u.s journey, need a vehicle

hi im new to this forum,
im planning to study in the u.s. and i need to come over and do some research into what school i want to attend. im going to study sustainable ecology/ permaculture.

i will do a massive road trip across the country. dont mind where i start or finish! i need to buy a cheap small campervan, already converted or find myself a place to do it for me, and hopefully a community whom i can talk about it with. any recomendations where to start? how expensive is insurance for this type of vehicle?
im a british female 30 yr old.

thanks so much

vw pickup truck

a vw pickup is cheap, has been converted before, and gets great mileage. i'm not sure how big a camper you can fit on it, but you can probably build one yourself quite easily if you can't find one you like searching the web.

it gets 40-50mpg which is hard to beat!!

search the site for shops that will convert your vehicle.

The elusive WVO camper

Finding the right biodiesel camper vehicle is a bit of a challenge in the US

VW pickups have very short beds. If you are tall, you might not fit.

VW rabbits, pickups, and vans are all selling for premium prices right now due to the biodiesel craze. The diesel vans are notorious for being under powered. Believe me, when you are crossing the great plains, you will want to drive 75mph, and you will need extra power to cross the mountains.

You might look for a Mercedes or Volvo wagon, but, again, make sure they are long enough for you. A sedan could make a reasonable camper if you take out the back seat and stretch into the trunk (or boot as you call it).

Isuzu and Toyota made diesel pickups in the past. With a camper shell on the back, it should work. see ebay http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1984-Isuzu-Diesel-Long-B...

There are all kinds of large diesel vans and pickups made by Ford, GM, Chevy, and Dodge, but they tend have high fuel consumption.

If you have a lot of money, look at the Dodge sprinter. Some owners are claiming up to 30mpg.

For insurance, call Geico or Progressive and tell them what you have in mind. They may have a special policy for non-residents. Otherwise, insurance costs vary in each location. You can find which state or city has the lowest insurance costs. There is a way to make the insurance company think you live in a city without really living there but I hesitate to reveal the secret in an open forum.

Most WalMarts will let you park overnight in their parking lots. Many interstate truck stops will too. The interstates have rest stops that are free, but make sure to keep your doors locked and dont be the only one parked there. If you want a little more amenities, look for a KOA (www.koa.com). For a couple of bucks you can shower at a local pool.

Anyway, good luck.
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