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Old 04-27-2017, 10:36 AM   #1
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Cooking with penthouse top down?

Hi All!

I have a question for you SMB owners. Is it possible / safe to use the stove while the penthouse top is down? Or will the close proximity to heat damage the roof, canvas? Is there sufficient ventilation when the top is down?

I'm looking into buying a used sportsmobile to get me through school (instead of paying rent) and will likely be "camping" in urban environments during the week. I would prefer to keep the top down while in the city to stay low profile. The plan is to hit the mountains during the weekends though!

Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:42 AM   #2
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Ive boiled water for coffee with the top down but haven't cooked any big meals. With the windows open and a fan going I imagine ventilation shouldnt be a problem. Smart Idea on SMB living vs rent, Do you have shower access at school?
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:48 AM   #3
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You may want to crack the side windows. We cook all winter with the top down. Works fine.

Dirt bag van urban living through college huh? Guess you aren't intimidated by the police. You'll get to know them well living that lifestyle. Hopefully you are sober. They can issue you a DUI even if you are parked and keys not in the ignition. Just something to think about.
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:10 AM   #4
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Get to know the campus police. Get a side job in a restaurant. Use a JetBoil or BBQ in the local park.
Sounds exciting, and like a good excuse for buying a SMB...
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:40 AM   #5
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Dirt bag van urban living through college huh? Guess you aren't intimidated by the police. You'll get to know them well living that lifestyle. Hopefully you are sober. They can issue you a DUI even if you are parked and keys not in the ignition. Just something to think about.
Be careful about making sweeping generalizations like this, laws vary by state. In my state (CA) you are allowed to drink and have open containers in "the living quarters of a housecar or camper" as well as the passenger areas of pedicabs, limos, etc.

Source: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/f...ctionNum=23229.

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Old 04-27-2017, 11:56 AM   #6
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"careful about making sweeping generalizations like this, laws vary by state" Thanks, appreciate the source. I didn't make a generalization, I don't know where the OP lives. Maybe it is CA, maybe not. Living in a van isn't as peachy and utopian as #vanlife makes it seem. Not all states have common sense written into their laws.

I said they can bust you. Last time I checked the police can and will issue a citation or even toss you in jail and let the lawyers deal with it after the fact. In a perfect world every cop understands the law in every detail. In the real world the cops will bust your balls if they don't like you or what you are doing. If you have the $$ to get a lawyer you can get off a DUI charge but in many cases you are looking at a major pain getting off. So yeah probably a terrible idea to be drinking in the front seat of your van judging from your source.
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:05 PM   #7
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I didn't make a generalization
Well, yes, you did.

However, I agree with "generally."
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:32 PM   #8
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(get a few drinks in me and I'll give you some real generalizations)
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:41 PM   #9
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Back on topic, OP, I would look for a fixed top van if possible. More storage, room to stand and dress, etc. You won't get nearly as much attention in a high roof van with dark or covered windows and you can cook safer in there anyway. You can cook anywhere, in my opinion, if you're careful, but a fixed top will give you a lot more livability in every way.

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Old 04-27-2017, 01:00 PM   #10
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I agree fixed top is the way to go.
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