Never heard of a Class E? That's because they were first derived here in late 2015. Class A, B & Cs are fully self contained in contrast.
Cargo Van Conversion / Up-fit
- Sleeping platform: 1/2" x 4' x 7' premium plywood. 6" Latex mattress preferred, foam/gel if on a budget.
- Two or more 5 gallon water bottles and hand pump
- Tint: All windows including front windshield as dark as legally possible for your state. Rain guards recommended.
- Bear spray
- Large Flashlight, high power CREE LED
- Fire extinguisher: Small
- Tarp: Lay out in front of sliding door for dirty campsites.
Pros of Class E Mobile Dwellings - Eco*
Cons of Class E Mobile Dwellings
- People park or stand next to your vehicle and smoke and/or run their car (exhaust fumes), get noisy (doors slam, car alarms, talking loud, music). Unless you have 100 acres of your own, somebody is going to be annoying even if you own a home. Not even 10 acres is enough. RVing allows the freedom to move easily vs. a ball and chain property. It takes great luck to have all awesome neighbors.
- Going to libraries for WiFi can be noisy, uncomfortable seats, spotty WiFi service, inconsistent hours. You can park next to most of them and use WiFi in the vehicle even after hours.
- Do not transport any gun, Taser or pepper spray (except bear spray) so you can travel to Canada and all states. The Canadian border may x-ray your vehicle and they can imprison you if they catch any of those items in your vehicle with no turning back. You can transport certain non-AR15 rifles you claim for hunting purpose - paperwork required for Canada.
- Join a fitness club so you can at least take showers and achieve hygiene there (Anytime Fitness (preferred), 24-Hour, YMCA, etc.).
- Join Escapees RV club. They offer mail and permanent address services, etc.
- Keep everything extremely organized, neat and clean; otherwise you can spend a long time looking for things.
- Buy a lot of baby & sanitary wipes: Use them for sanitation, cleaning your pet and even works great to clean carpet spots.
- Buy stout water coolers rather than transparent / semi opaque water jugs which break too easily. Recommend: 1/2 gallon plastic thermal water jugs with handles (clear plastic jugs break too easy).
- Use UPS stores where you are to receive mail from them as needed.
- Buy a Verizon Tablet and use for WiFi hotspot for your GPS (Google Maps) and Internet.
- Don't tell your insurance company you live in the vehicle or they may drop your policy. Turn in any of their tracking devices.
Choosing a Van
Recommended Makes & Models
- Mercedes Sprinter. New around $35,000 (get the Ford if over 6'3").
- Ford Transit high roof with eco-boost. Cost around $35,000 (tallest of them all). The driver's area is the smallest of them all.
- Ram Promaster. New around $30,000 (must be under 6'3").
- Size: The more mobile you are, the shorter the vehicle should be (20' long for much city driving and parking, up to 24' long if mostly country driving and staying in one spot a lot). Longer wheelbase models can be very hard to keep from hitting curbs.
- A good strategy when shopping for a new vehicle is to have the dealer email a photo of both the window sticker and the vehicle. If they are are not willing to so, they are a fraud.
- When shopping for a Sprinter, do not buy one if there is a check engine light: That could mean a very! expensive repair job needed. For example, a new turbo costs $6,500 because they also need to replace the intake manifold.
- Avoid any vans with advertising wrap that is old, particularly cracked anywhere: That means removal could be very expensive / time consuming / labor intense.
- Good luck! You'll need it. Service is terrible most places due to greed, lack of ethics, incompetencies, carelessness, lack of pride, etc. You can expect very long wait times (4-8 hours) for even the most simple things, lots of errors in the repair requests, outrageous charges for parts and labor, etc. I have had the best service / prices with Tires Plus in all ways. Tires Plus is far from perfect, but compared to other options, they are better. Mercedes waiting rooms are the most pleasant. Freightliner is worse in all categories.
- TIPS: Buy parts from eBay and install them yourself. If you don't have the right tools, buy them! The money you save on not hiring someone else likely exceeds the cost of buying all the things you need to DIY (amazing!). For example, you can probably buy an entire Craftsman tool kit less than the cost of hiring someone else to do the work. Beware repair shops often charge for labor based on an inaccurate computer software or book that will always! be in their favor. Do research, for example, check on YouTube to see how long it really takes others to do the same work and insist they only charge for that amount of time.
Class "E" (Economy / Eco) motorhome designation has been created here first on August 10th, 2015 while boon-docking / living in Vancouver, WA.