of campgrounds that have restrictions that only newer, larger RV's are welcome, but those are usually in the high tourist areas like South Florida. I have never had a problem with our Great West Van or Roadtrek. I have however never travelled in a converted cargo van, but do not anticipate that being a problem.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: A quick introduction and a few questions

Have you considered any other type of RV? A lightweight travel trailer might be much more comfortable and allow you to "set up house" and then use a car or minivan or pickup for daily driving.

If you stay with the van plan then I'd suggest a pre-converted unit for functionality and comfort. Comfortable seating, properly installed kitchen(ette), lighting, dinette etc.

I don't think converting a van is an easy job at all. Here are some topics started by Meg that give an idea of the huge challenges of doing it without help and on a tight budget:

Flooring question: How to deal with small spaces

Full-timing in the van - Meg

Parts of an electrical system - what would I need?
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: A quick introduction and a few questions

Greetings,

As an FYI my wife and i did just what you are pondering in converting a cargo van to a nice camper van. There is a build thread _at the Sportsmobile forum here_. You were also asking if there is such a forum that people have done what you are asking...well the SMB forum is such a place. Look in the "Homebuild" (_LINK_) area.

We purchased ours new in October 2010 looking like this...


And today it is fully loaded/functional for our needs as this:


My wife and i did all the insulation and major interior work in about two months working on our two days off each week. Then in the spring of 2013 we had a custom van shop do some interior mods. BUT she and i did have everything working as we'd designed (sleep/cook/shower/potty) and used the rig for two seasons before the interior face lift...so... this can be done. AND we get OOOHHHs and AAHHHs nearly everywhere we go. This van is also my wife's daily driver.

IF i were to do it from scratch in the current market i would strongly look at the new Dodge Ram Promaster van. It would make a nice platform. Since it is just you, you could start out very simply with utilizing an electric space heater (you said you'd be in park settings?) and something like a NuWave cooktop (we use one for all our _burner_ type cooking in our full time rig). Also you could utilize something simple like the Separett Weekender toilet system (no plumbing needed). Think out of the box simple and you could have some fun. On the bed? Spend the few bucks on a Froli-Sleep System...the BEST out there!!

OH, as for being allowed in parks, our rig(s) get comments as i said every place we park...and visitors. Also, in the place that we full time (an RV & Golf Resort on the Oregon Coast, arguably the nicest park in the area) they have a written "10 years or newer" policy...yet i've seen 20 year old Blue Birds and even older converted school "Hippie" buses

Best wishes on your ponderings and project,
Thom
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