Greetings & Welcome!
The best advice is to keep your first conversion as cheap and simple as possible. Most newbies that stick with it longer than a few months go through 3 or 4 vehicles, or builds before they get something they’re relatively happy with. All the garbage you see online may look nice and sound great, but in reality are impractical and inconvenient.
Comfort, convenience, and reliability are what you really want. A permanent bed you don’t have to screw with at all is much preferred by most people. The last guy I talked to who had spent big bucks on a Happijac was furious because his bed was stuck in the up position, and he was forced to sleep on the floor. A perfect example of why simple is better. If you look at some of the older motorhomes, the beds that folded up to the ceiling were simple, foolproof, easy to operate, and required no power. Newer and/or more complicated aren’t always better. One less thing to break or cause problems is ALWAYS a good thing.
Too much emphasis is put on spending money by the greedy promoters. Their advice and recommendations are for their benefit, not yours. There’s a huge difference between picture perfect and practical. Reality is a far cry from the pretty pictures, visions, and dreams that the promoters present to their potential victims. Yes, I said VICTIMS , because while what they’re doing might not be illegal, it’s certainly highly unethical.
Think long and hard about your choices. What are you going to do when they break? Are they easily fixable or replaceable? Consider the worst possibilities and then understand that they’re at least 10x worse if you’re on the road in unfamiliar territory. You want stuff that’s easily available locally and cheap, almost anywhere, not shipped to you. You want to be able to live comfortably, no matter what breaks, until you can repair or replace it. You’re on your own out there, and you need to be smart about it. You need plans, and backup plans, and a large enough emergency fund to get you out of any situation you might find yourself in. What if you’re laid up for a couple of months and can’t work? Will you be prepared?
Being prepared for the worst is much more important than fancy or good looking. What if your power fails, or your stove, or heater, etc. etc.? Are you prepared? You better be, because this stuff happens all the time, and the more complicated your systems are, the more often they happen and the harder and more expensive they are to fix. This life isn’t all rainbows and roses like most people are led to believe.
"Worst Choice: Cargo van & expensive, complicated build.
Better Choice: Passenger Van w/ cheap simple build.
Best Choice: Cheap, older, factory camper van or RV." ~ CheapLivin