I use kerosene for both heating and cooking, and I also have kerosene lanterns for a backup, or I also sometimes use them for the ambiance.
My swamp cooler is a home made indirect type, so it works even in high humidity areas. The intake air enters from the outside, and it exhausted back outside. This cools the water in the reservoir which is then circulated through a small radiator, which only indoor air is recirculated through. This way no moisture is added to the interior air. It works as well or better than conventional air conditioning, but runs on 12 volts and uses only about 2 amps of power on high, and just over 1 amp on low, which is where it is normally set at after an initial cool down period of 15-20 minutes.
Neither age nor miles reflects the true condition of a vehicle. I prefer the older pre-computerized vans because there’s so much less to go wrong with them. My vaan is a 1973 high top Dodge van that has nearly 450k miles on the original engine and transmission. It had just over 250k miles on it when I bought it over 10 years ago for $750. It was mechanically sound and had very little rust, but the interior had been totally stripped. I replaced the original passenger van style floor and walls out of a wrecking yard, then moved my camping interior in rather than building it in. It was move in and travel ready for well under $1500 total.
Since I’ve owned it, it has been stone cold reliable and only required normal maintenance. I have added a few cheap and simple upgrades that weren’t actually required, but I desired. I added a points eliminator kit, an electric radiator fan, and auxiliary electric fuel pump, a fuel pressure regulator, and switched out the plugs to a type known as fire injectors. The electric fuel pump is in place and wired to a switch, but is not in use. It is merely a backup plan in case the original fuel pump fails in an awkward place for handy replacement. The fire injector spark plugs are guaranteed for life and guaranteed to never foul. If the points eliminator kit ever fails, I can easily replace it with the original points and rotor. The original radiator fan is still in use, and the electric fan has both a temperature sensor and a bypass switch. It gets used rarely, but can keep everything cool even in traffic jam situations in high temperature areas. The fuel pressure regulator significantly increased both my gas mileage and my power.
Regardless of the age and mileage of my van, it reliably carries me clear across the country on a regular basis. The Dodge based vans and motorhomes from the 70’s and 80’s have been the most reliable vehicles I’ve ever owned. It’s all about reliability for me, and I’ve never had a computerized vehicle that I would call reliable. Sure, I only get 18mpg on the highway, and about 15mpg in the city, but that’s more than a fair trade off for the reliability, simplicity, and lack of major repairs needed on newer vehicles. One computerized van I had required over $8k in repairs, and it had under 100k miles on it, and I paid big bucks to purchase it too, and it was under 2 years old at the time, and came with great looking but obviously phony fleet maintenance records. Either that or the newer engines and transmissions are just plain garbage compared to their older counterparts. Newer doesn’t necessarily mean better, and a warranty doesn’t help much when you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, nor does it make up for your losses due to depreciation on newer vehicles.
With a $1500 van including the conversion, it will pay for itself very quickly. The same can’t be said for newer or more expensive vehicles. I’m not into losing money on my vehicles. My van has owed me nothing since a couple of months after purchase, and is probably worth triple what I have into it. Short of a catastrophic collision or it getting stolen, I could replace anything, including the engine or transmission and still be money ahead. It still drives like a dream, and keeps me totally safe & comfortable, and provides everything I need.
Van dwelling, or full timing is about practicality for me, not a race to see how much money I can spend, and I don’t need the latest and greatest everything. It’s all about comfort, convenience, and reliability for me, and my poor old van provides all of that and more.
"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller