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Old 04-22-2011, 03:44 AM   #11
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Re: Best stealth van?

Thanks guys. I'm just trying to stay alive a few more months so I can visit many of the places you guys talk about on here. BTW nice name time2mtbike, when I'm not snowboarding, I'm mountain biking.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:37 PM   #12
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Re: Best stealth van?

Thanks Graydon. Good luck with your van build. I am in the middle of building mine now with the main purpose for camping and mountain biking for my wife and I. I am making the inside so that it would hold our two bikes and still have room for seating/sleeping.



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Old 04-22-2011, 07:26 PM   #13
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Re: Best stealth van?

If you don't need 4wd and you do plan to do long road trips on high speed roads, then the sprinter! Mine is 6' clear inside. also, in the city, the sprinter is a better ride. I currently own 2 e-350s and one 3500 sprinter. I have driven the sprinter on some long trips (1000 miles one way) and enjoyed the ride. More precise steering, better braking, visibility, turning radius and less driver fatigue. Way better mileage in town or on the highway. the seats are rock hard after about 4 or 5 hours, but overall a better long haul rig imho. I also think it would be more stealth with the factory high roof versus a fiberglass high top. go with no windows, and get your natural light and ventilation through the roof instead. When working way out of my normal range, and in heavily unionized areas, I have covered up my vinyl signage with magnetic blanks. it could also be fun to come up with some phony vinyl signs for the sides to make it a really stealth camper. "Quality Meats" or "Mobile Breast Examinations" or something like that.

Best of luck and again thank you for your service.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:41 PM   #14
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Re: Best stealth van?

Yep, I've decided to go with a Sprinter. From everything I've read, I believe it is just about as stealthy as a Ford, and if not, there isn't a huge difference. I've also read a lot of the reviews, and they are virtually unanimous that the Sprinter is the better van (handles much better, much more space in the back, 2007 vs. 1992 design, great mileage, etc.). Now onto finding a diesel furnace/stove/water heater so I don't have to deal with propane...
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:04 AM   #15
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Re: Best stealth van?

Great choice. I would too, but I need to get my Ford in underground parking in order to work on it (7 ft max height limit). Stealth parking at night can be tricky, but I have found a few ideas that work. Go to an area where college students live and park on the street. You won't get bothered. Go to a 24 hour restaurant, get some coffee or herb tea, and stay in the lot (off to the side somewhere). Hospital parking lots work, too. Residential neighborhoods work as long as you don't park in front of someone's home (along a long block wall, for example). Places where truckers stop is all time, if you can get some distance from the deisel noise. I've used all of these, and one more which is a little sketchy. Parking off to the side in a motel parking lot! One time I was so tired that we just stopped and parked in a motel parking lot. It was about midnight. The next night we actually got a room (to stretch out, watch some tv, use a real toilet, and most of all, get a good, warm, shower). Also, if you have your military ID, paperwork showing where you were stationed, and honorable discharge paperwork, I believe you could park at military bases. Near my home, I have seen truckers park in the lot near the entrance gate of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station just south of Long Beach, California. Hope this helps. Good luck and thanks big time for your service to our country and to the American People.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:17 PM   #16
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Re: Best stealth van?

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I used to have trouble sleeping in places with noise, but over here we sleep in a tent inside the fence of an active runway with jets/attack helicopters taking off all night, not to mention the constant drone of diesel generators. Somehow I don't think I'll have problems sleeping back in the states again.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:44 PM   #17
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Re: Best stealth van?

This website http://vagabonders-supreme.net/nitecamping.htm is by a man who lives in a Class C RV (not exactly stealth) and rarely uses campgrounds. He has some tips for finding places to camp--in cities, rural areas, and in wilder places. Check it out.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:09 PM   #18
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Re: Best stealth van?

Interesting, but unfortunately my van is not stealthy. I was even turned in for going in and out of Yosemite when I found a nice stash of wood outside the park. The gals in the kiosk thought I had a suspicious looking vehicle. I was harassed by a ranger I didn't know and she really didn't like my camo shirt either. Lovely. My problem is feeling uneasy about someone knocking at the door while I'm sawing Zzz's. Seems like I wake every 15 min or so and I don't get a good rest. Maybe it's OK for some but I'll stick to being in the right place and enjoy my sleep.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:15 AM   #19
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Re: Best stealth van?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
The gals in the kiosk thought I had a suspicious looking vehicle. I was harassed by a ranger I didn't know and she really didn't like my camo shirt either.
What was the deal, do you know?
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:34 AM   #20
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Re: Best stealth van?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
The gals in the kiosk thought I had a suspicious looking vehicle. I was harassed by a ranger I didn't know and she really didn't like my camo shirt either.
What was the deal, do you know?
She asked what's up with the camo. I said $9.99 at walmart. That pissed her off then she asked if I had weapons. NO I said I had a metal detector...then she ripped me for that. I told her I was using it outside the park. Oh.
It was a couple of rangers that I knew who came and told me I was turned in. They said that during the group tailgate they all have before their shift, she described my suspicious vehicle. They all looked at each other then ripped her butt for messin with me and told here to leave me alone. Pays to have friends in the department for sure. The next day she drove through and wouldn't even look at me. I'll admit I'm not very good looking and appear like the kind of guy packin weapons...Yeah, that's the ticket...he's smuggling contraband in and out of the park. Jeesh! I mean me packin weapons? Come to think of it maybe it was the out of season doe strapped to my front bumper
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