Like you I too am looking to begin my journey and am also in the US. I know how you feel, about the “dream van” being posted but not being ready for it. Two vehicles I was super excited about I lost out on because I wasn’t quite ready yet for them.
I’m still weighing out exactly what I want too though, so not a terrible loss. Still trying to figure out just how small I can go, and what type of foundation I want. I’ve seen VanDweller mention several times that starting out with an RV is a good route, but I feel like I’d have to gut it a lot to remove/change some of the systems to fit what I am working towards…
Anyway, welcome to the forums! I’m fairly new too, so any questions you might ask could also be useful to me, so I look forward to your posts!