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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What Didn’t I Use - 3 Vehicle Comparison

In the last 5 years of Brent’s Travels I have traveled between 16K and 20K miles in my approx 4 months each year inbthe road.

To recap my first year of travels in 2014 I had a Class B camper below.  Years 2,3&4 (2015,2016,&2017) my Vandwelling Choice was a Prius.  Finally this year was my Tacoma with a Four Wheel Camper (FWC).

Over a series of blog posts I will look at different aspects of my various Vandwelling travel choices.

If you have questions you would like answered please let me know.

What I didn’t use:

The Class B has a lot of things I didn’t use on the trip. 

- A/C - lack of need - Jan, Feb, March
- 3-way fridge - had my Engel fridge and 3-way fridge is inefficient and a pain to switch over from 12 v tonpropane and back every time I move.  Also a pain having to level the rig to get it to run right.
- Flush Toilet (black water) - seemed like too much work so I bagged my waste. I did use gray water.
- Dinette - used as full-time bed and slept diagonal. Roll over couch as bed required me to set up each night, bunk bed was to hard to get in and out 
- Bunk Bed - used as storage for soft items
- propane furnace - used too much 12 v power - would require me to find a place to plug in or run my Harbor Freight noisy generator.
- portable generator- only used a couple times on trip

I used every spacebin the Prius I had and used everything as I brought little extra.

- misc items - I had or collected that I didn’t want to carry I mailed home - no extra room so mail stuff home
- winter coat - mailed home when March came - my last year in the Prius I bought a down coat that was packable so I didn’t need to carry this winter coat anymore.

- 12 volt parts - I brought wire of different sizes, as well as various crimps, and other items in a plastic tote that I kept behind the drivers seat in my extended cab that I brought in case I could help people build out their rig but didntbuse them.
- back country backpack and all the related equipment.  Joanne and I had wanted to take a back country hike but the weather didn’t cooperate so we passed this year.  The full backpack was stored behind the passenger seat in the extended cab.
- awning materials- I thought I would make an awning for the rear of the camper while on the trip - I never worked on it.
- variety of tools - I brought a couple tool bags - one smaller bag I used a lot as it had common items and what I carried in the Prius - the other tool bag had some tools not used and a couple that I only used a couple times.
- bunk bed - I used it only a few times choosing to sleep on the lower bench bed.  It was cold many nights and to retain heat I would lower the roof.  I would raise the roof for washing, cooking, and having visitors.  

What I didn’t use, In Summary:
(The higher the number the more I used of what I brought with me.)

Class B - 3
Prius - 9
Tacoma - 4



  1. Could you do a post detailing what tools you'd take next year? Or one contrasting the tools you take for the Prius vs. the Tacoma if you were to use either next year? Thanks!

    1. Hi Bryce,

      Sorry for the delay in responding. Life catches up with me when I’m home.

      This past year with my Tacoma I took a lot of electrical supplies to help others with their 12 volt systems. I did help one cardweller install solar, so wire and crimps came in handy, but I brought so much to fill 2 totes. I will not be doing this in the future.

      Then there were the tools and all kinds of crimps, cable ties, screws, nuts, bolts (different sizes) and so on. The space that was taken up behind my drivers seat with these items would have been left empty and saved the weight.

      Driving these items around the US for 16K miles is not practical. Better to buy as I need items.

      I carried licks and cables to lock loose things that I didn’t have. Again too much “what if stuff”. In the future I will not carry

      I carried 2 chairs. My Prius chair and a small folding chair that is taller. Make a decision and bring one. I have room for the larger folding chair and I have room so may leave the small chair for Prius travels home.

      It just shows you that the more room you have the more you bring.

      I carried my 30 Ah LiFePo4 battery but never used it as 50 ah batter was sufficient. I will be hooking up vehicle charge to the 50 Ah battery and not bring the 30 Ah.

      Large Ryobi was also on my Tacoma trip as I had holes to drill. I used it but it’s heavy and a bit much to carry for the limited usage.

      I have carried a small Ryobi drill/Power screw driver and this can be good for little projects. If I need more I will ask for help or do the work at son’s in San Diego during one of my two visits.

      I brought a cordless vibrating cutting tool. This came in handy to cut a bolt that stopped threading but it too got to travel around the US for 16K miles.

      It’s great to have tools but I need to be practical. I got 16 mpg during my 16K miles but when I went to Maine for a weekend and didn’t bring this extra stuff I got 18 mpg

      I did bring the off road chains for truck as I did with Prius and although I didn’t use them I will bring as one never knows if they will be needed.