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Thread: The Nomadic Life

  1. #101
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Nice work John. Hiding in plain sight is a phrase which comes to mind.

  2. #102
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I spent the past few years trying several options, inside sleeping platform in an LR3, roof top tent on an FJ80 (then a Tundra). There are much less expensive RTT options than the hard shell design pictured above by the way. I had a CVT that I bought used for around $900.

    Anyway, all the trips in all the vehicles above led me to conclude that I liked the idea of transitioning from the driver seat to the sleeping area without leaving the vehicle. This meant looking for a van. I ended up in a 4x4 sprinter high roof, so the added bonus of being able to stand upright is nice too.

    I rarely have success posting pictures here but I’ll try...

    sorry. No pictures. Again.
     

  3. #103
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Yes the roof top I posted was just one example. I used to see a lot of Tenturi near my place in Switzerland. The entry level model is not too expensive at 1300€.

    Price is relative, if you plan to buy a new vehicle to go nomad it makes sense to buy and equip a van. If you want to use your current car for randoms holidays/expeditions a RTT is nice as an alternative to use a trailer or mount a tent at every stop.
    --
    T h o m a s

  4. #104
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Nice work John. Hiding in plain sight is a phrase which comes to mind.
    Thanks. It works pretty well and yes, hiding in plain sight is the key. I found useful coaching on how to do it at the links below so I won't repeat the techniques except to say (if truly urban stealth camping): pull in well after dark and having completed ALL of your pre-sleep ablutions and van prep elsewhere, shut the car off, move into the back without getting out, close your eyes and go to sleep. No lights, no smartphone/tablet activities, no music, no nothing. Go to sleep. Get up early, before light and the neighbors, and quietly leave. And don't park in the same place on consecutive nights or near schools, fire departments or police stations. The good news for me is that my most favorite surf spot isn't too far from a FlyingJ so that's generally where I go; I haven't often had to truly stealth camp in the cities and towns near my surf spots...but I have done it and if you read the Cliff's Notes on how to do so at these links you'll know how to prepare.

    The Urban Vandweller: The Zen of Urban Stealth Parking

    The Urban Vandweller: The Zen of Urban Stealth Parking, Part Two

    As to the van: I started stealth minivan camping mostly to go surfing but it's obviously useful for all kinds of activities; going to cyclocross races comes to my mind but it applies to just about any activity; traveling across the country too.

    Things that made an otherwise plain vanilla minivan more habitable and easy for the odd night or three on the road:
    * Snug fitting opaque panels for each of the windows aft of the driver's seat row. I started out just hanging towels around the perimeter and that works reasonably well but the panels offer more privacy and darkness. I've used cardboard (currently) and luan door skin (wood) but some folks use that reflective bubble wrap window sun shade stuff. I'll probably end up with that too.
    * Wind deflector thingies you install at the top of the door frames so you can covertly crack the windows an inch or two for ventilation even in rain, and to prevent condensation on the glass (a sure sign that someone's sleeping in the car).
    * No-seeum proof netting anchored by closing the front doors on it, trimmed of material that would be seen by passers by. I did the same for the center doors. I use small but powerful magnets deployed around the inside the door frames to hold the material in position until I can get the door closed.
    * Slender prop sticks, cut to the necessary length, to pin the free end of the netting against the window/door trim, else the no-seeums will find a way in: [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/8161271877/in/album-72157621867029259/[/url] (I hope this takes you to the right photo)
    The one in the photo is much larger in cross section than the ones I use for the front doors.
    * I removed the third row seats so the aft cavity would be available for storage.
    * Small diameter clothesline around the interior perimeter for drying towels and clothing. A couple of towels across the headrests of the front seats is the curtain for that location and I always deploy my windshield sun shade.
    * I've settled on a thick Thermarest mattress. The cot was comfortable but just too much machinery and not necessary for two or three nights at the beach; wife doesn't surf or dig the beach in summer so I'm usually solo, or else with friends at a motel. Board and/or bike go on one side, most of my stuff is in Rubbermaid bins and that goes in the small area formed behind the driver's seat by the placement of the board.
    * Pee bottle and emergency poo container (never had to use it).
    * The smallest ice chest and whatever kitchen stuff you need. I prefer to not cook when doing this so I provision myself accordingly. My Trangia stove is perfect for my mocha pot espresso maker and reheating soup, chili and the like. If I needed to do that inside I'd set the stove up in a metal, secondary container (I carry a small, rectangular cake baking pan for this) and be damned careful about bumping it, but so far it's been unnecessary; and that's because you do one thing at you sleeping site – sleep. Everything else is done elsewhere, generally the beach in my case.

    Relevant Flickr album: Flickr
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

  5. #105
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    that teardrop trailer shot just takes the cake
     

  6. #106
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I have been looking at a VW California for a few years because I find it cool. I am fairly certain I will almost never use it though :)
     

  7. #107
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    A California is overkill if you don't plan on regular camping holidays. A lot of room is wasted on the california for the kitchen and storage area that you won't use on a day to day basis. For occasionnal week-ends in the wild a regular multivan + a mattress + a picnic table set + a gaz stool and a van tent does the job really well already and you can leave all this shit in your garage when you don't want to sleep in the van.
    Last edited by sk_tle; 09-03-2019 at 05:58 AM.
    --
    T h o m a s

  8. #108
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    A California is overkill if you don't plan on regular camping holidays. A lot of room is wasted on the california for the kitchen and storage area that you won't use on a day to day basis. For occasionnal week-ends in the wild a regular multivan + a mattress + a picnic table set + a gaz stool and a van tent does the job really well already and you can leave all this shit in your garage when you don't want to sleep in the van.
    I know. I love overkill.
     

  9. #109
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    After a few days of sulking over not being able to post pictures, I revived my old Flickr account. Anyway, here are a few shots from a trip I’m in the middle of: New Jersey to Idaho with some downtime in Salida

    Flickr

    Flickr

    Flickr
     

  10. #110
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    this looks well set up, but also is a house on wheels

    28 Sportsmobile SPRINTER 25, Sonoma CA - - RVtrader.com

    I think a van and a hammock will work better for me
     

  11. #111
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by ides1056 View Post
    this looks well set up, but also is a house on wheels

    28 Sportsmobile SPRINTER 25, Sonoma CA - - RVtrader.com

    I think a van and a hammock will work better for me
    For one person it is a indulgence worth having. It's nicely setup and practically new at 1/2 price.

  12. #112
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by ides1056 View Post
    this looks well set up, but also is a house on wheels

    28 Sportsmobile SPRINTER 25, Sonoma CA - - RVtrader.com

    I think a van and a hammock will work better for me
    That thing is pretty, but way too rich for my blood. With my Tacoma I'm one small step ahead of the van/hammock setup, with more access with 4wd and more storage but no more frills...
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    “When I was deployed, I knew one of the things keeping me safe was the fact that the flag on my shoulder represented a country known to keep its word”

    -- Pete Buttigieg

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