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Friday, December 1, 2017

Camper Project - Where To Start

In November 2013 in expectation of my retirement as Fire Chief, I found the above 1994 Chevrolet G30 Coachman Class B Campervan.  I was glad to have found this 1 Ton camper in good condition.  

It was mostly ready to go, and that was my goal as I decided to leave in January for 3.5 month solo tour.  I wanted to change my life by reinventing who I was.  

I didn’t know anything about Vandwelling, but this was a great purchase to get me going.

It had what I needed to get going, but I didn’t like; driving it in wind, 10 mpg, and needing to plug in (no solar).

What it do is set the expectation for what I wanted in the future (Prius).

The Prius and my 3 years of modifications provided me so much more over the Class B.  Yes the Prius had it all, including washing and bathroom facilities.

The biggest issue was that I had clearance problems for some places I wanted to go and explore.  The minimal space and clearance was easily overlooked by 50 mpg and stealth. 

With the camper being a shell my focus turned to what I needed to address to sleep, cook, store fresh and gray water, cook, and power the fridge.

Moving to a 18-20 mpg vehicle meant that I needed acost effective way of powering the fridge and small electronics 24x7.  The heavy lead acid house battery charged off the engine would get me 3 days of power before charging, but I wanted power independance, like I had with the Prius and lead acid is just too heavy for a lightweight camper/truck combination.

Therefore, my most important focus for upgrading the camper was to address power and solar demands.  

I also wanted to address sleeping in the camper without raising the roof.  I wanted to sleep without the roof raised so I could park in Walmart or truck stop for the night without looking like I’m camping.

My needs for the camper don’t end with just those two items.  My list will address so much more.

I will focus on all the changes in future posts and then as I travel I will evaluate how well my designs actually work out.  Oh there are changes I will address on the road too.


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