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Old 12-22-2019, 10:45 PM   #41
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I would also suggest going and looking at a few close to you, even if you arenít interested. Sometimes just sitting in one makes you realize you can/canít live with something. Then you can narrow your search.

Like others have said, there are millions of these on the road. Sometimes the problem is having too many options.
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Old 12-23-2019, 08:12 AM   #42
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Not much to add other than if you plan to do a 4x4 conversion, then yes you'll want a 250 or 350. That said, a 150 can be a good van if you can do without 4WD. I used a 150 raised roof conversion van for camping at mtn bike races for a number of years. I loved it and often wish I had never sold it.

I would be tempted to suggest buying a 150, doing a camper conversion to it, learning what you like, want and need. Then getting a 250/350 for your 4x4 conversion.

Part of the reason for suggesting this route is because good 250/350 vans can take some time to find. The van in my avatar picture is a 1992 E350 diesel. It took me 20 years before I finally stumbled across it on CL for a reasonable price. While I have no plans for a 4X4 conversion and don't really have the time to convert it to a camper right now, the price was such that I had to jump on it.

Starting with a 150 would allow to do some building and learning without feeling the need to rush to buy a less than perfect van. And you can start collecting 4X4 conversion components over time, which should allow you to find deals.
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Old 12-23-2019, 03:25 PM   #43
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I appreciate everyone’s advice. I have since narrowed down what I am looking for. Definitely wanting a newer 350, open to the V8 or V10 and I want it to have less than 130k miles if possible. I have located one down in SoCal and am just waiting for the owner to respond. Hopefully I can start with a good vehicle and build it up from there. I appreciate all the feedback!
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:41 AM   #44
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Bookmark and watch this thread:

https://www.expeditionportal.com/for...8#post-2719981
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:08 AM   #45
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It sounds as though even $5k is a budget stretch...


If your initial budget is so tight that you are looking at $3000 vans, will you realistically be able to budget ($11k parts and 120hrs of DIY or $22k) to upgrade a van to 4x4 in the next year or two?



I'll echo the sentiment of others, a high mileage 25yr old $3000 van will nickle and dime (more like $250 and $500) you to death. Multiply those numbers by 5 if you don't work on your own stuff, can't change your own waterpump, balljoints, transmission. You could get lucky if you shop, travel, know how to spot the right deal and show up at a moments notice with cash in hand, but that wouldn't be typical. Sellers at the lower end of the market tend to tell the potential buyer 'what they want to hear', so it's incumbent on the buyer to really know his/her stuff. I'm not trying to be a wet blanket on the party, but if this purchase goes bad, you'll spend your monthly van $$ and time chasing repairs, instead of enjoying it and saving up to do that 4x4 conversion.



If it were me, I'd save up a few more bucks, find a used but well maintained 2wd E250 or 350, outfit it with a minimalist camping interior, and go have some road trips and camping fun.



You can always sell it and upgrade later as the budget allows.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:20 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post
It sounds as though even $5k is a budget stretch...


If your initial budget is so tight that you are looking at $3000 vans, will you realistically be able to budget ($11k parts and 120hrs of DIY or $22k) to upgrade a van to 4x4 in the next year or two?



I'll echo the sentiment of others, a high mileage 25yr old $3000 van will nickle and dime (more like $250 and $500) you to death. Multiply those numbers by 5 if you don't work on your own stuff, can't change your own waterpump, balljoints, transmission. You could get lucky if you shop, travel, know how to spot the right deal and show up at a moments notice with cash in hand, but that wouldn't be typical. Sellers at the lower end of the market tend to tell the potential buyer 'what they want to hear', so it's incumbent on the buyer to really know his/her stuff. I'm not trying to be a wet blanket on the party, but if this purchase goes bad, you'll spend your monthly van $$ and time chasing repairs, instead of enjoying it and saving up to do that 4x4 conversion.



If it were me, I'd save up a few more bucks, find a used but well maintained 2wd E250 or 350, outfit it with a minimalist camping interior, and go have some road trips and camping fun.



You can always sell it and upgrade later as the budget allows.
I have since re-evaluated and plan to wait to spend a bit more to find a lower mileage van and am now looking at 2008 or newer. I agree that getting nickel and dimed to death every month on repairs would really suck so I am trying to be patient which is hard but Iíll do it.

I am fairly capable and not scared to work on my vehicles (I did a full engine rebuild/install on a 91 4Runner that I also solid axle swapped while I was in college so I feel okay doing it on my own).

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Old 12-24-2019, 11:19 AM   #47
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Here are a couple if you want a passenger van:

None are high tops though...

https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/...037331903.html

https://inlandempire.craigslist.org/...032813801.html

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/la...041603715.html

https://santabarbara.craigslist.org/...034358826.html
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:25 AM   #48
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So I am eying the Orange County and Los Angeles one currently. I reached out to the Los Angeles one but have not been able to get a response yet. The one in Buellton looks okay but I think the miles are just a tad bit higher than I want to go with but will take another look at it.

Thank you for posting those for me, really appreciate it
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:38 PM   #49
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Those are really good ones. I know youíre wanting a high top, but those are tricky to find since they stopped making conversion vans in the late 90s. You can look at handicap conversions, but sometimes they have doors that are extended up into the high top and people have reported sealing issues with those and they are impossible to replace if anything ever happens to them.

My suggestion is buy a stock van and start using it to figure out how you camp. You may find you want a pop top or a high top that allows you to stand fully.

Most people on here encourage you to just jump in on something and start figuring out your style rather than waiting for the ďperfectĒ van. Many times what you think is perfect, isnít.

Good luck. Iíll keep posting what I find. I use an app called BRZO that allows for super easy craigslist browsing. Itís $10, but I use it every day. Itís great.
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Old 12-25-2019, 10:04 AM   #50
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Did you see this?

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ale-25350.html
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