Top 5 Cargo Vans That Last 300,000 Miles

I would LOVE to hear your opinions on this video. If it’s accurate, it could have a huge influence on which van I buy.

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@Thomas_Magee actully owns a Toyota Hiace that was at 750,000km. So this information is probably accurate. But then again i’m just speaking out of opinion, I could be wrong.

You can check out the topic about the Toyota Hiace here on our forum:



My poor old 1973 Dodge camper van is still going strong at 450k+ miles on the original 318 engine and transmission. Just drove from Minnesota to Washington without a hiccup.


"With age and experience comes wisdom and knowledge." ~ RoadWise

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Thanks @HenryCooper, I appreciate that. Turns out he’s in my neck of the woods, too.

@Van_Dweller - Nice! I hear good things about them and I like the look of yours. It just scares me to buy an older van like that. I just don’t know enough about them to set me at ease and, since I’m looking to go full-time and long-term, I’d like to buy one van and treat it right so it will last me at least 20 years!

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I like the pre-computerized vans of the 70’s and 80’s because there’s so much less to go wrong them. I know the mechanics of old school vans, and the newer ones I had were much less reliable. Most mechanical things will give you fair warning before leaving you stranded, where as electronics will fail without notice.

My van is simple, electrical consists of a battery, an alternator, a starter, a coil, and a distributor. The fuel system consists of a fuel pump and a carburetor. It doesn’t have, and doesn’t need dozens of electronic sensors to make it run right. It still passes emission tests with under half of the allowed emissions, and I don’t even have a catalytic converter or any of the other smog control garbage. Mechanics smile ear to ear if I need something done because it’s old school and easy.


"Never enjoy yourself at the expense of others." ~ TiltonHilton

That’s why I don’t care for them. It’s also why I’ve been an old-fashioned, cash-on-the-barrelhead, make it from scratch and keep it til it’s good and dead traditional hermit for so many years!

I can’t imagine, at the start of my van life, that I’d be able to find a van like yours that would give me 20 more years out of it.

It’s fitting though, in a way. I’ve realized I need to come out of my hermit life and keep up with the world if I want to earn a living and be relevant. That’s naturally going to include the way vehicles work, too. At least there are conveniences to all this technology, too. I’ll just try to enjoy those before they break.

I own a 1996 Grumman-Olsen step van (like a food truck). these are industrial vehicles and the Cummins 6bt engine is commonly called “the one million mile engine” which is why it is popular for UPS and FedEx. if you are looking for an extremely durable “van”, then I don’t think you can do much better than a million miles. you can buy these used for about $10k with 100k miles on them (and another 900k of life). with square walls, all aluminum (no rust) and industrial durability, I sometimes find it hard to follow the logic of buying vehicles for triple the money but only 1/3 or less life-span. anyway, just something to throw into consideration!

Thanks for the suggestion, @sevengrey. I didn’t think about food trucks and don’t know much about them. (I’ll spend some time researching them, though.) The initial problems I would see would be the size. Many places have parking laws against larger vehicles that size. I want to be in more rural locations so the size might work against me. Again, I’ll have to research them to find out what make and model they are even! If they’re diesel, that makes it a no-go for me. I don’t want diesel.

What kind of gas mileage do you get? Any photos/videos of your build?! I’d love to see them! Gee, a food truck would be the perfect set up for a great foodie! Wouldn’t it be great if you could live and sell food out of one?! Now I’m curious to see how many others have these vehicles built out!

I think all or most of your questions would be answered in this youtube video linked below which I did on the subject of buying step vans, lengths for parking, and what to look for. BTW, I have about 200 videos of my build as well as tours of about a dozen other step van RV conversions

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Perfect! I’ll definitely watch it. I’m familiar with Seven Wanders the World from YouTube but haven’t seen this video. This vehicle may not be at the top of my list but I love researching every option available.

Hey hey. How are you going with choosing a van to live in? I love my Hiace. It has not let me down on some pretty big trips through the Flinders Rangers to over the Snowy mountains. I just take it easy by going 100km/h even in 110km/h zones and it hasn’t had a problem. The violent and oil use up a little quicker than a newer van but overall has been a gem :ok_hand: