21 Years in a 1973 Dodge Van

Discussion in 'Camping/Outdoor Living' started by TwoDogs, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. McLeodGanja

    McLeodGanja Banned

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    Wikipedia is your friend.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Off-licence

    TwoDogs, how much longer do you think your van will last? I know nothing about mechanics, well I know a thing or two about quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics and that, but car mechanics... I know that engines run on petrol...

    Over in Holland, if you buy a vehicle older than 25 years you don't have to pay tax on it. I know a guy who bought an old Fiat, kinda similar to the legendary VW camper van in size and shape, but not so easy to find parts for. He bought it for a bargain 1 thousand euro! And it was in good nick as well, I was well jealous.

    I do worry though, if I was to invest in some wheels myself, if it will break down in a few months and become a write off. I also know some friends who bought a van on the cheap a few years ahp and went travellling on their merry way in the direction of Andalucia in spain, only they only got as far as Belgium before the arse fell out it.

    Any advice there? And don't say something like, don't let this stop your from following your dream or I'll zap you from google space.


    :$
     
  2. Barbuchon

    Barbuchon Member

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    The man knows about mechanics and can work it out by himself, and like he already said... has already some of the parts in the truck, just in case something goes wrong.

    I wouldn't do that kind of "trip" without any basic mechanic skills. That's my advice there. The only good key there is preparation (not only for mechanics), not doing so would ruin a wonderfull experience. You have the right to choose what will stop you or not, only you can make the difference. But that doesn't mean you should not get into action now.

    Oh and yeah... don't let this stop you from following your dream... You'd be kind of naive to buy an old van and not expect something is going to happen. And if only a broken part is all it needs to stop your dream and you... You might read a little bit on dedication man... Don't expect to live out of love and fresh water brother!
     
  3. McLeodGanja

    McLeodGanja Banned

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    I suppose I could buy a van, and still live in a house for a while until I had mastered the basics, can't be that difficult to run a spanner about the inside of an old engine.

    I think I might carry a bicycle with me at all times so I can cycle to the nearest village if I get stranded.
     
  4. Barbuchon

    Barbuchon Member

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    -Save money for the van...
    -Learn about mechanics
    -Save some money to work on the van
    -Restore the van for your needs, exept if you want to buy an already camper van (But I always prefered do my own things the way I want them to be... cool project!)
    -You might wanna save some money too to change some mechanics too.

    Some other tips... Don't throw yourself into a new lifestyle radically... Try sleeping in the van at your house to get used it. You don't wanna discover you hate it in the middle of nowhere after you sold everything.

    Than start going on small road trips on the weekends. Than take a week or 2, sometimes. You'll know what you'll be up to and have more chance to have success. Go bigger and bigger, you can always work 6 mounths a year living in an appartement, take 6 mounths off living in the wild.

    Some do it radical, some don't. But my best advice is don't throw yourself in it. I had bad experiences doing so. Anyway this goes off-topic, if you have more question you can ask me in pm or Twodogs.
     
  5. scarynickname

    scarynickname Wanderer

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    That van is awesome. I used to have a truck/camper shell set up that led to an old Isuzu Trooper that was great to explore the mountains in. The Trooper eventually led to a small motor home, but it was just too much. Now I'm back in a truck and looking for another shell! I took those vehicles all over Virginia and North Carolina. Now I'm looking forward to exploring Alabama and Tennessee, maybe Georgia. Hopefully I’ll work my way out west one of these days. I could really do some moving around out there with all that room!
     
  6. CatsMeow

    CatsMeow Member

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    Two Dogs,

    I've been following your post off and on for a while now and just registered and thought I'd drop you a line to say that you are awesome! I'm so inspired by your story and love the pics. Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us!
    CatsMeow
     
  7. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs This space for rent. Lifetime Supporter

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    A year and a half ago I hit 20 different states on a trip to the Atlantic Ocean. I drove the coast from Connecticut to the upper tip of Maine and then headed West. It was Fall and the colors were unbelievable. We then drove up the coast of Lake Huron and crossed the Mackinack Straits into the upper peninsula of Michigan. Drove along Lake Superior for a while, into Minnesota, halfway across N. Dakota and headed South into S. Dakota. Then drove up through Wyoming into Montana, back down through Idaho and Utah to get back into Northern Az.

    I take trips to Nevada and California quite frequently, but here in Az. is where my heart lies. I'm a desert rat. This is where the freedom lies. Here is where you can always find a cool place to spend a night or a month without worrying about someone telling you to get off of their property.
     
  8. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs This space for rent. Lifetime Supporter

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    I hope that it'll last forever. I try to take good care of it. When I buy a replacement part I do so from an auto parts store like "AutoZone or Checker" where there's a lifetime warrantee on said parts. Saves a lot of money in the long run. A good book like a Chilton manual or such is a must. Don't buy a Clymer or anything that doesn't cover things in great detail. Most of those cheapies tell you "Take it to someone who knows what they're doing." every time you need help. They're worthless.
    Damnit!!! You took the words right out of my mouth.
     
  9. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs This space for rent. Lifetime Supporter

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    There you go!!!
     
  10. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs This space for rent. Lifetime Supporter

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    Make it out here and I'll give you a guided tour.
     
  11. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs This space for rent. Lifetime Supporter

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    Awwww shucks. Thank you Ma'am.
     
  12. kstevens715

    kstevens715 Member

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    How close do you think you are to finishing the book you mentioned you were writing? Your story reminds me of my favorite book, "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau. Have you read it?
     
  13. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs This space for rent. Lifetime Supporter

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    To be honest...I really don't think I'll ever finish the book. I've got various chapters from different times, but huge gaps in between. The thing is that there are so many things that I'd rather do than write. Walking with my dogs and exploring is my passion.

    I may have read Walden in school. I'm not sure 'cause I never paid much attention.
     
  14. redyelruc

    redyelruc The Yard Man

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    I think his is the longest I've ever spent reading a thread. Every single post. People like you, TwoDogs, help the rest of us remember that everything is possible.

    Travel safe, travel free.
     
  15. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs This space for rent. Lifetime Supporter

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    Thanks dude.

    I love my life and just wish for others to know that it can be done if they truly want to simplify their lives. I find so much beauty and peace in a sometimes very dark and dangerous world and want to share. It's all a matter of what's important to each and every person out there. I feel very sad for those that concentrate on the evil and feel that they can make the world a better place through hatred.

    It's really a beautiful world. Make the most of the time you have here.
     
  16. sunshine gal

    sunshine gal Member

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    Thanks for adding pictures. It sure is beautiful out there! I can understand a bit more why you like to live on the land. There is so much to see. But I wonder if you lived here in Upstate NY...it prolly wouldn't be as exciting. Oh and the winters would freeze ya out!:leaving:
     
  17. Chunk

    Chunk Member

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    Wow, I just read this thread from the beginning, fantastic.

    Earlier in the thread there was some posts about petrol prices, i've been looking into running a van on electricity.
    This fantastic stuff is being developed at the moment, its basically liquid solar panels that are cheaper and more efficient than current solar technology and can literally be painted on or printed.
    You could potentially paint a van with it so that it becomes a rolling solar panel because this stuff absorbs sunlight at 'off' angles and in low light aswell unlike normal solar panels.
    It looks like it'll be another 5-10 years untill this stuff though is perfected and available to buy though.

    I guess an electric motor powerfull enough to drive a large van would be pretty power hungry but I think its possible, imagine not having the expense of petrol, all you would have to do is feed yourself!

    This is a great thread twodogs, you really are living your dream (and everyone elses on this thread :p).
     
  18. kstevens715

    kstevens715 Member

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    Cool story
     
  19. Mr.Writer

    Mr.Writer Senior Member

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    TwoDogs . . . one day I will shake your hand, and we'll watch your dogs play in the tall grass while the sun sets, sipping tea.

    I with the world had more people like you.

    Here's wishing you another 21 years of true living brother =)
     
  20. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs This space for rent. Lifetime Supporter

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    First off...I apologize that it takes me so long to answer posts...as I've said, I'm only around the computer on weekends. I'm in the boonies the rest of the time.

    That link is just too cool. Wouldn't it be great if it was already on the market?

    Thanks dude.
     

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