Re-circling to the series I started in December …. post 2 of Living the Nomadic Life.
- Just Leave
- The Best Car for the Road
- What to Pack
- Where to Visit
- Tips and Tidbits
The “best” car for the road is quite a subjective topic as it depends more on what is important to you than the actual vehicle itself. Things to consider include:
- How much do you want to spend on gasoline?
- Is your current vehicle reliable? Or should you buy a new one?
- How many people are going on the trip? (If traveling with another person, a car is probably NOT IDEAL as the car becomes your home and it is nice to have some space.)
- How much space do you need to feel comfortable and happy? And how important is complete privacy (i.e. the windows of a car vs. the enclosure of a van)?
Basically there are three main options. The biggest variables are space versus gasoline prices, giving up one for the other.
The Dream Home
I saw some fantastic van set-ups on the road, thinking especially of Prairie’s and Nick’s vehicles. I unfortunately did not take any pictures. Argh! I have emailed Prairie and hopefully will have some pictures to post up for you soon. Basically the best van setup is where the bed is located at the very back by the back door allowing the middle of the van to be open. Both of my friends had constructed their belongings to be in stacks or built shelves, creating an atmosphere of a true room.
Along these same lines is the camper setup. It doesn’t provide as much spare room as a van, but still creates a true home feeling..
Amy’s and Tripp’s camper setup.
The Lil Chicka posted her old travel vehicle on her blog. You can see how they were able to organize in stacks, creating some walking space.
The Runner Up
Many people travel in SUVs or mini vans were the backseat is removed and the whole back is made into a bed, creating a storage space underneath the bed.
This picture is from TheRockClimberGirl blog. I traveled in a similar setup for about a week and it was very comfortable and worked well, requiring very little re-arrangement for sleeping.
The Tight Squeeze
For the penny pinches, traveling by car is an option.
Pierre traveled in this little car but had taken out the back seat and built a bed area that allowed him to lay flat, albeit with limited wiggle room.
When his car was completely packed up, it looked like this.
My Set Up = Tight Squeeze
I ended up with the tight squeeze approach because…
- When I left home gasoline prices were $3.50 a gallon. I knew I would be traveling a lot and didn’t know how to forecast future fuel prices.
- My Honda was very reliable and I trusted it to be able to go the whole trip, which it did.
- I was traveling solo and so a tight squeeze approach could work for me.
- I was content with the limited privacy and space.
I kept the front fairly clean so that CB could sit on the passenger side if she needed a break from the backseat.
I slept in the backseat, having this bed basically set up at all times. The only thing I had to move when wanting to sleep was the crashpad (as it was stored on my bed) from the backseat to the front seat. (Yes… I slept in the backseat of my car…. for almost the entire 8 months.)
Most of my belongings were in the trunk. Near the end of the trip I had organized everything into bins to ensure dryness as moisture liked to seep into my trunk (a fact I did not know as it never rains in Utah). The empty spot in the picture was used for my cooler.
Have you been on the road before? If so, what was your setup? And what did you think about it?