What vehicle should I get? (1 Viewer)

autumn

Lurker
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
681
Location
Slab City
I have $5,000 to my name and I'm in the market.

I don't care about having a toilet or shower in my vehicle at all. But I'm honestly too lazy to convert a cargo van into a decent living space. That takes a level of dedication, carpentry/electrical knowledge, and most importantly tools, that I don't have.

Campervans are usually absurdly overpriced.

I'm very tall and want to be able to cook/stand in my vehicle. Not to mention the low insurance cost of an RV, plus the fact that it'd be moved at most 500 miles per month, make it more attractive.

There's a wonderful selection of shitmobiles to choose from. Not really sure what I should be looking for as it seems that, on average, $5,000 will get you a 20' - 26' 1980s RV with 60,000-100,000 miles. Some better deals than others, some not. Some horrifically dirty and ugly, some pristine and beautiful - but probably with major mechanical issues.

I'm trying to figure out what would be the most mechanically reliable option. Any ideas?
 
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East

Wanderer
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
122
Location
Everywhere
Personally did not go the full RV route as I was priced out of it, just bought a reliable conversion van for 2k (2000 E150 Mark III) and paid a mechanic $30 to look it over, everything checked out and I bit the bullet and took out the two middle seats. My insurance is $42 a month, so that's the larger reoccurring cost of ownership, though it's nothing compared to actually paying rent because fuck that.

Sleeping - Used the bench seat with memory foam mattress, sheet/comforter, I sleep from passenger to drivers side comfortably.
Toilet - Bought a Camco 5gal chemical toilet, can be emptied anywhere there's a regular toilet. Rarely used though because there's almost always a public bathroom. Usually it's stowed away.
Running water - Mounted a five gallon container, gravity fed into a sink (stainless steel bowl with the bottom drilled out for pipe+tubing with a 5 gallon grey water tank under the sink, just a typical container.
Showers - 24 hour fitness gym membership. Also have a solar shower. This is something I outsourced because I couldn't afford a true RV.
Cooking - I rarely cook in the van but if I want to I have an area to do so on my coleman camp stove.
Heating - Mr Little Buddy heater propane (installed co2 detectors), this thing will bake me out on low even if it's only 20f, haven't tested it in colder conditions yet.
Privacy - Blackout curtains all around, blackout divider as well between the cabin and the rest of the vehicle.
Extra storage - I do have a rooftop carrier I found on craigslist for $50 and a rear ladder to access it. Apart from that there's a bunch of storage room behind the rear bench and under it. The conversion had a place to hang clothes back there too. I also bought some vent visors so I could crack my windows for ventilation, I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of stuff but yeah that's the gist.

Future plans - Solar, deep cycle batteries and all that expensive stuff I can't seem to afford at the moment. When the Yirego off grid foot washer comes to market I'll stop spending money at laundromats.

Anyways, I've done it for a little over 2k not including taxes, registration. I've seen people do it off of much less though. You'll want the extra money in a bank account for breakdowns because that shit is going to happen no matter what and when it does you don't want your investment to disappear on you. Just be sure to have a mechanic look over any vehicle before you purchase.

older pic:
rhosveb-jpg.24027
 
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Parker Free

Rambler
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
46
Age
54
Website
coffeewitholiver.com
What East said. Cheap RVs are pretty much universally crap due to at the very least, bad, hidden rot. That'll bite you in the ass, painfully. If you do go that route, take a sharp pointy instrument, and poke around a LOT, looking for soft spots. It won't show you everything, but it'll help you find at least some of the damage.
 

Tude

Sometimes traveler is traveling.
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
4,207
Age
62
Location
Rochester, NY
Zim - you goof - you look like a quaker in that hat or something hehe. And congrats on saving up $$ and getting some other things taken care of! - hehe. I like all that east said. Have the traveling facility but taking advantage of the outside resources as well. That sounds quite fun to me! Fun way to travel Yay! - I'll get to meet the gf too - cause you are going to come up this way again ahem.
 

Art101

Nomad
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
1,002
Location
Cheyenne WY
Rv's can go either way.I have owned 2 one was a wreck after about 6 months.Mind you these were big ones over 30 ft.The other one lasted me over 3 yrs of living in and moving short distances every 2-3 days.I under 5 for both.Granted they were older and upkeep sux but they are nice and have plenty room.The downsides,1.the size.2,the cost of various fuels.3,upkeep of things like the roof and such.The 32 footer I bought I got on a cheap deal from a friends grandparents.Its all what you want to do.Vans are easy to convert..Glad your well Zim was thinking bout ya the other day and wondering how it was going.Drop me a line if ya come through Jersey bud.
 
K

Kim Chee

I deleted myself
Toyota Sienna, good mileage, low key, reliable.

Now go get the nicest (best maintained) one you can get and give everybody a ride;)
 
K

Kim Chee

I deleted myself
Pardon me, you wont be able to stand in that vehicle. You can cook in it though.

Sounds like you could use a Ford kidnap van.
 

Durp

Hobo
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
515
Location
VA for now
I got a 1986 diesel f250 in good running shape. No ac, heat works, needs a power steering pump. I also have a 28ft trailer ready to go and linked up. I rebuilt it, there is no rot. The oven dose not work but it does have a shower and shitter and its quite cozy. Comes with a bunch of stuff even some tools, heaters ect. Move in ready. Let me know I'm trying to get $3k
 

4t7

Rambler
Joined
Jul 5, 2015
Messages
98
Location
NC
I got a 1986 diesel f250 in good running shape. No ac, heat works, needs a power steering pump. I also have a 28ft trailer ready to go and linked up. I rebuilt it, there is no rot. The oven dose not work but it does have a shower and shitter and its quite cozy. Comes with a bunch of stuff even some tools, heaters ect. Move in ready. Let me know I'm trying to get $3k
$3k for the truck and trailer?
 

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
10,040
Location
Austin, TX
Website
youtube.com
you can buy a really nice van or short bus at this website for like 2-3k:

http://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...mingType=&category=94H&rowCount=10&StartRow=1

and still have enough left over to renovate it nicely. now i know you said you can't renovate it, but stop being a pussy and just do it. it does NOT take a rocket scientist to renovate a van/bus into an RV, and it's NOT as complicated as you think.

also, you're not going to get something you can stand up in for a reasonable price that isn't a crappy prebuilt rv.
 

Durp

Hobo
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
515
Location
VA for now
Yup @4t7 plus you get all of the things needed for living, probably even some clothes if you want them. I'm moving back twords a primitive existance so I need to unload all my land lubber gear.
 

4t7

Rambler
Joined
Jul 5, 2015
Messages
98
Location
NC
Yup @4t7 plus you get all of the things needed for living, probably even some clothes if you want them. I'm moving back twords a primitive existance so I need to unload all my land lubber gear.
Where are you and this rig located?

But yeah, I feel you on the 'land lubber gear', lol. Been going through all my shit the past 3 days and trying to pretty much get rid of it all. Worthless material possessions...
 

Parker Free

Rambler
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
46
Age
54
Website
coffeewitholiver.com
Yup @4t7 plus you get all of the things needed for living, probably even some clothes if you want them. I'm moving back twords a primitive existance so I need to unload all my land lubber gear.
Doing much the same here, and also in Washington state. I have a Tiny Home partially built that I want to sell as I'm going to live in a Tiny Home/Camper I'm currently building. To the OP, it's really not hard to make a van or truck over into a liveable space. Doesn't all have to be done at once, either. A good reliable vehicle that has enough room is just the way to start.
 

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