Day 015 USA Road Trip Problems to Solve as of May 25, 2012

Day 015 -- USA Road Trip -- Here is my list of problems I am working on, maybe you have solutions or ideas.

Generally, living in the van is great, it feels good to be complete mobile.

List of "Drive the USA" problems, that still need solutions.
I have already solved the majority.

1. Where to find shade to park my van between 12:00 noon and 4:00 pm? I want to punch into my GPS a search, and then find it in any city, I need shade to keep the inside temperature of van comfortable for an afternoon nap.

2. I need a cheap shelf system in van for two computers.

3. How to open the windows on van, yet not allow criminals, insects, or rain to enter.

4. --- Hehehe, how to pay for gas, this is amazing, to keep at a 10 dollar per day gas budget is truly a challenge.

Thanks Andy Lee Graham, in Fort Wayne, Indiana today.


Hi Andy, this is how I solved the summerheat problem in my Van. I purchased 3 secondhand roof bars and U-bolted 2 lenghts slotted 2" Angle Iron lengthwise on each side. Next I screwed down a sheet of 8'x4'Plywood (I used 5/8" Ply as normaly used in the building Industry for "concreting formboard" . It is waterproofed, and lasts for years without painting. This is an extremly good sunshade. Of course you should cover your windscreen as well with those foldable insulated Sunshades. As for Ventilation I have a wind-up Vent with flysceen installed in the roof of the van.(as used in caravans) It is safe to leave open even when you are not "home" day and night time. During daytime (when parked and I am present) I attach flyscreen material over both front doors with windows wound down, (just open the door, lay the screen over and shut door again) no need to use tape. on rear windows I attach my flyscreens with flexible magnetic strips. Make sure the material is about 12" larger than the window.
On the "Gas expences" you can only safe a fair bit on useage by keeping your speed down to about 50 mph. It will pay off over time, saving you at least one gallon or more over 100 miles. About shelving: the easiest and cheapest is a timber board wide enough for your PC fixed into location using angle brackets and selftaping srews. Make sure your items on the shelf are strapped up while driving. An alternative for the Roof-Rack is to find a secondhand one at the wrecking yard, new ones are likely too expensive. Happy travelling Andy


I have been thinking about making a tent over the top of the van. My Astro has a rack on top, I could put the plywood on top, but seems like it would be heavy and cause my gas mileage to go down. I will go find some magnetic strips to hold the mosquito net again the side of the van. I have thought about using some PVC plastic to extend a piece of tarp out about 3 feet around the van, then hooking it on, like a tent. Then I could park anywhere in a large parking lot. Thanks for the ideas. Andy

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