Saturday, May 03, 2003

Making the Change to Van Living
pirated from: World Mind Society

The change from house or apartment living to one that involves only a camper, van or RV is not difficult. The only real obstacle in this transformation is one of mental adjustment. If we can live with the concept of efficiency rather than extravagance, with practicality rather than showing off to the neighbors, than this change will be no great feat. After a short time of experiencing a lifestyle of home and vehicle made one, you will soon wonder how you lived any other way. Of the 3 options of RV, van or towed camper, a van is the most compact, maneuverable and flexible. Since RVs are usually much longer than a van, the opportunity to park or maneuver than as needed is extremely limited. They generally require special accommodations for this reason, making then somewhat impractical. RVs are large and also very conspicuous, meaning wherever they are they may attract the attention of passers-by. Particularly in coming times, the wise traveler will want to remain as inconspicuous as possible. Towed campers are also somewhat difficult to maneuver usually because their length, which extends behind a truck or car. The fact that they are not attached directly to the drivers?area can also be inconvenient not to mention conspicuous, since the driver must get out of the towing vehicle to access the goods they carry. This chapter will focus particularly upon the use of the van as the most ideal tool one may use for efficient and natural living.

Before you purchase such a vehicle learn what you can through reading or knowledgeable advice, about their function and repair. Learn at least the basics of engine operation and its relationship with the transmission, the carburetor, distributor etc., etc? Know how to check and replace water, oil, transmission and brake fluids, as well as spark plugs and wires, air filter, etc?These things are not difficult so long as one has the proper basic tools, (recommendation for these in this chapter). Because this book is not intended as an automotive repair guide, further details on this subject have not been included. Just be aware of the basic principles and procedures of automotive function, through supplementary reading and experience. Such knowledge can and will save you a great deal of unnecessary expense.

The first thing to remember in buying any vehicle is to never buy a new product. Always make your purchase based upon quality, practicality and low costs rather than appearance. Appearance can be easily remedied according to preference, but quality cannot. New vehicles are over-priced and most often constructed poorly, with intentionally built-in flaws. These are the result of a desire on the part of the manufacturer to cut costs, and to make more money on subsequent repairs. New vehicles depreciate quickly in their "book value." Older vehicles on the other hand, especially those built previous to 1980, have simpler components. The repairs required by them are equally simple and inexpensive. Older models generally do not require specialty replacement parts, whereas newer models often involve an extended delay in repairs, so that their unnecessarily complex replacement systems can be delivered and installed.

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