Hello - long story - short (maybe)… I changed jobs about a year ago, not by choice but things worked out. I delayed starting the new job by 3 weeks so we could do a road trip. Three kids, boy-girl-boy now aged 12, 10 and 7 my wife and myself. We did 3700 miles through 15 states in a Pontiac Montana with a roof top carrier. Of the 20 nights we tented 10, cheap hotel 3 and 7 with friends and family. It was a great trip. This April break we did 1200 miles around Arizona. We’ve all got the bug to keep doing them.
So I’ve been looking. My wife and I really like the idea of a “stealth camper” We don’t want to be restricted to RV campgrounds. I also do not want to trailer anything. So we’re settled on a van.
I’ve searched the site and read a lot. Some helpful threads were: Large Family Sportsmobile viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4003
and Adventuring with Kids viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3367
1. Forward facing seating for 5 – thinking a 2nd row bench seat
2. Inclement weather sleeping for 5 – penthouse top and bed for 2 boys, 54” wide dinette for wife and me and some type of platform bed arrangement between the bench seat and the front buckets for the girl. In nice weather the kids go in a tent.
3. Refrigerator and Microwave – 110 hookup, but batteries and inverter with solar on roof
4. Standard fresh water tank / grey water tank. Porta-potti storage.
5. Hot water – external shower?
6. No propane. Camp stove and campfire cooking.
7. Roof rack - some type of Thule for storage
8. Portable or on-board air compressor
I’ve been playing around with the “design your own” studio and came up with the attached for a Ford E350 EB. The 2nd row captain chairs need to really be a bench with 3 seat belts. Is there enough room to get into the rear if no cabinetry is forward of the pillar?
Anyone have direct experience with sleeping 5?
I would appreciate any comments on the layout.
Thanks - Matt