Newbie with Questions!

Hi there! My name is Leah, and my boyfriend and I are beginning to plan our foray into the van community :slight_smile: We live in LA and are looking for an affordable, fairly small van that we can use to sleep in, typically for weekend/short trips (along the coast for surfing, to ski mountains, to national parks and other camping areas, etc). Our plan is to look for a cost effective used van and do the conversion ourselves (again, as low cost as possible). We probably will start simple (no bathroom, etc), but will figure this out as we get further into planning!

We have a few questions as we get started, and Iā€™d love any advice on these from the folks in this community!

  • What type/size of van should we go with? (craigslist has a lot of ford econolines and chevy expresses, but open to other ideas) Do we need 4WD/AWD?
  • What is a reasonable mileage to purchase at? How long do they usually last? (a lot of the used vans on craigslist have 150/200K+ miles on them)
  • What are the fundamentals that we need to do from the start vs. what can wait until later? For example, insulation, electric, water?
  • What should we expect in terms of: maintenance requirements and costs, gas mileage
  • What questions should we ask a seller when we are discussing a potential purchase of their used van?