As it stands... I know a little about the vans. But am learning a lot! I am a diy mechanic / everything so I should be able to pick out a good vehicle if I learn the trouble spots (mainly rust under carpets and speed wobble it would seem). Makes sense that most of the conversion vans are half ton. They are also way cheaper! Would love an awd one.
For amenities I've talked it over with the wife
A stove on inside, windows, and large bed is key.
She didn't say it but I think she'll also need a shower and I was thinking about putting a water pump on board anyway for the complete galley. So probably a hose off of the sink type outdoor shower. Maybe ~20 gallon tank.
And we'll definitely need a fan.
I am really trying to figure out refrigeration right now... I was leaning towards small house type (~3cubic ft) chest freezer converted to fridge run on 120ac (to save money which we could use to upgrade solar) but am unsure now. I wish I could find some first hand experience running one. Don't know if the 20 percent loss from converter can be made up. Dropping 6-700 bucks on DC fridge is a scary thought.
A single solar panel and decent house battery setup with option to charge while driving to run these. We have an option to borrow a small Honda generator as well but it's not exactly "van small". Don't think we'll need house air conditioning or built in heater (little buddy should do).
The trip will be in 2 parts East and west. With stops at parents and friends separating the two. Mainly North West and east coast but some time in the south during both. Trip will start early may so we thought West first and then East late summer and fall.
I think we could live off less but... If we get a deal on a conversion van then we have the wiggle room (as long as the vehicle can handle the load... Can it?)
Thank you all for helping with this!!