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The never ending van project..... - Printable Version

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The never ending van project..... - Dakotalee - 05-13-2020

Ive had my van now for almost 4 years. I got a 93 chevy coachman weekender. It was one step away from the scrap yard. It turned on and could pass inspection. Thats about it. I got it for 2k. Its hard to find class b's. Its hard to find one at that price. It was in my budget without having to take out a 20k loan for a nice Class B. 

In the past 4 years i probably have put 10k into this thing. And I did 80% of the work myself. Sometimes i need a mechanic if it needs jacked up because i don't have the tools or a place to work on it.I replaced the reak axle and, seals, and bearings. The control arms and bearings. Almost the entire brake system, the entire vehicle electrical system has been replaced. I replaced the exhaust from the cat back. Fuel pump, blower motor, radiator, and more. I can't even remember all the repairs.

In the cabin I had to re do the entire electrical system too. Add solar. Tore out the carpet and put in hard wood floor. Replaced fantastic fan, fridge, stereo. Fixed a good portion of the interior. And more. Ive done so much I can't remember it all.

And after 4 years. 10,000$, and a whole lot of weekends this thing is probably about 50% DONE. 

I need to fix the suspension and tire rods. Power locks and cruise control dont work. All the plumbing needs redone. I can't find the actuator thingy for the vents. Id like to install a tv and sound system. Id like to try heated floors. I need to fix the shit tank and maybe install a compost toilet. And every time I do a repair or upgrade I find 3 more things that need repaired or upgraded.

I could probably put another 5-10k into this thing. And once I get to that point there will probably be more repairs to do.

I've thought about abandoning this project a couple times but Im too invested into it now to give up. Plus its my home. Another 1000$ project seems way more tempting than a first and last months deposit. Does it ever end?!?


The never ending van project..... - Cammalu - 05-13-2020

No. It never ends.


RE: The never ending van project..... - slow2day - 05-13-2020

Working on my van keeps me occupied in my retirement and I don't mind spending the $ on it while saving on rent. I do that half of the year anyway.

My van is a similar ongoing project and I have about $6000 in it over 3 years and 20k miles.

I've just spent most of the stimulus payment on improvements including a second solar panel and 100ah AGM, a basic shower, Stowaway cargo carrier and box,etc.

I've been lucky and haven't needed any major repairs yet. Heading for the AZ and NM mountains for dispersed camping soon.


RE: The never ending van project..... - Dakotalee - 05-13-2020

Part of me likes working on it too. Gives me something productive and creative to do. I just spent the past few days climbing all over this thing a tearing apart the interior to install my new stimulus approved solar system too. Ive got the main system all installed and most of. The interior put back together. I have to put the tv shelf area back together which makes me want to redo it with some custom shelving while its apart. I still have to install the thermometer cable, mt50 meter, a smart battery meter, and control panel for the inverter.

Sometimes I wish i could buy project parts in pieces and add as i go. For instance the tv/stereo system but then I think about having to tear it all apart each time i get a new piece so I just wait till I have the money to buy everything and do huge projects in one shot.

So many projects I just lay here and look at and think about which ones I can afford, take priority, or feel motivated to do. I just remebered i have to do the transmission fluid and serpetine belt. Yay. More Fun fun fun for me! Lol


RE: The never ending van project..... - Dakotalee - 05-14-2020

I was vacuuming today and the side door latch broke. Now it's stuck closed. More fun fun fun!


RE: The never ending van project..... - slow2day - 05-14-2020

(05-14-2020, 10:33 AM)Dakotalee Wrote:  ..... the side door latch broke. Now it's stuck closed.

*BTDT.  The Fords have these nylon ends on the actuation cables that disintegrate over time and break at the worst time.

The DIY fix is cheap at only $8 for a set of aluminum replacement ends. 

Unbolting the side door hinges in 20 deg. weather while running out of daylight wasn't fun at all.

*(Note to HDR: Been there done that)