Van Build!

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
mathiverse
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: Van Build!

Post by mathiverse » Sun May 19, 2019 2:45 pm

I moved into the van on at the beginning of this month since my lease ended. In the end, I only had time to add insulation to the floor and a plywood subfloor. XD It's been a great change. My spreadsheets already show the difference. Not paying $2k+ a month on rent and utilities really makes keeping a high savings rate easy.

I will eventually add more insulation, add a ceiling fan, and build a bed platform. For now, I sleep on a foam mattress pad on the floor and have crates around with clothes, cleaning supplies, and other things.

ETA: I spend barely any time in the van. I thought I'd want to lounge around in it, but I spend my leisure time at the office instead and only come back to sleep.

Frita
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Van Build!

Post by Frita » Sun May 19, 2019 7:39 pm

Congrats! Have you named your van? (Ours is named Rusty.)

mathiverse
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: Van Build!

Post by mathiverse » Tue May 21, 2019 4:46 pm

I haven't named it. Another friend also suggested I name the van, but I'm not that attached to it, so I haven't spent time thinking about it.

intellectualpersuit
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:23 am

Re: Van Build!

Post by intellectualpersuit » Tue May 21, 2019 8:49 pm

What does Rusty represent...? :?

Frita
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Van Build!

Post by Frita » Tue May 21, 2019 9:29 pm

@mathivetse
I notice quite a few people name their vans. One of my bikes, my favorite The Blue Goose, is named. Either a name comes to me or it doesn’t.

@intellectualpersuit
Rusty refers to the upholstery color, not the body condition. We wanted something androgynous.

mferson
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:05 pm

Re: Van Build!

Post by mferson » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:38 pm

I've been thinking about getting a used van and convert it. I would install some 4wd parts like a suspension system to accommodate bigger tires. I would remove the seats and add a mattress or sleeping bag, a charging port for my laptop and gadgets, camp stove, a small wash bucket, a cooler and insulating material on the floor and walls.

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C40
Posts: 2356
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: PNW
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Re: Van Build!

Post by C40 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:02 pm

Chances are, you don't need the suspension upgrade, or larger tires. Try it without those upgrades first. Your biggest limitation would probably be if the van has an open differential. On my van I solved that with a Lunchbox Locker, which cost something like $400 and has worked great so far. I did also put on some pretty knobby tires that are slightly bigger, but I'm not sure whether those were really needed. (I just sized a little bit up and they fit ok except some rubbing of the front tires at full turn lock)

(I'm assuming you're talking about the older style truck-chassis vans (Like a Chevy Express), and not the newer euro-vans, like the Sprinter/Promaster/etc. If you are thinking a Euro-van but want good off-road capability, buy a truck-based van with a high-top, or put a high top on one yourself)

IntellectualWatcher
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:03 pm

Re: Van Build!

Post by IntellectualWatcher » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:30 pm

I have considered doing something similar. I am just having a difficult time pulling the trigger. I found a van that fits my needs and I am handy when it comes to assembly and things of that nature. I am just worried that I will hate living in such a small space after a couple of months. Has anybody moved into a van only to find out it isn't for them?

mathiverse
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: Van Build!

Post by mathiverse » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:05 am

After a month and a half in my van, I decided to hang in the towel. I got robbed of a few things, so I didn't really feel secure in the van anymore. In the month in a half that I lived in the van I also found that I didn't like needing to be out all day (since my van was uninsulated it was uninhabitable during the day due to the temperature).

If I had to live in a van again, I'd do a few things differently.
  • Park in a neighborhood with van dwellers I know already (so I'd feel safer and also would be less likely to be robbed during the day)
  • Get an RV or already built out high top van. This lowers the financial upside, but I'd probably last longer term in a place I can spend time in during the day comfortably. [Or completely build out a van myself before living in it.]
  • Get a van I'm comfortable driving everyday. I was uncomfortable driving it because it was so old and I didn't want to cause anymore wear and tear. An alternative to getting a newer or lower mileage vehicle would be to gain confidence in my auto maintenance skills, so I wouldn't worry if I had to do extra work from the extra mileage I was putting on the van.
I'm back in an apartment now and I think it suits me better. I'm not sure the changes I would make next time would have changed my dislike of the lifestyle even if it would have made it possible for me to live in a van longer.

Frita
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Van Build!

Post by Frita » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:14 pm

@mathiverse
Hey, you learned something. Will you use your van for trips or weekend get-aways?

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