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Old 11-13-2016, 01:26 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
Stupid Simple?

Hey!
Thanks for stopping by. I'm new to the community and am in the research/planning phase- hoping for advice from some of you pros! Everyones builds look great on here.

I continuously hear the phrase to "keep things stupid simple".
I do, however, want a few luxuries that make me nervous.

There will be three people living in the bus full time- so I'm trying to keep the build modest while still fulfilling our needs/desires.

Luxuries I'd like:
-kitchen sink
-shower
-hot water
-stove/oven (lp gas)
-microwave
-fridge
-solar / electric
-propane or electric heater (for times when wood stove cannot be used)

"Redundant" Luxuries:
-Composting Toilet
-Wood Stove

Is there any reason to be nervous about any of these things? Is this normal or will I be shooting myself in the foot?

When it comes to electric/plumbing I will probably find a contractor who can help me out.

Thanks again for your time and thoughts!! Cant wait to share as I move along on my journey.

Until then, I'll enjoy reading along on everyone else's posts.
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Old 11-13-2016, 02:59 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,550
I think you will discover that everyone has a different concept of what is necessary, what would be nice to have, and if the price wasn't a concern it would be really nice.

When I went shopping for a travel trailer my wife had three requirements:
  • The trailer could not smell inside--no mildew, no smoking, etc.
  • It had to have working A/C--if you have to ask you wouldn't understand.
  • It had to have a working toilet--if you don't have one the public one is usually way too far away at dark thirty at night and way too close on a hot summer day.
The trailer that we purchased met all three of those criteria and the important one for me--the price was almost scrap price, in other words cheap.

We used that trailer for three seasons until the many short comings became rather long.

We upgraded to another trailer that had to have the same original three criteria. But for the next trailer we added several other have to have criteria.

I suppose what I am saying is you need to determine what is important to you and the others that will be using your bus. Sometimes what is important will create conflicts between the pocket book, practicality, and the ability to incorporate it into the floor plan. The art of the deal and making compromises is really helpful at this point.

Just remember, if you built it once you can certainly build it again.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 11-13-2016, 11:36 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: ...little north of Toronto Ontario
Posts: 435
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomsass
Chassis: Freightshaker
Engine: 5.9 cummins 5 speed
Rated Cap: 6 passenger 2 ATV's
I think you are referring to the "KISS" theory....Keep It Simple Stupid.

Nothing on your list is outta the norm, YOU will be the one to decide what is important to you.
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Old 11-13-2016, 01:42 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 164
I went from a tent to a vintage pop up - as in basically a trailer that was the back half of a pickup truck - beds and stuff could stay stored between trips.

I added a very basic sink and 5 gallon can for the gray water, and 110v - i could make coffee, do dished and brush my teeth, but had to trip to the campground facilities for all else.

Moved to a new 28' travel trailer..better bet, but nothing amazing - so I'm not after a queen bed.
double sink, counter space, propane 3 burner cooktop and microwave, propane/elec fridge. - fridge SOOOO beats fetching ice. With a mod I found online it keeps things cold even in 95 temps. Cold beer? Priceless! LOL
Cooktop..handy..not keen on propane, gets really hot really fast...but it's a step up from standing outside (in the rain...) with a coleman stove.
Microwave - LOVE IT. Can do so much. a must have.
Oven..don't have one..never missed it. Don't care if I have one for temporary living..full timing? Probably want one, but I bet a higher end convection toaster oven would do 98% of the same stuff in less space for less cost.

Furnace - LOVE IT! I don't like being cold. Even 50f outside at night means the camper gets to 62ish - hotter if you have dog, kids, wife there but alone just your body heat does little.

Camper has bathroom sink and kitchen sink..don't need both. Would like deeper double kitchen sink though.

Plastic faucets/sink are fine. Not as nice as in ahome, but they work and are light.

On board water, plumbing, gray tanks are nice - our usual cg has no sewage so I've gotten accustemed to a blue boy trip ever 2 or 3 days.

Shower..used it once..uses a lot of water, tight space..why bother? I've seen some new van based campers that do it in a cool way - a floor drain in the hallway and the bathroom door opens to block both sides of the hallway and a hose pulls out w/ a shower head on it. Very space efficient for something you won't use often.

Or maybe an outside shower.. I've seen variations with a pull out drawer w/ drain to stand on and a rod that attches to hold teh curtain. You shower outside. Not maybe cool in a cg but if you're boondocking it would work.

hot water..the 6 gal heater than is in our camper gets hot quick BUt it's manual light and if a gnat sneezed in north america the pilot light goes out. I'd like an elec start and then only heat water when I need it - or better yet maybe one of those continuous water heaters would be the best.

As for a wood stove..I don't get the desire for that. Almost every CG and state forbids bringing in outside firewood (ash borers and other critters in the wood). Unless you have your own forest you have to buy the wood, store it, transport it, keep it dry, etc. Propane is cheap and the furnace uses little to warm things up, and is very space efficient and automatic too.
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Old 11-13-2016, 03:43 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
"if you built it once you can certainly build it again."

I'll remeber that! Thanks for your time and thoughts.
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Old 11-13-2016, 03:56 PM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by prof.fate View Post
I went from a tent to a vintage pop up - as in basically a trailer that was the back half of a pickup truck - beds and stuff could stay stored between trips.

I added a very basic sink and 5 gallon can for the gray water, and 110v - i could make coffee, do dished and brush my teeth, but had to trip to the campground facilities for all else.

Moved to a new 28' travel trailer..better bet, but nothing amazing - so I'm not after a queen bed.
double sink, counter space, propane 3 burner cooktop and microwave, propane/elec fridge. - fridge SOOOO beats fetching ice. With a mod I found online it keeps things cold even in 95 temps. Cold beer? Priceless! LOL
Cooktop..handy..not keen on propane, gets really hot really fast...but it's a step up from standing outside (in the rain...) with a coleman stove.
Microwave - LOVE IT. Can do so much. a must have.
Oven..don't have one..never missed it. Don't care if I have one for temporary living..full timing? Probably want one, but I bet a higher end convection toaster oven would do 98% of the same stuff in less space for less cost.

Furnace - LOVE IT! I don't like being cold. Even 50f outside at night means the camper gets to 62ish - hotter if you have dog, kids, wife there but alone just your body heat does little.

Camper has bathroom sink and kitchen sink..don't need both. Would like deeper double kitchen sink though.

Plastic faucets/sink are fine. Not as nice as in ahome, but they work and are light.

On board water, plumbing, gray tanks are nice - our usual cg has no sewage so I've gotten accustemed to a blue boy trip ever 2 or 3 days.

Shower..used it once..uses a lot of water, tight space..why bother? I've seen some new van based campers that do it in a cool way - a floor drain in the hallway and the bathroom door opens to block both sides of the hallway and a hose pulls out w/ a shower head on it. Very space efficient for something you won't use often.

Or maybe an outside shower.. I've seen variations with a pull out drawer w/ drain to stand on and a rod that attches to hold teh curtain. You shower outside. Not maybe cool in a cg but if you're boondocking it would work.

hot water..the 6 gal heater than is in our camper gets hot quick BUt it's manual light and if a gnat sneezed in north america the pilot light goes out. I'd like an elec start and then only heat water when I need it - or better yet maybe one of those continuous water heaters would be the best.

As for a wood stove..I don't get the desire for that. Almost every CG and state forbids bringing in outside firewood (ash borers and other critters in the wood). Unless you have your own forest you have to buy the wood, store it, transport it, keep it dry, etc. Propane is cheap and the furnace uses little to warm things up, and is very space efficient and automatic too.
Thanks!

What fridge do you use? I've been looking At a 4.5 cubic foot Norcold that uses propane and electric. On the other hand (trying to KISS) , I was thinking about just getting a regular mini fridge that runs on electric.

One of my concerns with a propane/electric fridge has to do with cold weather- I've read about propane fridges gelling up in freezing temperatures, which brings me to my next point- the Wood stove.

I Imagine I'll be in cold/freezing temps quite a bit, typically for snowboarding. A few other guys have told me that it is hard to dry wet clothes / boarding gear in propane heat, but you can do so very quickly with wood heat. Plus- there's nothing like sitting in front of a warm fire after a long day on the mountain. So part of the wood stove is solely novelty, which is why I thought having a propane furnace would be a good idea for when the wood stove is not possible/ practical.

Let me know about your fridge! Thanks again for your time.
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