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I sold my van. Now what?
#1
I sold my van yesterday. I spent most of this year building it. After several short trips, I realized I need to stand up in whatever vehicle I'm going to call home on the road.

It was my first build and I learned a lot. I learned about solar power. I learned what it takes for a good build. I learned it takes more money than I thought. And I know what I would do differently.

The woman who bought the van was very impressed with it. She has been looking online for quite a while for the "right one". She was like a kid at Christmas. She's In her 40s and plans to hit the road. First stop Maine. Then across Canada and down to San Diego. And onward.

So now what? I still want to go to Mexico. I still want to live a semi-nomadic life. I have my wife's blessing. And when I'm not on the road she wants to camp with me. We have numerous Corps of Engineer parks around us plus several National Forests.
She likes things a bit less rustic than I can live with. Namely hot water and a decent toilet.

I've been leaning towards a smaller class A. No longer than 28 feet. Something with a dedicated bed. Maybe a vintage rig. Growing up our family had a Travco 21 footer. That was a nice rig. Rear twin beds, convertible dinette and a 318. Gas mileage was in the teens and enough power that my Dad could tow his Volvo race car to the ice races. And there are Barths, GMCs and the Argosy. I guess I'll know it when I find it.
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#2
Those older Dodge drive trains are the best I've ever found, darn near bullet proof. The coaches with the Dodge drive trains seemed to be better quality builds too.

If you get one that still has points, there's a points eliminator electronic ignition available for it that is also very reliable. It's a little electro-magnetic switch that replaces the points, then it has a rotor with magnets imbedded in it. Simple, and if it ever fails, you can toss points back in and be on your way. Never had one fail though.

Add an electric fuel pump, and a fuel pressure regulator to improve your gas mileage and give you better performance, and electric radiator and transmission cooler fans, and you'll have one of the best and most reliable rigs out there. It might sound like a lot of work, but it can all be done in an afternoon.

After having everything from new to pretty old, the Dodge's from the 60's, 70's, and 80's are still the best in my book.
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#3
I grew up on Mopars and I have to agree that they are tough. Or were.
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#4
just keep an eye out and let it find you,i see vintage rv's on craigslist,some been in a field for decades but every so often someone does a bunch of work.losses interest and just wants it gone

american clipper and chinook concourse are a couple smaller fiberglass models,my chinook is 6-3 inside but would be tight for two people
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  • ratfink56 (10-09-2018)
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#5
As much as I’d like to agree with the “vintage rv” choice to travel the country, short of an entire gut and rebuild, I can’t... there’s been too much leakage and shoddy factory construction in 99% of non-Prevost bus type rv’s to buy one of those. 

Maybe a schoolie but then its a sh&t ton of work.

There’s a thread somewhere of a guy who bought a 70’s Dodge class C and completely gutted it then rebuilt everything to his purposes. Since it was already titled and registered as an RV he had no problems with plates and insurance (smart). I think it was well north of 200 pages with zillions of pictures...  I’ll try to find it.

Thats the only way I’d consider “vintage”.

Oh here it is, only 349 pages on RV.Net:
“Total Rebuild of a 1979 Dodge Class C“

Read it and then (in a month) let us know what you thought...
They say when you get older two things happen, one is you lose your memory and the other, I forget.

Organized people are simply too lazy to search for stuff.
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#6
It took him like 3 years and over $5,000 to rebuild, and he was his own mechanic, painter, welder and carpenter... here’s one of his later quotes: 

Posted: 05/08/12 06:38am 


And if I ever do anymore Total rebuilds it will be inside of a garage with all parts on hand, This is really a tough job if your doing it outside through winter months and ordering parts as you need them. 
They say when you get older two things happen, one is you lose your memory and the other, I forget.

Organized people are simply too lazy to search for stuff.
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#7
I don’t know what your budget is but I bought a 2002 carrigo by Dynamax. It’s 23 foot and has the best layout of any RV I’ve been in. The cabinets are oak and everything is very well built. The bath is a wet bath and very large so you can actually wash your feet.

Closet space is great and everything is very well built (I’ve had the ones that weren’t too).

It had 50,000 miles on it and I was able to purchase it with $17,000 a couple of years ago.

[Image: 80b42acf38b85fa52ae6fc48c843b493.jpg]
monkeyfoot
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#8
Vintage is great -- for people with a place to work on it, plenty of money and lots of time.
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  • TWIH (10-11-2018)
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#9
I am rethinking the vintage route. Each brand seems to have unique problems in addition to the ones they all share. Going to look at a 94 Fleetwood Flair 22 foot that has had a bunch of mechanical work done this year. The owner sounds a bit anal about his vehicles which is fine with me. Price is right and so is the size. Also has the approval of the all important wife. Has a bed and a dinette. Sloped fiberglass roof. If it lives up to the hype it will be something I can maintain for years. I realize that it was built as cheaply as possible, but hopefully it's still a (relatively) solid rig.

Seems that many owners don't understand the maintenance aspect of ownership. The salesmen never mention that part and the happy owners go on their way. Ignorance is bliss.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to ratfink56 for this post:
  • TWIH (10-11-2018)
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