Van Living Forum

Help Support Van Living Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Welcome! Definitely have any RV throughly checked out before buying!
Welcome! There are a lot of good ideas and advice here. Me and my hubby are also just road trip camping through retirement. What are you looking to see? Hubby is just looking to see our own driveway but me I want to see what ever. I love to travel for food and art and just to get out of the driveway
Not really sure of any destination. Maybe just backroads and mom and pop diners....
We definitely brake for those diners! You'll find a van-based vehicle especially convenient for that.

I think it's nice to have a quick set-up to eat inside, when the cafe won't do, but grabbing food to go and eating in the lot or a local park is perfect.
Oddly enough, many B's lack this option.
Being able to park in a regular parking space is more important to us then inside eating. I don't want to cook on the inside of my van either. How ever we are planning to get swivel seats in the off weather chance we need to eat inside... Seems anytime we go with friends that have nice big RV's we end up packing everyone in our little van to go do anything cause parking is hard for RVs.

That said I have a good outside kitchen in the back 2 feet of my van because I like to cook. But I know that's not for everyone. We have come across a few really nice dinners and such. And sometimes I am just to lazy to cook or the weather is really bad so we find a good dinner or?

Get the senior pass things and such for discounts and stuff. We got the one for KOA and use them a lot when we are out. They have power and showers and laundry stuff. Our state also offers senior discounts with the pass for state parks and some casinos offer senior discounts too. Some casinos are really nice, others are just parking lots. If we were full timers this would be to expensive and we don't do it all the time, but when laundry is backing up or it's been a few days since last Warm shower we find something along this line.
Going to a Mom and Pop Diner is a very nice treat when traveling. They are very easy to find using a Google Map search with the keywords diner and cafe.
Last edited:
Being able to park in a regular parking space is more important to us then inside eating. I don't want to cook on the inside of my van either.

That said I have a good outside kitchen in the back 2 feet of my van because I like to cook.
Agree about parking! We considered an extended van, but after driving one, discovered parking is (surprisingly) much harder with just two more feet.

Our inside eating space in the low-top was a small table set up between the (non-swiveling) front seats. Worked fine. Now that my husband can sit up on the bed in the high-top, we sit on the foot of it with the table in front of us. Our little countertop/sink gives us more space to set things. What I saw in many B's is that you still need to have a folding table to eat in the front, and there are often few places to put one.

If you like to cook outside (I do!), you may find it hard to conveniently store your gear in a B. The rear two feet in the van makes it easy, with food and table service accessible from inside for a no-cook meal when needed.

Those staged pics of dining areas in B's are enticing, but look a little different when camp chairs, bedding, etc. are piled on the "seats" for lack of better options. Also, it's often physically impossible to use them as pictured. Some won't mind converting dining area to bed nightly or sleeping on a puzzle. It absolutely doesn't work for us, though.

I strongly suggest thinking about how you will actually do things in your space. (You may decide that an RV is perfect for you, who knows?)
Mrs. Kevin and her husband,
As you use your rig on weeking camping time, you will probably notice things you prefer... and things you can happily do without.
Each rig is constantly evolving.
Just about everybody starts with an image of "My Ideal Rig", then quickly chucks that image in the bin.
Our suggestion:
* Avoid thinking 'this rig is my forever rig'.
Toss in some car-camping gear, go have fun.
Our rig:
2003, after a half-century of make-do camping in lesser rigs, we converted a 1996 Ford CF8000 commercial truck to our concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.
Development of our rig also benefitted from our year and a hundred thousand miles delivering factory RecreateVehicles manufacturer-to-dealer and dealer-to-shows.
That experience showed typical factory RecreateVehicles would crumble to dust on the rough logger tracks we prefer to remote mountain lakes and across deserts to isolated Baja beaches.
And yet, our rig is imperfect.
With over two decades full-time live-aboard, our rig is constantly evolving.
Our foundation vehicle checks most of the boxes for our purposes -- boondocking exclusively.
Somebody else might need significantly more interior space for entertaining or significantly less ground clearance.
Somebody else might like hook-ups at a pay-camp.
[Moderators [stands!, salutes!], not those kinds of 'hook-ups'.
I refer to hoses and cables and the exquisite joys of neighbors parked three paces away... on three sides of your 'spot'.]
And pretty much nobody in their right mind needs a fuel range without re-fill of Anchorage-to-Acapulco.
But we do.
And that should pretty much invalidate anything we say, because we firmly believe that 'right mind' business is highly over-rated...
[edited to add]
Our introduction with plenty of portraits, plus our reasons for our decisions:
Last edited:

I split my time between 2 30yo Class A motor homes. One is down in the desert in an RV park that is reasonable for rent paid yearly, one is up at 5K' where the summer temps are more moderate. I started out in a 30yo Class C, which was not in good enough shape to live in full time with 2 cats, but it showed me what I needed, wanted, and could do without. I'm always looking at other RV's on the road, in parking lots, in other RV parks to see what my 'next' one could be.