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Old 08-01-2014, 10:09 PM   #1
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Van on a serious budget & a new member

Hi all new to the forum and ready to start planning for a spring 2015 project. First time visiting this site was yesterday so I am just jumping right in! I am thinking about a van in the tune of Econoline or an Express and want to get some input about base vehicle. My budget to get moving so to speak is going to be very small due to family responsibilities (new kid and student loans) - we are talking about $10,000 max for the completed project. $7,000 would be better but maybe not realistic...It seems that on Craigslist I can find a conversion van from the early to mid 2000's with around 100,000 miles for approximately $5,000. Is this a good place to start? I figure it already has a high roof and a bed. Inside I will need seating for three and can make due with one bed as our tike is only 2. I have a portable Truckfridge (they are sweet BTW), 1000w inverter/deep cycle battery/small solar panel from previous rig. Would probably start by buying a cassette toilet along with building a small cabinet for it and another for cooking. Rest of the funds would go into getting the vehicle squared away and through state inspections. This all seem reasonable? For reference I am very handy but do not have the appropriate tools or space to do any mechanical work myself so I would be paying for that service as part of my expenses.
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:41 PM   #2
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Re: Van on a serious budget & a new member

Yes, very reasonable approach. I was looking for a conversion van possibly with a high top before I ended up with what I have now. Sounds like you've got a good start on the rest of the conversion as well.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:58 PM   #3
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Re: Van on a serious budget & a new member

Welcome. We all had a serious budget.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:41 AM   #4
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Re: Van on a serious budget & a new member

Guess maybe I should have said I am on a short leash!
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:54 PM   #5
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Re: Van on a serious budget & a new member

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanfor3
Guess maybe I should have said I am on a short leash!
Lol! That applies to me too!!!
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:03 AM   #6
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Re: Van on a serious budget & a new member

If there's an upside to being on a short-leash tight budget it would be creativity rules, much more so than sheer desire without apparent real need for this or that.

Adding or building in only what's absolutely necessary at the moment lets you test drive the build and decide if more improvements or features are really, really needed. Of course reading others here real-world experiences with various things added in but rarely or never used is useful helping form ideas how our vans will really be used.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:19 PM   #7
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Re: Van on a serious budget & a new member

Anyone out there know of a good thread or two that involves conversion van as the starting point for a camper homebuild? I did a search on this forum and there are so many hits and it does not allow you to do a search for the words "conversion van" together like a google search may be approached. Just looking for ideas on how other integrated their camping system. As the previous responder mentioned creativity is going to be the ticket for this budget. Which is cool as our first camping rig was an 88' Coleman Colorado pop up - and if you know what those are...creativity rules the rebuild!
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:22 PM   #8
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Re: Van on a serious budget & a new member

Put this into google:

"conversion van" site:sportsmobileforum.com

For what it's worth I don't remember any threads about starting out with a conversion van- I know one member who removed everything because it was a lot of velour and terrible wiring for mood lighting that was just causing problems.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:58 PM   #9
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Re: Van on a serious budget & a new member

Do a you tube search, there are a number of interesting projects for your viewing pleasure.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:01 AM   #10
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Re: Van on a serious budget & a new member

Scour Ebay and amazon for deals on things. I was able to save a lot of money by doing a little shopping around.

Electrical is what I was way off on, cost quite a bit more than I budgeted, and that was making my own battery cables.

Other than that, prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. What do you want and what to need. My want list is still big, but I've been enjoying the van as is, and not sweating the "wants"
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