I bought this van a little over a month ago, and have been customizing it and getting it ready for the trip since then. It’s an ’06 Gulf Stream Vista Cruiser G24. It’s built on a Freightliner Sprinter chassis and it has a mighty sweet 2.7 liter Mercedes Benz diesel engine under the hood, which has been getting me around 20 MPG, which is pretty damn good for a van its size.
It’s 21.5 feet long, about 9.5 feet tall, and 6.5 feet wide. It fits in most city parking spaces and it’ssomewhat incognito, which is good because I’ll be guerilla-camping for much of the journey. Inside there’s a full-sized bed (with memory foam top) and a separate table and chairs which acts as my office and dinner table. You’d be amazed to learn how hard it was to find a class B RV that had a separate bed and table area. It eliminated well over 90 percent of my choices.
The other factor was storage space. I knew I wanted a surfboard and bike with me at all times, and I wanted to keep them inside the van. When I added that to the requirement of a separate sleep and work area, there wasn’t a single modern class B RV that fit my needs, and a full custom job would have been way out of my budget. This is after literally hundreds of hours or research.
And then one night I got home after having a few drinks, and tipsily went reading through some forum or other, and WHAM, there it was. This obscure van than hadn’t been made in nine years. It was the perfect layout. It also has an onboard propane generator, blackout and bug-screen shades, a two-burner stove, a fridge and a microwave, and outlets all over it.
I bought this one off an 82 year old gentleman in Oregon named Dick. He was awesome, and he regaled me with stories of his own travels. A classic character. I’ve already met other interesting people via of the van, including a young Sasquatch enthusiast in Portland who believes giants still roam the woods of Mt St. Helens. I may have him take me there.