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Old 04-28-2017, 11:10 AM   #11
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Yeah! I have access to school gym with shower, and already spend a lot of time at the library. I cook all of my meals though and spend a lot of time meal prepping so having a functional "mobile" kitchen is a must. Thanks for your feedback!
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:13 AM   #12
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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.

Hmm, I would have thought that the fixed roofs gain more attention since the ones with pop tops look more like regular cargo vans? I probably would like a fixed roof, though I haven't been able to see any in the marketplace. Any tips on tracking one down? Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:21 AM   #13
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i agree fixed top is the way to go.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:23 AM   #14
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Any tips on tracking one down? Thanks for the feedback!
Where are you?

Generally CL is the best way to go, but there are used RV dealers that sometimes have decent vans too.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:56 AM   #15
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Where are you?

Generally CL is the best way to go, but there are used RV dealers that sometimes have decent vans too.
Los Angeles. Seems like there is a high demand here for quality vans and they get snatched up pretty quickly at a premium. I guess I just have to be patient.
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Old 04-28-2017, 02:32 PM   #16
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FWIW, I recently spoke with LAPD about living in a vehicle and they assured me it isn't illegal to live in a vehicle in the city. They said just move the vehicle at least every 3 days and don't dump trash outside.


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Old 04-28-2017, 04:19 PM   #17
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Hmm, I would have thought that the fixed roofs gain more attention since the ones with pop tops look more like regular cargo vans? I probably would like a fixed roof, though I haven't been able to see any in the marketplace. Any tips on tracking one down? Thanks for the feedback!
Fixed tops are more stealth because you can't tell if someone is in there or not. If you see a pop top up, you know someone is camping out.
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Old 04-28-2017, 04:54 PM   #18
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I would really scout out where you plan to keep the van day-to-day before even getting close to buying one. I went to USC and daydreamed about living in an SMB instead of a dorm. Couple of hurdles based on my research, though your school may be different.

1. Most parking around campus is in a garage, usually with only a 6'-7' clearance. That rules out Sprinter-style vans and anything with a fixed top. I think only the older Dodge vans are this short.

2. Campus parking rules explicitly forbid sleeping in your vehicle. Parking attendants always patrol the lots looking for vehicles without permits and would start to notice you coming in and out of the van.

3. Overnight street parking can be tricky depending on meters, time restrictions and street sweeping days. And as of this year, sleeping in cars or RVs is prohibited overnight in residential areas and at all times near schools, day cares and parks. I know this would have ruled out pretty much the entire area around my campus.

4. There aren't many places in a city to dump/refill tanks or recharge house batteries. You would have to be extremely conservative with water and either idle the engine or run the generator for power. Same problem with air conditioning, but less of an issue if you have indoor places to go for the day.

So you either have to roll the dice with parking illegally, or drive out to sketchy industrial areas every night. I think it would be just too much uncertainty for me.
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