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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • As I have not been on the road for a few years does anyone know if it's still possible to get away with living in a double decker on the road ? I have a major hankering to live back in the late 80s in either a hippo, RL or buy and convert a bristol half cab decker I know of! What do you lovely people think

  • Hi Jason, before I comment I want to say that you have my full support looking for an alternate journey.

    So what I am about to say is from personal experience.

    The first point is that stuff has changed for us from back in the 80's and with a "big rig" you need to be as road legal as possible because now the police in an altercation will just use the DoT to impound you.

    Also the travel aspect of rolling big can be complex as park ups are normally limited to sympathetic people with land and buildings you can nestle in and hide from the local authorities.

    We all have or tradecraft learnt over many years on how best to buck the system.

    Mine now is vintage enthusiast when I'm on the road. But at nearly 24m coupled up, unless I'm actually moving to my next longer term pre arranged park up then to be honest there is no place for me out on the highways for just traveling about.

    The new modern approach is to hide in plain sight by converting a lwb high top mid sized van, or buy a camper.

    Simply because more park ups are accessible and there are so many of these vehicles on the road that unless your ride is multi colored and has a chimney sticking out the roof at a precarious angle, well then your pretty much the same as any other van on the road.

    Perusing the gallery section here I saw somebody had converted a little red Bedford Rascal type van, in many ways I was impressed as it ticks so many boxes for as bit of travelling and a festival.

    I hope lots of people from this forum comment for you, mine is just an opinion. I'm not telling you I'm right.

    Good luck..

  • What vehicles have you lived in before? I anchored after a DD. The idea of loads of space, room with a view. Then I bought one and reality was far from my previous vision. It’s was a learning curve, which started many years before the DD. After learning to handle my driving horses, I built my first horse drawn bowtop. First journey I found myself standing up on the Bowtop footboard wondering if my wagon would fit under the railway bridge in front of me. With cars up my arse, I proceeded forward. Same experience with my double decker. I always want to go where the trees grow low and heavy traffic is minimal. The number of times I had my feet up on the dashboard, squeezing my arse cheeks and praying, that I wouldn’t have a open-top bedroom on the other side of the bridge. DD’s are awesome on the main roads, even better parked up. I parked my DD up for two weeks while I visited family in Spain. I asked a mate to stay on the bus and look after my dogs.
    On my return I realised the double aluminium ladders I had “stored” under the bus were now pressed firmly into the turf. Any chance of driving free would undoubtedly result in ripping many crossmembers away from the wooden bus floor. After super inflating the tyres and many short moves to chock and lift. I got it free.

    Those DD’s are ok offroad, they lean to some extent and self righten. However the skirts are low and flimsy. I found the DD just impractical for stealth parkups. Even after painting it NATO green. It always looked like a green submarine surfacing out of the hay meadow or woodland.

    cheap to buy and insure, but greedy on fuel. £40 wouldn’t wet the bottom of the tank.