Good Van Bad Van Help! Airstream B190 (1 Viewer)

Fuzzball

Lurker
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
2
Location
London
Website
nydodesign.com
Hey guys planning a big trip US Mexico Panama - indefinite ending - just cruzing playing music.

As such I'm looking for a trusty steed in the shape of a banged up van. Iv been looking into the whole class B vs Class C thing and seeing as I'm gonna be living in the thing pretty much full time I have been leaning towards a small class C 20 foot or under. The extra head room and bed over the cab is what's appealing for me. I recently found this little beaut! its an 'Airstream B190' Class B van 19 foot, bed over cab. This particular find is 1992 Ford E350 Van. And has 135,290 miles on the clock which seems like a lot!?

Now the guys looking for $10k listed at $12.9k NADA pricelist gives it an average retail of $6k but then gives it a list price of like $39k (not sure how that all works) I really don't wanna be spending much more $7k in total.

Anyhows was just hoping for some advice from some seasoned RV'ers? has anyone driven owned on of these how'd they find it? How many miles do you rec there good for? what about price? anyone done any work? how much would it cost to rebuild engine ect.

Cheers guys any help is always appreciated.
 

Attachments

  • 00I0I_2bsUgGkqDGt_600x450.jpg
    00I0I_2bsUgGkqDGt_600x450.jpg
    45.1 KB · Views: 2,813
  • 00P0P_c0VsyMtXvL7_600x450.jpg
    00P0P_c0VsyMtXvL7_600x450.jpg
    22.2 KB · Views: 726
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

East

Wanderer
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
122
Location
Everywhere
An engine rebuild on a gasser can cost upwards of 3K. You should have luck on a good deal if you search wide and far and are willing to travel to get the right vehicle. Try SearchTempest, it crawls craigslist within whatever miles you designate of a zip code. Try to search RVs by owner and "Camper Van", "Van", "Class B" in the search bar.

www.searchtempest.com

I am not a season'd RV'er, but I live out of a conversion van that's been self converted. Still working on getting a lot done on it though. The nice thing about a Class B is it's already done. Personally I find Class Cs a bit limiting in their size as far as maneuverability and parking options.
 
D

Deleted member 13433

I deleted myself
Question: is this beautiful looking ride diesel or gas ??
I ask because that will factor in greatly when it comes to repairs, as for the milage I would not sweat that at all.

As for the price - sometimes those book values mean nothing.
I scored a 1990 Jeep, that was originally a Virgin Islands transport.
58,000 miles - thing looked like it was brand new plus it had a/c !! - the man asked $5,000 - which is way over the book value, but I bought it on the spot without thinking twice.

Now - a neighbor of mine has a mint mint mint [2001?] Chevy pick-up truck with I think something like 60,000 miles.
It comes with a slide in camper that has been used maybe a half dozen times.

He told me he wanted $40k for the whole works.

The truck is set up right, air bag suspension in the rear.... but the camper portion ??

The camper portion mind as well be advertised as a mini condo, because it has everything in it and I mean everything - sleeping area, shower, dining/kitchen, even a flat screen tv, a/c, it's like a home on wheels.

It has automatic leveling capabilities too - which is what also caught my attention as this thing could be dropped off somewhere and the truck used for supply runs.

Where I am going with this is sometimes the book values have to be completely disregarded if what is in front of you is in excellent condition, and by excellent I mean excellent.

That van which you have shown here - my first thought was wow, no rust !!
This implies to me that it's been taken care of.

If you are looking at doing an epic trip, if I were you - I would make sure that your ride is going to make it without any major problems.

Those Ford vans are everywhere - meaning the E250 series, hell I have an 84 E350 diesel van sitting in my front yard, which for years was a band mobile but now serves as a place my dog can go in when I'm outside with the crew having a few beers and she wants to lay down [it's set up fairly nice inside]

What I mean is parts will be easy to find to keep here going if you need them.

A banged up ghetto cruiser may have that element of coolness and of course initial economical value - but that ain't gonna get you where you want to go when it really matters.
 

shred till yer dead

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Banned
Joined
Mar 29, 2012
Messages
268
Age
28
Location
out there
I would go with a conversion van and outfit it yourself you can find them cheaper then the rv type ones and a lot of the time they are in better condition
 
D

Deleted member 13433

I deleted myself
...wait a minute, mate - you are in London ??
How you gonna cross that great big sea ????????
 

East

Wanderer
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
122
Location
Everywhere
Yeah, I agree. 135k is not much at all for a gasser. I would just leave it alone if you knew it needed a rebuild or something, if not you'd probably be fine.
 

Fuzzball

Lurker
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
2
Location
London
Website
nydodesign.com
Thanks guys all solid advice. You make a good point otterwolf about availability of parts espesh in central and south America. which makes these vans a little more appealing. Yeah I'm from London but got me a ticket to the US in three weeks. Gonna buy a van and then just see how it goes. Good to here 135k isn't a lot in your mind. I take it if it were a diesel this would be different? (PS-just passed my drivers test so proper nubie here) In London no one really needs to drive! So got the licence espsh for this trip. So finally in your eyes guys is this a good purchase at $10,000 1992 looks like its in good nick 135k on the clock obviously without inspection its a tough call but thoughts.

Cheers
n
 

East

Wanderer
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
122
Location
Everywhere
Thanks guys all solid advice. You make a good point otterwolf about availability of parts espesh in central and south America. which makes these vans a little more appealing. Yeah I'm from London but got me a ticket to the US in three weeks. Gonna buy a van and then just see how it goes. Good to here 135k isn't a lot in your mind. I take it if it were a diesel this would be different? (PS-just passed my drivers test so proper nubie here) In London no one really needs to drive! So got the licence espsh for this trip. So finally in your eyes guys is this a good purchase at $10,000 1992 looks like its in good nick 135k on the clock obviously without inspection its a tough call but thoughts.

Cheers
n

For a class B of that age and condition.. 10k sounds reasonable. You could probably find something for a lower price but if it's reliable and drives right, checks out at a mechanic.. I think that would be fair. I'd still haggle a bit though. Gotta haggle. As for diesels they usually outlast gas engines by a few hundred thousand miles, however the repairs can be very expensive.
 

Scotty

Newbie
Joined
Nov 17, 2010
Messages
32
Most reliable engine is the 80s-90s f150 straight 6. Also in econolines. These engines are bullet proof. Grandpas got one And stopped changing oil 10 years ago. Still tows cars up and down hills without burning a drop of oil.

10k on a van with a $500 motor is a joke though. Seriously gonna send some mans kids to college, then Disney world, get his wife's hair permed and his side bitches rent paid.
 

that one guy

Playful asshole
Banned
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
76
Location
livingston, texas
LOOL!

No anything USA made +/- V8 under 150xxx miles is ok so long as it doesn't have any telltale signs of neglect or abuse.
Vans are tough though cause its not like a car; you can't just pop the hood and poke about in the motor bay, with vans and Class A motorhomes you have to remove whats called the 'dog house' I recently had to relearn this lesson with my van, its had rusted plugs and badly worn wires, a clear sign of complete and utter mechanical negligence!!! LAter I found out it was burning coolant, my first clue was a wet 'sweet' tasting plug, I checked the coolant often and the plug periodically and sure enough, I was slowly burning off engine coolant! I'm lucky though, it seems its not a head gasket leak, but more like an intake manifold gasket leak, and luckier yet its not leaking coolant into the oil - just down into the combustion chamber of one cylinder.
So a $20 bottle of K-seal (copper flakes) in the cooling system and its behaving better now.
At 162xxx miles though its past its prime for a chevy with a throttle body injected small block 350, it will not last to 200xxx miles, not even a ford with a 351, maybe one of those ford straight 6's would though with religious maintenance - I fucked up and bought without really combing the thing over.
 

Anagor

Hobo
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
747
Age
46
Location
Bonn, Germany
Website
anagortravelling.wordpress.com
Well, you can't generalize I think.

I drove a Volkswagen Golf II up to 360.000 km and a Ford Mondeo up to 380.000 km. :) 1.8 litre engines both.

Normally you would guess the engines would not make more than 180.000 to 200.000 km ...
 

that one guy

Playful asshole
Banned
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
76
Location
livingston, texas
Sorry to say but I'm sure those are non american cars, a ford focus in UK/AU is a totally different from a US ford, UK/AU has alwase been given far superior, more efficient greater power vehicles in comparison to USA, over here they put put these v6 and v8 powered monstrosities that guzzle gas and wear out fast; a 4cylinder VW or fiat has more mechanical longevity and torque than a 1980 Malibu with a 2 barrel carbouretted 305ci v8.
Also it seems your forgetting that kl = 0.6 miles, so your 360xxx vw is only got about 220xxx miles, still 60 - 100 kilometers of normal service life left.
 

Fatboy

Newbie
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
30
Location
Astoria Oregon
Its not the milliage its the over all wear. To fing a good runner regardless of mileage do this.

1) whatch the exhaust pipe when the start it up. If you dont see any blue smoke this means the engine rings are pretty good

2) after warm up give it some gas does it look blue or black? If its black its running rich and has fuel problems. If its blue it has bad rings.

3) when you let ,off the gas is it blue? If so this means bad valve guides.... not a deal breaker unless it is really bad but you will burn more oil.

4) listen too the engine for nocks = bad rod bearings.... clicking = bad lifters.... growles = bad main bearings.

You can live with light lifter tick but rods an mains you do not want them if they are bad they wont last long and it will be a hefty bill to get fixed.

There is more but if it passes tbose badic tests you got a pretty good engine at least mechanical wise electronic problems are for another post.

I went to automotive school in the 90s and have worked on all my own cars until I got my back and hands messed up so ive picked up a few things over tbe years, that help when buying cars.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$90.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $90.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $90.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.