In the last 5 years of Brent’s Travels I have traveled between 16K and 20K miles in my approx 4 months, each year on the 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 (2018) 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.
Going Where I Want To Go, Comparison:
The Class B, although it was on a truck chassis, it was long at 19.5 feet, so it could fit in a regular parking space side to side, but it was a space and a half long. This made parking in some parking lots difficult.
At a baseball game in Scottsdale, AZ they park the vehicles in a parking lot. I asked to back into a spot so my rear end of the Class B could overhang the grass. They agreed to my request. Obviously in a large parking lot like a Walmart you just park away from others, but if you want to park in metered spots this may not be possible, while staying in the allowed Space.
The Class B was tall at 9.5 feet to the top of the roof A/C. This meant I could not park in parking garages at all and had to worry about overhead awnings off of buildings.
As I stated, the Class B was on a one ton truck chassis, so I should expect good ground clearance, but the black and gray water pipes were under the chassis making them easy to damage if I didn’t think about them driving on some roads I could have had a problem.
I could not go to some BLM disbursed camping areas due to road conditions. I could not go on springtime forest service muddy roads either.
Therefore, the Class B gets a lower rating than the Prius.
The Prius can go in cities and parallel park, park in parking garages, and streetside. It fits anywhere.
I did have problems with ground clearance. The nose of the Prius would hit high curbs, so I added a curb sensor to prevent this happening by early warning beeps. In Arizona, where I spend a lot of time, they have deep gutters that can cause me to scrape the Prius front nose before I get on the road. If I go slow I can just about eliminate this issue.
The biggest problem is low ground clearance. The design for fuel efficiency keeping a low ground clearance creates problems. I’ve not been able to go over some cattle guards due to the 4+” Drop off on the other side. I would hang the front of the car on this and you don’t want to do this. There were washes I couldn’t get over/through. At the RTR I had to watch for rogue rocks on the road and finding disbursed camping, that I could hit on my undercarriage. I got good at seeing such things and avoiding them. When they graded the road at the RTR they left a brim on the side of the road that I could not get over without scraping or hanging, so I had to manually knock the brim down to get to the camping areas.
There were BLM disbursed areas I could not go due to rough roads. I could not go on forest service roads due to mud. I could not camp on the beach’s in Texas due to soft sand.
Despite the negatives with the Prius, although I had to avoid hitting things like the Class B, the Prius fit so many more places than the Class B.
Now to the Tacoma/Camper. What can I say, it’s a 4x4 truck that fits in a standard parking spot. That goes through washes, sand, mud (within reason). The Tacoma/Camper allowed me to tour main streets, back roads, and some 4x4 only roads.
The combination 4x4 truck and low clearance pop up camper didn’t create any clearance problems either. I had fun going where the Class B and Prius couldn’t go.
Going Where I Want To Go, In Summary:
Class B - 4
Prius - 6
Tacoma - 9