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View Poll Results: Are you considering, or did, going RV cruising after done boat cruising
Yes 64 61.54%
No 29 27.88%
Maybe 11 10.58%
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Old 29-06-2019, 05:40   #136
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Re: RV After Cruising???

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I've always liked your garage conversion too. Living large in small spaces makes a lot of sense to me.
I built a cottage out the back of my place in order to have a home base, i now rent that as well as ive realised my boats become my home base.
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Old 29-06-2019, 05:52   #137
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Re: RV After Cruising???

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Beautiful pics, great looking van. Any thoughts on cost comparison. I can really see a future for us of living 1/2 year on the boat and the other 1/2 in a similar van as yours.
Thanks! much like cruising through Caribbean islands, we found exploring by van to be an endless supply of epic views and photo opportunities.

Cost comparison...
We've been talking a lot about this recently, and to be fair, we're only 6months into full time cruising in the caribbean and its probably WAY TOO early to make any real judgements. But that won't stop me from at least taking a shot.

First, it should be noted that our time in the van was intentionally uber-minimal.

We didn't stay in campgrounds or pay for hotels. When we were out of urban environments we were lost in the woods for days/weeks at a time. When we were in the city, we stealth camped (yes, homeless style sleeping on the side of a street with the black out shades)... has a certain stigma for certain, but to us it didn't feel any different than pulling into a busy bay dropping anchor at sunset and exploring ashore in the morning. Maybe not our first choice, but what you sometimes have to do in order to be close to the things you want/need.

At least the way we did it, vanlife is literally one of if not the most affordable ways to live I can imagine, and is also a very large part of how we afforded the boat and are able to do this now (despite thinking our entire life we'd never be able to).

Notice I also drew a line and said van rather than RV. If you're in a 32' RV than you can't get into the city without a hotel or other arrangements and your time out exploring means paying nightly for campgrounds and services (and also lints where you can go/explore). Its like trying to describe the average cost of cruising but using the cost of a morning ball in the BVIs as your nightly expense, whereas we tend to look for the small bay to drop a hook in almost all cases. Problem on the boat being that depending on the island we cant exactly go choose the budget grocery store... were forced to use the only one that has groceries just like everyone else.

My very crude assumption this early on is that (at least the way we did/are doing them) traveling by land is probably about half the monthly expenses as by boat. Provisioning is obviously far easier and when repairs are needed its obviously not only less critical/safety related but you've simply got more options and less "boat markup". The gas/diesel bill goes way up and isn't insignificant, but depending on how often you need to move can be easily controlled.

For us, I think that the real question is how you want to live in either lifestyle and what you're willing to give up or where your comfort level is.
As has been proven by many cost sharing forums here (and on RV forums), you can put 2 different couples on identical boats and in identical places and one will live off almost nothing and be plenty happy while the other can blow through countless thousands and still feel like something is lacking.

For us... boat life is clearly more expensive so far, but we're also lounging on remote caribbean beaches rather than sleeping on the street in the rainy PNW. Not exactly a fair head to head comparison... but whats that worth? If you live meagerly in a van but still find yourself craving a vacation to somewhere sunny every winter, i'm pretty sure whatever saving were built in just evaporated...

Hope that's at all helpful (certain its not)...
We are looking forward to being able to get a better handle on cost comparisons as time goes on and as we try to figure out how to have some of both in our lives moving forward.
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Old 29-06-2019, 05:56   #138
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Re: RV After Cruising???

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I've always liked your garage conversion too. Living large in small spaces makes a lot of sense to me.
Thanks!
It's an awesome way of knowing that IF we wake up one day and have grown tired of the nomadic/traveling lifestyle than there's something to go back to without having ti suddenly be able to afford a mortgage.

Will always amuse me that building that "home base" is what somehow propelled us into full time nomadic living. Best laid plans, right??
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Old 29-06-2019, 06:54   #139
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Re: RV After Cruising???

How much money did you have ďinĒ that Van?
It doesnít look inexpensive
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Old 29-06-2019, 07:44   #140
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Re: RV After Cruising???

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How much money did you have ďinĒ that Van?
It doesnít look inexpensive
Not bad if you take the time and do it yourself.
Also clearly not the "bare bones" cheapest build possible, but the way we looked at it... if we built the van at a level that we actually were comfortable and wanted to be inside of it... than wed be saving money not spending all our time somewhere else (like a bar or restaurant).

We built out a few of our vans and then started getting requests from others and built a little side business around building DIY vanbuild kits to help others do it on their own (with a bit of "coaching") and save money via "sweat equity". Also typically take a few full van builds on each year, but the heart and soul of the company was always in helping people do what we did and have a beautiful but functional van at the end.
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Old 29-06-2019, 08:47   #141
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Re: RV After Cruising???

Yes I agree it doesnít need to be either or. In my case I love to sail, her not so much. So we have a 26 ft gmc rv 1977 and a c&c 27. No Iím not cruising in it but I do get my sailing time. She likes rving and I like sailing. I think the next move will be a mid 30ís boat and cruising with some time back with her rving. Works so far. Ymmv
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Old 29-06-2019, 09:34   #142
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Re: RV After Cruising???

Thanks theDangerz, makes perfect sense, and tracks with what I think I know about boat and van life. Hang around here long enough and youíll see Iím one of those frugal cruisers who can live on far less than most people seem to need. If we ever get an RV it would very likely be a camper van style ó perhaps a very small Class C. Iíve even looked at cargo trailer conversions since we already own one of those.

In any case, I donít need a lot to be comfortable. Freedom is more important to me than fancy doodads, so going small and stealthy sounds perfect.
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Old 29-06-2019, 10:10   #143
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RV After Cruising???

The old GMC motorhomes were beautifully designed, I donít know why there werenít successful, but they are all OLD now.
One I saw the Onan generator was mounted on drawer slides so to work on it, you slid it completely out of the side of the Motorhome, sat on a stool and could do any maintenance you wanted to with it completely out in the open, then slide it closed and latch it.
Never understood why that didnít become standard
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Old 29-06-2019, 11:56   #144
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Re: RV After Cruising???

I'm still struggling with the Volkswagen decision not to import the VW California camper van (current iteration of the VW Camper) to the U.S.


Though they will apparently import the an electric version of their camper van in a few years.
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Old 29-06-2019, 12:45   #145
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Re: RV After Cruising???

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Though they will apparently import the an electric version of their camper van in a few years.

I donít think itís a camper is it?
I enjoyed my Westfalia immensely, but donít think the new one will even be similar, I donít even see how you could build one today.
You sat literally on top of the front wheels and your feet were within inches of the extreme forward portion of the vehicle.

I think the new van will be like the new Bug was, looked sort of similar and thatís about it.
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Old 29-06-2019, 14:11   #146
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Re: RV After Cruising???

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Thanks theDangerz, makes perfect sense, and tracks with what I think I know about boat and van life. Hang around here long enough and youíll see Iím one of those frugal cruisers who can live on far less than most people seem to need. If we ever get an RV it would very likely be a camper van style ó perhaps a very small Class C. Iíve even looked at cargo trailer conversions since we already own one of those.

In any case, I donít need a lot to be comfortable. Freedom is more important to me than fancy doodads, so going small and stealthy sounds perfect.
Ive already noticed from a few posts... my comments were more "general".
I have no doubt you'll find what we did - that we wish we would have learned a decade earlier that by living/traveling in a van we could have probably quit our jobs years before we did.
Mostly though... for us, it was the lessons in minimal living that came along with it that led to everything else in terms of freedom/flexibility.
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Old 29-06-2019, 14:14   #147
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Re: RV After Cruising???

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I donít think itís a camper is it?
I enjoyed my Westfalia immensely, but donít think the new one will even be similar, I donít even see how you could build one today.
You sat literally on top of the front wheels and your feet were within inches of the extreme forward portion of the vehicle.

I think the new van will be like the new Bug was, looked sort of similar and thatís about it.
Agreed.

As much as we loved our old split window bus... the simple fact is that we eventually had to admit (after much counseling) that is was the romantic idea of a camper and really more of a weekender than a full time living situation.

The new high-roof campers (sprinter, transit, etc) are perfectly situated to living/traveling comfortably in your vehicle.
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Old 29-06-2019, 14:47   #148
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Re: RV After Cruising???

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I've always liked your garage conversion too. Living large in small spaces makes a lot of sense to me.

For those that are interested, you can see the garage conversion and the van conversion in this video.


https://youtu.be/7sLQ-2rCdmw
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Old 29-06-2019, 16:21   #149
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Re: RV After Cruising???

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I don’t think it’s a camper is it?
I enjoyed my Westfalia immensely, but don’t think the new one will even be similar, I don’t even see how you could build one today.
You sat literally on top of the front wheels and your feet were within inches of the extreme forward portion of the vehicle.

I think the new van will be like the new Bug was, looked sort of similar and that’s about it.
I think you might be right. Looks like it's eminently configurable, but not really the same thing.

I like the VW California, which is sort of the modern version of the Westfalia. There's also a California XXL. I don't think they're available in the U.S.
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Old 29-06-2019, 17:56   #150
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Re: RV After Cruising???

The old Westie was a weekend kind of camper for kids. You could in theory have two kids with you, there was a bed that went over the front seats, and one in the pop up.
It was surprisingly comfortable short term
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