I originally joined this forum because I live in a van and I worked for a van conversion company for a few years, I’m not trying to claim that I am an expert van builder but I have gained a lot of tips and tricks over the years and I would like to be able to pass on that knowledge to anybody who might need it. But this whole forum seems to be dedicated to Van_Dweller, this guy replies to every single new post, which isn’t a bad thing except for the fact that he doesn’t really offer any helpful advice, he just tells people that their ideas are wrong and that they should do things his way because “he’s been living in an RV for over 60 years”, and that every single experienced Van lifer on this planet does things his way and every other way is wrong. I am tired of logging into a Van forum, just to see some guy telling people that they need to abandon their plans for a van and buy what he thinks is best, AND HE’S ON EVERY NEW POST! I don’t want to be part of a Forum that shoots down the ambition of new members and takes away from the unique experience of the “van life”, because it is just that, ‘unique’ to every person.
Haha!! THANK YOU! it’s just so pretentious this tell someone they’re going to regret living in there 7 foot high, amazingly spacious, extended Transit… That they’ll be vacationing in for maybe 2 months a year. But rather, we should get an old Dodge station wagon with a pop-up tent on the roof:)))
Or… “You’ll regret getting that 400 amp hour solar system!” “I hear nothing but complaints about solar!”. Hilariously myopic.
I personally think that 400 amp hours is a little bit too big BUT I’m not gonna tell you that you’re unintelligent for wanting such a system. Not everyone wants to live in the same vehicle with the same setup, and if 400 amps is what you need for your system, then power to you, you’ll probably never run out of juice. And I personally think that solar panels are necessary, but that’s just my opinion, I’m not gonna try to tell you that every single person living in a van agrees with me that solar is required.
Part of Van life for me, is independence. Literally not needing anything. I’m intentionally building an Overkill van, so in the future if I want to upgrade to anything, it’s possible. plus, we have a pretty powerful computer we’re going to have to run about 4 hours a day…for work. In fact “Overkill” is on our short list for names:)) Every water source will have its own tank and own pump too! I NEVER want to go seeking a leak in a wall somewhere.
Haha, that is so funny, I actually have found his advice to be spot on as far as my (extremely limited) experience has gone. Some of it I have heeded, and some of it I wish I had, haha!
I wouldn’t even say I’m novice level as I’m only a few months into my build, but honestly more than once I’ve thought of what he’s said here on the forums and found it to be true. Unfortunately even with things I didn’t want it to be true with, such as tear downs.
I’ve wasted far too much time tearing my vehicle down, and now it’s like a loose thread, I just have to keep pulling and pulling now even though I really don’t want to.
Of course his advice there only holds true for me personally because I’d rather get on the road sooner rather than later, but at the same time another quote I’ve seen him say is that “misery loves company”, in regards to rushing to get out there rather than taking the time to make a successful transition.
Anyway, I just found it funny that your perspective is opposite from mine. I guess I do agree to a point though, that some people do come here with a predefined notion of “Vanlife” that they are interested in or want to pursue, and sometimes perspective just don’t mesh. But I’ve found his advice to be more inline with trying to help them successfully transition, and not necessarily “directly” negative.
I’ve taken most of it with a grain of salt though, and some of it I’ve just integrated with what I personally wanted to do. I have 6 x 195w Solar Panels with an 800ah Battery Bank. Overkill? By a crap load! But I wanted it, however, I did heed the advice that solar isn’t always reliable so I decided to integrate a generator that can charge the battery bank on it’s own as a backup. The vehicle will also charge the battery bank while I’m driving, another tip I picked up somewhere in his advice. So really, if anything, I guess the solar has kinda become the backup now.
But I’m like Sharbian, I want to be as independent as possible regardless of location/situation. I did the same with my water too Sharbian! My shower has it’s own 10 gallon / 5 stage filtration system for reciprocating showers while my sink has it’s own 55 gallon for drinking/whatever. Sounds like we could probably swap some ideas, since we are both going overboard in the “off-grid” department.
But while I took into consideration what he said, I just worked in what made sense while still doing whatever the hell I felt like, even if now I regret some of those decisions, haha. Again, so tired of still having to do more tear down, ugh.
One thing I’ve personally found is that all the good advice in the world isn’t really worth much the majority of the time though, because the 100 lessons I learn from personal “failure” always seem far more valuable than the 1 lesson learned from listening to someone else.
Hope everyone is doing well!
I think you have me all wrong, but you’re certainly entitled to your prerogative. My goal is to help people succeed in this lifestyle.
It’s more about giving people options that they may have not known were available, or helping people avoid the same mistakes that too many of us have made. 5 years from now, something you’ve read here and disagreed with, may just save your bacon. Education, knowledge, and different perspectives is always a good thing.
For years, I’ve been one of “fix-it” guys at 6+ rallies a year. If you have better ways, SPEAK UP, we all want to hear them! I can only help with my experience, and the experiences of others I have known. I more than welcome anything that can improve people’s lives. Over the years, I have spent big bucks trying many different things, and winners or losers, I report my unbiased findings. I actually go to great lengths, and often added expense, to try and make things work if they look promising.
The image or dream of this lifestyle is usually inspired by the promoters, and is simply not reality. Reality isn’t always what we want to hear, in fact it can be quite harsh, but for our ultimate success and happiness, it is necessary.
So please, stick around and teach us if you think your ways are better. Lively discussions can be very educational, and the more information available to people before they make important choices the better. One of the best things about this life is if you screw up, and aren’t too broke, you can have as many redo’s as needed until you get it right.
If you are one of the few with a successful solar system, PLEASE SHARE IT! Help teach others how to succeed. That’s what we’re truly all about. Show “US” how to make it work, so we can pass it on. “Jim” on youtube seems to have had success, but nobody else has been able to duplicate it. Finally somebody posted a link to one of his video’s where he disclosed that he runs his generator all day, even though he has 1200 watts of solar, previously it left everybody with the impression that he was running everything, including air conditioning, from solar and battery power alone. That video mysteriously disappeared a short time later, but that’s EXACTLY what people really need to know. No wonder nobody had success duplicating his system. The most important details were omitted.