The darn thing is around 12k +
that's a lot of nights in a motel with running water and heat...
In a money comparison, yes. But the object is to spend time in a beautiful natural setting, far away from the Holiday Inn Express off some random interstate exit next to the Comfort Inn, Super 8, and Best Western with a Bob Evans across the street.
my thoughts exactly because for $100/night which was a figure thrown out there, you're not going to be anywhere near any ski hills. You're going to be at some shady motel 65mi away from the mtn thinking to yourself, "why is the bed so goddamn firm?"
The op is talking about retirement. The return investment on whatever vessel he chooses is more about the experience and living his dream more than anything else. Matt suggests car camping with a tent. No thanks! Ever pull into a camp site to put up your tent in the pouring rain or a dust/sand filled wind storm? Not to mention that a 40+ year old body doesn't like sleeping on the ground every night. I think the stealth van is the way to go. You can pull into anywhere and spend the night unnoticed. My buddy has a new sports mobile van and it has an automatic heating system that runs off a separate tank of gas, it's amazing. It's perfect for ski area parking lots, a downtown city, Walmart or way off the grid camping on National Forests.
My buddy has a new sports mobile van and it has an automatic heating system that runs off a separate tank of gas, it's amazing. It's perfect for ski area parking lots, a downtown city, Walmart or way off the grid camping on National Forests.
I'd LOVE to do an endless trip around the western U.S. in a tricked out Sportsmobile Van.
Well, if you're not going skiing with it, what's the point? Now you just want a more comfortable tent (something you can achieve with a nicer sleeping pad).
He said spending a lot of time on the road visiting National Parks would be some thing he wants to do and that he is retiring soon. I made a reasonable assumption that he will have plenty of time in the Spring, Summer and Fall to use it, I think 30 days/nights out of the year for a retired person is a very reasonable estimate.
In regards to tent camping. I tent camp probably 25-35 nights a year throughout the Northeast, 80/20 mix of campsites to backcountry. Im 31 but I can see how someone who at retirement age may not want to deal with it for that amount of time per year. In fair weather days a tent is just fine, but I'll tell you on crap rainy days, a small trailer looks mighty nice.
And theres nothing that says you can't pack a backpacking tent for a night or two out in the back county when you want to.
I also stated in my post to look at lightly used Cricket trailers that are now popping up (about $14-16K), which, like anything, will help with some of the initial deprecation. Then when he's done in a number of years he can sell it. I have to imagine given what I see 5-7yo trailers going for, it would retain atleast $7k of value.
For some people 90k isn't that much money. To my buddy that just got a sports mobile last year it isn't a ridiculous expense.
If you are good at wrenching you can get a used one for around 20k.
A plot of land in Victor is nice but than you are stuck with a plot of land and not traveling as much. The investment of a sports mobile is about the freedom, you can't put a price tag on that shit. The best moments of my life were when I had nothing over my head and I could live day to day without a care in the world. I can't explain how rich I was then. I might not ever be able to experience that again but I'm sure happy I did. The clock is ticking man, life is short! Like stupid short!
I'm with you though Matt, I won't be buying a 90 thousand dollar van anytime soon but if I could I would. I could easily justify one if I had enough $.
Avoiding inclement weather here in the west is a lost cause. You won't get out very much.
All I'm saying is that if the OP can afford a pimped out van, new or used then that would be my suggestion.
I would still want a more simple version though. I wouldn't need a toilet or in house shower. A solar shower, giant water jug, bad ass cooler and some Coleman propane cooking stoves would be just fine for me. I would want enough storage for biking, skiing, hiking and back packing gear. A way to heat it up for cold winter nights and good enough insulation to keep it cool-ish in the summer. I would also want a couple vented windows as well as a skylight/window with a fan. I don't think solar works very good in the winter, maybe stick with a battery system that charges when the vehicle is on. Head space is key, an extended roof top is mandatory imo. I'd like both front seats to be swivel chairs. As far as peeing at nigh a piss jug works even better, shit, you don't even need to get out of bed!
I guess I'd like to meet someone to whom $90,000 isn't a lot of money... So I could ask them to give me $90,000. I also like the Winnebago Travato, if we're just talking fantasy.
Yeah, a Sportsmobile conversion could definitely be done cheaper (and possibly better) if you put in your own time, effort, and money. I can see going that route in retirement (sell a vehicle, buy a Sprinter Van, take a Spring to customize it, use it in the summer and late fall for biking trips, put bikes away in November, convert it to winter mode, take it around the PNW/BC, get a snowmobile in Alaska to tow, snowmobile laps in Valdez, finish skiing around April, go back to summer mode).
I agree that Adventure Van is a good setup (I said so in my first post). I'm just saying that people should think about how much they are actually going to use it. Much in the same way that you could "always tent camp" when you have an RV, you can always get a hotel if you're faced with a bad camping night.
Anyway, if you can't afford properties in different parts of the country (like some retirees have), a small, paid off house and an RV/Adventure Van/Truck Top Camper/Teardrop/whatever is a good way to travel around and see a bunch of cool shit. Just don't blow the bank on one - don't want to have to start working again. And if you're worried about stealthiness and not having to get out of the car in bad weather, vans/Class Bs are the way to go.