Oops, forgot to introduce myself. Just starting a van build…about to get a used Ram Promaster. Have huge wonderful ideas, not much experience building, but hey. I’ll learn!
Consider your initial investment, and whether it’s worth it. Some really nice class C’s can be bought for under $2500, and can give you an entry point to figure out exactly what you want and need. When & if you decide to upgrade, you should be able to get all your money back, and maybe even make a profit.
An obvious camper is actually much stealthier than a cargo van. Nobody finds it unusual or suspicious when somebody is camped out in a legitimate camper. They will assume you’re fully self contained, and not about to poop in the bushes or try to steal their water or electricity. Looking more like a tourist or visiting friend/relative IS WHAT’S TRULY STEALTHY. Unmarked cargo vans are not, they carry a very bad stigma of thieves, thugs, and the homeless. A VERY OLD obvious camper is much stealthier than even a brand new unmarked cargo van.
I only build my own now when no better, cheaper options are available. By keeping it cheap by choice, I rarely lose money on a rig, and frequently make money when I sell them. Newer vehicles depreciate, but fully depreciated vehicles will hold their value and possibly appreciate.
Simple is cheaper and more reliable." ~ Off Grid