RV Upgrade Questions


#1

Ok so ive made 1 other thread about deciding between a van, bus or RV and i feel like ive made the decision to go with an RV (but this decision changes every week LOL) my logic behind this that i can buy a cheap motorhome and travel in it a little before renovatimg to see if i even like it before spending xxx amount on it (and even if i dont like it my parents probably wouldnt mind taking it). I think the main thing that attracted me to the bus was all the windows, i love the windows and the light (im sure someone out there understand what i mean) and im wondering if there’s a way to add more or bigger windows to a motorhome. Has anyone done this? Is it even possible? Any input is welcome and appreciated.


#2

Greetings!

Windows are one of the biggest draws for me too, their advantages far outweigh any supposed disadvantages.

Short of an extensive remodel, adding additional windows to an RV would probably be very difficult. To me, floor plans mean everything. Some are open, with a good view in every direction. Others feel cramped with nearly no views. So I just keep looking until I find one that feels right. In my current camper van, I have an unobstructed 360 degree view in all directions and LOVE it.

Cheers!


"Smiles are contagious, pass them on!" ~ Van_Dweller




#3

What do you use for window coverings? @Van_Dweller


#4

not a great picture of my curtains but they work great. I custom fit all of the curtains, even the from one, and secured them with stainless line and fittings. The front curtain (that i dont have a picture of) is one piece and is held up by hand-sewn hook and loop patches. Including the hardware and fabric these perfect curtains costed around $200

These curtains are being replaced by multi-layer reflective insulated form fitting snap-in curtains in the near future

I do have the ability and availability to be contracted to make curtains an send them to wherever. All i would need is the dimensions and the fabric. Send me a message


#5

That’s a beautiful build! I really like the color scheme, too! Great floor space! Very nice!

Personally, I don’t plan to use curtains if I can help it. Ideally, I like the sliding shades similar to this (but they don’t have to be wood):

I don’t want to have to bother putting them up and taking them down every day and night.

Another luxury item I really want is the retractable (not magnetic) screen door that you slide open and closed.


#6

thank you!

I do like the sliding shades. Definitely more than the curtains. They have their drawback. If you have the time and skills, do it!


#7

Time, yes. Skills, no. But, skills can be learned! This year I’ve taken to research van life and learn from pioneers like yourself who have gone before me, has made the waiting worthwhile. I can’t imagine how many unnecessary and/or costly mistakes I would have made so far without you all!

Do you have a YouTube channel, a blog or Instagram, etc., where you have more pictures or information? Again, I really like everything about your van’s style and layout. Is that a Sprinter? What kind of flooring did you use?


#8

Research is key, man. I spent 3 months learning as much as I could before I started on my van.

I have a website that I am slowly putting together. Electrical help. Vanlife questions to ask yourself. A few things that I have found important along the way. thevanplan.fun my instagram is @thevan_plan

My van is a 1973 Ford Econoline E-100 Club Wagon. I used regular composite flooring that had a good IPx rating. All-in-all the actual home part of my van cost fewer than $3,000 including the electrical. I did all of the work myself over a summer.

I am always available for design questions

fellow poor people*
You can get good deep cycle (Group 31) batteries from mechanic shops for the price of the core ($10-20). They won’t be the newest technology but you will be able to get a year or two out of them. Cheapest way to get your system moving


#9

I’m a professional researcher if there ever was one. If I researched heart surgery, I could perform it by the time I was done! (The result of being a perfectionist.) The hinderance that comes with that is it’s difficult to often do just to what’s often best - get out there and learn from experience.

An important element of research is considering the source. For example, when it comes to insulation, I’m going to listen to @Van_Dweller before I listen to a salesman or another van lifer who chases 70° around the country. Why? Because he was in Minnesota when it was -57°F. He goes to Miami during hot summers. He’s experienced and, given what I’ve learned about him during my research on this forum, I absolutely trust him.

I hope to find an equally reliable source when it comes time to buy a van because I don’t trust myself. It scares the muffins out of me to buy used or old vehicles. But it also scares me to buy new because I don’t know how much of a waste of money that really might be, even though I’m looking at full-time, long-term van life and don’t want to have to change vans for at least 15 years!

I have so much to learn but I’m loving the process!


#10

So much of this depends on how deep your pockets are… only you know that. If you’re on a budget keep something in reserve for the problem that will come along.

If you’re going with an RV get one that you are comfortable driving, has what you want and is not too old. Shop around & you can find a reasonable priced RV from the 90’s and that would be a 20+ yo RV.
I read of people paying $15k for a 30 year old RV and I wonder whats going on. Two years ago we picked up an '07 for less than $12k.
There is a lot to be said for a van if you’re by yourself or an older class “B”.

Bigger is not necessarily better! After a while you’ll have a better idea of what’s “right” for you.


#11

It doesn’t matter if you spend 150k or $150 on a vehicle if you don’t insulate it or have a heater. Building everything correctly is more important than the how much you spend on somewhere to keep your underwear

I keep all of my camping stuff in my van and having a sub-zero sleeping bag on those extra cold days is prime


#12

I’m definitely insulating. I haven’t determined with what or how much yet because I don’t have a van yet. Personally, I’m more interested in insulating against the heat than I am keeping out the cold. I can handle cold. I live in Minne- :snowflake: -ta. To me, the cold is just free air-conditioning! But, I wilt at anything more than 74°F (23°C). I’m a heat wimp. Quite frankly, I’m not giving up on putting a proper, reliable window A/C in my van.

That’s where I (personally) would spend extra money. I don’t want van life for luxury but I do want comfort. I’m looking at it not only full-time, but as long as I’m physically able to live it. I’ll poo in a bucket, sleep on an air mattress and live with a simple cooler for a fridge if it gets me on the road. But, at some point, some form of A/C (properly researched) is on the agenda.