Vanlife Q&A: Ski bums! What ski resorts offer free overnight parking for unlimited nights?

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Ski bums! What ski resorts offer free overnight parking for unlimited nights?

My thoughts:

This perhaps?

Vanlife Q&A: Roof Vent Question

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Roof Vent Question

My thoughts:

Personally I’d go with either just something you can open and close or one with a powered fan like the maxxair or fantastic. You’re cutting a hole in the van anyway, and you may wish to use that to draw air much faster in some situations, like hot days.

Vanlife Q&A: Considering a cross-country road trip in a rental RV

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Considering a cross-country road trip in a rental RV

My thoughts:

It is approx 5 solid days of 8hr/day driving each way (not including stops for meals, etc) if you go pretty much straight across to SF. I don’t know that I’d want to do this in 3 weeks, it doesn’t give you that much time to explore and much of your time will be spent in transit.

Then there’s the mileage charges for rental RVs that are killer in terms of cost. You’ll be 8000 or so miles worth on it, maybe more or less depending how much you are going to drive around.

I’d suggest one of these ideas instead:

* Fly somewhere and rent out west and explore the areas you want to explore there, return the RV and fly back.
* Just rent one locally and explore some spots around you that you want to explore.
* If want to do both coasts, rent one locally first and do that part then fly west and do that.

Vanlife Q&A: Thrust into the van life before I was ready – need some serious advice on making some money on the road.

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Thrust into the van life before I was ready – need some serious advice on making some money on the road.

My thoughts:

Respectfully:

You say you made an emotional decision to leave town, and are now in another town and sound like (not accusing, just saying that’s what it sounds like) you’re letting your emotions drive you still.

Would it possibly be a better idea to stick there for a few days or week or whatever to save up enough for more than a half tank of gas and get insurance? can you get around a bit on foot, keep most of the gas you have now, and put a few more $ in your pocket?

I will add a disclaimer that I’ve not dealt with your situation or anything near it, but I’d hate to be stuck down the road with a completely empty tank in a smaller town where a cop does want to impound your car for no insurance, if they don’t have a habit of doing it in JAX

Doesn’t just driving it vs not increase the risk of a ticket for no insurance and could just complicate your matters further?

Vanlife Q&A: Alcohol and van life?

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Alcohol and van life?

My thoughts:

There doesn’t seem to be any hard rules on this

You can get arrested for DUI if you are deemed intoxicated:
– walking to your vehicle
– drinking inside your vehicle
– sleeping inside your vehicle
– on private property

And many other circumstances. Whether it is registers as an RV or not.

Some reduced risk is offered by scenarios like if you are in a trailer behind the vehicle for example since you can’t drive the trailer itself.

They can, if they want, to arrest you and try to make the case that you had *intent* to operate the vehicle and it’s up to you to prove otherwise.

My personal position is to not have open containers inside the vehicle at any point, unless in a locked compartment that isn’t a key lock, no vehicle keys in my possession or in the vehicle.

I don’t look at it as foolproof, but as a reduction in risk and to make the case harder to stick if one does come up.

Also read up or watch YouTube videos by DUI attorneys recommend for how they recommend to handle situations and roadside sobriety tests, and what the legal implications are.

Vanlife Q&A: Schematic Rev 1 Review Please!

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Schematic Rev 1 Review Please!

My thoughts:

>How’s this?

Much better, you may want to repost the whole thing so it’s a new post and maybe gets more attention.

I am no pro at this, so take this with a grain of salt. Here’s a couple things I see:

* No cutoff switch for the PV before MPPT. You want one, it makes it much easier to disconnect it when you need to.
* No fuses on PV. I would.
* How long is your PV to MPPT run? 8ga seems heavy to me. You say X4 in parallel but it looks like you 1parallel of 2 in series? That is how I have it set up and used 10ga. It’s only pushing like 12a max at 24v.
* Commercial batteries should have their own BMS under the case.
* I don’t see why you’d *need* any management screen for the DC2DC, especially if you use the BMV I link below with a shunt, it should give you a reading of the total charge amps coming in from any/all sources.
* You should’t go up a wire gauge just because. It’s wasteful and more costly and there’s no reason to. I do, however, recommend getting high temp wire and using fine stranded wherever feasible.
* You need a cutoff switch for the batteries
* Don’t user circuit breakers for cutoff switches. They’re not meant for that, get a real cutoff switch.
* Personally, I’d get a monitor with a shunt. I really like [this victron one with bluetooth](https://amzn.to/2kylW9W).
* Speaking of, I also really like the [victron charge controller with bluetooth](https://amzn.to/2kwqD40).
* You will probably need more than 8ga for the batterie wiring, especially if you’re fusing it at 200A. Fusing should be sized to the lesser of the wire or battery’s max output capacity.
* I don’t know what the amperage of the MPPT is so I can’t comment on that 50A breaker specifically. I see some of these recommendations to have them the next size up and that doesn’t really make sense to me if you don’t have the amps to meet that. Size it to the wire and the output of your PV when converted to from 24v to 12v. Your 400W panels aren’t going to produce 50A so that breaker won’t trip unless there’s some serious issue. Your panels are only going to produce 23A at open (at maybe around 18v) so you’re not going to be anywhere near 50A at 12v.

I like the bluetooth ones because they are easy to program and monitor from your phone from wherever as long as you’re in range – so outside, driver or passenger seat, bed, etc plus it’s one less thing (screens) to have to mount somewhere and wire up. The victron CC is much smaller than the one you have shown. But yes, they are more expensive.

Also, make sure you have a multimeter! So many people do this without one. They’re $5-15 and well worth it. Don’t buy the crap one from harbor freight.

If anyone would like to correct any of my mistakes/misinformation, please do!

Vanlife Q&A: Bedside shelf?

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Bedside shelf?

My thoughts:

Does it have to be next to the bed? If, say it could be past your head on a counter or something? Or make a small pocket for the phone and have a cup holder for your cup? Etc.

Also, don’t use 2×4. It’s a waste of weight and it will bow so you need to support it anyway. Plywood or solid wood that is thinner (3/4″ pine for example) has more than enough strength on it’s edge if it’s tall enough. Go take a look at how motorhomes are built. They generally don’t use 2×4 at all.

Vanlife Q&A: Is there such a thing as too much van?

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Is there such a thing as too much van?

My thoughts:

I’d think that dirt bike is going to eat up a lot of space, you can’t remove the wheel easily like on a bike.

To get an idea just look at some pictures. Ex:
https://images.app.goo.gl/qDNUiJqxvoegZC5XA

This comes all the way to the side door of the SWB. You could save some by loading it at an angle and turning the wheel, but it gives you an idea.

what about having the bike on a hitch mount carrier behind the van body?

Vanlife Q&A: What are your luxury essentials?

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

What are your luxury essentials?

My thoughts:

Seems like you’d get over 100kg very easily by the time you add basic gear, water, etc.

I don’t know how that works in the UK. Is it actual weight or vehicle weight rating? If weight rating, have you weighed the van? The rating is often significantly more than the vehicle is before it gets loaded.

What would the next step up take to get licensed for?