MY FIRST WEEK…………..

This week I packed up 8 tubs+, and drove the 155 miles to Clearwater, Fl. The trip was nice….van drove like a dream. I stopped for lunch and to browse Camping World, in Kissimmee.   was surprised to see their lot full of rvs for sale. The inside of the store obviously catered to high end rvers and not the tent or general Joe Shmo camper. I did see a $29 chair I liked with a little canopy…though. That’s the last thing on my shopping list…so will wait on that purchase.

I have visited every store , where ever I go and all are out of the luggable loo seat top. I had to order it on ebay. I am hanging out here in Clearwater, waiting on a few items I ordered, for the Road, and visiting friends.

I worked all morning, weeding my friend’s garden, to show appreciation for the nice guest room I am using. I am having a r.ea.l.l.y. FUN TIME, trying to figure out window coverings. I made some hot pink ones out of poster board, but I doubt they will last long. Then I tried attaching curtain clips onto cheap car window shades from a dollar store. They hung down too far. They will work, if I make them into curtains with a top hem, but sooooo ugly. I was trying to figure out simple, take them on and off easy way to do it, as i want to see to drive, and didn’t want to keep them up. I may give up on that idea, as it’s too much of a pain in the butinsky to bother with that every day, climbing over tubs.

I like to stay UP….but the darn engine check light came on. I have checked all fluids, and it is running great. No owners manual came with….so I went online and read all about a 2 year newer model one, as they want $30 for a manual for mine. 2004 model and newer it’s free online……I love Chrysler!  The I saw that many other owners go nuts with all the engine check light thingy going off for stupid reasons all the time. It seems if you don’t put your gas cap on tight…the light goes on. Now I figure this is what happened, and while I fixed that issue, I don’t know if I have to take the negative battery cable off for a minute to reset it or if it does it by its self. The light is still on, and I can’t figure it out. Guess I’ll be reading that online manual again and try to figure out how to do the scenario you have to do to get codes to show up, as a read out.

Also….the drivers back door stayed locked for 2 days…then suddenly unlocked yesterday….then this am stayed locked again…and this afternoon unlocked. I figured it was on child lock, but when I did get the door open, couldn’t find the switch on the door….so guess it’s different on this model. This door also locks up if gas cap is loose or gas door is open….so maybe that was my issue. I also read that sometimes one wire will go bad, and once replaced, all is WELL.

I guess you can tell I have had a NO Power Anything vehicle for years. Power is great, but I really think they should give you to option of turning it all off and using hand crank windows and so forth. I am now thinking a Plain Jane cargo Van might have been a better choice. Next time ………….

The receipts are piling up…will do a cost break down soon, on start up cost essentials.

I LOVE MY VAN…….I LOVE MY VAN…..I LOVE MY VAN…….I LOVE MY VAN

 

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7 comments
  1. MJ said:

    Hi! Just found your blog through VanDwelling and I have a question or 2. 🙂 What type of mini van did you purchase and for stealth sleeping do you have a drape/blackout curtain right behind the driver’s seat? I would think having the curtain up would be a red flag but I don’t see anyway around that, would love to know your layout. I’ll be hitting the road sooner or later and have lots and lots of questions. Good luck in your adventure!
    ~MJ

    • I know I will like the gas economy of my mini van, but sort of wish I had gotten a cargo type van instead, as so much more can be done inside to make it homey. Take that for what it is worth. I am still figuring out my set up. I keep changing it and getting rid of more ‘STUFF”. For at first, I am running a bungie cord from an already there hook handle, and going to drape a black sheet or blanket over it at night and let it lay over the seats. I am going to sleep on a foam fold up chair, right behind the front seats. I can lay of width wise right in that spot. Then Tubs of my stuff and cooler after that, all covered up loosely with a queen fitted sheet I already had. i think i will still have a couple things that lay on top . Tubs must be bungieed together, as I found out the hard way, if not strapped or wedged, they will tumble around if you stop short …the cooler on wheels especially…lol. I’m still debating on weather to just black out my side body windows, or do curtains or pull on off stuff. I do like to see out of them while I drive, so might try driving with em blocked to see how that goes. I am finding I only need a few outfits, as I am washing out yesterdays clothes every morning, and let them hang dry on a hanger, or over the passenger seat….though washing at a laundry once a week is an option as well. Then you need a dirty clothes storage bag. I an currently keeping the luggable loo in the foot area of the passenger seat, till I get rid of more stuff anf make a cute cover for it, and give it a permanent home. Obviously…I have too much STUFF. A box of craft stuff, tools, my juicer and euro steamer[people want me to clean wherever I go!], out of season clothes, my metal detector, and 2 -3 tubs of food and necessary items. I ditched the cleaning supplies, so no potential fumes around. I am going for a box of wipes for doing dishes, and one with tiny bit of my Avon skin so soft in for personal washing. I opted for that method, as I don’t want to have to wash cloths all the time. I took a large tide liquid laundry detergent bottle, and cut out the little spout, and will fill with beach sand, as my kitty litter for the luggable loo. I will be getting ice for my cooler from motels with ice machines outside, when possible. I put several small trash cans in the cooler so my stuff doesn’t get soaked as ice melts. will probably cut a hole in the bottom of the ones that will hold loose ice, so it can drain easy…though I expect I’ll get a wide mouth gallon jug to just put ice in, and then have cold water to use, as it melts. Will do a blog on the whole low down once I get it figured out and can do pics. I am finding food stuff is taking up much more room than I thought. The more you can shop frequently, the less space. I will be doing a lot of cooking in my thermos, so that requires dry rice beans, etc to store. Those cracker boxes take up a lot of room, as do can goods that everyone seems to give me. It’s fun sorting it all out though…ENJOY!

  2. TJ Jackson said:

    Hi I just found your blog and have a couple of suggestions. We have both a full size van camper and a daily driver mini van (just like yours) There is about 5 mpg difference in fuel economy. We have a removable set up for the mini van. I used the single plastic drawers (walmart has them) as a support for the bed. Clothes storage and 2 of them are kitchen storage (portable burner, pans, etc.) Makes the stuff easier to get to and you can vary the size drawers for better storage. There is usually a space between them to store a tube lawn chair. I use plastic pitchers for cooler ice. Contains the mess and cold water. If you keep the cooler and the kitchen storage facing the tailgate you can work standing outside under the tailgate. I tried a lot of configurations and this worked the best.
    Please keep blogging. I want to hear about your adventures.
    TJ

    • All those suggestions sound good….similar to what I am doing. I just really have too much stuff to do a single drawer height. I already have these monster tubs, [grey 4.50 at walmart]so have figured out how it will go. Yes, I decided to put the cooler in the rear, with dry food tubs around it. I also thought about the plastic pitchers for ice…am looking for the right dimension ones, for maximum use in the cooler. 2 of those and two spaces for food…then nothing gets nasty, and you can drink the cold water, or wash with it if need be.

      I bought one of those cute little butane burners with case and a case of fuel. Should last a long time, but will also experiment with solar cooking and keep a little alcohol fuel stove set up on hand for emergencies. Since I will be living in this full time, I do have to take my crafts and metal detector with me. Also…most of my friends love me to steam clean their homes, so I am trying to take the euro steamer along, as well. Some of this stuff is non essential to camping, but essential to me…so far that is. I figure I will be juggling things around a little , till I get it all figured out. I can always have the 7 tubs fill the van while driving, and stack a couple when parked for the night to have room to stretch out. Preferably will whittle the mess of STUFF down to 5 tubs and the cooler. I found a nice leather golf bag at a thrift store to keep the metal detector in, so am happy about that.
      I covered the whole tub mess with a flannel queen size fitted sheet, and it looks a little better.

      I hope to do pics of the whole set up next week sometime…..showing how every piece works together.

  3. Rob said:

    Check engine light… On the simplest side a lot of auto parts places have code readers, they plug them in and it tells you the system, maybe even the specific area of the system where the problem is. This won’t solve the problem but you’ll know where to look… a dirty or loose connector is enough sometimes. They usually check them for free.
    They sell the tool to read & rest the light yourself, not too spendy and they make connectors & software so you can do that with your laptop. That I don’t know anything more about.
    If you have to pay to get the light checked you might look into the tool to do it yourself, make sure the tool you get will do your car.

  4. Mary said:

    On your window treatments, how about a simple cut out from say that sunscreen for your car. Place some velcro on the cutout and the window frame easy to install, remove, store, etc. I just picked up a semi and this is what they are using now for the windows. Hope it helpls.
    Also as for the melting ice in ice chest, know it gets heavy lifting to drain. I used a siphon (wlmt $5 or less) and the water would drain while I drove, I placed one end out the door worked great.

    • Thanks Mary….I’m trying out a couple different things on the windows. I guess time will tell.

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