Used or New with Safety Features for a Senior Woman

Hi, New to full time van life, but not new to months in a van, tiny home living, or years living on small sailboats.
I’m selling land to buy a van and take off for at least a year or more. This decision is about not waiting any longer, I’m 71, but still working some remotely.
I’m between a Promaster and a Ford Transit but top of the list is wanting the safety features in a 21’, 22’ or even a 23’ (blind spot mirrors, cameras, cruise, and more). My older self is, well, needy.

  1. If I buy new (Transit) with all the bells and whistles (AWD and Ecoboost) will I ever get most of my money back with a van home build with factory cabinetry, even though I’d love it while I had it? It might even be perfect, but SO expensive.
  2. If I buy used, it looks like 80K or more for low mileage and safety features, and none of them perfect, but compromise is inevitable. Or is it?

Love your thoughts and advice:
Anyone in a newer pricey van with regrets (price and really NOT perfect)
your debate on Promaster versus Transit.

Does anyone think the insane van pricing and popularity of vanlife will wane with the gas prices resulting my losing money on a fancy new build?

I really need input so thank you in advance! Big decision.

Blind spot mirrors, back up camera, security camera etc can all be added separately. Can buy on Amazon and have back up camera installed by an auto electronic place if you don’t want to tackle it yourself.
There are tons of videos on YouTube about every imaginable van life need, diy, design ideas etc.
I’d recommend the channel CheapRVliving. It’s not just for RV’s.
I have a 2010 Toyota minivan with 150k miles and it’s been going strong for over a year. The price of used and new cars is insane right now. Because of a van build, it’s likely you won’t get your full money value back on a new vehicle, and a few years older is just as reliable.
If you buy used, you won’t feel so scared to alter the interior to suit your van build, be it screws or ripping out things. I tried to be super precious about not doing any permanent damage to the interior not mine but found it hindered a lot of my design options.
Both of the vehicles you named are great, and better than a minivan simply because more head room!
I’d just look for a good deal on a used for either model car. and a few other sites like them sell cars all over you can view and purchase online. Maybe consider it.
Can also get a mechanic to do an inspection prior to buying used.

Thank you! My conclusion is also that buying new is insanely expensive, as is doing my own build since I need to hire someone. I’ve found some pretty interesting sites that have production furniture to install that I would probably do. Some of it is really nice and be about the same as trying to find someone to do it for me.

I have envisioned the van I want, unfortunately, as buying used and built will not be it. Still, that’s what I’ll probably do.

I walk a local campground to see if I can talk to van owners about why they picked their van and what works and what doesn’t. This is netting all sorts of good ideas, and more questions.

I’d love to hear more from anyone about the used Transit vs Promaster and I think I’ve seen all the utubes on the subject, and every other subject! This is intense.

I’m listing my land today!

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@Hannafree - You can always just buy a van and throw a mattress in it, building it out as you go. This is what we did and honestly while things got more organized and somewhat more comfortable, we were just as happy in the tin box that we started with.

Chances are, you are going to want to alter things at some point anyway. Best not to overthink it at the beginning. Sometimes just cobbling things together works out better in the end.