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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > Losing home & need to immediately relocate to truck camper

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DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 08/01/20 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you're traveling enough that gas mileage is a significant concern (i.e. a significant part of your budget), you probably would save money by using an efficient car and staying in motels, many of which have internet access available that's at least as good as what is found at most campgrounds...and often a good bit better.

Anyhow, some advantages of a truck camper: one less thing to register (in nearly every state), you can get into more out-of-the-way places particularly if your truck is four wheel drive, easier maneuvering in tight places generally. Some disadvantages: they're tight, and due to the limited space have limited capacities for water, propane, etc. Storage for stuff for full-time living is quite limited.

Some advantages of a trailer: more space, in some cases much much more space; you can easily leave the trailer at a camp site and take the tow vehicle to town or wherever you need to go; easier to climb in and out. Some disadvantages: you have a trailer to maintain; if it's not a fifth wheel, or if you're on the east or west coast, you cannot legally tow a second trailer; somewhat more effort to set up or break camp, in general.

Some advantages of a motorhome: Very easy to set up and break camp; you have ready access to the kitchen, bathroom, etc. while en route; you can usually tow something else if the need comes up. Disadvantages: chassis maintenance costs (tires, for instance--not too bad for most class C's, significant for a large diesel pusher motorhome); not great fuel mileage; you have to take your RV with you when driving into town or whatever, even if you aren't otherwise breaking camp, unless you tow a second vehicle.

For $15K, you might be able to get a (well) used but basically sound and fully functioning, probably class C, motorhome with a bit of shopping around; or a trailer in reasonable shape and a suitable tow vehicle. For the latter, it might be worth looking into full-size vans for the tow vehicle; many are (or can be) equipped to tow a pretty good sized trailer, and have adequate payload capacity to handle the tongue weight and also carry a useful load inside at the same time. A fair few pickup trucks and SUVs, especially the smaller ones, tend to have limited payload such that you can tow a trailer or carry some stuff, but not much of both at the same time.

As a general observation, pretty much any vehicle that can serve as one's house, with kitchen and bathroom facilities and so forth, is going to be pretty big and heavy, and hence neither inconspicuous nor fuel efficient.





free radical

Canada

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Posted: 08/01/20 09:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CMKelin wrote:

Lwiddis wrote:

Until you experience “roll and sway” don’t try to fix it. An adequate truck won’t require modifications. Remember your budget....what is your budget?


Our budget is $15K so we are going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel.

WE? So its two people?

Imo TC is too small for two people for fulltime livin.

And 15K wont get you ANY camper for ALL season living,unless you chase and stay in warm weather places.

Id get small MH not sure what 15k will buy you tho..

or buy School bus in good shape and convert it into MH

Plenty of vids on YT on how to do that and all your other questions too.
One main advantage

Skoolies are built tougher then any RV and you can customize it any layout you want.

You could live in it while building,just get Gym membership to use showers etc.

Good luck
Btw I had good experience drivin Chevys oved 40 years now,but then I buy new or almost new and dont abuse or race it.


https://youtu.be/HpqG4pKBTd8

pitch

NY

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Posted: 08/02/20 07:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since your knowledge base is zero,I would suggest sitting down for 36 hours and watch you tube video's.
What is your tolerance to disgusting? Sponge baths for weeks at a time and compost/cassette toilets will test that to the max!
Carrying ample water is the biggest logistical problem.
A travel trailer would probably be the most economical to start with.
Why are you starting this endeavor? Financial collapse? Broken marriage, running from the law, or just a desire to go?
The only place for extensive boondocking is in the West. You have a ton of questions which is good, doing your diligence, but it would be much easier to help if you laid out a basic synopsis of your reasons, your goal and your expectations.

One last thing,and I don't mean to be unsympathetic, BUT, if this a hedge against homelessness, please disavow yourself of the notion immediately. Stay where you are at and take advantage of any and all charitable and governmental services designed to better your situation. The last thing the RV community needs is another broken down camper, festooned with blue tarps and a pitbull tied to the bumper!

* This post was edited 08/02/20 07:47am by pitch *

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/02/20 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^Pitch, you said what most are thinking.
The OP may not want to get into why they’re down on their luck, and that’s fine.
It’s none of our business, but yeah, don’t be another homeless **** stinking up nature or a city!
Budget wise, your budget and “caravan ing and boondicking and flitting all over the country to see everything there is to see” is not commensurate with your financial situation.
And neither is a truck camper setup unless you are also very mechanically inclined, which by your posts you’re not.
If this is actually a goal and not just a get-away from the reality you’re leaving behind, then figure out how to slow the train down so you can be more informed before choosing a type of RV. Otherwise, spend half your budget on something and save the other half for repairs.


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29

CMKelin

Indiana

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Posted: 08/02/20 04:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE wrote:

If you're traveling enough that gas mileage is a significant concern (i.e. a significant part of your budget), you probably would save money by using an efficient car and staying in motels, many of which have internet access available that's at least as good as what is found at most campgrounds...and often a good bit better.

Anyhow, some advantages of a truck camper: one less thing to register (in nearly every state), you can get into more out-of-the-way places particularly if your truck is four wheel drive, easier maneuvering in tight places generally. Some disadvantages: they're tight, and due to the limited space have limited capacities for water, propane, etc. Storage for stuff for full-time living is quite limited.

Some advantages of a trailer: more space, in some cases much much more space; you can easily leave the trailer at a camp site and take the tow vehicle to town or wherever you need to go; easier to climb in and out. Some disadvantages: you have a trailer to maintain; if it's not a fifth wheel, or if you're on the east or west coast, you cannot legally tow a second trailer; somewhat more effort to set up or break camp, in general.

Some advantages of a motorhome: Very easy to set up and break camp; you have ready access to the kitchen, bathroom, etc. while en route; you can usually tow something else if the need comes up. Disadvantages: chassis maintenance costs (tires, for instance--not too bad for most class C's, significant for a large diesel pusher motorhome); not great fuel mileage; you have to take your RV with you when driving into town or whatever, even if you aren't otherwise breaking camp, unless you tow a second vehicle.

For $15K, you might be able to get a (well) used but basically sound and fully functioning, probably class C, motorhome with a bit of shopping around; or a trailer in reasonable shape and a suitable tow vehicle. For the latter, it might be worth looking into full-size vans for the tow vehicle; many are (or can be) equipped to tow a pretty good sized trailer, and have adequate payload capacity to handle the tongue weight and also carry a useful load inside at the same time. A fair few pickup trucks and SUVs, especially the smaller ones, tend to have limited payload such that you can tow a trailer or carry some stuff, but not much of both at the same time.

As a general observation, pretty much any vehicle that can serve as one's house, with kitchen and bathroom facilities and so forth, is going to be pretty big and heavy, and hence neither inconspicuous nor fuel efficient.


We're torn between a Class B and a truck camper, mainly looking for versatility and decent milage. As far as Class B, everything under $30K is very used.

CMKelin

Indiana

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Posted: 08/16/20 10:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry I've been gone for a couple of weeks.

First, the we is a me. I just tend to use the We from writing papers at school.

And we- I got something- a 1994 Ford Econoline in pristine condition.
But it's in process of being delivered. Before it arrives though
my first concern is trying to understand the energy usage of the camper and how to keep power off grid, whether to use solar panels, what kind and what kind of batteries I will need.

Thank everyone who has helped, sorry for the hiatus, but it looks like we're back. I'm back.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/17/20 01:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oh boy....
Y’all, I mean you, umm, delivered?
Good luck buddy, or ma’am.

spoon059

Just north of D.C.

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Posted: 08/17/20 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CMKelin wrote:


Ideally, we want to spend $15k between a truck & a camper. We want an all-season camper. We don't know about trucks to know what we need.
We've heard that F150s are excellent. Ideally, we want a setup where we can get more than 11 mpg.

Are there any particular trucks you recommend? We heard that diesel gets better mpg but that the cost of maintenance is so high that you might as well go with gas.

$15K for a truck and camper that you'll fulltime in? Doubtful.
$15K for an all season camper? Doubtful.
F-150 for a truck camper? Almost impossible..
11 mpg towing? Unlikely.

Truthfully it sounds like you have done zero research and have outlandish expectations. Simple internet searches will give you lots of answers to your questions. I don't foresee your experiment being successful at all. Sounds like you still have a job, I would just look for more affordable housing somewhere else. Camping isn't a cheap venture.


2015 Ram CTD
2015 Jayco 29QBS

CMKelin

Indiana

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Posted: 08/17/20 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

spoon059 wrote:

CMKelin wrote:


Ideally, we want to spend $15k between a truck & a camper. We want an all-season camper. We don't know about trucks to know what we need.
We've heard that F150s are excellent. Ideally, we want a setup where we can get more than 11 mpg.

Are there any particular trucks you recommend? We heard that diesel gets better mpg but that the cost of maintenance is so high that you might as well go with gas.

$15K for a truck and camper that you'll fulltime in? Doubtful.
$15K for an all season camper? Doubtful.
F-150 for a truck camper? Almost impossible..
11 mpg towing? Unlikely.

Truthfully it sounds like you have done zero research and have outlandish expectations. Simple internet searches will give you lots of answers to your questions. I don't foresee your experiment being successful at all. Sounds like you still have a job, I would just look for more affordable housing somewhere else. Camping isn't a cheap venture.


I understand but look right above & we already got one.

Now we're looking at Off-Grid power systems.

bikendan

Camano Island, Wash.

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Posted: 08/17/20 01:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

spoon059 wrote:

CMKelin wrote:


Ideally, we want to spend $15k between a truck & a camper. We want an all-season camper. We don't know about trucks to know what we need.
We've heard that F150s are excellent. Ideally, we want a setup where we can get more than 11 mpg.

Are there any particular trucks you recommend? We heard that diesel gets better mpg but that the cost of maintenance is so high that you might as well go with gas.

$15K for a truck and camper that you'll fulltime in? Doubtful.
$15K for an all season camper? Doubtful.
F-150 for a truck camper? Almost impossible..
11 mpg towing? Unlikely.

Truthfully it sounds like you have done zero research and have outlandish expectations. Simple internet searches will give you lots of answers to your questions. I don't foresee your experiment being successful at all. Sounds like you still have a job, I would just look for more affordable housing somewhere else. Camping isn't a cheap venture.


You should have read the OP's post right above yours, before posting.[emoticon]


Dan- Firefighter, Retired">, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur">, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP">), 2014 Ford F150 3.5 EcoboostMax Tow pkg, 2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255 w/4pt Equalizer and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes

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