Vanlifers Are Parting Ways With Their Vans As The World Reopens

Vanlifers Are Parting Ways With Their Vans As The World Reopens

Van life took off during the pandemic, but some have found out that it's not what they expected.

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The pandemic changed how many people work and live. For some, remote work offered the perfect opportunity to buy a van and live on the road. But as the country edges back to something resembling normalcy, some are retiring their vans and going back to the office.

As the Colorado Sun reports, the transition to working from home has allowed many to live out their dreams of living on the road. No longer shackled to a daily office commute, some decided to buy or build out vans, ambulances and buses to travel the country.

Living in a van used to be an alternative for people facing high costs of living or for people who wished to live a life on the road. In recent years, social media influencers have put a glitzy, if often unrealistic sheen on #vanlife. In 2020, the pandemic gave life on the road additional appeal. If you’re working remotely, why be stuck in one boring place when you can wake up to a new vista every day?

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I had a similar revelation during the summer of 2020. I suddenly had more free time than I knew what to do with, so I decided to pick up stakes and travel the country, essentially living out of a Ford Ranger for the summer. It’s an experience that I will never forget and one that I recommend that everyone does at least once in their life.

This story from early last year points out that van life also isn’t as it appears on social media. While #VanLife gives you millions of pictures of vans on the beach, the reality is that you sleep at campgrounds, the parking lot of the local Walmart, or wherever else you won’t be bothered. You may not have access to showers, laundry machines or a stable internet connection. And that doesn’t get into potentially getting stranded because your van broke down and needs an expensive repair.

As CNBC reports, offices are opening back up and some of those who spent 2020 traveling the country now have to put the van away and get back to the daily grind. Some of those vans and buses are popping up for sale as their owners no longer need them or have found van life not to be for them. I’ve even featured a few on some Dopest Cars entries.

Out of curiosity, I did a little searching and found a bunch of cool vans for sale.

Did you build or buy a vehicle to make into a traveling home? Did you sell it? Are you still living in it? Please email us at tips at jalopnik dot com. We want to hear your stories of cruising the country in a van!

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2013 Ford Transit Connect

2013 Ford Transit Connect

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The Ford Transit Connect is not only a great platform for a rallycross car, but it makes for what looks like a cozy tiny camper, too!

The van features a bed to comfortably sleep two, a power bank for all your electronic charging needs, a Coleman grill (to make any adventure a delicious one!), a 30 can cooler, a food prep station with a cutting board, and 2 side storage cubbies for long weekend essentials.

Details: -4 cylinder -Gas -120k miles -Regular maintenance, 2 previous owners -Used it for deliveries, mostly highway miles. -Bought specifically for conversion and to be resold. -2 wheel drive -Local craftsmanship

$17,250 in Orchard Park, New York.

Look closely and you’ll notice that this one doesn’t have much in the way for insulation, so it’ll either need insulation or avoid sleeping in it during the winter.

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2011 Chevy Express

2011 Chevy Express

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Here’s one with some floor space, but its low roof does mean that it isn’t much of a standing room.

One of a kind custom camper van. Built out of a 2011 Chevy express with the 4.8L V8 with 153k. Custom paint job fully set up for all on one camping. Fully powered set up just like a camper. 110v or and 12v ready with a large deep cycle battery installed. New RV rooftop air conditioning unit. Mini fridge, roof rack, Full sized bed with a new Memory foam mattress, touch screen and back up camera. Lots of storage for larger items under the bed. Hitch set up to pull a trailer or have a luggage or bike rack. Very unique and an absolute blast for all in one camping. Please let me know if you have any questions. 18500 obo.

This one comes with a sweet paintjob and a very important air-conditioner. No sweating bullets on a hot day in this van.

$18,500 in Jenison, Michigan.

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2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

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Here’s one that you can stand up in. Unlike the other van campers thus far, this one has a working bathroom and enough amenities that you can actually reasonably camp off-grid. It also has a lower price than the other two to boot.

Sprinter camper van (@Thewhitebuffalo_van) Lots of time an money has gone into this build. Needing a truck so she’s got to go. 233,xxx on the motor. Runs an drives perfect. Working shower bathroom. 40 gallon fresh water tank. 6 gallon hot water heater. Propane stove an oven. Mini fridge. 110 power an 12v solar power with 135 amp hr battery. 1000w converter. Pop up tent on the top. New twin pillow top mattress I know I’m forgetting stuff but feel free to ask. Priced to sell!

This one has a mattress inside and a tent on top, plus hot water.

$17,000 in Baldwin City, Kansas.

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2000 Roadtrek Versatile 190

2000 Roadtrek Versatile 190

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If you’re not so much into a camper van built by a random person, here’s one that was professionally converted. It’s hard to beat these as they have awnings, sinks, microwaves, bathrooms, dishwashers and a real kitchen. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the oddities of someone else’s build.

Runs great everything works. Yes has generator. 18000 cash. camper van has 250,000 miles on body tires are good. clean Minnesota title.

$18,000 in Austin, Minnesota.

These used to be super cheap, but now they often end up priced similar to a custom built camper van.

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1988 Ford Travelaire

1988 Ford Travelaire

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Here’s another camper van that was professionally built, but this one would be perfect for posting up at Radwood.

1988 Classic Canadian Travelaire campervan with 122,000 miles has a Ford 351 engine V8. Meticulously maintained and upgraded with only 2 owners! 2021 complete tune-up, new brakes, new AC compressor, new Dometic refrigerator, new solar panel with controller, new house battery, new furnace, recent radiator, 2020 new tires, new cover and more. All service records available. Sleeps three, 2 sinks, 1 toilet, 2 burner propane stove, 2 exhaust fans, lots of storage with rear box and 2 bike racks, outdoor shower, 2 awnings, roof sealed last year, NO leaks. This powerful beauty is road ready and perfect for off the grid or plugged in at campground. 12 miles per gallon. Canoe is optional.

$18,000 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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2004 Freightliner FS-65

2004 Freightliner FS-65

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If vans are too small for you, a converted school bus (skoolie) is always an option! I chose this one because it wasn’t just converted and put up for sale. This one was actually lived in! Plus, it’s not for a crazy outrageous price.

Just check out the list of what was done to it:

04 Freightliner Skoolie, already converted title to RV plate was under 120 for the year.. we have been living and doing some traveling in it for the past year.. it is 90% complete, the last 10% is just minor stuff,, like I said we have been living in it for a year. has 40 gal. water tank with water pump,, 2 35 gal grey water tanks, has a shower, seppart toilet, so no black tank need, has a full size memory foam bed, 12 gal electric water heater, 2 burner propane stove, 11 cuft Fridge, oak cabinets, has a diesel heater house heater, for the cold days, 3 one year old battery for engine, 1 battery for house power, low mileage 168k on a Mercedes turbo diesel, allison transmission, cruise control, excellent brakes, 2 tv antennas. good glass,, has both 120/12 lighting, good tires, drives good,, locking storage box, any questions please ask.. I know I’m forgetting things but it is in livable condition,, oh I have a small wood stove that was used this winter,, did a great job,,, but took it out for the summer,,, clear Michigan motorhome title in my hand..

$10,000 in Rockford, Michigan.

That final 10 percent of completion can be your final touches to make it yours.

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