Newbie curious about resell value

Hi! I’m a third year US medical student considering the possibility of van life for my fourth year in school, which involves lots of free time for traveling and interviewing for residency programs across the country. Building a van just for this year seems like a fantastic and fun way to go about this, as I love the outdoors and feel it will be an easy way to travel.

From what I’ve read, it seems like with enough time, one could build a comfortable van out of a used Promaster + build budget of ~10k or less. Please correct me if I’m totally off base here.

As I’ll only be able to do this for one year, what would be the typical market for trying to resell the van after the year is over? Are there people out there willing to buy the complete van at a similar price to the cost of the build minus the depreciated value, or would you need to sell the van and build components separately? Just wanted to see if this van life option is a financial possibility for me. Thanks in advance!

Greetings & Welcome!

Just about the only way to NOT lose money is to buy an older, fully depreciated, factory camper van, and KEEP IT STOCK!!!

There are tons of them available for under about $5k. Just be sure to get a pre-purchase inspection to avoid any unexpected surprises.

The older ones from the 70’s & 80’s were built in an era where quality still meant something. Starting in the 90’s, both the vehicles and the build quality took a nosedive that has not yet self corrected. Corporate greed rules today, not quality or customer satisfaction.


"Spending money to save money is usually a scam." ~ SmartSavers