Van Camping – Be Prepared, Weird Stuff Happens

Van Camping in Our Honda Odyssey

Van camping and traveling on back roads is our idea of a fun, adventurous vacation. It wasn’t always that way. We used to drive willy nilly looking for a motel that was reasonable and that was dog friendly. Not always an easy thing to find when you are tired and unfamiliar with the area.

van camping
This was a lucky find a few years back.

Now, we traded our Dodge Grand Caravan in for a Honda Odyssey. The bed platform that I had made for the Dodge actually fit right into the Odyssey perfect! It is a wood platform/box with space for those plastic totes that fit under a bed. We keep our travel gear, clothes, dog supplies, survival kit, metal detector, hiking poles, and chairs under the platform. There is also a nice cooler built in to keep our food and drinks cold.

We like to eat our own prepared food rather that stopping at fast food joints. We have a few meals that we enjoy and are able to fix with ease. There is a good book called The Camper Van Cookbook that is good reading for this type of camping/meals. That’s why having a good cooler is important.

We have a simple stove that fits a built in cubby so it doesn’t move around. This is great for cooking the evening meal. We just got a new stove so it has not been tested yet. It’s a Coleman Propane Stove, and I am familiar with their other stoves, so I am sure this will work just fine. I used to have a single burner, this has two burners.

OK, so enough about our new travel gear. Let’s get to planning our next trip!

Van camping
Hocking Hills hiking a couple years ago.

To plan for one of our back roads adventure, we usually decide on a destination. Something on our bucket list or an interesting place where we have not been before. We like new adventure, learning new things, meeting interesting people and just generally being observant to what it is like where ever we are.

This next trip will be a sourcing product trip to Kentucky/Tennessee/Pennsylvania. We will explore back roads and do some “pickin” American Picker style. I have an antique business that I have to keep stocked up. We have installed a roof rack on the Odyssey for bigger pieces.

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Stuff I look for.

The Shepherdsville Flea Market also know as “The Most Awesome Flea Market in America” is one of our destinations. We tried to visit there last year but it was 5 feet under water!

Another spot is Flea Land of Bowling Green, KY.  It is the largest indoor flea market in Kentucky. I have about 8 more mapped out in KY, and a handful in Tennessee. We will just wing it in Pennsylvania if we get that far. Having enough money and space could be a problem!

All along the way, we note places that may need further investigation. We have a travel atlas map that we highlight our route we take and make notations of interesting stuff to see if we don’t have the time right then. Plus we use it to jog my memory of names and things when I need to get more info.

van camping
We find cool places for Kash to swim.

Another area of our trip, we look for really cool places for Kash the Dog to swim and hike. When we don’t feel like van camping and want a real bed, shower and television, we try to find nice dog friendly motels and we do stay in them occasionally. La Quinta is a good motel chain for being dog friendly. We like to hike wooded trails, mountains, along rivers, and natural areas. We also like to visit wildlife refuges – a lot!

Well, I’ll make another post just before we go, or, right away when we get back. So stay tuned, more adventures and photos ahead.

Van camping, here we come!

Always be learning,


Thomas Fouts


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