June 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm #154730
My name is Dylan and I am from Edmonton, AB Canada and I am currently in the process of beginning to buy and build my first van conversion!
Right now I am still in the research phase of choosing which platform to begin with. Obviously, the ideal route would be a sprinter van but where I am these cost anywhere from $22 000 to $60 000 and that is just out of my price range.
The next best platform in my opinion would be a Chevy cargo van. They are large, already fully gutted inside and easy to work on as there isn’t a whole lot going on inside of them. Problem is, I currently have a summer specific car (we have 8 months of winter) and whichever van I decide to build my camper in will also be my winter daily driver. So I would like the van to still look cool and not just a huge square cargo van.
That brings me to my third option; import a JDM van which is the cheapest route (can get them for about $5000 to my door) and they look the best but I have some concerns. For one they are a little smaller but I won’t be living in the van so I am not overly worried about it being huge. The second concern with a van like this would be with all the air conditioning and electronics, once gutted there would be just a huge mess of wiring, AC/heat plumbing and all kinds of things which make building in much more difficult.
Sorry for the long intro, just thought I would share my initial thoughts and see what sort of insight you guys can give me!
Vans I am considering
Honda Stepwgn (RF body) – Cheap, looks good and a good daily driver but smaller and lots of electronics and plumbing which would make building more difficult.
Mazda Bongo Friendee – Cheap, looks good, can get with an auto free top and a good daily driver but smaller and lots of electronics and plumbing which would make building more difficult.
Chevy Cargo Van – Cheap, large, reliable and very easy to build in but not the best looking and wouldn’t make for the ideal daily driver.
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