Tired of all the misinformation on #vanlife?

Mike, currently enjoying your videos and have subscribed. I like your channel regarding the vans as I am seeking education regarding them in general and you have a good cadence that makes it easy to listen to.
To those here, please consider subscribing and up-voting.

-WWD
 

rruff

Explorer
This is good advice ,but there are two new vans that come with AWD or 4x4 . but you need pretty deep pockets .
I priced out a Transit recently and adding AWD wasn't too bad... ~$4k I think. I also noticed that the cutaway saves you around $10k if you want to build your own box.

No low range, but if you opt for low ratio plus the 10spd you have pretty low gears. Then with a 2" lift and bigger tires you can get decent ground clearance. Ground clearance is the biggest limitation on these.

Tipping over is certainly possible, but it takes more of an angle than most believe, and a little sense and skill can make a big difference even then. Low tree branches? That's why you don't have a bunch of fragile stuff on the roof.
 

Photomike

White Turtle Adventures
I looked at the new AWD from Ford. It is a good idea for what it is, but it is still only an AWD. Not a true 4x4 and still has the other issues. If I was buying new now I would get an AWD for the extra security but still would not offroad it more then I do now.

The box truck idea is a great one that I looked into before. The problem that I found was by the time you have a box built the cost was higher than just a van. If I went wider with the box it would still give me the issues with the width that I had with a class C.

As far as tipping I don't think it would tip in most situations BUT the issue is that making it a 4x leads to steeper trails and steeper trails lead to stupid decisions. People who drive cars on paved roads then get in a 4x to hit the trails are the ones that would probably tip. I do know that for me the pucker factor does kick in really fast when it gets on an angle 😂
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

rruff

Explorer
Yes, you'll end up paying more with the box added, but you'll have more room and a well insulated shell. Just making it 80" wide would give me room to sleep sideways which I can't do in an unmodified van.

I remember the first time I took my wife on a slightly precarious road she about had a panic attack... I was like "What's wrong"? I'd been on that road dozens of times. It takes a lot of tilt to actually tip over, but you need to be careful about the wrong wheel falling in a rut, going too fast (or too slow!), sliding out, turning the wheels the wrong way, etc.

Not really disagreeing, just providing a different perspective.

 

mobydick 11

Active member
I priced out a Transit recently and adding AWD wasn't too bad... ~$4k I think. I also noticed that the cutaway saves you around $10k if you want to build your own box.

No low range, but if you opt for low ratio plus the 10spd you have pretty low gears. Then with a 2" lift and bigger tires you can get decent ground clearance. Ground clearance is the biggest limitation on these.

Tipping over is certainly possible, but it takes more of an angle than most believe, and a little sense and skill can make a big difference even then. Low tree branches? That's why you don't have a bunch of fragile stuff on the roof.
$4 grand is not bad I think when i looked it was the same old dealer game . the one they had in AWD also had many other options and was 12 thousand more then a base van in two wheel drive . I think the Transit will prove most useful in the snow ,you can give it a good workout , but your not beating up the van . I have a Sprinter dully ,just put new mud/snows on .2 wheel drive or 4 depends how you look at it . i am interested to see how it performs in the snow . couple more mouths to wait .
 

PlethoraOfGuns

Adventurer
With your rigs I think mechanical breakdown is the biggest concern... bring plenty of tools and spare parts!
Tools I got. Spare parts? Well, I always have a backpack stowed away, a water bottle, and a good pair of hiking boots. Figured that can always get me spare parts, in a much more adventurous way! 😃
 

rruff

Explorer
Used a bicycle when I had one, rode to town, bought a oil pressure sender and a few quarts of oil and fixed it in the field. Another time I wasn't sure what was wrong, but flagged down a generous soul who towed me into town, where some drunken Indians helped me install a new fuel pump in a grocery store parking lot. That's the extent of my breakdowns as a vagabond in 13 years and 180k miles.

It's more of an adventure when you aren't *too* well prepared... ;)
 
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Photomike

White Turtle Adventures
My Dad had a VW van that got over 100 miles per gallon. He would load it up, fill up with fuel and head out. When it broke down he would get people to tow him home. May take four or five people to get him home, including me towing him the last 60 miles but he would get it to the garage and get it fixed for the next trip.

For me, I buy newer vehicles praying they will last without issues.

As a security back-up, I still have AMA to tow me if things do go bad.
 

Photomike

White Turtle Adventures
SO many people want to build a van, but for some reason, they forget about a couple of necessary items, like water and a toilet. In this video, I cover off what I have done to make my van more like home.

 

Photomike

White Turtle Adventures
Cold food gets boring REAL fast when you are on the road. In this video, I cover off a number of stoves and cooking ideas that I have used and what works for me.

 

kmacafee

Adventurer
I just returned from a multi-week backroads trip in Utah and Colorado. The number of Winnebago Revels that cost $100k+ (in 2021, they start at $175,000) I saw driven by people who looked to be under 40 was astounding. Even financing for 15 years, you're looking at a monthly payment of $1000+ -- on a depreciating asset. That's a lot of Instagram and YouTube.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

rruff

Explorer
I just returned from a multi-week backroads trip in Utah and Colorado. The number of Winnebago Revels that cost $100k+ (in 2021, they start at $175,000) I saw driven by people who looked to be under 40 was astounding.
Were you able to get to places where they fear to tread...? ;)
 
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