My wife and I are looking to retire our 1996 Class C and hit the road in our retirement (current) in an off the grid van.
I’ve been gathering information for a while and know I’ll find more here.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Greetings & Welcome!
The PNW is one of my favorite places! Lot’s of free camping in the forests, and by lakes, rivers, & streams. All without the need to beat your rig to death.
Downsizing from a RV to van isn’t always the best plan. Most of the smaller RV’s actually make better off the road vehicles than vans do. Those duallies are great for getting you into remote places. 4x4 vans are rare, expensive, and often troublesome. Many people tow a 4x4 for their off road exploring, instead of trying to take their camper off road.
Some people like to beat their rigs to death to get to the middle of nowhere, when it isn’t really necessary to get to equally great spots. Street rigs just really aren’t a great choice to go off road with.
It’s really hard to go exploring in a street rig, so for a while, I’d rent an ATV, UTV, Sand Rail, Dune Buggy, Boat, Jet Ski, Snowmobile, etc. for whatever I wanted to do, and park my rig where it was more sensible. This allowed me the ultimate adventures without beating my rig to death. I would usually carry camping gear, so I could camp in the boonies if I found somewhere I really liked.
In Alaska, I got a great deal on an enclosed, amphibious, 8x8 rig, so I bought it, and converted the interior into a micro camper. You couldn’t get that thing stuck, and it was a boat too. I sold it after a couple of years, but boy it was a blast. My next adventure was buying a camper boat to do the whole length of the Mississippi river. Good times.
In the end, by not trying to get my extra comfortable primary rig way off road, I was able to explore more, without beating it to death, or worries about getting it stuck, breaking down, etc.
Another thing to consider is that 2 people in a camper van can be really cramped. I’ve done it, and it isn’t ideal. More space can really help, and women often want more amenities too, and keeping her happy is likely to keep you happier too…
I find it hilarious when people put a snorkel on their campervan! Are they really going to submerge their camper?!!
A campervan can be tight for two, but doable. I sometimes carry a dual sport motorcycle on a trailer or rack carrier for jeep/ATV trail exploring. I think most who have jacked up $X$ vans are more into the looks and ego than anything else. Vans are usually too big for the rough stuff.