|World Trip Home||Our Van|
In this section I list the models, prices, and suppliers of the items I mention in earlier sections. This is not an endorsement for the product per se, but these are the parts and suppliers I used and have had good luck with them. I ordered most things on the Internet and although I may list a supplier, I suggest you shop prices and terms on your own. One final note, many 'gold' or 'platinum' VISA cards have a benefit that effectively doubles the manufacturer's warranty on items bought with the card. For things as delicate as digital cameras, this is certainly a good feature. Just be sure to read the fine print for your card and SAVE ALL RECEIPTS.
First and foremost, I must acknowledge Vanagon.com and the Vanagon mailing list. These people are a wealth of knowledge on Vanagons and I have used their advice time and again. The Vanagon site has all kinds of information related to Vanagons so go there first before asking me how I wired my relay.
- Bus Depot
If you try to buy Vanagon parts at your local VW dealer you will quickly go broke. The Bus Depot has all the parts you need at prices drastically cheaper then the dealer. Also, Ron, the owner, is a frequent Vanagon mail list contributor. A copy of their catalog is part of my tool kit.
- Shady Boy
Our Awning came straight from Shady Boy at a price of $224 delivered. They come in many colors and you can either attach it straight to the van or to the rain gutter using optional clips.
- Optima Battery
We have the Optima Yellow Top Deep Cycle Battery D750U with both the top and side connectors. I got our battery online for $155 delivered from Grand Motorsport.
- In-line Charger and Inverter
Although you can get cheap inverters and chargers from places like Radio Shack, I wanted high quality so I went with equipment from StatPower. The charger is the 10hw TrueCharge (10amp max output) and the inverter is the Portawattz 300. I bought both from StatPower's online factory outlet site for about $150 delivered.
- Audio Equipment
My stereo system includes a Blaupunkt Newport CD Player (taken from my other car) and Infinity Kappa speakers (42.1I and 32.1CF). I got my speakers online from Zeb Electronics for $168 delivered.
The GPS is the Garmin eMap. It came in a 'deluxe' package with a memory card, serial cable, and the MapSource CDs with road and business information for the U.S. I have no idea what it cost since it was a gift.
- Cell Phone
Our phone is the Audiovox CDM-9000, which cost about $150 from Verizon. The 12V adapter and the data cable were $20 and $50 extra, respectively. The service is through Verizon's SingleRate plan, which gives us 400 minutes (no roaming, no long distance charges) for $55/month. Internet access is an additional $7/month.
Our laptop is the Dell Inspiron 3800. We have 96MB of RAM, a 5GB hard drive, the internal modem, a DVD player (movies in the van anyone?), and a 120 MB SuperDrive instead of a floppy. The SuperDrive allows us to back up our data and images on 120 MB disks the size of a 1.44 floppy disk. It also works as a floppy disk drive so we don't have to carry an additional peripheral around.
- 12V Laptop Power Supply
We bought our 12V power supply from Dell but it is actually made by Lind Electronics. It cost about $115 delivered and includes the adapter for airplane power jacks.
- Windows 2000
If you have a new laptop you need Windows 2000 Professional. Windows 98 or even Windows ME is a toy in comparison. It's a bit harder to set up and maintain but the extra features and the rock solid stability are worth it.
- Digital Camera
Our camera is the Nikon Coolpix 950. I bought it at Tall's Camera because I wanted a place I could take it back to in the first month if it turned out flaky. It was about $750 but there was a $100 rebate at the time I got it. I bought my SanDisk 32MB memory card at Costco for $70 and the PCMCIA adapter at Tall's for $10. You can probably beat all these prices online with a little searching.
- Rechargeable Batteries
Our rechargeable batteries came from Maha Energy. They are rated at 1550 mAmpHr and come as a kit with 8 AA batteries, the MH-C204F rapid charger, and plugs for AC or 12V DC for $58 delivered.
Scott & Karen Semyan