I believe I mentioned it previously, but besides writing, one of the reasons I retired was so I could buy a van or bus and convert it to eventually live in it and travel around. Even before I retired, I was keeping an eye out for options. In the last few weeks, I’ve even reached out to a few people about their vans. Today, four of us piled in a car and drove for four hours to look at a van. It was a 1979 Chevy motorhome van. I mean, I guess that’s the best way to describe it. It was partially converted already, and definitely something I could work with. It was priced well enough to make the drive. And we brought four people so we could caravan back with two people in each car. We were as prepped as we could be. The question was, would the van compare to the picture.
Answer: not really.
It wasn’t a trash heap, that’s for sure. It looked relatively similar to the pictures, save a decent amount of rust that was strategically left out of the pics. I get it. And aesthetically, I wasn’t too concerned. The rust would be repairable and anything else could probably be fixed with some elbow grease. What truly mattered was “is it safe? And will it last?”
We tried to get it into a shop to get a mechanic to look at it, but after calling six or so shops, it was not meant to be.
It might have been safe. There were some dodgy issues with the brakes and that could have simply been low brake fluid, or could have been worse. The exhaust smell penetrated the inside a little more than one would like. And there were a bunch of odd noises that we could really account for. There were enough small things to make it questionable, especially without having a mechanic check it over.
I don’t think those were major deal breakers though.
The point of this van, for me, is to last and last and last. And to let me go anywhere and everywhere I want without worrying. I think I could have driven this van around town with no problem. And maybe for the odd trip, but I’m not sure I would trust it more than that.
Would I have loved to drive home with a brand new (to me) van today? Absolutely. So I’m disappointed about that. However, still excited overall and now I’ve got one van under my belt. It was the first time I had driven something that big, and I loved it. I didn’t even feel like I struggled backing it up, thanks to my grandpa teaching me the importance of backing up using only your mirrors. And this is great. I was afraid that I would get in something big and panic and freak out. But it was okay. Now I don’t have to worry about maybe leaning towards smaller vehicles just to make myself more comfortable.
So again, sad that I didn’t get my future home today, but at least I made progress towards the goal.