Or you could convert it and take an even bigger loss…
Self conversions don’t make money unless they look very professional, and all expensive high end components. Otherwise they actually devalue the van.
People buying camper vans want RVIA certified ones, with lots of windows, and all the conveniences of a full blown, fully self contained RV, including a generator. Now if it’s a passenger van or conversion van, with an intact interior, there might be a very slight glimmer of hope.
Cargo van campers are almost impossible to sell, and people usually lose a lot of money on them. I lost over $35k on one, and that was when the economy was much better than it is currently, and it was 100% top notch all the way. Part of the problem was that since it wasn’t a factory camper, nobody would finance it.
If you have enough money to convert it, you have more than enough money to buy a really nice, road ready, move in ready, older motorhome for under $2500. Buy one, sell the van as-is, take the loss, and consider it an expensive lesson in life. Otherwise you’re just digging yourself into a deeper hole.
How much are you in this high mileage van? Financed? Pay Off? 1500, 2500, 3500, high roof, extended, etc?
The unfortunate truth is that it’s usually better to accept the loss, and move on to better choices. I just took a peek on CL, and found a 2017 promaster 2500 cargo van camper with an RV window in the sliding door, nice build, 49k miles, for $24k and the ads been up for over 30 days. According to KBB that’s the same price as a stock empty cargo van. The ad says the conversion cost over $25k, so they’re losing $25k+ on it.
The upfitter’s make their money working on other peoples vans, or by converting brand new vehicles, not by converting used ones to resell.
Another option might be doing a cheap conversion of a few hundred to make it livable for you, then live in it and get yourself to day labor and starting stacking the cash. $3k/mo can go a long way if you’re not paying rent/mortgage, utility bills, etc. Then you can upgrade your conversion later, if you wish. I just spent 11+ years in a $750 van that I put under $300 into the conversion. Totally comfortable, and with full amenities, toilet, shower, full kitchen, 4 season climate control, etc. You just need to learn how to do everything on the cheap. My 4 season, energy efficient climate control cost under $100 total, and works better than the ones people are dumping thousands into. I’ve turned down many ~$10k offers on mine over the years, because it was too comfortable and saving me too much money.
There’s usually solutions to almost any problem, if we approach them correctly. Your problem is money… Luckily that is one of the easiest problems to solve. Once you understand the proper formula, it’s just as easy to make $1,000/day, as it is to make $100/day. That’s the difference between owning your own business vs. working for someone else. By owning your own business, you are in complete control of your income. I’ve known people who started with $20 and instantly turned it into a $2500 a day business, and retired within a month with just 3 employee’s. He’s now a millionaire with 20+ employee’s, and he was homeless to begin with. His business is hauling junk, and he started with just a U-Haul and a classified ad. Now he owns 10 trucks.
Another fellow unclogs drains for $100 a pop, and has more business than he can handle himself. He lives in a converted shuttle bus advertising his business on it, and raking in big bucks.
Find a need, and get paid to fill it. The handyman business goes great anywhere, regardless of your living situation or location.
It might not be too late to get a job selling Christmas trees. Some pay by the tree, and people make $20k-$30k between thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ve done this myself…
Start solving your money problem immediately, not with later possible profits, then everything gets easier.
"Day Labor = Work Today, Get Paid Today. Win/Win" ~ Nomad-Norm