Hello All. My first post. Here is my simple custom GMC Cube Van conversion.

The Wanderer

Observer
To your question about work. I don't work and I'm not retired. I work as a computer programmer. I work on contract jobs, work long hours staring at a computer screen, eating bad food and putting up with stupid people. I then save my money and when the contract ends, I become a bum until the money runs out. Then I hustle to find me another job somewhere as a contractor.

I must admit that this time it is getting harder for me to "get back in harness". Not because of lack of work, but because I don't want to go back to that life again. I am liking this lifestyle too much.... *smile*
Yes. Thank you.
My simple mind loves the fiberglass roof. I rarely need lights at night since I try to park under or near a street light. *smile* If it gets too hot I park under a tree.

Honestly this lifestyle is all about perspective.

I wash the pot I cook in by adding water and using a paper towel as a dish cloth. As I said earlier, this is the same lifestyle as long distance backpacking. It fits me perfectly. Not for everyone I know.

Peace
 

The Wanderer

Observer
Anyone that has walked for a few months straight with all of their clothes, water, food, shelter, cooking equipment and stove fuel on their back will tell you that it changes your perspective on travelling and camping forever. You learn to only carry what you really need. All the rest can be lived without. Weight, space, simplicity and utility are what counts.

It gives you a great understanding of minimalism. I'm NOT preaching here, but I would love more people to discuss this expedition/camping/travelling approach. Big customs vehicles have their place, but so does minimal expedition vehicles also.

If I spend 50K or more on my vehicle, that is less time I can spend seeing the world. Instead I would rather pay 10K for the truck and customization combined and stay out longer. The choice is ours.

Just my opinion.

Peace
 
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The Wanderer

Observer
Three years in a Cube Van........Would make a good book title.

I'm surprised that it is so unusual to be honest. I'm not sure it is really.

No stove, no refrigerator............you eat out every meal?

I have a small one burner propane stove. I actually cook in the truck most meals. I am a vegan, so keeping
meat and cheese cold is not a concern. I carry fresh vegetables and fruit. Also, can goods, oatmeal, crackers.
I'm never more than a few days from a grocery store. Easy really.


No toilet, no shower, no sink........How is this handled for over three years?

I have a small plastic bucket toilet with a plastic bag liner and kitty litter (for liquid), but I rarely use it. I usually use public bathrooms or campground bathrooms when available. I also carry a pee bottle for times when no bathroom is close or at night.

As any hiker, I take daily wash towel "sponge baths" and dry with a paper towel. Once in a while when I need a shave and shower, many truck stops (Pilot Flying J) have nice showers for $10 with private shower, sink, towels and toilet. Not a problem in three years and I am not stinky, dirty or unclean. Almost every little town has a coin laundry for me to wash clothes. You don't have to be nasty living like this.

I wash my cooking pots in the same pot after done. I use plastic or paper plates and paper towels as needed. Most of the time, like any smart camper, I eat right from the cooking pot to cut down on clean up.



I love the idea and would really like to hear more about your lifestyle.

Thanks for sharing.........
I hope that helped.
 
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CLynn85

Explorer
Very cool, welcome to the forums and thanks for sharing your setup! I've always liked the ideas of box trucks, and looked at several smaller ones before we bought our ambulance, just couldn't really sell the wife on the "live out of a box truck" plan. I do like the stealthiness of it.

To further the onslaught of questions, how is the box insulated? Ever have any problems with heat/cold/condensation?
 

The Wanderer

Observer
Thank you Carl. I was a little worried that most people around here would think I was nuts. But you have to do what feels right for you.

The box is not insulated at all. Just as it came from the factory. Just fiberglass impregnated plywood walls and fiberglass ceiling. As I mentioned earlier, I just move with the seasons. I have been up in MN and woke up to find my water bottle frozen solid. I treat it has just a big old metal tent. If I get cold I put on more clothes and if I get hot I open the roof vents or the roll-up door.

For some reason people enjoy tent camping, but think their camper must be insulated. I see this as a perception issue. I just accept the limitations for having such a simple enjoyable lifestyle.

I have thought of insulation, but then I will have to insulate the fiberglass roof first and then lose my lovely sunshine and light. *smile* Plus the issue of a place to work, tools, supplies and cost. In the end I can't justify it. I love seeing the light come through the roof in the morning.

It's not hard to stay warm at night with my big sleeping bag as a blanket. Hard to get up on a cold morning though.

I understand that most wives or kids could not deal with this, but for some crazy reason I love it this way.

No condensation issues since I don't heat the inside when it's cold. When I cook, I open the roof vents.

Thanks again and I have always loved ambulance conversions! This was just the cheapest vehicle that I found at time. Now I couldn't live without my baby. *smile*

Peace
 
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TangoBlue

American Adventurist
I think it's pretty cool and this coming from a gear-whore...

Secretly, many of us, deep inside our wander-lusting psyche's, really envy your strategy and execution.

Does your box truck have a ramp to the rear that stores beneath the bed?
 

The Wanderer

Observer
I think it's pretty cool and this coming from a gear-whore...

Secretly, many of us, deep inside our wander-lusting psyche's, really envy your strategy and execution.

Does your box truck have a ramp to the rear that stores beneath the bed?
Thank you Tango my friend. Yep, the ramp is great when I am out camping and away from the asphalt for a few days. Got to love the silly pleasures in life. Ha,ha.

Take a look at the ramp in my Alaska trip pics:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/91848136@N05/sets/72157632434656558/

As I get older and hopefully a little wiser I have begun to realize that simplicity is the key to happiness. Less to buy, to move, to carry, to store, to insure, to maintain and to worry about someone stealing or damaging.

Life is too short to worry about "things".

Peace my friend.
 
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The Wanderer

Observer
I hope you guys won't mind an old man passing along a little insight. I know it is off topic for this forum, but I have learned through my years on this Earth that the most important things in life are free. Sounds simplistic or even naive I know, but I believe it completely. All having more things has given me is more worry, greed and trouble. I now just kind of let this journey take me where it wishes. I just enjoy the ride.

I am NOT trying to change anyone's life or ask anyone to live like me. I just know that I have never been this happy in my life.

Sorry to carry on there.

Peace
 

dwh

Tail-End Charlie
many truck stops (Pilot Flying J) have nice showers for $10 with private shower, sink, towels and toilet
I just graduated Class A driving school and one of the instructors was telling me that these trucks stops usually offer a membership card, and if you have one, then whenever you buy 50g of fuel, they'll give you credit for a free shower. He says you gotta watch 'em though - sometimes the clerk forgets to credit the free shower to the membership card and you have to call customer service to get it fixed.
 

The Wanderer

Observer
I just graduated Class A driving school and one of the instructors was telling me that these trucks stops usually offer a membership card, and if you have one, then whenever you buy 50g of fuel, they'll give you credit for a free shower. He says you gotta watch 'em though - sometimes the clerk forgets to credit the free shower to the membership card and you have to call customer service to get it fixed.
Thank you very much for this post. That's very kind. I have a membership, but the 50 gal of fuel offer is only for diesel fuel and my box van is gas, so they wouldn't honor the free shower offer.

Very good for others to know though.

Thanks
 

mtnbike28

Expedition Leader
I was thinking about your van last night. Did you rig the rear door to lock from the inside. I was thinking of a second emergency exit if you needed it. If you are boondocking in Walmart, your roll door is closed and you have an engine fire. Can you escape out the rear? If so I assume you lock the normal outside latch in the open position.... again I love the concept and the opportunity it gives you.
 

The Wanderer

Observer
Hello Jay,
No I don't. I keep the back door pad locked as any box van. I have considered what you say here and I agree with your point.

If I left the heavy commercial roll-up door latch open and added a lock on the inside, anyone walking by might be tempted to try and see what is inside the old truck. It is a real temptation if left open I'm afraid, even if locked on the inside.

Good old common sense has told me that I would smell the smoke before I was not able to get out. BUT, I would like another exit. The fiberglass roof is so thin, that I could easily just use my little campfire hatchet and chop a hole through the thin roof to escape. You would not believe how thin this roof is. 1/8 inch thick maybe. I will have to consider that idea more.

Thank you my friend.
 
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peekay

Adventurer
very cool truck and lifestyle.

I often think that many of us get lost in fixiating on the equipment rather than the journey itself. But that's the same for almost any hobby I can think of, e.g. photography, golf, RC airplanes, even fishing.

That being said, my guess is that the rest of us have a tendency to be that way because as a culture, we're just obsessed with having the latest and greatest. But I suppose there's no reason why getting the equipment shouldn't be part of the fun. Just different strokes for different folks.

Happy trails.
 
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