Best Cargo Van for a Buildout - Additional Info
Ok, good questions you are asking me. Let me try to address them:
I am looking for a newer vehicle, maybe something 2-3 years old that has a comfortable cab and is a bit more modern so I can at least have the comforts of my car. I'm looking to get something that does not require any repairs or reconditioning except maybe the cargo area. I don't really care if the cargo area is all scratched and used as it will all be covered with my build out anyway. With that being said, I want to spend as little as possible but trying to keep in the budget of under 25K for everything to start. I was originally thinking of the extended wheelbase to get the extra 18" but I cannot park that in my driveway and with HOA rules, I need it to look more like a passenger van, plus I plan to stealth camp 90% or more of the time. I also want to be able to fit in a normal parking space (well somewhat anyway). I'm planning on just 1-2 people in the van (very close quarters).
I figure the build out is going to be progressive and not happen all at once. I don't plan on using any propane in this build as I will be using 100% solar, MPPT charge controller/110V charger so I can plug into shore power if available. I will use a pure sine wave inverter and a 400AH AGM setup to power minimal load and the induction cook top stove. I plan on having some fresh water storage under the sink, maybe a 7gallon or slightly more tank with the same for gray water where I can refill and dump easily. If space allows, I'd like to try and squeeze shower in there but I think that's pushing it. No hot water, no AC and no heat. Small microwave, and 12V Fridge just big enough to keep the essentials. I'm figuring a current draw of not more than 2.5Ahr on the fridge which is minimal.
I plan on building this completely repairable inside with everything easily accessible...access panels etc. as I will be maintaining it. My theory is, If I plan it, and I design it and I build it, I can repair it. As far as the Van is concerned, I can do the basic maintenance, but everything else will be done by either a dealership or local mechanic when I'm on the road. I won't have all my tools available, nor do I want to be a mechanic. I will maintain the house though. That should not be a problem. I plan on having a small Coleman Camping Stove with those small propane tanks as a backup in case I'm stuck somewhere with no sun for an extended period of time.