My Travel Van
Very briefly, I own a translation agency in the Czech Republic and have realized my dreams to move into a van, continue operating my agency via internet connection through a satellite phone, and travel through nature. I bought this vehicle in Seattle because my flight flies out of LA and was informed it would be better to buy and sell the vehicle in the US alone. I landed in Seattle and stayed at my friends’ place, and it turns out that their neighbor was trying to sell this van. He lived in it as well for a certain period, built the bed, bookshelves, and installed the auxiliary battery. The auxiliary battery is a deep cycle boat battery, is recharged from the engine, and the pioneer stereo (TS-A1665 – sounds pretty good to me) is wired directly into it, as well as the two florescent lights. I also wired a 120V inverter (which I will keep) into two of the battery leads to successfully power my entire office (I saw an inverter that can go as high as 2400W, where your average laptop uses between 60 and 75W).
The previous owner pumped about a thousand bucks into it prior to his sale, and I as well (I have all the receipts, so maybe you could write it off). It passed emissions (smog) test in Seattle as well as in LA, where the California Smog Check Vehicle Report number is VIN: 1GCEG25H7SF231604, License: A31858K.
Some of my investments included a new tire, an 80% new spare tire, new muffler, a full tune-up in Seattle at Midas, and a partial tune up and oil change in LA, where they commented that, considering the mileage (185,000 miles), the van runs “remarkably” nicely. I too find it runs quite nicely. Two people looking at it said the shocks look quite good, but the main car battery is near its death (you can boost start it from the auxiliary battery if need be, and the van comes with two sets of jumper cables, as well as winter chains for the tires).
Overall I am quite happy with “Lola” (came with a dancing hoola girl on the dash, which I will gladly take with me if you do not want it). It also has some wire and security features (refer to pictures below), so it should be good for a commercial vehicle as well. Certainly beeps loud when you back it up!
The van: 1995 Chevy G-20 Cargo van, V8 I believe.
Came with a dent in the sliding side door (below left), but the door slides and shuts with no problems.
Since I have not driven for a long time and it took me a while to get used to this large vehicle, I regret to admit that I have added my own indent (below right), while trying to turn around on a tight road. Both cases seem minor and something which can be pounded out with a hammer or whatever.
I bought this van for the purpose of testing out my plans to move myself and my business into a truck and travel around the world. This van trip was a pilot test, which I applied to my first trip to Mexico.
Oops, I put Lola into the hands of an ex-girlfriend living in LA, hoping she’d sell it for a better price I would get by rushing selling it to a used car dealership before flying back to Prague a few days later. She had to repark it across the street twice a week. She was busy and the cops apparently impounded, and then swallowed it. Oh well.
But now for the NEW caravan truck on the new European travel leg, which I hope to do for a couple of years or more.
My whole trip down I yearned to pick up a cute hitch hiker for a caravan ride share and shock testing session, but no go. Maybe with the existence of the site through that link I’ll have better luck now!