Help finding an ideal van (1 Viewer)

squatlyfe

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Jan 23, 2014
Messages
12
Location
Los Angeles
Hey there,
I'm looking to acquire a camper/hippy van soon.
I'm seeking something reliable that I can travel and also crash in.
Currently located in SoCal and planning on doing a West Coast National Park tour soon.
Any recommendations and info would be appreciated. I'm not awfully well-versed in this area.

Thanks!
 
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Deleted member 20

I deleted myself
size? location & budget? I am a magician on craigslist.
 

creature

plastic wingnut in a microwave
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folks who know me have my #.
i vouch for the magicianship..

i dunno if he conquered the North Pole or merely made a Triumphant Entry beneath the Grace of Polaris,
But..
yah.
 

creature

plastic wingnut in a microwave
Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
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folks who know me have my #.
& i have major 1st hand experience, doing exactly what yer gonna blow yer Brain apart, with..

things to consider:

- level of mechanical expertise.. if you can diagnose & repair in field, that has a very solid monetary equivalent.. if you are good at busking, jugging or spanging, it is close to about 2 solid weeks of good daily pulls, or more.

- budget. DO NOT let your legal stuff lapse on the vehicle.. you *can* drive a long fucking time without registration or insurance or even a license, & although i am sure you are not considering doing so, all it takes is one pull-over to seriously fuck you up..
maybe i am a coward for so asserting, but dealing with cops is the absolutely *worst* waste of time on the road, other than physical illness, being harassed by *other* violent, needy, stupid shitheads, or exposure to shitty weather, when stranded..

-- based upon how deep your desire to experience is, budget starts from foot to vehicle, and is more or less multiplied by distance/drive-time..

a van will run you 33 cents per mile a mile, minimum..
if you *really* want to pad your calcs, use use 1/2 buck per mile, & neither includes food.
1,000 miles in a *legal* well outfitted, strong, heavily geared up van will cost you $400, including paper overhead (reg & ins).

you don't actually have to *have* that $$, since you can busk, but it's a good figure to use because it can include minor expenses for flats or minor shop repairs, assuming you are not mechanically inclined & you find an honest garage..
a fucking loose fuel line will cost you $60, minimum, if you are Smiled Upon..

the thing is not that you have to run by numbers, but you do need to have an idea of what to expect from yourself on a reasonably long-haul excursion.. i mean, yeah, after you get your vehicle you can just fucking go, & see how the wind hits you, for sure.. but if you are thinking of using your van as a place to live, long term, with no place to return to, then you have to have a grip on certain practicalities...

--- if you are thinking of living in your van, long term, especially with someone else, look at getting an extended van, preferably 6 cylinders. (a hard combo to find), with less than 110K... most extended vans are 8 cylinders, & costly to drive..

if you just want a van for yourself & one other to tour in, & use as a runabout, a 4 or 6 cylinder with front wheel or all wheel drive is a good choice.. if yer after a hippy van that you can cram 6 people & 4 dogs into, ****after you rip out the seats**** (or a cargo van), & can't get an extended van, any **reasonably sound** ford, chevy or gm will do..
do not get a shit-bucket, unless it is a diesel with under 150K, or a good sounding, good feeling shit-bucket for under a grand..
shit-bucket is a highly malleable condition.. make sure the windshield is ok.. a busted windshield across the driver's view is an easy cop excuse.

if you have any friends or family who are solid, +10 years of professional or semi-professional mechanical experience, have them go all over whatever you are going to buy.. generally... very, very, very generally... if a larger van is running without a hell of a lot of noise, without pulling to the side, & rides without a lot of hard, minor vibrations & doesn't bottom out on larger bumps, you're good to go, assuming all lights work..

if you can find an old Dodge Xplorer, (yes, spelled Xplorer) from mid 70's to mid 80's or newer for a reasonable price (1500-2000$) with about 70K on it, you are probably fucking golden, unless the sacrifice of room (for the sake of self-containment.. shitter, small shower, gas stove, furnace,fridge, bed) is too much.. they are classy, classy, classy vehicles, though.. the 8 cylinder bastards only get a little better than 10mpg, so beware, but otherwise they are absolutely the *best* conversion vans to ride, other than one you do on your own..

& that's my 2 cents for the moment..

good luck!!

j
 

creature

plastic wingnut in a microwave
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folks who know me have my #.
PS, if you are cool with campers in all their great variety, you have many, many, many, many more options than just a van or a conversion van..
 

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
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best advice i never followed (and almost always regretted it): always take the vehicle to an independent mechanic for inspection before you drop a bunch of money on it. it'll save you a lot of grief in the long run.
 

squatlyfe

Lurker
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
12
Location
Los Angeles
& i have major 1st hand experience, doing exactly what yer gonna blow yer Brain apart, with..

things to consider:

- level of mechanical expertise.. if you can diagnose & repair in field, that has a very solid monetary equivalent.. if you are good at busking, jugging or spanging, it is close to about 2 solid weeks of good daily pulls, or more.

- budget. DO NOT let your legal stuff lapse on the vehicle.. you *can* drive a long fucking time without registration or insurance or even a license, & although i am sure you are not considering doing so, all it takes is one pull-over to seriously fuck you up..
maybe i am a coward for so asserting, but dealing with cops is the absolutely *worst* waste of time on the road, other than physical illness, being harassed by *other* violent, needy, stupid shitheads, or exposure to shitty weather, when stranded..

-- based upon how deep your desire to experience is, budget starts from foot to vehicle, and is more or less multiplied by distance/drive-time..

a van will run you 33 cents per mile a mile, minimum..
if you *really* want to pad your calcs, use use 1/2 buck per mile, & neither includes food.
1,000 miles in a *legal* well outfitted, strong, heavily geared up van will cost you $400, including paper overhead (reg & ins).

you don't actually have to *have* that $$, since you can busk, but it's a good figure to use because it can include minor expenses for flats or minor shop repairs, assuming you are not mechanically inclined & you find an honest garage..
a fucking loose fuel line will cost you $60, minimum, if you are Smiled Upon..

the thing is not that you have to run by numbers, but you do need to have an idea of what to expect from yourself on a reasonably long-haul excursion.. i mean, yeah, after you get your vehicle you can just fucking go, & see how the wind hits you, for sure.. but if you are thinking of using your van as a place to live, long term, with no place to return to, then you have to have a grip on certain practicalities...

--- if you are thinking of living in your van, long term, especially with someone else, look at getting an extended van, preferably 6 cylinders. (a hard combo to find), with less than 110K... most extended vans are 8 cylinders, & costly to drive..

if you just want a van for yourself & one other to tour in, & use as a runabout, a 4 or 6 cylinder with front wheel or all wheel drive is a good choice.. if yer after a hippy van that you can cram 6 people & 4 dogs into, ****after you rip out the seats**** (or a cargo van), & can't get an extended van, any **reasonably sound** ford, chevy or gm will do..
do not get a shit-bucket, unless it is a diesel with under 150K, or a good sounding, good feeling shit-bucket for under a grand..
shit-bucket is a highly malleable condition.. make sure the windshield is ok.. a busted windshield across the driver's view is an easy cop excuse.

if you have any friends or family who are solid, +10 years of professional or semi-professional mechanical experience, have them go all over whatever you are going to buy.. generally... very, very, very generally... if a larger van is running without a hell of a lot of noise, without pulling to the side, & rides without a lot of hard, minor vibrations & doesn't bottom out on larger bumps, you're good to go, assuming all lights work..

if you can find an old Dodge Xplorer, (yes, spelled Xplorer) from mid 70's to mid 80's or newer for a reasonable price (1500-2000$) with about 70K on it, you are probably fucking golden, unless the sacrifice of room (for the sake of self-containment.. shitter, small shower, gas stove, furnace,fridge, bed) is too much.. they are classy, classy, classy vehicles, though.. the 8 cylinder bastards only get a little better than 10mpg, so beware, but otherwise they are absolutely the *best* conversion vans to ride, other than one you do on your own..

& that's my 2 cents for the moment..

good luck!!

j
This is very useful information. Thank you for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate it.
I don't have much mechanical expertise but have friends with some.
The Dodge Xplorer might be a little big. Are there any ford, chevy or gm models you would recommend?
Cheers!
 

squatlyfe

Lurker
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
12
Location
Los Angeles
best advice i never followed (and almost always regretted it): always take the vehicle to an independent mechanic for inspection before you drop a bunch of money on it. it'll save you a lot of grief in the long run.
I'll def. be doing this. Thanks for the heads up..
 

dprogram

Vagabond
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
622
Location
Riverdale Park, United States
Hey there! Just some info about my vehicle. It's a 2002 Ford E150 with a 4.2L V6. I get about 15 city and 20 hwy mpg and it's got 149.000 miles on it. It's a cargo van but you can put a futon mattress inside and sleep head to toe/side to side - which gives you tons of storage in front. I paid 2500 for it a few years ago and it's still worth it. Soooo. I suggest getting a cargo van...insulating it. Then adding an interior...doesnt have to be perfect. Good mpg. Good stealth for parking any-fuckin where you want. sorry Im not flowing my thoughts well.

edit: and it you can get it without windows in the back or sides that's the best for security - but you cant see....so get a backup camera...you'll be golden.
 

East

Wanderer
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
122
Location
Everywhere
I'll second the reliability of the E150 series. I currently own a 2000 E150 Conversion Van with a 5.4l Triton V8 w/156k, paid $2000 solid for it. I'm seeing about 17-18 HWY and 13-14 city. A surprising amount of parts are interchangeable between the F150 trucks as well, being that the F150 and the E150 are so common the parts are relatively inexpensive and easy to come by which is great. Personally stealth is irrelevant to me, the worst that happens is a knock on your window at 2am, being asked to move if you've got a clean record. The best thing though about van dwelling and vehicle dwelling in general is that it can be as tailored as you want it to your style and approach. Different strokes for different folks. Hope you find what you're looking for.
 
D

Deleted member 20

I deleted myself
I think any Ford e van is fine but why not spend the extra time searching for a 7.3 diesel ford van for about the same price?
 

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