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Old 02-21-2018, 08:15 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 53
convert or new?

Hi All,

I just retired (early) and ready to hit the road. I have a limited budget but saved up to buy something already converted or maybe convert myself with my son. It needs to fit in a regular parking space and preferably with a low profile so Im looking at a lower ceiling with a pop top or similar. I want to be able to go off road, and want major comfort for this old back. Under 18'. Two sleeping areas. So far I like the Mercedes Sprinter but too high and very expensive, Airstream but too long, Promaster, and Sportsmobile. I love the size of a Westy though its too small for a bathroom and I dont want a VW or anything too old thats going to breakdown. Your thoughts and advice are super welcome. Thanks!

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Old 02-21-2018, 09:46 PM   #2
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Location: TN
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Welcome. Pretty general questions around here. You will find that small camper vans (anything under 18) and your idea of keeping it cheap yet having all you asked for is almost impossible to find. These things are a series of compromises. It is doable but not easy. Keep hanging around and something that suits your need will eventually surface.

Lots of ads and info here and a very popular 'vans for sale' thread on the Expedition Portal is a place to check in often. Many are listed there every day.

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Old 02-21-2018, 10:47 PM   #3
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Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
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This van is posted in the for sale section. It will have the lowest profile top that pops up and has a similar layout to the old Westys. It's not 4x4, so off-road use will be limited but a trip to your favorite 4xr converter can change that in a couple weeks. You don't mention budget,but this van checks most of the boxes.
2005 E350 Chateau - V10 - Agile Offroad 4x4
2012 CTS-V Wagon - For the baby...
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:49 PM   #4
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Location: Western North Carolina
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Limited budget and van builds don't really work well together lol
Plan on either spending 1/3 the amount in the beginning and using all of your budget OR plan on the full budget and triple it in the end.
I've yet to hear anyone actually spent at or below the budget.

But I'll agree with the prior statement, wait, look, research then get ready to pounce when the van that meets your needs is listed for sale. The good vans get snatched up really quick.
2001 E350 PSD w/ a bunch of stuff.
And had three other E350s...
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:09 AM   #5
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At your life stage I would buy one as complete as you need and start enjoying it. Don’t waste time and frustration on trying to build one unless you know what you are doing, and maybe you do.
2006 Ford E-350 V10 Agile 4x4 SMB EB50

2000 Ford E-350 7.3L Quigley 4x4 hard top with custom interior by Xtreme Fab - Sold
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:21 AM   #6
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Location: FL and VA
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I think getting a full time bathroom in a vehicle 18 feet is difficult and takes up valuable space. If you are looking for two sleeping areas, a pop top is perfect for that along with your need to keep it not too tall. Hightop vans can have an upper bed.

My regular body GMC Savana is 18.6 feet.
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