Van Specs Engine: 5.7L V8 OHV 16V Trim: 1500 Cargo 235/75R15 Tires Specs: https://www.driverside.com/specs/chevrolet-express_van-2000-2931-6288-0 Fuel Economy: 15 MPG, 31 Gallon Tank ~450 miles on one tank Clearance with high-top and roof fan: 8’4” Length: ~18’ Trailer Hitch Installed Build This van was originally converted and used by a couple of my friends and I made several modifications/additions while I lived in it. The floor has a 1x subframe with 1" thick solid foam insulation, moisture barrier, and a plywood base. The sides were made with metal stud construction for weight reduction and lightly packed with fiberglass insulation (a hard pack makes the insulation less effective), then sheeted in plywood. The roof was framed and insulated with similar material, then covered in plywood as well. The cargo and back doors are also stuffed with fiberglass insulation covered by some wood paneling. I cover most of this in my Youtube tour, but here’s the details written out: Bed: The bed is a cut full sized mattress and partially convertible for more space. The door to the “garage” lifts up and stands on legs to extend the bed platform and there is a piece of cut mattress that sits on top of this. Fits one shorter and one taller person comfortably. Electric: There is a 20 watt flexible solar panel adhered to the roof wired into a solar charge controller that goes to a marine battery under the right side of the countertop. The fan and LED light strips run off of this. Fan: Basic 3 speed roof fan above the bed Lighting: There’s a white LED light strip that runs throughout the van and is pretty bright. There’s also 6 battery powered puck lights that are remote controlled with rainbow color selection. I used the light strip more during the day for extra light and the puck lights for some softer light at night. Water: 2x 6 gallon jugs in the cabinet - one for grey and one for potable water. I didn’t have the time to finish the sink set up while I lived in it so I just used the (included) rechargeable Primo water spigot and (included) collapsible camping sink which worked just fine. I will also include a Camco RV drain which you can use if you decide to add plumbing. Cooking: 2 burner GasOne propane stove included since the van was built to fit it perfectly under the counter top. Storage: It’s incredible everything that I was able to fit in this van. I used the baskets above the cabinets as pantry space, the compartment above the baskets as sleeping bag/blanket storage, the clear bins under the counter top for cooking and fire making accessories, the compartment above the bed for books and toiletries, lots of random stuff above the cab, and fit tons of stuff under the bed (folding bike, fire pit, archery bow, large tool box, large duffel bag, backpack, firewood, 2 camping chairs, etc.). Window covers: Folding windshield reflectix cover, homemade reflectix covers for cargo and back windows, homemade black fabric covers for cargo and back windows. There’s also a built-in blackout curtain that drops down and rolls back up with ease. Bathroom: I am happy to include a (sanitized!) Thetford cassette toilet that has saved me more than once. Or I can remove in advance if that grosses you out ;) Misc: - Carbon monoxide detector installed just inside the cargo doors by the bed - I have extra grey paint I will include that you can use as touch-up as needed or if you want to paint anywhere else in the van grey to match the “bedroom” walls. - Inside height: 5’2” Mechanical Good news: Since I bought the van in late 2019, I’ve had a lot of work done by a mechanic and done a lot of work on it myself, so fortunately there are a lot of relatively new parts (radiator, gas tank, rear U-bolts, trans output seal, rear pinion seal, AC recharged, etc., detailed below). Additionally, I just got the van back from the mechanic (July 19) and had the distributor (with cap and button) replaced with a new one. This mechanic gave it the "all good". This van has been my home so I’ve made sure to take care of it. Bad news: This van will need some mechanical work over the long term (just like any other van it’s age). In February I took it to the mechanic to get an inspection for verification of its condition (link below). The mechanic noticed a couple issues which have been long standing, but haven't seemed to cause any issues in performance. Fortunately these vans are tanks and can have multiple issues and still run just fine. If I were keeping the van myself, I’d look at just fixing the coolant leak and seeing if the rest of the issues develop into something that would affect the safety or performance of the vehicle before going to the expense of repairing. Mechanic Inspection Report: https://cba-hendersonville.autotext.me/Admin/customerdvi/index.php?inspec_id=S1RYNlJuTE1ObTBKSEUwWS90OC91TDVnS3Q4Q0R5cGoxTkczRUoxdnROND0= Issues (in order of estimated severity highest to lowest): - Coolant Leak at lower intake manifold - This is the only leak that is actively dripping (and actually the mechanics missed it but I want to include it for full transparency). It’s a fairly slow drip and has likely been leaking a while. I tried Bar’s head gasket sealant but it didn’t really work so I’ve just been topping it off a bit every few weeks. (See last 2 photos - one is with a black light and UV dye to clearly show the leak) - Transmission can shift hard at lower gears - I’ve added 2 bottles of Lucas Transmission fix to smooth it out a bit. Eventually the transmission will need replacing, but it seems very stable at this state. - Front Oil Seal Leak - Pics in the inspection report - This has looked like this since I bought the van in late 2019 and 22k miles later looks the same and I’ve never seen any drips - Power Steering Pump Leak - Pics in the inspection report - This has looked like this since I bought the van in late 2019 and 22k miles later looks the same and I’ve never seen any drips - Misc. Cosmetic/Minor Issues - Large area missing paint & clear coat on the hood, duct tape seals the windshield on the driver's side, rear door seal has been re-caulked but still occasionally leaks a little, sometimes the driver's side window does not want to go back up if you completely lower it and you have to turn the van off and on to get it to go up again. I have a Notion database with the service history here: https://www.notion.so/869af866d7d84057b761dd790078c388 This van would be great for someone looking to get into or try out van life on a budget. This is why I bought this van, and I ended up enjoying it so much that I bought a new van. I’ve put 22k miles in 8 months on this van and made lots of great memories, so I hope it can do this for someone else. Please feel free to contact me with any questions - happy to share more details, VIN, Carfax, photos of construction, etc.
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