So Much to Consider…

Wow! There is a lot that has to be thought about if one were to try and turn their minivan into a camper worthy of living in for a year and taking to the 48 national parks in the lower USA! I’m tempted to just get started and add things as I go along!

The “goal” of this year (as fluid as it may be) is threefold.

  1. To get lots of work done (I’ve been neglecting for far too long)
  2. To experience solitude with God and His creation for meditative and prayer sake
  3. To enjoy the opportunity of adventuring around the continental USA in a beat up old van!

The two main features of this camper will need to be an office and a sleeping area. Here is something I got in the mail this past week, that I hope works out really well for providing a bug free home office during this trip:


Tail Veil

Tail Veil tent that hooks up to the tailgate of the van. Cristy and I set it up without reading the instructions in less than 3 minutes!

Of course there are the other things that are also required, eating, drinking, depositing! I think I’ll write up a list of things that I need to research and/or get in order for this to be a great year.

  • I’d like to design a murphy twin bed to store on the side wal
  • I’d have to have a desk that will house my monitor and laptop
  • should it be portable or fixed in the van?
  • Electricity to operate said laptop and monitor
  • deep cycle battery with inverter or just more computer batteries? Solar panels or recharge off car battery?
  • Internet access
  • Do I go hotspot with ATT or Verizon? Or do I get something like Autonet Mobile CarFi Router? Do I have to get a phone if I go hotspot? How much data will I need to transfer for work?
  • Will I need a Wilson Electronic Signal booster if I go hotspot since I will be in many isolated places?
  • I definitely need to get a new battery for my work computer. It’s totally capute
  • In which direction should I go? Yes, follow the weather but what about routing
  • all national parks (not other national memorials, monuments, historic sites, etc)
  • all state capitals
  • all family locations
  • other sites that interest me in each state
  • Is there such a thing as a free routing app? Does google have something? Need to research that out
  • Budget….there is no set rate for camping at national parks. What is all this going to cost? Not even mentioning the cost of repairing the van…but just the operation of it…gas, camping fee, food, etc
  • is there a site close to the national park that will be cheaper?
  • A comfortable chair for this aging body to sit at the desk
  • portable or fixable?
  • How would a rooftop a/c compare to new auto a/c vs no a/c at all?
  • What kind of lighting would I need?
  • battery operated lantern, push button LED lights, or get LED that hook up to battery?
  • Will I need a frig? Or is a cooler enough? do I need it any cold at all?
  • Water…should I have a sink? How many gallon tanks should I get? Should I get electric pump? Can this somehow convert to a shower? What about hot water? Drinkable water?
  • Cooking…over fires only? One canister cooker or actually get a burner? What pots and pans would I need to take?
  • What are the tools I need to bring on this trip? Though I love drills and saws, I suspect it will be more mechanical stuff than that!
  • What spare car parts should I be bringing along?
  • What about having a homing beacon even if I do get a cell phone?
  • Borrow my mother’s camera!
  • What do I put in my first aid kit?
  • What am I going to do about laundry? bathroom? shower?

So much to think about! Whew! I guess on that note, I’ll see about trying to make some progress on the flooring this beautiful Sunday afternoon! It’s a great day to be alive!


15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by samantha on May 4, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    This sounds like such an amazing journey …If you make it to Northern Cali….please let me know….


    • Posted by deblein on May 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      I still haven’t mapped out my route, but I suspect having no a/c will play a big part in the choices I make! But I’ll definitely let you know Samatha when I’m up in that beautiful neck of the woods!


  2. Posted by Joe Sheppard on May 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Deborah,
    I don’t know what kind of van you have, but will that entire list fit.
    Are you still in the Dallas area?
    Would enjoy a visit to hear about your upcoming adventure.
    The best to you!
    Joe Sheppard


    • Posted by deblein on May 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Brother Joe!
      I have a wee mini van (and each item I add to it seems to make it wee-er)! So I will have to be very selective for sure. I am in the North Dallas area for now until I start hitting the road. Where you hanging at? I could make my first road trip be the one to come have lunch with you!


  3. Posted by Clay Lein on May 4, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    How do I subscribe to this site? I’d like notification beyond stumbling upon it on Facebook.


    • Posted by deblein on May 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Hey bro,

      I put an RSS button at the top. Click on that critter
      and then copy that url
      into the subscription box under your reader.
      I use The Old Reader (since google plus reader passed away) (you can get 100 different url feeds for free)
      and anytime a new post is made it should show up in your reader.

      I’ll also see if it is possible to get it to come directly into your email box.


      • Posted by Mom on May 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm

        My dear sweet baby girl!!!! What is that stuff I see when I click on RSS? Is there really a url in there? You MUST help this old lady. Love you dear

  4. Posted by Penny Whytlaw on May 5, 2014 at 9:29 am

    WOW. This will be an amazing adventure. Are you going to do a blog or something for those of us who don’t check Facebook regularly?


    • Posted by deblein on May 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Howdy Penny!

      I will be, DV, posting my adventure stories here, hopefully at least once a week or so (can’t be thwarted from my original intentions after all!). You can make it a Sunday afternoon routine! Or I can try and figure out a way to have people send me their email address and just send the link to that group of folks!

      If you want to join me along any juncture Penny, feel free!


  5. Posted by Mom on May 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    You know your mother is totally jealous of what you are planning and will be doing. Your Grandpa Clyde Davenport sort of wished for that kind of trip when we headed for CA in 1956. He said “staying in CA for one year and then heading some place else.” Not sure who changed his mind but part of it, I’m sure, was his job at Hughes Aircraft. He loved that job. Then who knows what Grandma Alice had to say. She was with him to CA. I know I didn’t want to leave after that first year.
    This will be such an awesome trip and everyone will need to hear your stories.
    Love you so


    • Posted by deblein on May 5, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      I still don’t understand why you’re not coming with me!! You’d be a great navigator and a wonderful fellow traveler interested in historical markers and alternative routes! We can do it in honor of the venturesome father of yours! But there is that part of my trip that will be made up of “work”…just trying to get my office in the most scenic spot possible!


  6. Posted by Aunt Myrna on May 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Sounds like too much fun! We painted signs as we traveled across country in a 10 foot trailer. Our truck was such a work horse, we had two flat tires on the trailer, both of them shot and we went many miles through Illinois before someone pointed it out to us. We painted signs in St. Charles, while we visited your family. That was in 1975… what time we have had!


    • Posted by deblein on May 8, 2014 at 4:29 am

      Hi Aunt Myrna!
      I remember you all coming to St. Charles in your mini-house! Even at a mere 8 years old I remember being awed by the possibilities you two would encounter! Hopefully I won’t be encountering two flat tires or having to pull a trailer, but I do hope to have the same memory-making kind of journey!


  7. Posted by Aunt Myrna on May 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    We did a simuler thing in 1975, after our 3 month trip we got married!


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