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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Conclusion On Vandwelling Vehicle Experience

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 have looked at different aspects of my various Vandwelling travel choices.  I now share what I plan on using next year 2019 Travels.

What I vehicle will I use next year:

Since I don’t have the Class B what is in the picture is my Tacoma/FWC or my Prius.

I actually like driving the Prius more than the Tacoma. The Prius is more cost effective, but it can’t get me off road to places I still want to go.  Overall I rated the Prius better too.

I have thought about the gas prices going up in this analysis, but I want to go back to Utah and go off road to see more sights.

Therefore, I pick the Tacoma/FWC camper for 2019 and I’ll live with the added fuel costs.  I think I can get at least 1 mpg more next year by reducing weight of what I carried.  Using 1013 gallons of gasoline this year means saving 1 mpg I’ll get to travel 1000 miles free.  So this is my goal to offset the rising cost of fuel. 

I’m sure I can save 1 mpg with the reduction of things I take next year.  

I’m not giving up my Prius.  In fact, I’m already putting back the 12v things I took out and used in the Truck/Camper and didn’t end up using.  The Prius will be able to be put into vandweller service if I want to take a trip or attend a gathering.



  1. Hi Brenton
    What is your idea for using Toyota Rav4 Hybrid or Highlande Hybrid instead of Prius or Tacoma?
    Thank s

    1. Amir,

      Sorry for my response delay.

      My thoughts on the RAV4 vs Highlander hybrid is about finding the sweet spot for travel and costs.

      On one end is the Prius with 50 mpg for cost effectiveness
      On the other end is the Class B with 10 mpg.

      The closest to the Prius for functionality and mpg is the RAV4 hybrid. I was sold this past travels (2018) with my friend Susan’s standard non hybrid. It went where I went with tacoma for the most part. Certainly places my Prius couldn’t go.

      At 30 mpg and good ground clearance if I didn’t already have the tacoma I probably would have bought a RAV4 hybrid and built it out for my travels. Add the stealthy solar panel that sits between the roof rack rails to charge the house battery and run the compressor fridge, it’s a sweet vehicle for how I travel.

      Everyone needs to find their sweet spot for travel. The tacoma/ FWC is good and I enjoyed it but cost isn’t where I would like it. Now consider the advantages of the tacoma/FWC for space and ease of storage, I’m not unhappy with my current vehicle of choice,



  2. Ahhhh.... we finally have an answer!! I think it is only fair for you to go with the Tacoma again... I mean you had 3 wonderful years in the Prius, figuring all your engineering stuff out, and getting it down to a science. I would expect you to do the same with the Tacoma. I am very happy tho that you are not giving up the Prius! I hope we meet up again at a smaller gathering and you bring the Prius so I can check it out. You are one of my heroes... always will be. I am honored and humbled to have met you, and to spend a bit of time with you too. Until we meet again...

    1. 27Jack,

      Thanks for the kind remarks and following the blog. Sorry for the delay in replying. I got absorbed with all the work waiting for me around the house.

      As you gathered my passion is engineering and during my spare time this summer I have been engineering changes to the Tacoma that will be shared in the future.

      Many of my design changes are directly adaptable to small vehicle living. I’ve been sharing some with my vandweller friend in British Columbia for her van experience.

      So, I am glad you appreciate the designs in the past and I hope you will be equally interested in the design changes that I will publish in the future on the Tacoma/FWC camper.

      And yes, if you see me please approach. I meet followers from time to time and I enjoy the conversations.

      Safe travels