Can we start a mini/small van camper thread?

Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by derekdeadend, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider przemądrzały dupek

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,999
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    No vent yet, but rear side windows open for fresh air. I’m not insulated and carry a small electric space heater.
    #21
  2. jcmcc

    jcmcc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    WI
    How well does a full size dual sport fit in one of those Transit Connects?
    #22
  3. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider przemądrzały dupek

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,999
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    They fit great - on the bumper carrier. Honestly, the cargo area only measures ~70" from the back of the front seats to rear doors and the doors aren't tall enough to stuff it in. Width is just about 54" too. Tight is the operative term.

    TC - taking tiny home to the next smaller level. :lol3
    #23
  4. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,522
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    #24
    Davidprej and Honda-50 like this.
  5. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider przemądrzały dupek

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,999
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    I like the camp kitchen cubbies! That may work it's way into mine. ;)
    #25
    ride4321 likes this.
  6. derekdeadend

    derekdeadend Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,204
    Location:
    Sparks, NV
    I put my vent in, not as big of a deal as I thought

    59275899905__0C509199-D17F-4FB7-9055-D396331A2330.JPG
    59275905519__1A5A5C30-0CB6-4901-8F29-D2E6C4593293.JPG
    #26
    Bultaco206 and scot_douglas like this.
  7. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,522
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    Haven't taken it on the road with the "kitchen" installed yet but it should work well. Gives me a place to cook with shade from the hatchback. My portapotty is going under that also. Wasn't gonna take one but decided it's worth having along, just in case.
    #27
  8. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider przemądrzały dupek

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,999
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    My normal stops are campgrounds, so facilities are readily available.

    I have a roll up camp table packed as my kitchen table. It fits well under the awning and give me a place for the propane stove, coffee pot and a stable place to eat outdoors. I won it in a GWRRA rally raffle somewhere in Region 4 a long time ago.

    Similar to this >https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DNVQFS...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=
    #28
    Davidprej likes this.
  9. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,849
    I am not claiming to know *THE* answer. But a year ago I had to travel with the family for a week in a rental Grand Caravan. The blasted thing sipped gas, getting almost 30 mpg, was incredibly comfortable, and could store the world.

    No, I don't think it would be a great live-in-it vehicle or camper. But, I have visions of taking one, making a deck for it inside so I/we could sleep on it if I/we needed to, and then living in hotel rooms. Suitcases and such stored under the deck. An awning, perhaps on both sides, a sorta chuck-wagon rear for light cooking.
    #29
    Maggot12 likes this.
  10. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    18,034
    Location:
    Canada's ocean playground
    I owned a couple minivans. Easy on gas, comfortable, easy to park. Slept in them several times. The hatch allows for rain free cooking.

    A cheap way to navigate the country as been displayed here.
    #30
  11. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,522
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    It's about simplicity and economics for me. I can buy used Siennas for $4K easily. They're comfortable to drive, good on gas and reliable. Clearance sucks and that will limit where I can go in one. I've spent 10 days in a row in mine on trips down south and didn't see the need for a bigger vehicle so I've been making this one as comfortable as I can for a multiple month trip this winter. I have concerns about the limited space but I really don't want to deal with a big RV. And they're about as stealthy as any camper can be.
    #31
  12. Mashin

    Mashin n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    My friend has been obsessed with simple and cheap van camping. We've had so many conversations about it at the pub for the last few years. Eventually he put all his notes and research into a website (he's a web designer) which then turned into a thing he called Vanspiration. Check out how other people have done with their vans and get ideas about what works for others. It's very simple, but has some great ways to sort information and cross reference. Have a look and see what you see. https://vanspiration.com/

    Eventually all our chats about vans at the pub turned into the real thing. He bought a small bus in the US and took his family on a 3 month trip earlier this year. He also made a website for that. He called the bus Shubbo. He also happens to take great photos. https://shubbo.com/

    Just saw your thread and thought I should make a mention of this.
    #32
  13. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,669
    Location:
    Dorchester, MA / Sunapee, NH
    We have a 2006 Dodge/MB Sprinter 118” standard roof. 2.7L turbodiesel. Prices are appreciating because the newer diesels have emissions problems and require low sulfur fuel, not available in amexico, apparently.
    [​IMG]


    Nowadays people are buying the ProMaster 118 because if you live in the city they can be parked just about anywhere.

    First added some sound deadening.
    [​IMG]

    It is insulated with Thinsulate. Costs more than some DIY options but is easy to install, light, durable and doesn’t absorb moisture.
    [​IMG]



    Adding lengths of L track for tiedowns. Think Im going to add a strip down the floor.

    We are covering the insulation with Epoxy coated Okoume plywood.
    [​IMG]

    Adding a round Ventair fan. Fan is essential if overnighting, otherwise there’s a lot of condensation.
    [​IMG]

    Down the road I’ll add an auxiliary battery, very easy to do as almost all US Sprinters are wired with jacksunder the driver’s seat.
    #33
    tjzondrz, marret and Bultaco206 like this.
  14. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,669
    Location:
    Dorchester, MA / Sunapee, NH
    This was a work van so had to be cleaned. Floor was stained, but sound.
    [​IMG]


    Drilled out the rivets and took it out. Covered the low points with closed cell foam
    [​IMG]

    Installed Nutserts so the floor can be screwed down.
    [​IMG]

    Painted with deck paint with an anti-slip additive.
    [​IMG]

    Added a 1/4” minicell foam layer to the back.
    [​IMG]

    Used a punch for hole clearance.
    [​IMG]

    Reinstalled with flat head 1/4-20 screws.
    [​IMG]
    #34
    JustKip, tjzondrz, katbeanz and 3 others like this.
  15. Jdhuff

    Jdhuff RAT BRAIN

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Mississippi
    It’s a fiat dodge. Scotty Kilmer says to run from dodge products
    #35
  16. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,669
    Location:
    Dorchester, MA / Sunapee, NH
    Fiat has sold over 4 million of them.

    If you want a new short wheelbase (3m/118”) high roof van, your choices are belong to us.
    #36
    fatmab likes this.
  17. Knute Dunrvnyet

    Knute Dunrvnyet Padawan

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,631
    Location:
    CNY: "Traveler's Rest"
    Why Chevy discontinued it's AstroVan, I will never understand. V6, w/ 5 spd manual. X2, from '87 past 94...
    #37
  18. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,669
    Location:
    Dorchester, MA / Sunapee, NH
    Minivans had more room, better fuel economy, better ride & handling, better safety ratings. Tradesmen could buy the larger Econoline, Express, and Ram vans for not much more. About the only advantage was a somewhat higher tow rating, and the full-sized vans towed much more.

    Sales peaked in 1996 though they were sold through 2005. The Ford Astrovan disappeared as well, as did the standard wheelbase Caravan, first gen Odyssey, Toyota Previa , and Mazda MPV.

    Price/performance wasn’t there. Note that MB dropped the 3m/118 wheelbase after 2006 and the shortest Ford Transit In US is 130”. The small vans (Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV, Ram City, and Promaster 118) are all FWD unibody designs
    #38
  19. Knute Dunrvnyet

    Knute Dunrvnyet Padawan

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,631
    Location:
    CNY: "Traveler's Rest"
    'Story of my life.' :-) I seem to be a niche market. My Astros were damn near perfect for me, hauling enduro, and trials bikes, as well as my bigger bikes Out West to ride in CO. Both of mine, special order, exactly like this.
    1994-Chevrolet-Astro Cargo-FrontSide_CTASC931_505x246.jpg
    #39
  20. Midnightventure

    Midnightventure -

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,157
    Location:
    Eldon,Mo
    I had an 87 in the early 90s. Got about 25 mpg . Load the kids up with a mattress in the back and go. I was so impressed with the 4.3 v6 I have owned something with that engine ever since. Bought a Sonoma with that engine the last year they made it (2003). Driving it 60 miles a day to work now.
    #40
    Knute Dunrvnyet likes this.