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Old 06-07-2019, 03:39 PM   #11
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Funny that you sent me those, I was looking at them debating on that. I think it would to big for me and more work than I think I need to fix it up.

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Old 06-07-2019, 03:45 PM   #12
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Here's one that is basically empty with a high top. Has high miles though.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:29 PM   #13
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Whats your overall budget? You can buy an empty van for $6k, but how much left do you have to put into it to make it livable?
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:04 PM   #14
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I second the highroof wheelchair van suggestion but do not expect to make money selling the lift. The guy who had mine could not give the lift away. There might be some scrap value.

The highroof will probably limit your parking options, no more decks/garages. My van is nine feet tall.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:50 PM   #15
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Sportsmobile for College

I assume you read the book by the guy who lived in his van all during grad school? I canít recall the name offhand.

Think long and hard about the reality of living in a van for several years while in school, and how it will impact your overall life. Not saying itís a bad idea, but living in a van is not like all the #vanlife Instagrams show. Also consider the parking realities in your area. Some areas are much more friendly to people living in their vehicles than others. If you are constantly getting hassled by cops or security or landlords or whatever that will get old real fast.

Again, not to talk you out of it, but just be sure you know what youíre getting into and how will it impact your schooling.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:36 PM   #16
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Parking will be your biggest problem. My buddy lives in an airstream while heís in need school and he has to park it in an rv park. Thereís nowhere else he can park it and live in unless he had some friend with rural land that would let him live there. Dumping the poo and pee is the biggest issue.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:44 AM   #17
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Skywalka - I would echo the suggestions to get a gas van if you're on a budget. Also, I've lived in a van 3 nights per week for the last three years. I would strongly encourage a high top. If your budget allows, you might consider a higher mileage Transit. I think you're more likely to be able to recoup your investment after you graduate.

My first year living in the van I had an E350 Sportsmobile with a pop-top and 5.4 gasser. I'm 6 feet. It was very uncomfortable to be in the van with the top down. However top up, as in real camping, it was glorious - I do miss that. I switched to a Transit High Roof, have more room and plenty of head space and build quality is 20 years more advanced.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Skywalka View Post
Thanks everyone I really appreciate the input. I will defiantly go with the gas motor. What is a good mileage that I should stay under? Im looking at a couple of vans with 150k on them for 5000-6000 dollars. Is that a good deal? Sorry that I am asking so many questions.
When I was browsing vans with the intent of buying my rule of thumb was under 200k miles for a diesel and under 100k miles for a gasser.

I don't want to steer you away from the idea of living out of a van in college, but I would recommend you really put some thought into making sure you are ok with the trade-offs. For one, outside of all the logistics, I would think this would set you back socially. You are isolating yourself from all of the other students, and inviting people to come hang out in your van with you which is also your bedroom/kitchen/bathroom may isolate you even further.

If you are a lone wolf type already and are seeking that out, then maybe it doesn't concern you. But to me the social growth and experience in college can be just as impactful and important as the education.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:06 PM   #19
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Some tips: i which I knew before doing the same:
- If there's a floor, check under for rust
- Take the van for a ride in a rough road, verify that there no weird noises like doors rattling
- Gas is cheaper overall (initial cost and maintenance)
- Try to get a cargo van, is easier to build out, stealthier and safer, plus no windows no leaks to fix, i got the passenger and is a pain in the a** to DIY
- If you get one with a high top, verify for leaks, also make sure that if you get one with a high top the rear doors are still factory (not extended). This is especially true since most conversion companies don't set the right latch configuration to prevent the doors from rattling, is pretty annoying going down the road hearing that awful noise. Also, the factory parts will fit, i.e. weather stripping and latches

Now about conversion:
- I like the way ford build vehicles, that being said I find the Econoline to be a tough one to convert because of the way the body is manufactured. Chevys are 1000 times more square, and easier to insulate since there's only one sheet of metal between the inside and the outside, this point alone makes a huge difference.
- Any of these vehicles are reliable, and you can expect about 250k miles if you dont take care of it, even more, if you do. There's an interesting page the million-mile van, check it out.
- Barn doors will give you more space for stuff than sliding doors
- And again... please don't get a passenger van, windows are a PITA. Is easier to add an aftermarket window than keeping good care of all the windows in a passenger van.
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