After Fruita, we decided that tent camping just wasn’t the best idea long term. We’d discussed getting an RV before, but it wasn’t practical. Fruita was cold and windy, and even though our new tent rocked, it was still a pain to crawl in and deal with a bunch of zippers. It was also very inconvenient to drive back and forth between the event and the campsite. It was half an hour each way, and I was working long hours at the event. A few of the reps there were sleeping in their vans in the parking lot, and I was super jealous.
We had decided that we needed a trailer. Renting Uhauls all summer was going to be expensive, and our stuff didn’t fit in the Jeep anymore especially now that we were bringing our bikes (because who goes to some of the best riding in the country and doesn’t ride?) I gave Jarrod a budget, and he searched Craigslist every day. We only had a few weeks between Fat Tire Fest and Iron Horse and not a lot of money, so vigilance was necessary. Jarrod arranged a meeting with a guy before we went to our event with Denver HAHO. The trailer was trashed beyond even what we are willing to work on.
At the event, Jarrod kept perusing Craigslist and started to look at vans just to get a feel for what we would need to spend on one. There was no way we had the money for a van right now to convert into a camper. He was texting me links to the ads he found interesting. (It was pretty slow at the event.)
Then he found the ad for our van. The seller was asking exactly the same amount as the owner of the trailer was asking. We had already withdrawn the cash for the trailer in case we decided to buy it, so Jarrod called the van owner and scheduled a viewing for after the event.
We didn’t know much about the van going into it. There was a very brief description and only one photo.
When we got there, I couldn’t believe that the guy was selling it for so little. The body was rust-free and in good shape for being a delivery van. There was already a high-top on the roof so that someone 6′ can stand up inside. The business that owned it before was a florist, and the back of the van had once been refrigerated. When the owner of the florist passed away, his son-in-law started to do a camper conversion, but he didn’t get very far. The van sat for 3 years. It fired right up and sounded better than the Jeep even though it had over 450,000 miles on it. It had been well maintained. It needs new tires and motor mounts (I believe), but other than that, it’s solid. I didn’t even negotiate, and we drove it home.
The next day, we went to the emissions center. The van passed with no issues. We went to the DMV and had the new title and tags in less than 30 minutes.
There’s a lot of work to be done to convert it. For now, we’ll just carry our stuff in the van under a platform with a foam mattress. It’s kind of like camping, but with a van.
I’ll be posting updates of our progress or follow us on Instagram to keep up with the latest.