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Sleeper Sleeper: Toyota Sienna Campervan Build

Discussion in 'Quitters' Club' started by Boyink, Jan 31, 2021.

  1. Mar 24, 2024
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tulsa, OK
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Messages:
    6,199
    Not sure - life changes coming up in a couple weeks when MsBoyink starts her new nursing job. We don't know the schedule or PTO situation yet. But I'm guessing it'll be back to NM but exploring from Albuquerque north to the Colorado state line. Lots of photogenic stuff in that region - plus the drive up 550 from Albuquerque to Durango, one of my favorites.
     
  2. May 25, 2024 at 9:38 PM
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tulsa, OK
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Messages:
    6,199
    A few more tweaks:

    - New first-aid kit location, now also residing on a MOLLE seatback panel. I used to have it in a plastic bin under the passenger seat but it would get bound up when we moved the seat.
    - Added grab handles to the leveling blocks.
    - Realized I never really carry tools, so bought a nice Leatherman to stay in the van, also residing on a MOLLE panel.

    At this point I think the van is about as dialed in as it's going to get.

    And with 225K on the odometer, I've been considering what to replace it with when the time comes.

    Overall this thing works well as a camper. It's nimble around town, makes a great DD, easy to park, etc. Hardly anyone marks it as a camper unless I have a door or hatch open. No bathroom, but we're more comfortable overnighting in places that have them anyway. With the extra battery and solar setup I just need a place to park - I can rent a tent campsite and not pay for RV electric.

    But there are two issues that I'd like to solve with its replacement:

    - Lack of a "living room" type space. We're not campfire people. We usually fill the hours between dark and bed reading or watching movies. In this, we only have two choices - sit up front, or lay in the bed. The former is OK, but not great. The latter means we're in bed too early and too long.

    - Lack of heat or AC when parked. Not having either narrows the temperature range we can comfortably camp in. if I could even just heat or cool the thing for a couple hours a day it would open up more camping options. And yea - I know there are heating options but I haven't seen any that I'm comfortable using in the space we have available.

    I considered a Suburban build to get a cheap 4WD camper - but I think I'm going to have the same issues.

    I'm looking in two directions -

    Option 1 is finding one of these EuroVan campers made by Westfalia or Winnebago:
    s-l1600 copy.jpg

    Prices aren't horrible, they're all built out, have heaters, and seats that convert to lounge seating. I just haven't been in one personally to know how well I'd fit. I think we'd end up sleeping one up and one down.

    Option 2 would be doing another DIY build, but on a full-size van platform. I'm still partial to the classic American full size vans from the big three. I'd look for a conversion van to start with, as then I could get a roof raise, usable seating, etc. I'd do another outdoor, pull-out kitchen to keep space inside for the lounge area we lack. Chevy made an AWD version of the Express that would make for an interesting platform.
     
    Twin2 and Fireball like this.
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