With all this time spent on the road and in the mountains, I had the urge for a mobile living space that would accompany me on my adventures. Well, actually I wanted this to be my home; live the #vanlife for a bit. The search was on, and initially limited to the coveted VW Westfalia; a classic traveling machine that has got to be the raddest thing on four wheels. Check out The Brown Bus, 63mph, and Drive Nacho Drive to see how it is done. There are also some really good resources for finding/buying one of these vans such as VW Westfalias for Sale and The Samba, or if you really want to go all out GoWesty. But...but, these vehicles are known for being pricey due to the limited supply (they were in production from the 1970's-1991), and the age of these vans makes them a risky purchase. Too risky for me at the time; the Westy was out.
I quickly gave up on the Westy dream and settled on a 1997 Ford E250 Econoline that a friend of a friend had for sale. At 147,000 miles the odometer was beginning to get up there, but I knew the owner, the van was well taken care of, and these engines have a good reputation. I hope I made the right choice.
May 1st, 2015 my girlfriend and I found a sublet for our apartment, sold/stored all of our stuff, and moved into the van.
Year/Model: 1997 Ford E250 Econoline
Efficiency: 16-17 mpg Hwy; 10-12 mpg City
The previous owner had already converted the van, but I always knew I wanted to start from scratch. So I gutted the van and made it my own. This was to be my home not just a weekend toy; therefore I wanted to make it a place I would enjoy spending time in, more like an apartment rather than a kitschy RV. Below are the major projects I included in the van with a brief tutorial on how to DIY.