Scared to buy my Van


I’ve never bought a vehicle so old, so am scared. I have a car which needs an engine replace or rebuild, so depending upon how much in trade I can get, can get a van for 2k or 6-8K. All the ads seems to be shady dealers, but a private party wouldn’t be able to give me a trade. Do I have to go thru the dealers? and do you really have to drive to where they are based upon internet search.


Well first off, could you tell us what vehicle it is that you are trying buying


Im thinking about going with a Ford


One thing to check for on a Ford van is if the steering is loose and causes it to wander. I know of someone who had to have an ambulance steering package put on theirs (around $600), and I have seen other posts where the people said their Ford vans wandered too.

The best thing to do is find out what vehicle you what to go with and then search on google “common problems with [vehicle name]”. This should help you find out what you should be looking at when you first go to look at a vehicle. And will also, give you a heads up.


Yea that’s a good idea


Thank you guys for all the help


Another tip too – let’s say you find your dream vehicle on Craigslist, you can send out a “traveling mechanic”. We did this when we bought our van because when we drove out to go buy it, the battery was dead, there were mice living in it, it was a mess. Since it wasn’t drivable, we had to drive all the way back home without the van (whomp whomp) and wait for the seller to replace the battery. It was about a 3 and a half hour drive (both ways).

So before we headed out there a second time once she replaced the battery, we decided to send out a traveling mechanic to help us avoid running into another large issue before making the full day trip there and back again to MAYBE come home with a van. We are so happy we did this! It was somewhere between $200-$300 for it, but he did such an elaborate overview of the van for us. He was probably out there for about 5 hours checking everything you could possibly check on the van, taking photos, videos and more. He then sent us a very detailed report with every tiny bit of information he could. It definitely helped with peace of mind as well before we finally made the trek to finally purchase our new home.

We highly recommend looking into doing this. We feel like if your comfortable with that, it dramatically opens up your options of where to look for a vehicle, because you won’t be beating yourself up if you travel 5 hours for your new vehicle, since you’ll already know exactly what you’ll be getting, instead of some surprises we’ve known other people to run into (We had a buddy fly from Missouri to Colorado for a rig and the only complaint was “the side doors don’t open”. When he got there, it turned out the van had been t-boned and the entire side was bashed in - hence why the doors wouldn’t open.)

Best of luck to you! The fear is very temporary. Once you finally make the jump, it very quickly turns into excitement! Hang in there!

Looking for our first home on wheels! It's tough!

That is awesome advice!! My husband and I just drove 12 hours round trip and came home empty handed after finding water damage in the unit we were hoping to buy.


Ugh! What a gut wrenching feeling! Just means that van wasn’t meant to be your home. Hope you have found one, or do find one soon that fits everything you need!


Buy a VW transporter, believe me,


Do you own a transporter yourself?


doesn’t need to be old I think.

I bought my Vivaro from a dealer (without any Guarantee) for 4600 euro’s, its a 09 with 160 000km when I bought it.

have it 8 months now and 28 000km without any major problems (except I replaced all the tires)


Are you living in it full time though? or part time?


Only Part time, but I drive a lot anyways