I've been lurking a while and I love everybody's vans.
I'm looking for my own, but I'm having a hard time even figuring out what to look for.
I love the looks of the ones with the racks and bumpers, but I can add some of that as we go.
I have an idea of what I want, but I may be way off base and would like to reach out for suggestions.
We are a family of four + two medium dogs. 2 younger kids in elementary school. We like the outdoors, open air, hunting, biking, hiking, etc.
Currently, I have a 2008 Nissan titan crew cab and a 26' Keystone passport ultralight camper. We average use about every other weekend. The truck does OK hauling the camper, but it is not exactly fun to haul for longer distances.
We typically pack what we can in the camper, leaving room in the capped bed for the dogs.
I have realized that the only real reason I NEED a truck bed is for the dogs and have wondered if a Van would be a nicer fit for trips in general, and perhaps do some van camping when the whole family isn't along instead of hauling the camper.
What I think I want: A conversion van in 2wd or 4wd, no skirting or ground effects, 250 or 2500 for hauling the camper.
- 2500 or heavier van for easier camper hauling
- non camping van, a conversion van with captains chair and fold down bed
- some offroad capabilities, but not rock crawling. ie. no lift needed, but don't like the skirting on most conversion vans
- stand up room, high roof
- hitch and hauling for the camper
- something fairly new with some airbags, etc
- robust engine and transmission that can take the hauling
- limited budget. I hate car payments with a passion, maybe 25k tops?
I can build some things myself, but really don't want to take on a huge project. I like the idea of the double bunks in the back like you see in some of the sprinter conversions with the moveable top bunk.
I don't need sinks, porto pots, showers (yet)
Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. I realize I'm not the first newb to step in here and show how uninformed I am...