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MedicineMan posted up an interesting thought:

"In my backpacking world we pack for our greatest fear. Some people carry lots of clothes fearing getting cold. Poof always packs 4 pairs of gloves-easy to see her fear.
I think in campervan builds we design/outfit for where our greatest comfort needs are"
(CUT...) such as the food thread or how you make coffee, or hyperbole around beds, or what have you?

I would like to focus this thread on what our greatest fear or desire or comfort is and what have you done to accommodate it?

I’ll start off by saying I fear loosing my conversion to a fender bender gone large. When I began planning the conversion I decided to make it modular to be able to use the empty van but also because I read early on of a PM van being totaled when it got a rear corner crushed- instead of being repaired. Well where does your conversion go in such a situation? I have kept all the “origional” pieces, the seat basses, the plastic panels I removed, the extra plugs, anything. I have several boxes. If I get sideswiped and Progressive says they are totaling the van I’d try to have them let me take it all out, return the origional stuff, even the Espar heater. I couldn’t do anything about the insulation of course but that was just $150. I do worry it could happen in Arizona and all my stuff is in NH! I guess I could get the new van in NH, insulate it and head for AZ to install my conversion.
 

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The bed is my safety thing. It must be comfortable enough that my wife gets a good nights sleep. She needs to be rested enough to make the coffee and cook breakfast so that she can start her day cleaning the van and taking care of all the financial concerns. She will need to have the energy to do the grocery shopping, the laundry and make lunch and dinner. She needs to keep me healthy so that I can drive us to where we are going. So, only a very comfortable queen size, one piece mattress would do. I did not go cheap on this mattress it is the main ingredient for a good nights sleep. To have room for this I had to go across the back where I will no doubt have to put building materials and maybe equipment sometimes. I made the bed leaving room for sheet goods underneath and it is also easy to remove if I need more room.
Yes, it was all about the bed first and the rest is just icing on the cake.
 

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So far the priorities are:
1. Re-creating the conversion post crash...brilliant thinking RD. I never thought of that possibility but I think we should.
2. Sleep comfort. I'm lucky. I can sleep on a solid concrete floor and have used my boots before as pillow, but can certainly see why it is a priority for
you and yours.
3. I'd say our priority was/is space. Poof and I were talking the other day while sitting in the spun around chairs looking at the diamond plate and scheming more, that we could have 10 people standing in our 'den'. it would be tight but close to 10 people could stand between our bed and all that's under it and the two seats up front.
Just for fun on another night we sat in the 'den' with our little dinky backpacking stove and enjoyed the room---much more than we've had under tarps before while backpacking.
Another thing we've done is put two of these side by side at the sliding door-important so we can both train lenses on wildlife


Let's hear some more priorities in needs/comfort in your builds!
 

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My initial driving force for buying the van was to be able to park, walk to the back, have dinner and climb into bed without rearranging anything or opening a door. As we age, our extremities are becoming more susceptible to cold. That the bed be comfortable was never a consideration--nothing less would be acceptable. The second driving force was to have maximum view in all weather conditions. I am unusually sun-sensitive--to have the 360° view while being protected is like cheating Mother Nature.

Very early in the design process, we realized how much we valued open space, both high and low. This with the view means that rainy days are fine. We can walk around without claustrophobia.

And, like RD, I planned from the beginning for disaster.
 

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MedicineMan posted up an interesting thought:

"In my backpacking world we pack for our greatest fear. Some people carry lots of clothes fearing getting cold. Poof always packs 4 pairs of gloves-easy to see her fear. I think in campervan builds we design/outfit for where our greatest comfort needs are"
Based on MM's theory, it follows that we must fear running out of 'electricity' . . . with our 500AH of lithium, 800 watts of solar, and 280 amp second alternator. (Here in the dense rain forest type growth of Juneau, Alaska with constant overcast and rain - - we're happy to have charging/power alternatives other than the currently ineffective solar).

And, of course, we offer our repetitive echo to MsNomer's 'needs' on view, view, view and openness cubed.

Related, somewhat, we're making our list of "things we don't need". Top on that list is clothes! We brought way too much . . . and find, give us three T-shirts and we're good - - they just get washed and 'recycled'.

And those 'magnetically mounted curtains' - - we installed them once, mostly for the experience, and have been carrying them as dead weight since.
 

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We have thought about disasters/collisions during planning, but it hasn't actually affected much. If the van gets totaled, we'll just salvage whatever isn't covered by RV insurance. On the comfort side, we think of ourselves more as turtles than campers. That is, we just want a familiar, comfortable, functional home on our backs when we travel. We've never been fans of playing motel-roulette, or being slaves to a travel schedule driven by reservations. We "need" the creature comforts of an instantly-accessible clean toilet and daily shower, and crawling into the same familiar, comfortable bed each night. Years of renting small Ducato-based RVs in Europe cemented those priorities for us. Now we are finally building our own turtle shell.
 

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MrNomer says I need to reply to this:

The bed is my safety thing. It must be comfortable enough that my wife gets a good nights sleep. She needs to be rested enough to make the coffee and cook breakfast so that she can start her day ….
Our bed must be comfortable enough that I get a good night's sleep and enjoy luxuriating in it, enjoying the morning view and my sterile ceiling, while MrNomer makes his own breakfast, cleans up his mess, and prepares to do all the driving and most of the grocery shopping. After all, I built the bed. >:D
 

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MrNomer says I need to reply to this:



Our bed must be comfortable enough that I get a good night's sleep and enjoy luxuriating in it, enjoying the morning view and my sterile ceiling, while MrNomer makes his own breakfast, cleans up his mess, and prepares to do all the driving and most of the grocery shopping. After all, I built the bed. >:D


It's posts like these that keep me from teaching my wife how to boot up the computer
 

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while MrNomer makes his own breakfast, cleans up his mess, and prepares to do all the driving and most of the grocery shopping. After all, I built the bed. >:D
And in addition to our "thanks" on your post, we have been 'instructed' to specifically add from MsWinston (a/k/a VerJean) . . . "right on!" . . . although, possibly, the initiating post was tongue-in-cheek?
 

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Future Plans

Desire: Build the very largest and roomiest van camper possible that can still pass for a second family vehicle, park just about anywhere including my driveway, and go essentially anywhere (not to include off road).

Fear: That I make it a bit too much camper-like so it gets my home owners association's attention and they ask me to park it off site.

Comfort: Reliability of both the chassis and the house is paramount. Particularly with chassis, I have to trust it won't leave me stranded on some isolated road if I decide to drive until 1:00 AM.
 

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Desire: To be safe. As a single female I want to be able to go camping by myself (and with my dog), without worrying about having to pack everything up (cooler, tent, chairs, etc.) if I needed to get out of somewhere in the middle of the night, either because of creepers or due to weather. I want to be able to sleep with the doors locked.

Fear: My van having major mechanical issues that I would spend days, weeks, months trying to work with FCA. Any major accident insurance should cover most of the cost, and my build is mostly modular, so everything could easily come out and even if destroyed, there are definitely things I could improve upon (3/4 into my build I now have a table saw! I had to apologize to my helper for not getting one sooner). I have enough pictures to know where and how things go together and work. One of the benefits of building your own.

Comfort (mine): TBD. built more for function... I start my first trip tomorrow so this might change, but right now I think it might be accessible storage, and space. In the last 10 years, I have spent half of it the middle east living out of duffle bags. at times there were 6 people stuffed into containers as large as my van. I don't do well with lots of space, my house is quite cluttered, but having small spaces forces me to be neat and very organized. I think this van might be me subconsciously trying to get back to that small container feeling - only this time I get the container to myself and get to bring my dog with. Speaking of my dog...

Comfort (Island's - dog): I'd need A/C so I can travel with her. If we are outside in significant heat and humidity, she needs somewhere to cool off - I can stand the heat much better than she can. So I guess I put my dog's comfort before my own.
 

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Traveling alone was not on my radar when I was building. MrNomer is without question the wind beneath my wings--definitely a keeper. But I really enjoyed my solo trip back home to visit old friends (we would have bored him silly), so much that I will definitely do more solo travel. I just locked the doors and made sure the key was readily accessible. I figure I can be driving before anyone can complete a break-in. I also assume a break-in is highly unlikely. With the microwave, I always know I can cook without opening up.
 

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Hi,
After thinking about it for a while, I think my biggest fear was that we would spend $35K and a lot of time building an RV that we ended up using very little. This happens a lot -- sometimes after one trip :)

To us this meant building something that did not drive like a big RV, but more like a car. And, keeping the interior bright and airy with lots of open space. Comfortable beds also a must. Also good fuel economy.

We just got back from a month in the Yukon with the PM, and I'd be happy to take off in the PM again tomorrow -- its a pleasure to live in.

Gary
 

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We just got back from a month in the Yukon with the PM.
Cool! Hope you made it out before mosquito season arrived. Where you there for that big northern lights display around the end of May? That's high on our PM bucket list. We have no fear of not using our PM-RV enough. Actually, just the opposite.
 

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Cool! Hope you made it out before mosquito season arrived. Where you there for that big northern lights display around the end of May? That's high on our PM bucket list. We have no fear of not using our PM-RV enough. Actually, just the opposite.
Bugs were not bad at all. I brought a bunch of stuff to combat mosquitoes, but it went unused.

I guess we missed the northern lights display, but it seemed like the days were near 24 hours of light, so would have been hard to see them where we were -- we did get a few miles north of the Arctic Circle on the Dempster.
What a beautiful place -- will post some pictures.

Gary
 

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Bugs were not bad at all. I brought a bunch of stuff to combat mosquitoes, but it went unused.

I guess we missed the northern lights display, but it seemed like the days were near 24 hours of light, so would have been hard to see them where we were -- we did get a few miles north of the Arctic Circle on the Dempster.
What a beautiful place -- will post some pictures.

Gary
Really looking forward to your pics from this trip. Where will you post them?
 

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Fear / Desire / Comfort

MedicineMan posted up an interesting thought:

"In my backpacking world we pack for our greatest fear. Some people carry lots of clothes fearing getting cold. Poof always packs 4 pairs of gloves-easy to see her fear.
I think in campervan builds we design/outfit for where our greatest comfort needs are"
(CUT...) such as the food thread or how you make coffee, or hyperbole around beds, or what have you?

I would like to focus this thread on what our greatest fear or desire or comfort is and what have you done to accommodate it?

I’ll start off by saying I fear loosing my conversion to a fender bender gone large. When I began planning the conversion I decided to make it modular to be able to use the empty van but also because I read early on of a PM van being totaled when it got a rear corner crushed- instead of being repaired. Well where does your conversion go in such a situation? I have kept all the “origional” pieces, the seat basses, the plastic panels I removed, the extra plugs, anything. I have several boxes. If I get sideswiped and Progressive says they are totaling the van I’d try to have them let me take it all out, return the origional stuff, even the Espar heater. I couldn’t do anything about the insulation of course but that was just $150. I do worry it could happen in Arizona and all my stuff is in NH! I guess I could get the new van in NH, insulate it and head for AZ to install my conversion.



Although an Older thread, I just read thru it & thought I would add/bump it forward for further discussion

FEAR(s)
Safety issues (electrical / fire / explosion)
In a crash; not having the last thing that goes thru my mind be my fridge :eek:
Use proper Building Science to not screw up the design & have to repair or replace parts of the build
Designing things that are hard or difficult to achieve where a simpler design or better thought out would be better
Wasting precious space (better game of Tetris)
Producing something we liked aesthetically & functionally
Having zero Adult RV experience & having to learn loads about products, techniques, & imagine what real road camping experience is like (simple items like shore power should be on the drivers side - I didn't know that until I studied it)
Building a functional & comfortable camper van
Leaking van from holes I cut in (fan / window / shore power / sink drain)
Moisture & mold issues
Not wasting money


DESIRE / COMFORTS (I lump these two together)
A very comfortable queen size (width) bed
Comfortable to have heating & cooling ability
Portapotty
Sink
Storage
Fridge
2 seat couch
Efficiency
Simplicity
Economy (Simple but good quality)
Easy to clean
Easy to service / maintain / repair
Less proprietary items as possible
Cooking gear under the bed for outside cooking
Longevity


We set out & basically accomplished the majority of the build within 6 months. We are very pleased with the result. Im assuming we will “tune up” alter our build over the years (actually finish it). We did the work ourselves & have gained knowledge along the way so we can perform our own “RV” repairs replacements etc. All in All it has been a wonderful build adventure & we are really enjoying the road & RV experience

We will probably become “2nd offenders” and build another one someday. Tweek our design, wants, needs for our Van Travel Lifestyle

Hope to see some more posts on this thread as it could be very thought provoking for new DIYers trying to sort out their new design/build :):)
 
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