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  • Writer's pictureRandy Reek

Why I Camp In A Minivan? Travel To Distant Events!

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

What are your favorite past times? Do you travel to participate in events or competitions? Then a minivan camper is perfect for economical transportation AND lodging!

In the past several years, we have traveled from the Arizona-Mexico border to the end of the road in Alaska. We have crisscrossed the country multiple times, from the redwoods in California to sightseeing in Quebec City and touring the coast of New Brunswick down to Acadia National Park in Maine. We have boondocked in the forest of Northern Arizona, camped along the St. Lawrence Seaway, and overnighted in truck stops on turnpikes. In total, we have logged over 80,000 miles on the Dodge Grand Caravan and saved THOUSANDS on motel rooms – paying for the GoneCamper conversion MANY times over.

Now I want to discuss another aspect of minivan travel and camping: participation in your favorite activities. When we first think of camping, we envision scenic locations, breathtaking vistas, and sitting around the campfire. But have you considered your minivan camper as the tool to enable to you to participate your favorite hobbies, possibly several states away from home?

We all have favorite activities. Some of us participate in sports and enjoy joining in group events or competitions. Name a sport and I bet that there are both competitions and conventions or other events across the country. Here are just a few examples of popular and fast-growing sports and related events:

· Bicycling – bike tours and races.

· Pickleball – tournaments and sanctioned events.

· Horseshoes – tournaments and leagues.

· Disc Golf – tournaments, training courses, and conventions.

· Kayaking and Paddle Boards – fishing tournaments and races.

· Running – 10K, marathon and ultramarathon races.

The list in endless. But travel to events is not limited to outdoor sporting or athletic events. EVERY hobby has exhibits, shows, fairs, instructional courses, and conventions. This includes very popular hobbies like quilting, collecting, Dutch oven cooking, Amateur Radio, and on and on.

Recently I participated in a bike race in Northern Wisconsin. The event started early on Saturday morning. Most out-of-town competitors booked motels or condos. A few drove expensive motorhomes and camped in expensive campgrounds. I loaded my bike and gear in the GoneCamper minivan – with the split 60/40 bed.

gravel bike
My gravel bike, loaded for a trip to Cable, WI

I drove to the start of the race, arriving the night before, and camped in the adjacent parking lot for FREE! I packed my preferred pre-race breakfast. My “commute” to the starting line was about 30 seconds. I not only slept soundly and safely (I had the whole area 100% to myself), but my cost was ZERO. I would have had the same driving expense if I had stayed in an unfamiliar motel and likely wouldn’t have slept as well in a strange bed.

What activities do you enjoy? Would you participate in more events and more distant events if you could bring your comfortable bed and favorite pillow with you? Does driving to your event also provide the opportunity for exploration of the surrounding areas coming or going? Travel to events is another way the GoneCamper minivan conversion pays for itself. In as little as 7 to 10 nights you can offset the cost of outfitting your minivan for comfortable camping. Your camping cost can be as low as zero if you look for creative places to park or take advantage of public lands. Small county forest or national forest campgrounds are still an extreme bargain, and often cost only $10.00 per night for a campsite, outhouse, and drinking water.

Where will your GoneCamper take you? Join us on the road and share your experiences!

Camping Comfortably, Living Frugally, Travelling Economically

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