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Note: You should turn your cargo van into an "RV" / mobile office while on the road. Add items to make your job more comfortable. The items listed below are only suggestions.
1. Straps: Freight needs to be secured while transporting.
2. Battery charger / power supply: Sears Die Hard battery pack with AC-DC outlets, jumper cables, light, air supply, air pressure gauge. This will enable you to jump start your "cargo van" if you accidentally drain you battery. This will allow you to inflate sleeping gear, power up cooking items like grills, coffee pots, TV's, radio's, computers, heaters, coolers or refrigerators, fans, and give you light in your cargo van instead of using the cargo lights powered by main battery. Keep in mind, during colder months, if you operate a TV or computer, and / or safely cook in your unit (RV in between loads) meals, coffee, toast etc., this generates heat in your unit along with your body temperature. This prevents the constant need to run heaters. You can use this equipment all you want and if you drain the deep cell battery, no worry, just safely
idle for a few minutes while you charge it up or do so during your deliveries while you're on your runs. Buy a good item here and maybe even consider a warranty for a few dollars more. We think this item is a must for convenience and comfort. These run around $150.00 for a good one. If you can't afford one right away due to other expenses, get one asap.
3. Shower: Shower pack, toiletries, soap, toothbrush, shampoo, towels, razors etc.. Truck stops and (KOA / Good Sam and others) campgrounds have private showering facilities for a small charge. Your fuel receipts can earn you credit towards showers at participating truck stops with diesel or gasoline purchases. If you buy regular gas from the regular fuel islands, take your receipt to the trucker fuel desk for credit towards free showers.
4. Sleeping gear: Sleeping bag, cot, inflatable mattress, whatever you prefer, pillows etc.. It is a good idea to build a fold up bunk that stows along the side wall above the wheel well. An electric blanket is particularly nice in colder months.
4A. Insulated cargo vans: We recommend you properly insulate your cargo vans with a commercially applied spray foam insulation. This will trap heat and A/C in your unit for optimized comfort. Regular vans are about $250.0 and larger Sprinter cargo vans are about
350.00. This insulation is WELL WORTH the expense. We have found drivers to be to hot at night and end up on top of the covers. We have vendors that can do this for you overnight. Small and medium sized fans in insulated vans oscillate cooler air and cooler temps
last longer when insulated properly.
5. Alarm clocks: Two are recommended, one for a back up. We suggest a battery or ac/dc type and a wind up. This way if you arrive to your drop early, you can take a nap and wake up on time. If one fails to work properly or you roll over on it and don't hear it, the other will wake you up.
6. Tire Gauge: You should not be without this item. Under inflated tires cause "drag" on your unit, poor fuel economy, over heated engines to say the least. Over inflated tires can cause road damage to your front end when hitting unavoidable pot holes or road debris to say the least. Digital ones are particularly nice.
7. Power inverter: These can be purchased in many places and will allow you to have more AC and or DC outlets for your laptop, GPS, and other items while driving. These come in many sizes like 100 watt up to 3500 watts. The bigger they are in watts, the more items you can operate off your cargo unit battery while driving or idle. We suggest you charge up your Sears Battery charger / power supply (#2 above) while you drive / while your units generator is supplying the power. This will prevent the battery getting low since it's automatically regenerating itself during this time.
8. Carbon Monoxide Detector: This is a recommended item if your staying in your cargo van a lot. You can get these from most home center type retailers. Idling your van should be limited and only done when safe. Again, electric blankets and power supplies along with a properly insulated van will keep you warm and comfortable without idling.
9. Microwave: You can buy smaller microwaves at truck stops that plug right into your cigarette lighter adapter. They also have types that will "alligator clip" right onto your battery terminals under the hood. Microwaves are nice and convenient for heating up soups and other liquids. Be careful using to much power like a microwave if your unit is turned off. These draw a lot of power and can drain a battery easily. Again, the #2 item above is nice to have in
situations like this.
9. Misc. Accessories: Books, magazines, DVD players, small folding table, fold up camp chair, toaster, skillet, electric grills, coffee makers all save money and generate heat in cooler months. Of course, any home cooking you do will certainly save you money from eating out
and if you eat out too much fast food, you may end up "glowing in the dark". A plug in cooler of some sort (heated & cool-able types are available) will keep ice frozen for reasonable amounts of time, keeping your soda pop cold and left over's. Skillets will allow you to pop corn and make hot sandwiches and grilled cheese. Make some shelves i your unit for food items along the side walls for convenience.
10. Bring spare checks, aspirins and other items you may already have. While your on the road, you should be able to bank electronically and have email and Internet access.
These items will give you something to think about. Make the unit like an RV in between loads. Add personal items to make your time on the road more warm & fuzzy… Have things to prevent boredom and make it more enjoyable.
YMCA membership cards or campground memberships are especially nice to have. KOA campgrounds, Good Sam campgrounds are readily available all over the USA. Stay at KOA’s for around $20.00 and up a night and they are just about everywhere. Showers, pools, lodges, laundry, TV, game rooms etc., for the fraction of a periodic motel. These can be found
on Garmin and other GPS systems easily. These can be tax deductible (so essentially free) and you can have hook ups for all your electric gear and a BBQ grill and fire pit provided.
So, add an extension cord with a surge protector for all your items and enjoy camping each day or on the weekends when your not at home. Remember, on vacations each year you'll still have your campground memberships there for your family enjoyment, a free perk for your hard