Color me lucky! With the exception of a newish cargo van that spent a LOT of time in the shop, I have always driven cheap older, pre-computerized vehicles, and they have been very reliable and only ever needed normal maintenance.
It is always good to have a sizable repair/maintenance fund, so you don’t need to stress over the money angle, and if you go to a smaller privately owned repair shop, they will often let you camp on their property, and sometimes even camp inside your van while they’re working on it. I’ve even seen people who have pitched tents at the repair shop when necessary.
I try to be pro-active on my maintenance, and that really cuts down on anything unexpected happening. I always listen to my vehicle, engine and everything, and if anything changes, I will investigate at my first convenience. I check all my fluids at each fill-up, even though 99% of the time, all is well and everything is full. I give my hoses a squeeze, and my belts a visual inspection and a tug. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure they say.
Looks like a great spot you have there! By water or in the forest are some of my favorite places. Never been much of a desert dweller…
"I can live like a king because I work like a dog." ~ An anonymous vandweller