welcome aboard and thanks for your insights.
Been living in vehicles nearly 10yrs and if a travel trailer with 8x14' living space counts, more like 25 yrs (on a wonderful place I 'rented' from the state (owned) in the sw finger lakes region - tried for community there for 30 yrs and passed it on last year).
Currently I live in a Subaru outback modified to a 2.2 engine and14" wheels with the back all cargo (ready made bed). Been more than ready to upgrade but enjoy going places where awd helps, but need a bit more clearance. Thought about a Sprinter, but they are top heavy and only rear wd. Will have to chew on your advice - but it looks sound.
Travel trailers count in my book, I'm kind of an equal opportunity kind of guy, living on wheels is living on wheels, no matter what sits above them.
Personally, I never venture too far off a road, so it has never really been an issue for me. I love my poor old van, it sure has taken good care of me, but I honestly don't know how it would do in the real boondocks.
Sometimes the choices can be hard, and we just have to weigh all the options and pick one. I can't hardly imagine trying to live in your rig. It makes my 6' x 12'(living space) van sound like a mansion. My swivel rocker/recliner is a welcome friend, and an indoor toilet & shower are luxuries that I really appreciate. I'm in the middle of a downpour right now, and there is nothing more comforting than knowing that I have no need to go outside. Every comfort of home is within easy reach, so let her rain.
Use an inverter, carry up to 15 gal of water and several cook stoves (both propane and multifuel), must admit I favor the propane but am drawn to gasoline fuels as being the cheapest to run.
The kerosene heater you mentioned - how's that in the van ? (breathing-wise - I have an adversion to the smell of kerosene via lanterns and especially cannot take them upon exstinguishing).
I have an inverter tucked away, but I really never use it. All of my power needs are handled by 12v on a separate house battery. I have the car chargers for everything, and an amazing amount of stuff is available in 12v versions, including electric blankets.
I love my kerosene heaters & lamps, but I can certainly appreciate that they're not for everyone. The little bit of fumes on starting or stopping them doesn't happen to bother me. One of the things that I really like about them is that it seems to be a drier heat than propane. The kerosene heat will actually de fog the windows rather than fogging them up. My kerosene heater has glass all the way around, so you can see the flames, and it is kind of like being able to have an indoor campfire. I have lots of LED lanterns which I like, but there is nothing like the ambiance of a kerosene lantern to set the mood and sooth the spirit. It will transport me to a serene campsite in the woods, even if I'm in the middle of a city.
I don't really have any experience with the multi-fuel stoves, although I have played a little bit with some of the alcohol stoves. The problem is that the denatured alcohol seems to be pretty expensive. I do have a Coleman propane camp stove that I use for both cooking and low to mid range heating. One of the advantages of using a cook stove for heating is that you have full control over the heat output, where most heaters are just either on or off. I use a clay flower pot turned upside down over one burner to help radiate the heat. I also picked up some solar stake lights at a dollar store, and the overturned flower pot makes a perfect holder for those as well.
Been on these forums since the beginning , but no longer moderate (though skip has not seen fit [yet] to take away my mod status) because I am too often off grid (national forests - mostly S.W.). Do have the option of parking in a home base at my sister's in N.M., - use it as little as possible believing in the fish story (3 days and it begins to stink), but even when parked, sleep and usually cook in my car.
Like you, I've been around for quite a while too, I followed TwoDogs from the beginning, but never wanted to steal his thunder. He is an inspiration to many, and I can only hope that this thread can bring as much joy and inspiration to people as he has over the years.
I like your fish story, and feel the same way. I go home at night to sleep in my own comfortable bed, and will frequently even park elsewhere for the night, just so no-one has to worry about me. I never want to be an inconvenience to someone I'm visiting.
My email is in my sig. and I do reply to P.M.s too (when folks can use them); but must warn that I'm often off grid.
Finally went to a smart phone , but still need the grid - satellite phone are beyond my means at present.
Getting ready to travel to S. A. (a once started vision but never fully realized) - hopefully before winter solstice here.
My sig. also has links to my personal forum and journals, should you wish a pretty clear vision of me. I include all this because you sound like a person of like mind - and I meet very few.
Like to connect, should desire be there on your side as well.
Blessings along your Way (most often the lessons learned)
Namaste (my spirit bows to your spirit)
I look forward to reading your forum & journals, thank you for the invite. The welcome mat is always out for you my friend. I'm not sure I've figured out the PM thing yet, but perhaps it will become more apparent if someone sends me one.
Good luck on your trip to S.A., I'll be looking forward to your posts about it.
Rubber down and spirits up my friend, glad to have you on board.