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Old 06-07-2019, 12:11 PM   #1
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Sportsmobile for College

Hey guys! I love this forum it seems like you have a good community here and I am glad I can begin to be a part of it. Im 18, about to go to college and want to build my own sportsmobile to live out of. I really do not want to pay rent! I haven't bought a van yet because I don't know what I should get. Or what is to high of mileage? I would love to buy one from the factory, I just don't have that kind of money at the moment. As of right now I'm debating on a 6.0 diesel with 170,000 miles on it for 6000 or a 5.4 gasser with 130,000 miles. I am just really eager to get this ball rolling! Thanks everyone!
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:16 PM   #2
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The draw of a diesel is a real thing, however a 5.4 is a great reliable engine. Living on a college budget I think the gasser would be a good option. The maintenance cost of the 6.0 can get very expensive.
Good luck on your build and welcome to the community.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:24 PM   #3
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^^^^ Agree with dokaman here, maintenance costs can be burdensome when you're on a budget, and believe you need something less prone to "surprises" - I'd second his suggestion.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:38 PM   #4
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Get the gas motor. The diesel will be great until it breaks and then the repair costs will exceed the value of the van and you will be faced with a choice of spending the money or losing your home-on-wheels.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:45 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone I really appreciate the input. I will defiantly go with the gas motor. What is a good mileage that I should stay under? Im looking at a couple of vans with 150k on them for 5000-6000 dollars. Is that a good deal? Sorry that I am asking so many questions.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:46 PM   #6
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Good on you for not going conventional.

Do you mean you plan on getting a Sportsmobile with poptop or effectively any van?

Since Chevy, Dodge and Ford made vans, there are a lot to choose from. My goal would be lowest possible mileage. Under 75k is awesome, under 100k is good, under 130k or so is acceptable if very well maintained. That's for gas. Diesel has higher numbers. There are exceptions.

You want to look for pride of ownership. Stuff is clean and well maintained. Records kept.

Two possible gems in a bit older model are the Ford 5.8 v8 and 4.9 L6. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of those. I would want an early '90s or newer plus lower miles. They exist.

Then you want to determine if you want a long or regular version. Regular size body will be easier to park but less room to stretch.

If you've never had a van, it would pay dividends to have a mechanic inspect. Should be around $100 or less. Check under the body for rust.

Don't be a drive-by poster - let us know what you end up doing.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:55 PM   #7
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Thank you I really appreciate it. I am going to be posting everything that I do with the van and my progress with the build! It is going to be a cargo van when I fist get it. Maybe in the future I will get a pop top, I just don't have the money to spend on one with a pop top for now. I leave for college in January and hope to have it done by than. I am only looking at econolines because of the reliability and good things that I have heard. I am defiantly going to have a mechanic inspect it and I hope to get one for less than 7000. Thank you for the advice SMB123.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:11 PM   #8
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Try finding one with a fixed high top. If you're living in it full time, it would be nice to always have the standing room.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:36 PM   #9
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Yeah, a fixed high top is the best compromise for van living because you can stand up all the time. High top sprinters are starting to fall into your price range and the older ones don't have the problematic emissions stuff. You could check one of those as they have high roofs built in rather than needing to either add one or find a special one.

Or get a diesel ambulance for $5500
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lg...906200928.html
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:38 PM   #10
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One thing to look for are handicap vans as they usually come with high tops installed and you can sell the wheelchair equipment to make back a bit of money.
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